We’ve all been there, you need to drive to Mongolia at the weekend but you’ve only a £1000 budget and you need some of that for fuel.
The Mongol rally has been running since 2004 taking many an adventurer from London to Ulan Bator. The rules of the rally have always insisted on smaller cars. In days gone by I would have recommended any of the following for their off road capability and simplicity.
- Citroen 2CV
- Fiat Panda 4×4
- Suzuki SJ410
But as values have raised these former bangers have become cost prohibitive to drive half way round the world. Also these cars were perhaps a little too good at crossing continents, when the spirit of the race encourages break downs and getting stuck.
So here’s my top 5 car choices for the Mongol rally;
Grandmas and students swear by them. The noble Micra has an excellent little engine wrapped in a jelly mould package. You won’t win any points for style but you will finish.
Lord over your fellow competitors with your superior German roller skate. The removable rear seats make for a surprising amount of load space. However beware any sudden Yaks in the road as this car failed the famous Moose test.1
The little KA is light on weight and extras but makes up for this with nippy performance. The early ones are simple to fix which is handy if your local assistance comes from someone more used to putting tractors back together.
This rebadged Suzuki Wagon R+ has a little more poke than its sibling and thanks to some frugal engines you won’t need to stop for fuel too often. Great load space means you can carry plenty of spare parts or a lost goat herder.
Avoid incurring any road rage as you pass through Russia with the adorably cute Lupo, I mean who could be angry at a face like that. The Lupo has the sturdy interior feel of its larger VW brothers which belies its diminutive size.
Whether you’re driving to Mongolia or Morrison’s these small cars are all capable performers available for under a £1000.
Have your own chariot suggestions? Tweet me.