How can you strike a balance between necessities and wants when making a purchase in a market that offers countless options for larger family cars and is overrun with bakkies and SUVs?
Asking yourself some difficult questions, beginning with "what do I need this vehicle for" is the best method to eliminate options given the vast array of options available. Continue after that. What is your intended route? The necessities for an epic cross-African journey will differ from those of a few routes and the occasional camping weekend. How many persons can you usually transport? How much camping equipment will you need to bring? What adjustments will be necessary to travel to the locations you are daydreaming about? Will you use the car exclusively for vacations and adventures, or will it also be used to get to and from school and back home?
Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that any vehicle, whether an SUV or bakkie, can be customized to fulfill particular requirements. To increase ground clearance, you can install tougher, bigger tires and raise the suspension. When driving through narrow tracks, a bullbar and aftermarket rear bumper will reduce the risk of animal strikes and enhance approach and departure angles. The lighter, bulkier camping equipment can be stored on a roof rack or in a rooftop tent, freeing up space inside.
How can you reduce your options? Go return to the original inquiries. Investigate each vehicle's advantages and disadvantages. Check out the discussion forums and consider joining a brand-specific club. You might consult a reliable mechanic about ownership costs and, if any, known problems. Then plunge ahead.