Let’s take a look at some of the coolest off-roaders on the used market
Off-roaders are some of the most practical cars money can buy. Let’s take a look at some extravagant off-roaders.
Isuzu Vehicross, £ 9,800
Some might reasonably argue that automotive design is becoming more homogenized as the years go by. But a car with its sci-fi (and certainly unique) character is there Isuzu Vehicross, a midsize SUV manufactured by the Japanese automaker before moving exclusively to the truck and pick-up markets.
The vehicle cross was never intended for the UK market. It made its debut at the 1993 Tokyo Motor Show, and four years later it went into production with few changes to its design. Two-door SUVs were nothing new (the Land Rover Defender Other Jeep Wrangler were already well established), but Vehicross possessed its own robust and distinctive style. Based on the platform of the Isuzu Trooper, the model featured 16-inch wheels with chrome center caps, pronounced overhangs, a pair of titanium “teeth” in the grille and even a rear spoiler.
Its production from 1997 to 2001 was intentionally limited, with only 5958 models produced. Only 1805 of these were for the Japanese market and as such right-hand drive. The rest was shipped to the United States. That doesn’t mean it’s not a cool and eye-catching used buy, however, and some models are scattered around in ads, having been imported into the UK.
A choice of 3.2-liter and 3.5-liter V6 petrol engines meant Vehicross wasn’t exactly a slouch. In its strongest guise, the model delivered a 0-62mph sprint of under 9.0 seconds, and an optional all-wheel drive system helped direct its 230-pound torque while maintaining comfort on the road. .
Its capability has expanded to other terrains as well, as it was brought to the scene to show off Izuzu’s off-road technology – it was one of the few cars to feature motorcycle-style coilover shocks and head expansion chambers.
The Vehicross price was around £ 21,000 in the US but we found an imported model of an owner with 54,000 miles in the classifieds for £ 9800 – a price that may seem high but for which you can get your hands on a truly unique SUV with true off-road capability
Toyota Land Cruiser, £ 8500: This 1988 Land Cruiser it appears to be in good condition, especially as it has covered 108,000 miles. It is driven by a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine paired with a five-speed manual, as well as a high- and low-range gearbox. Appropriate project car material, this.
Land Rover Defender 90, £ 15,495: A yellow Defender is rare in its own right, but this model is also a former Land Rover special vehicle. It has run 104,000 miles but has a complete overhaul and comes with many extras including a flat dog roof rack, foldable side steps and headlights.
Suzuki Samurai, £ 6000: Few Samurai remain on UK roads. This soft top has a low mileage – only 53,000 – and its current owner has spent money to bring its interior and exterior to the best condition. Aside from that, it’s largely the same as when it left the factory.
jeep Fighter, £ 9995: The front end of this 2004 Wrangler has been transformed into some kind of monster. The car is described as mechanically sound, despite its 144,000 miles, but beware of that 4.0-liter V6 – the fuel costs alone will be enough to scare anyone away.
Watch up for auction – Model Amphicar 770, £ 57,000
The Amphicar from 1960 to 1965 became famous as the only mass-produced amphibious vehicle available to the public. It’s just as capable on the road as it cruises down the river, driven by a 45hp four-cylinder Triumph Herald engine that also drives two reversible propellers in the rear. The Amphicar is capable of reaching up to seven knots on water or 70mph on asphalt. Only 4000 were produced, and prices are rising, thanks to its rarity. This is certified by the official boat safety scheme, has an MOT for use on UK roads and has been restored to be E10 fuel compliant. Most of the remaining models are owned by Disney resorts, but this one spent part of its life at the Beverly Hills Car Club. It sold for £ 57,000, after receiving a £ 83,000 restoration which included a complete mechanical overhaul.
Future Classic – Fiat Coupé, £ 4,200
while many Fiat The coupes were lost due to the 2008 government scrapping scheme, the ones that remain are steadily rising in price and represent one of the best small sports cars around. Drivers could choose from a few 2.0-liter options, which ranged from a naturally aspirated 135-horsepower engine to the highly desirable in-line five-turbo with 214 horsepower. Capable of 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds with a top speed of 150mph, the turbo coupe has the performance of an all-new hot hatch of today, but some might argue that it has more appeal. It was designed by Chris Bangle, who he would later move to BMW, and featured an interior designed by Pininfarina. Today, a coupe will cost you between £ 1500 and £ 6000. A latest turbo model we found came in at £ 4200 with vital repairs completed and a recent engine overhaul.
Clash of the ads
“Can I get a yellow car that looks nice for under £ 10,000?”
Ford Puma 1.7 Millennium, £ 3995 versus Porsche Boxster 2.7, £ 9995
Oliver Young: The Ford Puma is – or rather was – a Ford Fiesta-based compact coupe with a cute yet athletic design. This particular specimen is yellow, as requested, and is one of 1000 cars produced to Millennium specification, which means it has a leather interior complete with Recaro sports seats. And the sportiness doesn’t stop there, because its 1.7-liter naturally aspirated engine has variable valve timing courtesy of Yamaha. Ok, its 123 hp are not many, but the Puma weighs just a little over 1000 kg. It’s fun, agile, and a future classic.
Mark Pearson: Speaking of future classics, welcome to my soft yellow Porsche Boxster. See, the thing is, you can buy it now and keep it for another 21 years and you know it will be worth more then what you paid for it, no matter what. So a well-balanced investment, 156 mph, mid-engined, with only 50,000 miles and a full service history. And if the sun in the sky matches the lovely paint job, you can also enjoy some fun with the wind in your hair.
I: A good choice, if maintenance costs don’t drain your wallet. Don’t say they will, don’t say they won’t. But the Puma is a deal that won’t keep you up at night, and this example costs just £ 3995. The running costs will also be as cheap as the chips. It’s a lovely little thing, isn’t it?
parliamentary: Um, no, it isn’t. Your Yamaha, or Ka +, or whatever it is, is just a puny pile of everyday mundanity. It’s overpriced and certainly can’t match the excitement of a Boxster. OY Hard. But maybe right …
Verdict, James Ruppert: I’ll take the Lemon Boxster, please.