SUV Young and Oldtimer: Ten off-roader tips

SUV booming without end. But the oldies are in contrast to car classics often confusion. We recommend ten off-roaders, which are worthwhile for collectors and fans.

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At the beginning a definition of terms: The SUV, literally “Sport Utility Vehicle”, was only with the Europeanization of the term to Softie. Originally called this generic term in the country of origin USA simply any SUV . And that already decades before a BMW X5 or a VW Tiguan entered the stage. In the classic sense, therefore, a leg-hard leaf spring Land Rover from 1960 is an SUV.

In any case, the era of off-road utility vehicles began more than 70 years ago: in 1942, the first jeep CJ (Civilian Jeep) ushered in the era of off-road vehicles for everyone. Like many other brands derived from an originally military vehicle after him , he brought the topic of off-road into private households and civil institutions.

We do not go that far back in our subjective list of vintage and vintage cars worth buying. Instead, there are both H-plate aspirants and slightly patinated models from the period around the turn of the millennium, which, although suitable for a collector’s item, are not yet on the lists of the relevant scene. For the 1990s and early 2000s brought the undoubtedly most capable and reliable SUV technology to the fans, before increasing electronics overkill and more and more orientation on possible car-related road driving behavior led to the modern SUV, which often nothing to do with real off-road driving experience to have.

Jeep Wrangler TJ Rubicon

When Jeep presented the Wrangler TJ, the fan community was pretty excited. The return to round headlamps and especially the new coil spring axles provided after the rustic predecessor YJ for plenty of euphoria. However, the scene reacted even more euphorically to the Rubicon, which was later reloaded, with various accessories ex works (and correspondingly with full factory warranty), which had to be laboriously retrofitted beforehand.

Especially the ultra-short 4: 1 reduction gear and the much more robust axles, equipped with 100-percent locks, made the difference. The comparatively compact and lightweight Jeep Wrangler thus became the benchmark of the off-road scene, which no other standard off-road vehicle of its time could follow. Because especially in Germany, the stock of original TJ Rubicon used cars is relatively manageable, there is a plan B for those interested in buying a “normal” TJ and then retrofit, as it is commonplace in the Wrangler scene anyway. Only the famous inline six-cylinder, that should be it already. By tradition.

  • Jeep Wrangler TJ Rubicon
  • Construction time Wrangler TJ entire series 1996-2006
  • Stock (D) as of 01/01/2017: 2,924 (all TJ)
  • LxWxH 3,883×1,740×1,748 mm
  • Six-cylinder in-line petrol engine, 3,960 cc, 177 hp
  • Former new price (2004) from EUR 30,800.-
  • Used car price (2018) from EUR 11,000, –

Lada Niva

For an unbelievable 41 years, the Lada Niva has meanwhile whizzed through the forest and the field without having changed significantly. Here are other lamps, there a little modernized mirrors, and at irregular intervals moderately modernized engines. But the basic form and concept of today’s Niva are still exactly identical to the original model, which in 1976 caused astonishment in the professional world. But he was never free of blame, even as a new car, he has considerable fluctuations in the quality of work.

His merits are the compact dimensions and the corresponding whimsiness as well as the fact that somehow he always runs, no matter how one mistreates him. For correct alarm he still lacked in each generation, the performance, the small car machines want to be rotated, the terrain reduction is only moderately short and at deep water passes the broth from a hundred openings in the interior. Lada connoisseurs love this as a strength of character.

If you want to give the Niva his heart, it does not matter which year you choose. The technical and optical condition is more important than the age, rotted cars from hunting and forest you have to do in view of the price level. Early carburetor models, however, are only a good choice for oldie lovers, because the thirst of the first vintages is disturbing given the displacement. Important cornerstones of the model history are the more extensive facelift measures in 1995 and 2000.

  • Lada Niva 1.7i (1999)
  • Construction period Niva total 1976 to today
  • Stock (D) as of 01/01/2017: 16,099
  • LxWxH 3.740 / 1.680 / 1.640 mm
  • Four-cylinder in-line petrol engine, 1,690 cc, 80 hp
  • Former price from EUR 10,450, –
  • Used car price (2018) from EUR 3.000, –

Land Rover Defender

In 2016, Land Rover rang the dead bells for the Defender after 68 years of construction . A further development was discontinued for economic reasons. It is therefore all the more important to cherish and maintain the existing models. Even aged, 20-year-old models have been developing since the end of production. This will increase in the future even more, who does not own a Defender , but actually always wanted to have one, should gradually give gas.

It does not necessarily have to be early 90’s and 110’s versions from the pre-Defender era; the engines of the then-Series Series Land Rover successors are of dubious durability. What it should be after in the introduced since 1989 Defender era, remains a matter of taste. Many fans consider the 300 TDI as the ultimate Defender drive, others swear by the powerful TD5 (see technical data), while opinions on the modern Ford engines of recent years are mixed. Newcomers should in any case engage a specialist in the object of desire as a guide who knows about the weaknesses of the British and can make an assessment. As with the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Defenderhas spare parts and the scene inGermany big.

  • Land Rover Defender 110 TD5
  • Construction Defender total 1990-2016
  • Stock (D) as of 01/01/2017: 11,293
  • Five-cylinder in-line turbo diesel, 2,495 cc, 122 hp
  • Former price from EUR 27.600, –
  • Used car price (2018) from EUR 8.500, –

Mercedes G

Anyone who in the topic SUV interested, of course, knows the Mercedes G. Conceived as bergziegiges military vehicle he is now bought almost exclusively as a status symbol and boulevard cruisers. As long as its history is the one of its designs: Various body styles from short convertible to long pickup and not to forget the dozens of times engines from the respective car shelf of the corresponding era since 1979.

These car engines also make it a little difficult to pronounce a separate recommendation, even in the fan scene is discussed heartily. There is some consensus that the early five-liter V8 is the ideal engine in terms of durability. But this inevitably requires the handle to the luxurious model 463. In this case, we want to break a lance for the more rustic 460/461. The early 460s are in demand today vintage cars and for regular off-road use actually too bad, if they were not already used by the previous owner intensively to the d#rty job. Of course, the 300 GD is definitely one of the original engines of that time with its virtually indestructible pre-chamber diesel, which does not bring you to the end of the world, not very fast, but absolutely reliable.

Today, most 461ers come to customers via dealers specializing in military vehicles. Especially the 250 GD are something for people with a lot of time on the way from A to B, the 290 GD with the 95-hp diesel bring at least a noteworthy significant propulsion. About 18,000 euros should be had for such an ex-military on the account. However, if you prefer a fresh oldie with a lot of power, you may like to invest twice as much and go in search of a G 280 CDI Pur, as we describe it in the technical data – the offer is scarce, but available.

  • Mercedes G 280 CDI
  • Construction time Mercedes G in total since 1979
  • Stock (D) as of 01.01.2017: 536 (only G 280 CDI / 300 CDI)
  • LxWxH 4.770×1.774×1.930 mm
  • V6 turbo diesel, 2,987 cc, 184 hp
  • Former new price from EUR 59,381, –
  • Used car price (2018) from EUR 28,000, –

Nissan Patrol GR Y61

car for Raser, that was the Nissan Patrol GR never. Even at the end of his career with us, when he started with a fairly powerful three-liter engine, was the heavy SUVrather sumo than sprinters. The Y61 came on our list of the best for many reasons. Above all, of course, its excellent off-road technique. Ladder frame, two rigid axles on coil springs, short balancing reduction and a switchable rear axle lock, as from the textbook of SUVs. The Achilles heel of the officially sold Patrol GR was always his machine. The original 2.8-liter six-cylinder struggled in terms of performance in the heavy equipment on a lost post and had moreover thermal problems. The introduction of the ZD30 four-cylinder brought indeed the desired performance kick, but also massive problems. In the beginning, especially the oil supply was in trouble. In a row, customers received goodwill replacement engines. Anyone interested in the Patrol GR today,

  • Nissan Patrol GR Y61 3.0 DTi
  • Construction time 05 / 2000-2013
  • Stock (D) as of 01/01/2017: 1.646
  • LxWxH (5door) 5.095×1.940×1.855 mm
  • (3door) 4.525 / 1.940 / 1.840 (2doors)
  • Four-cylinder in-line diesel engine, 2,953 cc, 160 hp
  • Former original price from EUR 31.390, –
  • Used car price (2018) from EUR 4,500, –

Range Rover

Introduced in 1970 Range Rover , which they later added the nickname “Classic”, is one of the big icons in the automotive business. For a quarter of a century, he remained true to its solid axles and the ever-evolving light-metal V8 with the distinctive sound, only marginal changes to the elegant, airy body design. The very early specimens, which jumped from the scurf of the death of rust, are long traded to lover prices, but in between, always hide affordable and salvageable beads.

Anyway, who wants to move the car in everyday use, should choose a slightly younger copy. The 3.9er V8 with fuel injection system is still considered an ideal choice in the range, especially in southern Europe popular diesel models are only something for really hard-boiled incandescent junkies who consider the inappropriate Genagel in a clamshell housing justifiable. The weak points of the noble British are in addition to the brown plague, especially oil leaks and not particularly resilient Achsinnereien – after all, the full-floater axle shafts can easily replace. For a very long time, however, one should not stop at the decision, good Range Rovers are slowly becoming scarce.

  • Range Rover Classic 3.9i
  • Construction time RR Series 1 1970-1995
  • LxBxH 4.450×1.818×1.800 mm
  • V8 petrol engine, 3,947 cc, 182
  • Former price (1992) from EUR 38.603, –
  • Used car price (2017) from EUR 10.000, –

Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer

Simply doing everything differently is not a privilege of a French carmaker. The PuchPinzgauer is a beautiful example that the departure from the standard can bring refreshing results. This starts with the substructure, where the developers simply continue to spin the concept of the cute Haflinger two sizes bigger. A central tube frame to which the half-axles are attached, Radlegegegegetriebe, an air-cooled engine. Thanks to the portal axles, the Pinzgauer achieves outstanding ground clearance, while the front-wheel-bar construction with the engine virtually in the interior of the vehicle makes it very space-efficient. In fact, the Pinzgauer 4×4 with just 4.17 meters outside length is more compact than a VW Golf, And even the wonderful three-axle Pinzi, blessed with a proud payload of over 1.5 tons, looks directly dainty with its 4.9 meters compared to modern midsize pickups. Although Steyr Daimler Puch also offered the Pinzgauer as a civilian version, the vast majority of its production went to armies around the world, returning from there to the private market. Those interested in the original – which was sold to the UK in 2000 – are likely to find vehicles from Swiss and Austrian armies on the market.

  • Steyr Daimler Puch Pinzgauer 712M
  • Construction period 1973-2000
  • LxWxH 4,955×1,760×2,045 mm
  • Four-cylinder in-line petrol engine, 2,499 cc, 90 hp
  • Former Factory Price (2002) n / a
  • Used car price (2018) from EUR 15,000, –

Suzuki LJ 80

Offroad driving was democratized with the little Suzuki . The four-wheel-dwarf was affordable and was considered an instant feel-good device. Til today. One of the few still quite affordable old-timers and thus almost an insider tip. The LJ became a popular off-roader in its short sales period and is regarded as the starting signal for the off-road vehicle scene in Germany . The LJ80 cultivated a motto that lives on in the Jimny to this day: small, light, super versatile and an engine that you have to onions to the red area to make the right meters in the field. Torque is practically non-existent, accordingly busy may be stirred in the four-speed box.

Of course, like so many of his contemporaries, the Suzuki LJ has a real rust problem, especially specimens that have often been moved off-road. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to whether an interesting offer has been converted to a plastic body. Although brings the stainless steel in the superstructure, but there is no H-plate anymore.

For the engine is relatively robust. And should actually strike a component, LJ80 screwdrivers have the advantage. As compact and clear as the whole car are its components. The gear lift even narrow-chested people out, the attachments of the engine have motorcycle format. So you can take a complete restoration as a standard garage owner in attack.

  • Suzuki LJ 80
  • Construction period 1978-1982
  • Stock (D) as of 01/01/2017: 162
  • LxWxH 3,195×1,395×1,845 mm
  • Four-cylinder inline petrol engine, 797 cc, 41 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Former original price (1980) from approx. EUR 6,900, –
  • Used car price (2018) from EUR 3.000, –

Toyota Land Cruiser J4

The “classic” Land Cruiser, as seen by most of the SUV fans in this country, is undoubtedly a representative of the J4 series. And even here is a type compass rather impenetrable thicket. The Land Cruiser with the characteristic shape presented in 1960 and first offered in Germany in 1977 – round headlights, free-standing fenders with attached turn signals – caused a furore as a brute, but also indestructible contemporary. Compared to the competitors, especially the Land Rover , he offered significantly more power with a comparable range of applications, because Toyotadid not use the displacement sparingly. The bearish Saugdiesel are still legendary for their stability, the listed in the technical data FJ with the beefy row six had for those days properly Schmalz under the hood.

Needless to say, even with the Land Cruiser J4, the deadly enemy is the same as almost all other off-roaders of this era: rust. Finding an unscathed example of sheet metal and frame is virtually impossible unless it is an expensive full restoration. In Germany there is a good offer, problem-free spare parts supply and an active and competent scene, which stands with advice and act to the side – for example with the annual Buschtaxi meeting. It should be emphasized that restored J4 in very good condition, although not cheap, but compared to other vintage cars of this era are still affordable.

  • Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40
  • Construction J4 series total 1960-1984
  • LxWxH 3.970 / 1.665 / 1.930 mm (3door)
  • or 4.525 / 1.940 / 1.840 (5doors)
  • Six-cylinder in-line petrol engine, 4,230 cc, 135 hp
  • Former original price nb
  • Used car price (2018) from EUR 25,000, –

Toyota RAV4

Finally, but still an SUV after New German language rule, namely the actual inventor of the more road-oriented off-roader. In 1994, the first RAV4 blinked out of its headlights and amazed the professional world. But the idea to put a high-legged all-wheel drive with the typical hatchback look of an off-road vehicle on a roadworthy car chassis, was extremely well received by the customers, the RAV4 developed into a bestseller and is already a classic in its first generation.

And one of the few that you can buy without much fear. Little rust, the drive mechanism extremely inconspicuous, to a sprightly driving even under today’s standards and a still acceptable consumption. If everything fits in the underbody check and the history is comprehensible, only little can go wrong, especially since the prices are (still) deep in the cellar. Especially the original RAV4 with its ultra-short 3.7 meters outside length is today a fun city flea. The more family-friendly five-door still undercuts a current VW Golf by ten centimeters.

  • Toyota RAV4
  • Construction time RAV4 1st Gen. 1994-2000
  • LxWxH 3.720 / 1.690 / 1.660 mm (3 door)
  • or 4.160 / 1.700 / 1.660 mm (5doors)
  • Four-cylinder inline petrol engine, 1,998 cc, 129 hp
  • Former price from EUR 17.660, –
  • Used car price (2018) from EUR 1.500, –