Master Oh Toh – A robust ridePOSTED BY Dinesh Appavu ON 21 March 2016
My hometown is in Terengganu but I’ve been living and working in Kuala Lumpur for more than 30 years.
The roads around my kampung are not too great and I would prefer not to drive my car or my wife’s car while we are there.
Please recommend a car I can keep at my old kampung house that I can just reconnect the battery and drive whenever I go back once a month.
The house’s caretaker does not drive so I won’t be able to count on him to keep the car running.
As such I need something hardy and with low maintenance costs, preferably RM22,000 or less.
No body style in particular but it must be the sort of car any mechanic will know his way around.
Reply: It sounds like you need a pick-up truck, the most robust one at that. They do not get anymore hardy than the Toyota Hilux and in your case, one from around 2003-2004 with the 2.5-litre D-4D engine would be the best bet.
The caveat here is that prices for this variant are still around the RM26,000 point and above so you would have to do plenty of digging to find a unit in satisfactory condition that is closer to your budget.
Nonetheless, the Hilux is renowned for its robustness and will rumble on without fuss as long as there is diesel in the tank and the right lubricant in its oil pan. Maintenance should not be an issue as well, given that it will take an absolute flogging and keep soldiering on.
If there is any maintenance to do, it is straightforward and any mechanic with basic skills will be able to handle it. Being a Toyota, parts are aplenty too.
On another note, the severity of the road conditions may not warrant the need for a pick-up and perhaps you meant something rugged that was not as jarring as a pick-up and you didn’t wince everytime it hit a pothole.
With that in mind, an older Proton model such as the Wira or Satria would make a great beater for your kampung. They can be had for less than half of your proposed budget, leaving some extra cash to maybe refurbish the wear and tear parts a little before being resigned to the beater-beat.
Being Protons, it goes without saying that parts will be everywhere and any one with some basic skills can fix it or change the oil.
It is a little difficult to gauge exactly what you need but perhaps the Hilux is overkill for the duty you have in mind so a beater car may be the way to go. Either way, something between these two should serve you well.