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An AWD temptress appears! Advice please...

Illustration for article titled An AWD temptress appears! Advice please...

I've been getting ready to purchase myself a playmate for our Saab 9-5, something that will bumble about taking me to work and back for most of the year, be cheaper to insure than the 9-5 and become our main ride in the winter months and cope with the combination of all the mud/snow/fields that come with owning a horse and the English weather, ie something 4WD/AWD I'd kind of made up my mind to pick up one of these: Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin LWB (Pajero Io)

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Illustration for article titled An AWD temptress appears! Advice please...

...but recently I've had a look what else is around the same price, spotted some Subaru Foresters and noticed how cheap to insure they are. Overall, I don't like the look of most of them (all of them in profile look like Marge Simpsons car) but the 2nd gen Foresters aren't too bad. For about £20 more insurance than a Pinin I'm tempted by the idea of a 177bhp estate that can drive through swamps (don't have too many of them here so I can make this claim).

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Anyone have experience with these? (specifically I'd be looking for a 2003-2005 XT) or should I stick with the Pinin? I can cope with the fuel economy of the turbo provided it doesn't routinely drop under 20mpg as it wouldn't get used for long trips. I want something with genuine off-road skills although it'd probably only spend 10% of the time in the rough stuff . I don't want a soft-roader -or I'd look at a RAV-4 - so are these up to the job? And anyone whos driven both, I'd appreciate your input. Cheers :)

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