T1f, what about a series 1 Disco V8, it should have PAS and might fall in the £5K region.
Or a LR Defender V8, not sure about PAS as they are very agricultural.
Or an old Mitsubishi Shogun/Pajero or Toyota Land Cruiser - being Japanese they will never break down.
I second the LR Disco reco. I have had one for over ten years. It spends most of the year sitting. Despite this it starts every time. Built like a tank.
I never seriously considered the Disco, thought it might be too 'civilised' and had heard negatives about reliability. I'll take a better look.
Boxer, is yours the V8 or the Diesel?
I thought about a Landcruiser, but both the Amazon and Colorado are too big for what I want, like the look of the mid 80's/early 90's SWB 'Cruiser but most seem worn out and apparent good ones still go for GBP2-4k! I recently drove a new FJ Cruiser - that was cool - love the looks and the power! But outta my league for this game.
I think the stock Jeep Wrangler is the best "out-of-the-box" on and off road vehicle you can buy for the money.
My second choice, given your requirements, would probably be a Subaru.
The Wrangler is def on my list, I too have heard good things about its on/off road prowess. The one's I have driven on road are pretty good, my dad used to have a ex-WWII Willys way back when... and he has fond memories about it to this day. I think the Sub is def an accomplished motor, but reckon it might get bogged down in the swamp if what I am imagining is anything to go by!!
Pete, would you go for the square lamp/leaf spring model or the round lamp/coil spring model?
I think i'll start off taking a closer look at the Disco (maybe a TD5 - more power!!) or the Wrangler (4.0 - Empty wallet!!).
Thanks guys - any other suggestions welcome. Also any opinions on lift kits? and other must haves for mud-plugging?