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What is the most capable "Current + Affordable" Offroad Truck/SUV these days?

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Old 11-08-2008, 04:50 PM   #1
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What is the most capable "Current + Affordable" Offroad Truck/SUV these days?

Hey guys, im doing some shopping around... looking at getting into something a little more capable next summer.

I'm looking at a 2009 Tacoma for starters.

Im curious what else out there is very capable offroad. (i know the current Jeep Wrangler does very well, Locking front and rear diffs from factory).. hear the FJ is supposed to be pretty good (is it?).. so what else is there?

I'd like to be able to add a selectable Locking front diff (air locker/electric) which i cannot currently add to my current truck. (can i do this with the Taco or FJ?)

Also i do not plan to and more than a mild lift, or anything over 33" tires/285's.

LMK
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Old 11-08-2008, 04:53 PM   #2
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Most "Capable, currant, affordable" = Unimog. We have a dealer in Az. and they run from $10,000 and up, depending on configuration.
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:07 PM   #3
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Sorry by current i mean something 2005+, i should have stated that. Also it has to be a Daily driver.
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:13 PM   #4
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Tacoma TRD Double Cab- if you have a family and yes you can add a selectable locker in the front diff. Very capable offroad right out of the box I would go with the TRD pacakge which comes with the upgraded shocks,springs and has a selectable locker in the rear, along with weatherpak electric harness.

FJ-Nice on road..........offroad to pretty good, one big draw back is its very hard to see over the hood when approach obsticles.
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:14 PM   #5
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most capable is probably the JK Wranglers, next the H3 and the new H3T comes with Fr and RR lockers and 33's, the FJ and Tacoma with lockers are pretty damn capable too. The Dodge Ram 2500 Powerwagon is the most capable full size- 33" BFG AT's, front and rear lockers, sway bar disconnect, rock sliders, and a warn winch straight from the factory!
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:15 PM   #6
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Most Capable stock?

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

Solid axles, front and rear lockers, stock 33" M/Ts, 4:1 gear ratio.
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:22 PM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback so far!
I dont mean to sound like a Jackass for the following replies. Simply doing my homework
Quote:
Tacoma TRD Double Cab
>> i would not buy a Double cab in any kind of offroad vehicle... the shorter the wheelbase the better is a typical rule... (long wheel bases risk getting hung up/high centered)

Quote:
Hummer H3
From what i have read this is a HUGE misconception that these trucks are capable. (its just a canyon/colorado with a hummer-like body) Even with a suitable lift 33's (for example) rub due to the mishaped fender wells (and then again the new H3T runns 33's.... lol... actually i really like the idea of these, the lockers etc.. but probably too long of a wheel base again.

Keep em comming!

Also have been looking at the Land Rover Discovery's.. but i hear its very expensive to repair them....VERY expensive.
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roddy1 View Post
Thanks for the feedback so far!
I dont mean to sound like a Jackass for the following replies. Simply doing my homework
>> i would not buy a Double cab in any kind of offroad vehicle... the shorter the wheelbase the better is a typical rule... (long wheel bases risk getting hung up/high centered)

From what i have read this is a HUGE misconception that these trucks are capable. (its just a canyon/colorado with a hummer-like body) Even with a suitable lift 33's (for example) rub due to the mishaped fender wells (and then again the new H3T runns 33's.... lol... actually i really like the idea of these, the lockers etc.. but probably too long of a wheel base again.

Keep em comming!
The double cab Tacoma is just as long as the access cab. The Reg cab is the only short wheel base Tacoma and then you can't get it with a V6, Auto transmission or TRD package, which eliminates the factory locker. To get a Taco with the factory locker you have to get an access cab or double cab V6 TRD.

The H3 is a pretty capable SUV in stock form. I've been out with one before and I was impressed. Worlds apart from its bastard big brother the H2. As for the H3T, its ugly as sin.
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:26 PM   #9
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Sounds like you have it all figured out already with your responses to the responses.
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:45 PM   #10
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the discoverys are expensive if you take it to a dealer the engine as i redall is a 238 ci chevy motor not to bad to work on. The discovery has a lot of nice leather but is not to burdened with electronics like the new lr3. but one thing i do know if one is running it most likley is leaking oil.

If i were you keep your truck find an older toyota with the 22r or 22re motor one that needs some work then you have your daily driver and one very capable off road truck
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TicTacOma View Post
Sounds like you have it all figured out already with your responses to the responses.
No i dont, im looking for other idea's and trying to verify the capability of the Taco's and FJ's.

Thanks.
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:14 PM   #12
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Dont forget the capable jeep rubicon, very good and trail ready.
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AUDITECH View Post
the discoverys are expensive if you take it to a dealer the engine as i redall is a 238 ci chevy motor not to bad to work on.
Actually, the 4.4 V8 was designed by Ford for the Land Rovers. In fact, the Rover 4.0 V6 IS a Ford engine from the Sable line.
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Old 11-08-2008, 08:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xtreme450 View Post
next the H3 and the new H3T comes with Fr and RR lockers and 33's,
Quote:
Originally Posted by roddy1 View Post
From what i have read this is a HUGE misconception that these trucks are capable. (its just a canyon/colorado with a hummer-like body) Even with a suitable lift 33's (for example) rub due to the mishaped fender wells (and then again the new H3T runns 33's.... lol... actually i really like the idea of these, the lockers etc.. but probably too long of a wheel base again.
first things first

if you think hummers cant offroad...go visit hummerxclub...they'll prove you wrong...if youre too lazy...heres some pics of one of my roommates wheeling her H3 (on 35s only slight rubbing at flex/lock)

in fact shes in durhamtown, GA this weekend wheeling








Hells Gate, Moab Utah



Hot Tub Moab Utah


Golden Crack Moab Utah


various other H3s in action




the h3 is a very capable vehicle...however...like with anything...crap breaks...hollie has broken her front diff a couple times...however it was replaced under warranty every time
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:47 PM   #15
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Honestly?

Why are you looking for a new truck if you're gonna bash it around on the trails?

Get a cheap beater-upper truck/suv and build it to thrash around.

You've got a Mazda truck now ? Do you like it? Is it worth building further or even slapping a solid axle underneath it?

Buy yourself a nice new gas-saving car for the daily commute and either build up the Mazda or buy another beater for the trails.

I actually own a 94 Jeep Wrangler myself - and personally, I wouldn't waste money on buying a NEW Wrangler Rubicon. They are pretty awesome and pretty damn capable - but they're not indestructable. Some of these folks get in those things and think they can go everywhere. I was recently on a Wheelin 101 event with a guy who had a new JK Rubicon. Aside from the fact he got on the gas WAY too hard attempting a hill climb - he busted out his D44 gears AND busted out both u-joints in the front & had to be towed out.

You're better off starting small and working your build up along with your driver experience. Besides that - you can build an older Wrangler to be as capable or MORE capable than a Rubicon for much less money!!
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
You've got a Mazda truck now ? Do you like it? Is it worth building further or even slapping a solid axle underneath it?
Yes i like it, but i have always wanted a tacoma. When i bought my truck back in march, we did not have the 4cyl/4x4 Tacoma Option available up here in canada. And the price difference between my V6 Mazda 4x4 and the V6 4x4 Tacoma was alot.

The only thing i dont like about my truck is the front end doesnt offer alot of flex (IFS) and there is no way to add a selectable locker up front.

Im not looking for a beater truck, im looking to travel/expedition up to alaska, and all over canada, hit the mountains for mountain biking/skiing and snowmobiling/hunting. I just want a really capable vehicle. (i was pretty let down to find out i cant run a locker up front in my truck)
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Old 11-09-2008, 11:03 AM   #17
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There isn't ANYTHING for the Mazda? If there is something for a Ford Ranger wouldn't that fit your Mazda? Looks like some more Google'n for you. Jump on a Ranger Forum...see what gives there.
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TicTacOma View Post
There isn't ANYTHING for the Mazda? If there is something for a Ford Ranger wouldn't that fit your Mazda? Looks like some more Google'n for you. Jump on a Ranger Forum...see what gives there.
I owned a ranger prior to my Mazda, and i am active on several or the Ranger forums. Despite demand no one makes an air locker for up front/electric locker.

Im hoping to get a 4cyl/4x4 access cab tacoma next summer!
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RelentlessTaco View Post
most capable is probably the JK Wranglers, next the H3 and the new H3T comes with Fr and RR lockers and 33's, the FJ and Tacoma with lockers are pretty damn capable too. The Dodge Ram 2500 Powerwagon is the most capable full size- 33" BFG AT's, front and rear lockers, sway bar disconnect, rock sliders, and a warn winch straight from the factory!
i know this is an old post but hummers are not very capable offroad IMO ive been offroading with a few and they could not hang with me and my friends' jeeps. also after going offroading in my tacoma it is not as capable as it either. they are way too heavy, look cool though.

I think that if your going to alaska and canada the four door jk rubicon would be your best option. The tire clearance they have even when stock is amazing. could put on 2" spacer and fit 35s. Comes equipped with locker and lower gearing so you will be set right off the bat. I kinda wish i would have gotten a newer jeep which was another option i had. couldve put 5.5 rockcrawler lift and 37s, so sick, but o well i like my truck
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