I have an F75 Fourtrack 2.8TDX which is starting to show signs of old age and I suppose, regretfully willl neeed to be replaced at some time.
I have been offered an M reg 2.8TDX Independent which as you clever folk know has a few differences, the main one being the type of suspension. Cost approx£950.
Now I come to the question 'which is better, the F75 or the indi, and what are the relative merits of each.'
To give you some background my F75 is not used for serious off road stuff but rather for carrying the dogs and lots of gear when we go to the Lake District and to make certain we can get across and up farm tracks when there is heavy snow, and to get out into the hills when bad weather prevents normal cars getting out. So I suppose driver and passenger comfort on the road has a lot to do with it and the ability to cope with serious bad weather and deeply rutted and muddy farm tracks, rasther than wondering whether it is going to turn upside down.
I have a few days to say yes or no, so I would greatly appreciate soe honest opinions re general merits of both.
Many thanks,


Coiled or Leaf

If heavy road use is the main priority, then the independent every time, it handles and rides better as it was Daihatsu's attempt to keep up with other more road orientated vehicles. This was achieved without ruining the off road ability, which was slightly worse than the leaf srpung model. The differences off road were not noticeable to the extent that a slightly differing driving style meant they were equal.

Considering your stipulated requirements, the indy would be a much better bet, they were slightly better in snow and in less arduous terrain. Several things to watch for though, the spring mountings can corrode if heavily used as many were, and the ends of the coils would snap if heavily loaded or subjected to continuous heavy towing. Both easily checked for with a visual inspection with a torch. Check the ride height of the vehicle as many have been fitted with uprated springs from aftermarket suppliers, these were generally uprated by 20 percent, great for heavy towing, but reduces reduces unladen ride quality.
Indy's were fitted with updated engines, this was to reduce emissions, they had about 2 BHP less, and the bottom end was not quite as strong, requiring slightly more engine revs over the earlier models. A check of the injection pump is required by driving to ensure the turbo kicks in at the correct engine revs, as it needs this at the bottom end. Avoid smokey ones which could indicate a turbo on its way out.

Being fitted with coils reduced the bouncy ride of the unladen leaf sprung model, the considerable suspension noise, and the continuous squeaking of the suspension bushes.

All in all a much better model for your requirements.

THANKS bought the INDY


Many thanks for info, much appreciated. Elaine actually bought the Indy F78 and drove it up from South Wales-350mls- on Sat. I have taken the time over the weekend to road test it and compare to my faithful F75. Must now try to sell the F75 for whatever I can get to offset costs.

The initial differences I noted are that the steering is much heavier, it has 255/70 x15 tyres, my F75 has 215/80x15's so could that be the reason, does not seem to have as much 'poke'as F75 but better top end speed and acceleration (in other words the F75 seems nippier and lighter to drive) and whereas I always felt like I had to climb into the F75 and lift the border collie into the back in the Indy I fel like I am sitting lower down and do not need to lift dog so high (I lift collie because she damaged cruciate ligaments a while back not because I am soft).

Are these a true reflection of the differences between the two because apart from the overall vehicle width all other specs, such as height and road clearance appear to be identical when comparing specs in handbook?

Obviously there are differnces between the two, I was just surprised how different they drive. Scratch one-s head