I finally got rid of my Land Rover LR4. I wanted to buy a used Mercedes G-Wagen but was unable to find any that were satisfactory after searching for many months. It's not a surprise since very few of those are sold in the US. It makes sense that even fewer would be on the second-hand market at any given time.
I ended up with a 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser. I wasn't looking for a new one, but I got a great deal on this because it was a dealer demo model with 3500 miles on the odo.
For what it's worth, these are the things I wanted my next car:
- is very good off road with decent ground clearance and approach/departure angles
- has a fixed suspension height
- is reliable
- has plenty of interior room (enough to sleep inside if needed)
- doesn't cost too much to maintain
- has a naturally aspirated engine
- comfortable while driving long distances on the highway (heck, I drove over 2,000 miles just last week)
I spent a lot of time shopping and considering all the factors I could think of. There were no perfect choices. While both the LC and the G-Wagen are famous for their off-road capabilities, both were going to require lift kits to get decent ground clearance.
I've taken the LC out a few times on some easy trails in CA and UT. While I still haven't tried all the fancy off-road systems, I'm pretty sure that I'll be happy with this rig.
For those of you who noticed that the pictured car doesn't look quite stock: I'll explain in the next post.