What is the most reliable used off-road (awd/4wd/4x4) vehicle for occasional traveler expeditions to more remote areas of Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East or Africa?


  • highest possible travelling comfort while maintaining high reliability

  • probably simple turbo diesel engine (since petrol/gasoline might not be available at all or is not unleaded?)

  • good fuel economy (traveling manythousands of km)

  • servicing ease also a very big key factor

  • possibility of "expedition traveler tuning" (decent top luggage rail etc.) is a plus

The budget is not really fixed but the intention is somewhere around $5000. The vehicle should be available to buy in Europe (I live in the Czech Republic). What I have read so far it seems that Japanese vehicles (like Mitsubishi Pajero) are more reliable than US (like Jeep Grand Cherokee) and European ones?

  • 1
    Welcome to the site. Unfortunately, you've asked a question that is both shopping and opinion-based. As such, it's not a good fit (on the Q&A side)[mechanics.stackexchange.com/tour]. However, we welcome this sort of discussion (in the chat room)[chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/340/…, where there is no expectation of the One True Answer. – Bob Cross Feb 28 '14 at 12:29
  • Answers can present some references in order to bring the facts. That is not my fault if the answers present opinions only. – Kozuch Feb 28 '14 at 12:36

The general consensus on this is that it depends where you are intending to go - you want something that is common in the local area so that parts are readily available.

The two standard choices are Land Rover (either Defender or Discovery) or Toyota (LandCruiser or Hilux) - Land Rovers tend to be more common in Africa, Toyotas are more common in Asia. Both have a plentiful supply of modification and expedition parts.

Generally the Toyotas (and the other Japanese cars) tend to be more reliable, but harder/more expensive to fix when they do go wrong, Land Rovers are not quite as reliable but much easier to fix with limited tools and facilities, and easier to service to keep the reliability up. Both are pretty robust, so it is mainly down to personal preference and local supply.

Personally, I'd go for a Land Rover, but then I'm British!

There are plenty of internet resources dedicated to this - definitely a case of doing your research and deciding what fits best with your personal circumstances and what you intend to do with the truck.

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