There are no shortages of options when it comes to off-roaders, with a respectable number able to handle the roughest terrain possible. While some brand new off-roaders can cost you up to $40,000, maybe even more, it is still possible to get your hands on a reliable car for less than $20,000. Road and Track was able to hunt down these deals on used off-roaders;
The Suzuki Samurai is a great off-roader, especially if you are relatively new to the off-roading scene. Though it is hard to find an old Suzuki Samurai in an unmodified condition, the car does not cost much and thanks to its reliability, it will not leave you stranded in the middle of your adventure.
Jeep Wrangler (TJ)
While new Jeep Wranglers are often expensive, those made in the late ’90s have depreciated, allowing you to get one for less than $20,000. On top of its timeless looks, the fact that Jeep Wranglers are built to last means that even old ones are still able to handle that off-roading trip you desire to take.
Land Rover Discovery
While it is not as reliable as Land Cruisers or Jeeps, the Land Rover Discovery is still a great choice. With a few modifications to make it more suitable for off-roading, it is still able to provide you with a great driving experience.
Contrary to the belief that trucks are not the best option when it comes to off-roading vehicles, the Toyota Tacoma is a respectable option. Thanks to its size, the Tacoma can maneuver those tight spaces while also having the ability to handle even the most challenging roads.
Jeep Cherokee (XJ)
The XJ Cherokee is the vehicle for you if you desire a car with a longer lifespan. Though it is not as off-road capable as the Wrangler, it is not that far behind.
On top of that, unlike the Wrangler, it is far better suited for daily driving as well. Whether it’s an off-road adventure or a daily commute to work, the Jeep Cherokee XJ can handle both.
Toyota Land Cruiser
There is no need to spend a ton of money on a new Toyota Land Cruiser. Currently, there are several Land Cruiser generations you can get your hands on for less than $20,000. Some include the 80-series vehicles of the ’90s as well as the V8 versions of the early millennium.
Though the first generation Nissan Pathfinder is not as famous as the other vehicles on the list, it is still an affordable option. Plus, with a few modifications of your choice, you could end up with a car that is as capable on rough terrain as almost every other option.
The Blazer has developed a reputation as a 4×4 that can go anywhere. Its long life and reliability make even the used ones a great choice for you. Even today, the Chevrolet Blazer, especially the two-door ZR2, remains a great buy and can be got for less than $20,000.
While not as durable as the Toyota Land Cruiser, it is a viable option if you prefer not to spend too much. Although the 4Runner is a simple and lighter version of the Land Cruiser, it is just as capable of handling rough trails and terrain, making it a good option.
Though it is hard to find you can get an imported model for less than $20,000 if you look long and hard enough. The car comes with the trademark boxy appearance and the off-roading abilities that you desire. You will not get a big V8 though, but if you are okay with that, then the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen might be the right choice for you.
With these options, you can see that it is possible to get yourself a capable off-roader without straining your budget. It just takes patience and commitment.