The Daihatsu Fourtrak: the Classic Rugger for the UK

As a popular Rugger car, the Daihatsu Fourtrak was sold in many countries, including the UK. In its prime, this Fourtrak can assist your traveling. Although this SUV is no longer in action, its charisma and merit make the car valuable. Let’s check out the journey of this outstanding automobile!

A Brief Information of the Daihatsu Fourtrak

The Japanese auto manufacturer—Daihatsu revealed the Daihatsu Rugger from 1984 until 2002. With the success of the vehicle, the automaker exported it outside Japan. Overseas, this Rugger is well-known as the Daihatsu Rocky.  Meanwhile, in the UK, this car was known as “Fourtrak.”

In 1984, the automaker exported the Fourtrak car for the first time in the UK. The first generation of the vehicle appeared with basic off-road features. It featured petrol and diesel-powered engines. Also, it has a short wheelbase and three doors. 

In 1990, there were some changes to its uprated brakes, transmissions, and exhaust. The following year, all models of this vehicle gained another upgrade. The improvement included restyling bodywork, extending wheel arches, making bigger bumpers, and adding small luxuries, like electric windows and central locking.

This car’s early model had difficulty riding due to old leaf-sprung suspension. Therefore, in 1993, the car gained a new suspension system. 

This independent suspension system brought improvement for the road-going ability. With a double wishbone set-up in the front and a five-link coil suspension in the rear, the Daihatsu Fourtrak would be more stable in riding.

In the same year, the new model of Foutrak was released. It was a pair of seven-seater cars, the 2.8 TDL and TDX. The later improvement also happened in the following years. The automobile got a revision for its noise, vibration, and safety issues. 

Moreover, the car appears with more aggressive and robust looks. Besides, the latest version of the car is somewhat larger than its predecessors. It features wider car arches, a sleeker bumper, and an improved grill design. 

Additionally, the interior provides a user-friendly speedometer and bucket-style seat with head restraints for the front seat. 

The Review of the Daihatsu Fourtrak 

From its first release in the UK, Fourtrak can be an alternative to Land Rover Defender car. With its compact size, dependable diesel engine, and impressive off-road ability, this car has the quality for off-roaders. Review the other capabilities of this Fourtrak through the explanation below!

1. Engine and Performance

The Fourtrak has three available engine systems: a 2.0L petrol engine, a 2.2L petrol engine, and a 2.8L diesel engine. The diesel engine system provides the most economical fuel consumption of up to 30 mpg. Moreover, a turbo diesel engine could provide a towing capacity of 3,500 kg. 

Besides, this vehicle has a 5-speed manual transmission. Thus, the driver could gain precise shifting and control in driving. The Fourtrak design features a sturdy chassis and reinforced body panel to improve durability and safety. Moreover, these vehicle variants are available for 2WD or 4WD systems. 

The Fourtrak car has a good quality of ground clearance. Thus, the vehicle is more stable off-road, like a rocky outcrop. However, this Rugger also has a drawback since it’s a little bit uncomfortable for on-roads. The car is rather bouncy when riding on the tarmac. 

2. Exterior Design

The Daihatsu Fourtrak’s exterior design featured a compact rectangular shape. It also features Square-shape headlights with angular car arches for this vehicle. Additionally, the car provides a fiberglass rear shell and a removable sunroof panel. 

Besides, it offers a gleaming bumper and a sturdy grill design. With this look, the car conveys a sense of boldness and masculinity. 

3. Interior design

The inside of this Rugger car features a boxy layout with straight edges and flat sections. In front of the driver’s seat, it also features a binocular-style instrument cluster, an air conditioner, and a radio. Besides, the gauges consist of an inclinometer, analog clock, and voltmeter.

Commonly, this car is available for five passengers. However, some variants of this vehicle have additional seats that can carry a capacity of seven. Moreover, the seat has a bucket-style design with head restraints for the front seat.

4. Common Problems of the Vehicle

Although the car was bold in its prime, the old Daihatsu Fourtrak has several troubles. These are several common problems you might encounter when owning a Fourtrak car. 

a. The First Generation Fourtrak

Between 1984 and 1991, the first generation of Fourtrak was in production. As stated in the, although the vehicle in this generation was known for its durability and ruggedness, there are still some flaws.

The first problem of this generation was the rusting of the vehicle. This issue commonly happens in humid and rainy areas like South East Asia. The rusting usually started in the car arches and then spread to other body parts. 

Another problem is the engine that tends to overheat, especially when towing a heavy load and taking long drives. This issue happens due to the malfunctioning of the cooling system. The faulty water pump and a clogged radiator can be the reasons for the malfunction.

Furthermore, the first generation of Rugger has an issue with its suspension system. The rear suspension system tends to be damaged and worn out over time. Thus, this could cause problems with poor handling and stability on the road.

b. The Second Generation Fourtrak

The second generation was in production in 1997. This generation improved many things to the Daihatsu Fourtrak, especially in design, technology, and performance. However, there are some common problems for this generation.

First, the fuel tank of this vehicle tends to rust or leak. As a result, this issue could cause a potential accident related to fire or other dangerous situations. 

The next issue is the transmission. The manual transmission is hard to shift which makes the car difficult to drive. Meanwhile, the automatic transmission often slips or fails causing the vehicle to lose power.

The last issue is the suspension that makes riding the car uncomfortable. Additionally, the problem with electrical systems like the alternator and battery causes the vehicle not to work.

c. The Third Generation Fourtrak

In 1997–2002, the Fourtrak showed significant improvement compared to its predecessors. Nevertheless, this generation still has flaws.

One common issue is the electrical systems. The battery and alternator tend to have problems that cause the car not to start or stall in use.

Another problem is also related to the suspension system. The trouble of the shock absorber and leaf spring tends to make the vehicle bounce excessively.

Furthermore, there is an issue with the clutch slave cylinder. As a result, the gear is hard to shift and causes complete clutch failure. 

Does the Classic Daihatsu Fourtrak Leave A Remarkable Memory?

As a compact SUV, the Daihatsu Fourtrak or Rugger proves capable of handling off-road. Despite its flaws, the car went through refinement and upgrade for better performance. Although this car is no longer in production, the legacy and value of this car will remain until today at least.

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