Mr Panda wrote:
Now narrowed down to:
Disco TD5 of approx 2002/2003 vintage. Possibly older if in very good order.
Forestor Turbo, similar age
Hilux from mid - late 90s
Not looking to spend loadsa money as I have "other" cars - this is really just a snowmobile
I personally would take the disco or forester for all round winter driving. In a few inches of snow cover they will all perform the same, but, on patchy snow/ ice/ slush the permanent 4wd is more predictable. When it's patchy you cannot run in 4wd in the hilux without risk of transmission wind up on the clear sections and thus possible damage or it will not turn in as you expect if you risk it in 2wd the light back end on the hilux soon makes for interesting handling. We have had all 3 vehicles, manual diff lock 2001 disco, 2003 single cab hilux and 2005 forester. Disco best all round, forester most reliable, hilux........er, better with 300kg of sand in the back and not as reliable as you may think in d4d format and a bit gutless.
That's just my experience though.