Ask an expert


I need a reliable towing 4x4 which I can also use as a general runabout as I live 50km out of Auckland on a 20ha block where I train horses.

I am looking at Nissan Terrano's, Isuzu Big Horn's and maybe Toyota Prado's (very pricey) and would prefer a vehicle under 100,000km and manufactured in the last decade.


From the "Ask Jack" archives - 17 November, 2010


The Prado is definitely the pick of the bunch and if the budget can stretch that far it would be our first choice by some margin.

While the V6 petrol powered version is cheaper to buy than the 3.0 litre diesel, don’t be tempted by the V6. It is very thirsty, has less low down torque (which you need for towing) and they don’t hold their value as well in comparison to the diesel.

While the Isuzu Big Horn can be bought relatively cheaply, they don’t have the same reliability record as the Toyota.

The Nissan Terrano is not a bad choice but avoid the earlier model from the mid ‘90’s as they had a severe rust issue in the bulkhead/floor area.

We would place a later model Terrano on a par with the 3.0 litre diesel Toyota Hilux Surf. Both vehicles will do the job and have good reputations for reliability.

A double horse float with 2 horses on-board will weigh close to 2,000kg, so ensure that whatever you buy is rated accordingly, and for towing purposes, diesel would definitely be more preferable than petrol.