Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Used Car Review, Expat Wife Edition

Time, at last for another used car review, with your host, Suburban Muscat.

This week we are reviewing 5 popular SUV's favoured by expat wives in MQ and Qurum. The Toyota Prado, The Jeep Wrangler, The Jeep Cherokee, the Landrover DIscovery, and the LR 3. Strappy top, Oversized handbag, and snotty attitude optional, but encouraged.

Today, The pervasive and bland Toyota Prado.

The Toyota Prados I test drove were 1998, 2002, and 2003 base models. 2 stick shifts, 1 automatic transmission, all in pretty good shape and dealer maintained.

A Toyota Prado is the first car people will reccomend that you should buy when you move here. And why not? They are reliable, economical, great on graded roads and in the sand, and have an excellent resale value. They are also boring and ugly.

I really enjoyed driving the prado, despite it's hideous looks and the fact that it made me feel like a total gomer. Good power, prompt takeoff, easy to park, and excellent air conditioning. The Gearbox on both the stickshifts felt a little loose to me, but slipped into gear easily both up and down, allowing me to engine break my way down some very frightening roads.

The turning radious and visual feild is great, meaning that I could always get into and out of parking spots, regardless of how the ass-clown in the next space over is parked. The brakes are sharp and responsive, but the steering feedback leaves something to be desired.

All three models had gone through a few clutches, something toyota R&D might be interestied to know about. All three were also beginning to loose some of the rubber trim around the doors and wheel wells.

Inside, it seats 2 in front, and 3 in the back, and another two in fold-down seats in the way-back. Life is pretty luxurious for front seat passengers, but I thought the back seats were very cramped. The prado claims a carrying capacity of 7 passengers, but 7 adults would be deeply unhappy crammed into the deceptively small interior space. And lord almighty, it's boring to drive and look at.

The cargo capacity is ok for getting groceries and short camping trips, but not for moving say, furniture or a washing machine. A Nissan Pathfinder has better, and more usable cargo space in my experience. The controls on the dash are simple, easy to understand, and sturdy.

Getting your Prado serviced means taking it to Bahwan Toyota in Wattiyah, which is the closest thing I can imagine to the seventh circle of hell. Seriously, it is Craaaaazzzzy there. I highly reccomend that you, yourself, double check that they have done everything they claim to have done, as we have occasionally received a half-serviced car back. The guys who do the servicing and washing have somewhat sticky fingers, so don't leave anything you want to see again in the car when you take it for service. Given the thousands of cars serviced there daily, they usually manage to keep track of your cars, and have only lost (temporarily) two of mine.

Bahwan Toyota also maintains the database from which there is no escape. I once took a friend's car in for electrical work there, and to this day I still get calls from them asking if I would like to buy a toyota, and reminding me that it's time to bring my friend's car in for an oil change. Bahwan Toyota usually has any part you can imagine in Stock. Because they seem to have a good system for inventory control they can find your part within say, half an hour.

Tomorrow, Two Jeeps. After the weekend, Two Landrovers, and later next week, A tale of Two Chevys.

24 comments:

sapna said...

i love Toyota Prado. Thanks for sharing information.
toyota cars

sabihkhan said...

Excellent review, however, the Prado have always had a problem with stick shifts, I drove my company's Prado 2006 about a year ago, it had barely covered 20,000 miles but the stick was continuously shifting down from 3rd to 2nd. I thought putting it in the correct gear but a couple of my colleagues also noted the problem. We searched Toyota's website but found nothing. We took the car to SBA and they told us they have received complaints regarding the transmission from other customers as well.

Prado's are just OK off-road, I've had better experience with a 2008 Pajero off-road at the base of Jabal Shams/Jabal Akhdar.

Wranglers come with an optional Solid Axle, which is a great deal for people who are really into off-road driving/rock crawling. Then again this is not of concern here.

LR's have a very bad resale value, and have a pathetic reliability record according to JD Powers.

I'm waiting for more reviews on SUVs.

P.S. Any idea where I can find a decent car/SUV under 1,400 OMR?

Amber said...

can I add to your review? I have 3 kids - all in car seats. They DON'T fit well in the Prado. In Texas I drove a pimpin' Chrysler 300 and all 3 of the carseats fit in the backseat and there was so much room in the trunk for storage. In the Prado, in order to fit them, we have tried several different options, but the one that seems to work is to leave a single seat down in the midsection for entry/exit to the backrow where we place the two girls. The boy rides in the middle so we can reach him to hand him things and buckle him in. This leaves absolutely NO storage space. Wanna go shopping? Not taking the kids because there isn't anywhere to put the groceries. And yes, things will fit, but you have to be creative about it...really creative when you have 3 kids. Could you please review the Land Rover Defender????? Pretty please? And let me know when you do, because I want to take a ride in it.

Oman Desert and Mountain said...

love my Prado – through Wahiba, into Empty Quarter (and most importantly out ) up and down the most hair raising road in Oman . It dosnt put the fear of God into other road users like my last rust heap ( also loved) but apart from that does all it has to – and more.

Sythe said...

Naturally my Disco is hands-down going to wipe the floor with everything put up to challenge it :)

Prado's are just seriously, too damn ugly. In fact Land Cruisers are all butt ugly. They've spent far too much time with the ugly-stick.

I got the windows fixed..... :)

SellingaDefender said...

When are you going to do your LR review? If you need one, come and do mine, maybe you'll buy it! I have found all cars are about compromise when it comes to kids and space. A 4x4 version of the chysler Voyager - that would come in handy. all the best

Amber said...

hey - who is this defenderselling person? And how do we get ahold of them? I want a picture and a price so e-mail me at amberdlanning@msn.com.

逆円助 said...

さあ、今夏も新たな出会いを経験してみませんか?当サイトは円助交際の逆、つまり女性が男性を円助する『逆円助交際』を提供します。逆円交際を未経験の方でも気軽に遊べる大人のマッチングシステムです。年齢上限・容姿・経験一切問いません。男性の方は無料で登録して頂けます。貴方も新たな出会いを経験してみませんか

精神年齢 said...

みんなの精神年齢を測定できる、メンタル年齢チェッカーで秘められた年齢がズバリわかっちゃう!かわいいあの子も実は精神年齢オバサンということも…合コンや話のネタに一度チャレンジしてみよう

メル友募集 said...

最近仕事ばかりで毎日退屈してます。そろそろ恋人欲しいです☆もう夏だし海とか行きたいな♪ k.c.0720@docomo.ne.jp 連絡待ってるよ☆

家出 said...

最近TVや雑誌で紹介されている家出掲示板では、全国各地のネットカフェ等を泊り歩いている家出娘のメッセージが多数書き込みされています。彼女たちはお金がないので掲示板で知り合った男性の家にでもすぐに泊まりに行くようです。あなたも書き込みに返事を返してみませんか

動物占い said...

あなたの性格を、動物に例えて占っちゃいます。もしかしたらこんな動物かも!?動物占いをうまく使って、楽しい人間関係を築いてください

家出 said...

家出中の女性や泊まる所が無い女性達がネットカフェなどで、飲み放題のドリンクで空腹を満たす生活を送っています。当サイトはそんな女性達をサポートしたいという人たちと困っている女性たちの為のサイトです

セレブラブ said...

セレブ女性との割り切りお付き合いで大金を稼いでみませんか?女性に癒しと快楽、男性に謝礼とお互い満たしあえる当サイト、セレブラブはあなたの登録をお待ちしております。

夏フェス!! said...

夏フェス一緒に行ってくれる人募集!!夏の思い出一緒につくろぉ☆ megumi-0830@docomo.ne.jp 連絡してね♪

無料ゲーム said...

あなたのゲーマー度を無料ゲーム感覚で測定します。15個の質問に答えるだけの簡単測定で一度遊んでみませんか?ゲームが得意な人もそうでない人もぜひどうぞ。

素人 said...

Hな女性たちは素人ホストを自宅やホテルに呼び、ひとときの癒しを求めていらっしゃいます。当サイトでは男性ホスト様の人員が不足しており、一日3~4人の女性の相手をするホストもおられます。興味を持たれた方は当サイトにぜひお越しください

出会い系 said...

実は出会い系には…関係者用入り口があるのを知っていますか?広告主やスポンサー用に用意されたIDではサクラや業者が立ち入ることが出来ないようになっているのです。当サイトでは極秘に入手した関係者用URLが公開されています

逆援助 said...

男性はお金、女性は快楽を得る逆援助に興味はありませんか?お金を払っても性的欲求を満たしたいセレブ達との割り切り1日のお付き合いで当サイトでは大金を得ることができます。無料登録なのでアルバイト感覚でOK、詳しくはTOPページでどうぞ。

友達募集 said...

ホムペ完成記念!私の事みんなに知ってもらいたくて頑張りましたぁ。色々とご感想をお待ちしているので思った事を意見してください。メアドはほむぺにのせてありますぅ!★ fan.jna@docomo.ne.jp

家出 said...

夏休みで気軽に家出する女子○生が急増しています。しかし家出したはいいものの泊る所やお金が無い彼女たちは、掲示板などで泊めてくれる男性を探す子も多いようです。当掲示板にも夏休みに入ってから通常の3倍以上のメッセージが寄せられています

人妻 said...

今最もアツイバイトは人妻とのセフレ契約です。当サイトではお金を払ってでもセフレがほしい人妻が集まり、男性会員様との逆援生活を待っています。当サイトで欲求不満の女性との出会いをしてみませんか

素人 said...

素人ホストでは、男性のテクニック次第で女性会員様から高額な謝礼がもらえます。欲求不満な人妻や、男性と出会いが無い女性達が当サイトで男性を求めていらっしゃいます。興味のある方はTOPページからどうぞ

友達募集中 said...

少し魅惑な自分をネットだから公開してみました。普段言えない事など、思い切って告白しているプロフなので興味ある方はぜひ除いてみてください連絡待ってまぁす。 hinyaaaaa@docomo.ne.jp