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Last 7 Days
  • Drive train, 4WD System, Luxury appointments, Fuel economy, 3.5 tonne towing capacity
  • Recalls, Light payload/roof load, Noisy hig setting suspension

by Paul Venning

There are few cars for the price that cosset you in luxury, drive like a car in the city (it’s got enough grunt to never be embarrassed at the traffic light GP unlike something like a Prado) but one in which you can confidently take over the Simpson.

Yes the Range Rover and Disco are very capable but you are looking at a lot more dough for a similarly speced vehicle and in the case of the RR would anyone actually tackle the Simpson in one? I have had the Jeep on a number of off-road trips including all over Fraser Island where it never gave a hint of bogging in high tide sand or bottoming on the rutted inland tracks.

I get 9litres per 100ks in the city and I drove from Sydney to Noosa on one tank and had 150 ks range left. The only serious negatives I have are the electronic niggles for which I have had three recalls but I wasn’t aware of the problem before I received the letter.

We will be tackling a number of off road trips next year including The Sanannah Way and with a snorkel, bull bar and lights fitted along with some A/T tyres I am sure it will be very capable, comfortable and economic.

Yes I will be hoping the electronic bugs don’t render us stranded somewhere a long way from anywhere and that concerned me before we tackled Fraser but having experienced the incredible off road ability of this car I now have new found confidence.

The highlights are the engine/gearbox combination, amazing 4WD system and economy all from a 3.5tonne towing capacity vehicle. The Fiat derived turbo diesel is a gem, it goes and sounds better than a petrol V6. Durability is still an unanswered question of course which only time and use will answer.

I agree that the suspension knock when it tops out in its highest setting is disconcerting but you get used to it – air suspension has more advantages than this single issue in my view.

One other negative is its light roof load (70 kgs) and the rear payload is also light at 670kgs but if you want a more car like vehicle on the road that’s a compromise you need to accept- it’s easily handled by towing an off road camper in any case which is what we will do for The Savannah.

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