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Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey

Land Rover crosses Australia for its 60th Anniversary.

- Story by Paul Maric, photographs by Paul Maric and Land Rover.

The 1948 creation of the Land Rover Series 1 came to fruition courtesy of Maurice Wilks, who was the head designer at Rover during the late ‘40’s. Throughout the company’s 60 year history, there have been a raft of ownership changes, ranging from Rover, BMW, more recently Ford and now Tata.

Despite the sale of Land Rover to Indian industrial giant Tata, Land Rover says it is still committed to continuing the trend of capable, versatile and stylish vehicles. The sale of Land Rover to Tata is not expected to hinder the continued growth of the British marque.

Land Rover’s break into the Australian market occurred during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Around 800 Land Rovers were commissioned as the vehicles of choice by the committee responsible for the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric scheme.

Fast-forward 60 years and it’s party time. Land Rover has decided to celebrate by travelling from Birdsville in south -west Queensland, through to Broome in north Western Australia. Unlike the other manufacturer who has undertaken this journey, Land Rover will cross the country using every model in its range.

Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey

Freelander 2, Defender, Discovery 3, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Vogue will all play a part in this epic journey.

Leg 1 – Birdsville to Alice Springs

Day 1

The group of five journalists and several Land Rover crew, including Managing Director Roger Jory, weren’t sure what to expect of the flight from Brisbane to Birdsville.

Operated by Macair, our mode of transport was a Metro23, 19-seat twin-propeller plane. Located about 1600km west of Brisbane, Birdsville is a small town with a population of approximately 120. Birdsville’s population increases by more than 1000% during the famous Birdsville Races – held each year in September.

Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey

Our flight from Brisbane was on the mail run, so that meant making four stops along the way to Birdsville. This stretched the 1600km flight out to six and a half hours. Soon after leaving Brisbane airport, we arrived at a small town called Charleville. It wasn’t long before the mail was offloaded and we were back in the air.

Around an hour later, the second stop had us arriving at Quilpie. With a population of just 747, spread over a shire area of 67,842 square kilometres, there wasn’t all that much going on. After finally offloading mail, we jumped back into the plane, only to find the additional passenger and extra mail would mean a ‘wet takeoff’.

We were reassured that this was standard company procedure when extra weight was taken onboard. The only issue with this standard company procedure was that the plane refused to do the ‘wet takeoff’! We stumbled down a third of the runway before the takeoff was aborted. After trying two more times, we had to go back to the hanger for some bush mechanic style repairs.

After a quick fix, we were in business and on to our next stop – Windorah. We were greeted by some workers who were proud to show off the new building they had just installed at the airport, which included three toilets. It didn’t mean much to us city slickers, but it was a mighty achievement for them! It was back in the air for our final flight leg.

You can imagine our joint relief when we finally arrived to Birdsville.

Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey

Luckily the Birdsville Hotel was stocked full of beer and food, so after a bit of a refresh and cleanup, we met with the Land Rover support crew for dinner and drinks.

Next page…

Day 2

Everyone at Birdsville’s pub was raving about the ‘camel pie’ on offer at the Birdsville Bakery. I couldn’t leave Birdsville without trying the famous pie. After all, they received a silver medal award at the Great Aussie Meat Pie competition.

Proprietor Dusty Miller (pictured below) was more than happy to sit down for a chat – even giving us a taste of the famous camel pie, along with an outback cappuccino.

The bakery offers a variety of bread, pies, cakes and drinks. The rustic look to the interior, along with the inbuilt windmill were all concepts of the proprietor and builder, Dusty.

Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey

After cleaning, checking and preparing the fleet of eight cars, the group of fourteen (five journalists, four Land Rover crew, four catering crew and one desert expert) set off from Birdsville for the beginning of the cross-country journey.

All cars on the fleet were fitted with Goodyear Wrangler tyres to assist with dune crossing and hill climbing. Spare tyres were also carried in the event of punctures. Only three tyres needed replacing during the leg I travelled (all of which were punctured by Land Rover staff!).

Soon after leaving Birdsville we arrived at a river crossing. All vehicles – including the Freelander – made it through without any dramas. It was the last slab of water we would be seeing until at least Alice Springs, with most of the lakebeds in the Simpson Desert being bone dry.

Big Red is the first sand dune that is crossed when trekking the Simpson Desert from Birdsville. Sitting some 40-metres above the plain, Big Red offers tremendous scenic views of the surrounding areas.

Spanning some 176,500sq km, the Simpson Desert has around 1100 sand dunes which vary in distance from each other, along with intensity. Such is the terrain that the dunes continuously change in shape. The path taken weeks ago to cross a sand dune can be completely different to the path taken today.

Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey

The average rainfall throughout the Simpson Desert is less than 200mm, meaning that most of the lake beds you see are totally dry and look spectacular.

Before setting up camp for the first night in the desert, we visited a small spot called Poeppel’s Corner, which sits at the corner of three states – Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia. Well before the time of GPS, the corner of the three states was mapped out by John Carruthers, Lawrence Allen Wells and Augustus Poeppel around 1879.

The first camping stop was at Poeppel’s Lake. After setting up our tents (some using distance to keep in mind the snoring populous of the group!) and grabbing a bite to eat, we sat around the campfire observing absolute silence and complete serenity.

One of the things that struck me most about each night on this trek was the amazing detail in the sky. You could literally see every single detail of the universe, it certainly beats the light polluted skies of the city.

Next page…

Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey

Day 3

The third day was quite challenging in terms of the terrain. The sand dunes were big and bumpy, which caused problems for the vehicle towing our trailer. If tyre pressures aren’t set correctly (around 18psi is ideal for sand driving), rough corrugations are made in the sand, making the run up the dune very rough and labouring on the car.

With Land Rover’s entire range of vehicles on offer for the trip, each of us had a chance to sample the respective models throughout a variety of conditions.

The first two days had me in the Range Rover Vogue and Defender. You would never have picked the Vogue’s 2.7-tonne mass. The turbo diesel V8 (TDV8) didn’t have to strain all that much to wrench the luxury 4WD up the dunes. All this while sitting back and relaxing in a set of comfortable -and cooled- pews.

The Vogue used around 17.0-litres/100km on average during the second day. Although it sounds like a lot, most of the time the speeds were less than 40km/h and plenty of revs were required on the run up to and during the dune climb.

The only manual vehicle on the fleet was the Defender. It was certainly a handful in comparison to the others. More turns of the steering wheel, along with managing gears meant that it required a lot more attention.

Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey

Most of the time, second gear was ample for dune climbs, but on occasion first gear was needed to power up a dune.

Aside from the Defender, each car was slotted into sand mode via the terrain response system. This mode adjusted traction control settings, while allowing gear retention for optimum torque. The Defender simply needed its centre differential locked. All vehicles remained in high-range while attacking the sand dunes.

After a fairly difficult day of driving, we stopped at a dried lake, around 88km from Purni Bore.

Next page…

Day 4

After just a few kilometres of pleasant roads, the corrugated dirt roads began. The roads simply worsened the faster you went, which meant adjusting speed accordingly was necessary.

Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey

The other battle we continuously faced from day four was dust from the leading vehicle. This meant keeping safe following distances and keeping an eye out for rocks and other obstacles.

Our lunch stop was Purni Bore. Dug by oil seeking Frenchmen, the bore was later sealed, but It didn’t take long for the seal to corrode and that’s when it broke loose. Pumping out water at around 89-degrees, it’s not safe to swim in due to the high temperature.

Aside from the worsening quality of the roads, there was now an issue with loose rocks from the roadside. Rocks the size of small bags littered the road and could easily puncture a tyre if hit at the wrong angle.


(notice the misspelling of ‘Purni Bore’ on the sign!)

Dalhousie Springs was the next stop from Purni Bore. After seeing no more than four cars a day, we received a bit of a shock when there was little room to stop at the Dalhousie Springs camping ground, not that we really cared, the springs awaited us.

The water from the source is about 65-degrees, while the water in the swimming area sits at around 38-degrees. The relaxing warm water was utter bliss after a long day of driving. We had an hour to spend there and nobody wanted to leave, if we hadn’t a schedule to keep to, I’d probably still be there now, floating around!

Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey

One hour later we arrived at Mt. Dare. Although it no longer runs as a cattle station, Mt. Dare Hotel was taken over by David and Melissa Cox who threw in their Melbourne city lifestyles for an outback change – yes, they seemed pretty sane when we talked to them!

Electricity comes from a diesel generator on a trip like this and Mt. Dare Hotel had diesel and petrol supplies which are available to the public. When we topped up the Land Rover fleet, we put through some $1400 worth of fuel – a new record for the diesel pumps.

The kitchen team at the hotel served up an amazing meal for our crew. It was refreshing to see the level of service and normality despite us being literally in the middle of nowhere! We stayed at the camping ground behind the Mt. Dare Hotel, which includes full toilet and shower facilities.

Next page…

Day 5

Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey

A good night’s sleep was the starter to day five. It took a while, but I was finally getting used to sleeping in a tent! It’s one of those things that takes a bit of time to adjust to, but once you’re there, it’s just as good as sleeping in a normal bed.

Day five’s leg had us travel from Mt. Dare through to Chambers Pillar and Maryvale Station was the last stop before arriving at Chambers Pillar.

Chambers Pillar is a sandstone pillar tht sits some 50 metres above the surrounding terrain. John Stuart found the pillar while trying to cross Australia in 1860 and the inscriptions left by him and his team still remain on the pillar.

We arrived close to sunset and were able to climb the pillar to view the inscriptions and witness an absolutely amazing outback sunset.

Also camping at Chambers Pillar were a couple covering the Simpson Desert in a previous generation Defender. They were keen to check out the new Defender on the fleet and even went for a test drive – who says Land Rover isn’t committed to pleasing their customers!

Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey

I drove the Range Rover Sport from Mt. Dare to Chambers Pillar and it’s quite amazing how much air suspension makes a difference across the rough corrugations of the road. The tactile nature of the Sport, along with the precise steering make it a pleasure to drive.

It’s also quite keen to let loose on dirt roads too! Lift off slightly through a corner and the back end gracefully twitches, adding a bit of excitement to the roads. The driving position is also commendable, giving you the impression of a much lower car.

The turbo diesel V6 copes well with the car’s weight but sometimes lacks when overtaking and moving away in a hurry.

It was to be the last night under the stars and after a hard day on the road, everybody was keen to call it a night early – except one of the local dingos who stole a leather strap from a member of the catering crew, while he slept in a swag.

Next page…

Day 6

Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey

The descent into Chambers Pillar is quite steep and challenging, so it was the perfect place for Land Rover to demonstrate just how capable each of these cars is.

We lined up each car to tackle the rough corrugations of the slope and they pulled through will no dramas.

I had a feeling that would be the case so I hunted down the Freelander, which I knew didn’t have height adjustable suspension. Much to my surprise, it didn’t scrape any of the under body, this was thanks to impressive suspension articulation and class leading ground clearance.

The drive to Alice Springs from Chambers Pillar is around 160km and was a blissful one. Along the way, we saw countless abandoned cars, some quite recent.

As we approached Alice Springs, there was time to reflect on the past week. Australia’s outback is vast and endless. The serenity is amazing, as is the lack of life in some areas.

Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey
Land Rover 60th anniversary - cross Australia journey

The other thing that permeates in my mind is just how capable was the fleet of Land Rovers. We were able to cross some very rough terrain in vehicles that we see every day invading suburbia.

The Freelander was the most impressive at the end of the day. It crossed the Simpson Desert without running into any trouble.

Unless you have serious support, it’s not recommended that you try crossing the Simpson Desert in an SUV like the Freelander, but it goes to show that the car is capable of tremendous feats.




  • Devil666

    What an epic journey! I’ll bet your camera crew had a ball judging by those nighttime shots! How do I get invited to one of these trekks :)??

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au Anthony

    very well written and great pics

  • Fenno

    I agree. The photo’s were amazing. Would have been a blast.

  • BIG JIM

    GREAT STORY. GREAT PICS.

  • BJ

    That is fascinating – Land Rover marketshare less than 1%

  • Discovery fever!

    Hope Leg 2,3 and so on will come soon ! Can’t wait to get my own Land Rover.

  • DA

    Hope they didn’t leak too much oil in the desert.

  • http://deleted Alex

    Frugal One, Land Rovers are NOT unreliable anymore. Ive had my Range Rover for 5 years and a Discovery 3 for a while now and you know how many times theyve let me down? NONE! Take your stereotypes somewhere else.

  • http://. Naughtyius Maxiumus

    I agree Alex……one cant make a generalised comment like that! PERIOD

  • Dlr1

    Where has Frugal One’s comment gone? off into the great unknown parts of the net?

    I guess we can’t have anti Landrover comments on a Landrover promo piece can we? Where’s the independence gone C-A? I guess its ok to fire up the debate between Holden, Ford and Toyota, but not Landrover when they take you on a cross country junket!

  • DA

    With 0.5% market share ytd. in Australia who cares?

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au Paul Maric

    DLr1:

    His comment was useless and baseless.

    There’s a massive difference between debate and idiocy.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au Paul Maric

    DA:

    The people who buy these cars for off-roading care.

    It’s a perfect example of just how capable these machines are. In my opinion it’s perfectly relevant considering their entire brand focuses on off-road capable vehicles.

  • DA

    Paul,I can’t remember the last time I saw a Range Rover in the real outback of OZ and I have done many k’s out there.DA.

  • Paul Maric

    DA:

    Your point is?

    They are primarily city vehicles. This expedition if anything proves that they are more than capable in the outback – that includes their entry level Freelander.

    It\’s certainly a title Toyota would find impossible to match considering how dismal the Rav4 is both on and off-road.

  • DA

    Touch a nerve did we Paul? The Defender, primarily a city vehicle,yeah right.Freelander sales YTD 590. RAV sales YTD 8798.How many of the drivers had beards?

  • http://. Naughtyius Maxiumus

    DA, TP, FRUGAL ONE, THOMAS, MIKKA, DINGO………………all same views and all wreck this website with their way over top zealous Toyota tunnel vision.

  • Paul Maric

    DA:

    Not really mate. Just stating the facts.

    Then again, I wouldn’t expect any less of a Toyota dealer…

  • http://. Naughtyius Maxiumus

    DA Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 5:24 pm
    Touch a nerve did we Paul?

    NM RESPONSE…..oh so your singular narrow viewpoint is a “WE”. Would say by your attitude with big T and comments that it seems like you are a “we” as few sides to you!

  • http://. Naughtyius Maxiumus

    ITS ACTUALLY….to quote you – “Touch a nerve did I Paul?”

  • http://. Naughtyius Maxiumus

    Iam on Paul’s side and his comments are great and so is the review!

    DA….Cut the chase. DONT DRAG OTHERS INTO BACKING UP YOUR SIMPLISTIC COMMENTS AS YOUR ON YOUR OWN WITH THAT!

  • DA

    NM.OK I’ll change it to “I” Is that better?Paul. No comments on the sales “facts”Cheers boy’s.

  • http://. Naughtyius Maxiumus

    And to put the reality back onto Range Rovers being sighted out bush…..ummm seen them. Obviously your Mr T glasses are jading your world and view too greatly and maybe you should live in the real world!

  • http://. Naughtyius Maxiumus

    See you all later DA! OOOOCH

  • http://. Naughtyius Maxiumus

    Just read whole story…..CONGRATS to Caradvice for a top read…..mixed in with top info and plenty of laughs and local triva in a refreshing vibrant way that captures the snapshot on the event great! Makes a change compared to other stories seen around net and newspapers that focus way too much on the car and too bland the story becomes! WELL DONE PAUL! WELL DONE CARADVICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Andy

    So thats where you writers were. Good trip! Now please get back to normal service, I need my daily Caradvice fix or I curl up sweating & shivering in the corner of my office.

  • Edaw

    Thanks CarAdvice for a great article. It really was a cut above the usual crap you get(not on here mind you). Great pics too.

    Having driven a Freelander 2 offroad I can safely say they are the mast capable compact SUV out there full stop.

  • John of Perth

    So why don’t LR bring in the Freelander diesel with the manual gearbox – have Australians forgotten how to change gears (and don’t give me that homologation b*s)..

    I just bought the Nissan X-trail TL (diesel, manual) and it is just as competent as any Freelander and has more room and dare I say it – better finished.

    It will also serve as my recreational 4WD outing vehicle though not perhaps the Simpson!

  • Discovery Fever!

    Is there any change to purchase the Orange G4 Challange Edition Discovery 3 in Australia? It would be a dream come true.

    P.S. Could Car Advice post snap more Discovery 3′s Pics in the next legs of the trip? (Just a personal favourite)

  • Range Rover Sport Man

    hardly.

    my friend just bought one, ie the TTD Sahara, 500kms and already back to the dealer for a new fuel pump, constantly stalling.. See the LCOOL owners forum for how many owners have issues. While the Shara was at the dealer they also managed to damage the intercooler and boost sensor, which was not pciked up before returning to the owner who had a 4.5 litre diesel V8.. THis is a known problem since the press vehicle launch.

    I’d take the Range Rover Vogue or Sport, have you seen inside the Sahara for a 110k vehicle on the road it is very bare bones.

  • Edaw

    John of perth:

    Does the X-trail have a plastic splash guard or metal sump guard?
    Have you compared the ground clearance, approach angle and departure angle?

    Does the x-trail have a 500mm wading depth?(i can’t find this info on the nissan website, you might say it’s missin?)

    Will the single mode traction control fully brake a wheel when it lifts off the ground?

    And most importantly, will the all mode 4×4 system pack it in and revert to 2wd when it gets hot in the sand just like the old one did?(i couldn’t find any info to say that it has been changed from the last model.

    Better finished? That is a matter of opinion, I was very interested in the X-trail but couldn’t get past how cheap and nasty it felt inside to me. As for the outside, well you could be right but we’d need a calculator!

    P.S. what’s a manual gearbox? :)

  • Edaw

    GT2000: What is the go with the reported oil consumption issues then? Must be the fuel too? But i thought Toyota fully tested everthing for thousands of miles in aus before they release product?

  • darkwater

    Agree with others that this is a great article and the pics are totally brilliant. Would like to read more about how the ergonimics of the defender panned out over the distance, and also more technical critique of the freelander’s performance. Totally mercenary intentions as I’m considering buying a defender, might be too rough and rugged for the family, or a freelander, a comfortable alternative.

    Looking forward to reading the following articles.

  • http://. Naughtyius Maxiumus

    Shame that some wreck it for others…..why be down and that when can hold ones head high. FRUGAL ONE….your related to Dingo? You 2 seem same persona!

  • Bret

    NM, actually I think it is dingo, moonlighting under yet another name. The posts do not have F-O’s style.

  • Golfschwein

    Yeah, it has the same anger.

  • Benjie

    Gt2000:

    Except the TDV8 in the Sport and Vogue with more power! 200kW and 650Nm of torque.

    Seeeeeee yaaaaaaaaaaa!

    owned.

  • BIG JIM

    gt2000 Says:
    nothing comes close to 195 kw and 650nm torque nothing

    The RANGE ROVER TDV8 has 200kW of power and 640Nm of torque.
    The problem with the sahara is that its features are a bit basic for the price and exterior looks are no different to a GXL cruiser. With the RANGE ROVER you get exclusivity aswell as superior offroad ability, driving dynamics and luxuary.

  • BIG JIM

    darkwater:

    The DEFENDER is the shit when it comes to crossing through and around Aus and for going bush and hardcore offroading. Heres a recent video review
    (media.drive.com.au/?rid=39830)

  • John of Perth

    Edaw

    I actually did consider & drove the Freelander 2 before making my decision.

    The new T-31 is a class act – go and have a look. Not really worried about 500mm wading depth – however have a look on Youtube for a clip called E-trail – petrol X-trail \’wading\’ 1000kms north of Perth.

    Yes – have changed plastic sump protection to metal (aftermarket) & departure angle almost the same as Freelander.

    With the manual I now average 7l/100km with the new Renault turbodiesel (6.8 @110 on c long run). Having said that I will say the Freelander\’s ZF auto is one of the nicest I have driven but unfortunately my left leg needs to work out daily!

    I would have given the manual Freelander very very serious consideration.

    By the way you did not mention resale value – hmmm!

    John

  • REALCARS

    Hey GT2000 in case u didn’t realise this is a Landrover thread and no one gives a shit about the block of flats on wheels(Landcruiser)LOL.

    LANDCRIUSER MOTOR MUST BE A GOOD MOTOR IF IT BURNS OIL FROM NEW.LOL

    300,00KLMS JUST PLUCKED OUT OF THE AIR?LOL.

    TOYO TOSSERS ARE FULL OF IT.

    Landcruiser engine MAY last that long but the Turbo certainly won’t.LOL.

  • FRUGAL_ONE

    Give me a Toyota anyday, they OWN the outback.

    U would be MAD to buy any other brand if your heading out yonder.

    Parts back up etc, Toyota by MILES

    Cheers

    F-0

  • REALCARS

    Just find Toyota tales amusing that’s all.

  • darkwater

    Big Jim: Ditto where you are coming from. I’d tilt towards a defender but with a 2.2d four pot honestly I’d need a bit of convincing considering I can get a v6 4 door rubicon for the same price-ish. So at the moment I’m swaggering between a freelander2 hse petrol and the aforementioned rubicon.

    Like to read what you’d comment, and anyone else out there but please I don’t get that feeling so toyo’s need not apply.

  • Edaw

    John of perth:

    Resale: don’t buy a new Land Rover, that is only for rich people ;)
    Having said that, the D3 and RR sport are holding up very well. Time will tell on the Freelander 2.

    Also, the freo box is Aisin, not ZF.

    I think the main reason they didn’t bring out the manual is they would have to make it cheaper, hence less profit… Always remember theyAll manufactures, not just LR) are in the business of making money first, making cars second.

    Enjoy your X-Trail, one of only 2 soft roaders not made for girls.

    GT2000:
    More toyota lovers blindness.
    Engineering?
    KDSS, like usual, Toyota are only 10 years late to the party. Active cornering enhancement on D2 in 98, was more advanced than KDSS. These days it is called Dynamic response on the RR sport. Even with KDSS it still handles like a pig(compared to a RRsport anyway).
    6 speed auto that only uses 5 of the 6 gears, very well engineered. Doesn’t even have a proper manual selection.

    You also forgot height adjustable fully independent, cross linked air suspension, terrain response, cornering headlamps, active locking centre and rear diff,where is all this on the you beut well engineered sahara? Oh, that’s right, they have crawl control so the caravaners don’t go over the speed limit in the caravan parks :0

    Now all this probably wouldn’t bother me except for one thing. Toyota continue to charge top dollar for an inferior product, 85k for a GXL and no seat height adjustment, give me a break!

  • gt2000

    edaw well the australian public disagree with you! you still have to wait for any model sahara and turbo vx and gxl are still up to 3 months wait and landcruiser wagon still has 75% market share! to dear and inferior i dont think so!

  • Bret

    But DingGt.002 thats only because yoy have to get in line behind the fleet buyers.
    Oh what a fleet market….Toyota

  • Bret

    Realcars,
    Toyota just love propaganda parrot talking sheep like you.

    Some people prefer to be an individual rather than buy what the sheep next door bought.

  • Realcars

    I swear it wasn’t me!!!LOL.

    …and i agree with u Bret!

    They always talk resale. Apparently Toyota buyers are already thinking about selling their Toyota before they buy it.LOL.

    If u get more for a Toyota at trade in time it is only because u pay more for it to start with. And don’t they sting with the options and that’s apart from the fact that new Toyota prices can vary by thousands from dealer to dealer for an identical spec vehicle.

    I guess some Toyota buyers just get riped off more than others.LOL.

  • Ronnie & Chez

    Refer to photo 22 of the photo gallery, that is us folks crossing the Simpson Desert in our 10 year old unmodified Land Rover Discovery’s. They didn’t miss a beat, we covered over 6000 kms from start of trip to finish and had a ball. These vehicles are made for this sort of work. Your photo’s are great, I should have taken a polarised filter!

  • BIG JIM

    darkwater:
    Freelander with its quality advanced 6spd command shift transmission that does 0-100kph in 8.9 seconds (0-60mph 8.4) aswell as being economical on the fuel would have to be the pick. WHereas the rubicon with its 4spd (if your going auto) is a bit sluggish and hard on fuel.

  • darkwater

    Big Jim:

    Smack-on there with transmissions, also rubicons thirst has always been a major consideration. Standing at a pedestrian crossing yesterday a 4-door wrangler drove past (so it’s going to be a 2007 model), not sure if the driver has been servicing it regularly or it’s just been flogged to buggery, but all the wrong noises were coming from the engine bay. Sounded half a dozen rasps heading down a long metal slide. I’m earing on the side of lack of service or as some seem to think that a 4bie is just as cabable on the road as a beamer.

  • BIG JIM

    darkwater:

    yeah the 3.2L i6 in the freelander is highly rated with good high torque.

    “The DEFENDER is the shit when it comes to crossing through and around Aus and for going bush and hardcore offroading.”
    ^^^by that I mean its good. The 300 tdi equiped DEFENDER Im used to, has a top speed of about 135, that would be my only slight gripe. However its the type of indestructible engine that just keeps on going (a hard 310 000km without a problem). It cruises effortlessly at the speed limit. The new 4 would have to be better.

  • darkwater

    Big Jim:

    If it was just me, myself, and I, a defender would be the only consideration – out asap smack down money for factory fitted modifications. However, I’ve got to tow a family of girls so comfort (road noise, egonomics etc) needs to be considered.

    Believe me, I would really love a defender. Pity they don’t provide the swb. Could get that for fun.

  • BIG JIM

    Darkwater:

    Post how the test driving and eventual purchase goes, Im interested to know. You should be able to talk them down a fair bit.

  • darkwater

    Big Jim:

    Thank you for your interest and advice. I’m looking at a minimum of 6 to 12 month purchase time for either a defender or disco3, so please don’t hang on my post. When it comes around I’ll post on whatever forum associated with this or following articles or even on this site’s car review for the defender or disco3. Either way I’m getting a rattler. Sod a petrol – top end performance but bugger all down low where you need it when you need it for how long you need it.

  • BIG JIM

    Darkwater:

    With the current new car market conditions- dealers doing alot of heavy discounting, its quite possible to get a big discount on a Discovery 4.0 V6 SE or the TDV6 Auto S.

  • xl250

    Edaw: “Enjoy your X-Trail, one of only 2 soft roaders not made for girls.” Do you honestly think girls can’t drive offroad? Or are you saying LR and Nissan made vehicles purely for men?

    GT2000: Just because something is popular, doesn’t make it good. Take Top 40 music, AFL, Neighbours for eg… Very popular, doesn’t make them good though.

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