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SUVs with off-road capability are extremely popular, even for those who do not plan to take their SUV rock crawling. But, with the high cost of new vehicles, buying a brand-new model from a dealership might not fit your budget. That is where used SUVs come in, opening up more possibilities for your 4×4 adventures. These are three used SUVs that should be on your radar, plus one that is best avoided. 

Should you buy a used off-road SUV?

If you want an SUV that is capable and reliable, buying a used one can be a solid option. Not only will you be able to save money, but you can get legitimate 4×4 ability. And that is something that many folks seem to be looking for. Plus, you might be able to get more vehicle than you would if you opted to buy new.

3. 2018-2020 Subaru Crosstrek

In 2018, Subaru gave its popular SUV a fairly serious update. The second-generation Crosstrek utilizes Subaru’s Global Platform, and that makes the ride feel more refined. Other improvements come in form of this off-road SUV’s transmission. The Crosstrek is one of the rare vehicles that still offers a manual transmission. By opting for a model that is 2018 or newer, you can get a six-speed manual. If you prefer to row your own gears. 

A White Subaru Crosstrek at an auto show
Subaru Crosstrek | Frederic J. Brown, Getty Images

In terms of off-road ability, the Subaru Crosstrek has some legitimate capabilities. Each model comes standard with all-wheel drive, and there are 8.7 inches of ground clearance. Better yet, the Crosstrek has a fairly active community. So you can find plenty of ways to make this SUV better prepared for your next adventure. 

2. 2017-2020 Audi A4 Allroad

OK, I’m not going to pretend that anyone is going to take the Audi A4 Allroad rock-crawling. But if you want something that can handle some light off-road situations, it could be right for you. Over the standard Audi A4, it has a slight suspension lift. Plus, you get AWD and the cool points of a station wagon. 

Perhaps the biggest advantage of this used vehicle is the premium feel. After all, you will be paying for the Audi name. It might not be as capable as a Jeep Wrangler, but you’ll be able to tackle highway miles in comfort. Toss on some beefier tires, maybe a light bar, and you’ll have a vehicle that can take you on the road less traveled. 

1. 2017-2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road

You can’t make a list of reliable and popular off-road SUVs without mentioning the Toyota 4Runner. This vehicle has long been an automotive icon, and it is known for being able to pack on the miles. Although you might be drawn to the 4Runner TRD Pro, the TRD Off-Road trim brings a lot to the table. And it does not cost as much. 

A Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road shows off its capability as an off-road SUV.
Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road | Toyota

You get things like a locking rear differential as well as Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select traction control system. Plus, there is no shortage of aftermarket accessories for this 4×4 SUV. You might have to modify yourself to make the 4Runner TRD Off-Road a true 4×4 monster. But, that’s part of the fun. 

Never buy this used off-road SUV

According to InsideHook, the Land Rover Range Rover Classic is an off-road SUV that you should probably avoid. That is not to say that it isn’t cool or an automotive icon, but like many British cars, it can be more trouble than it’s worth. 

Mechanical and electrical issues are common. And because of age, you will likely be forced to buy an example with higher mileage than you may want. If you know what you are getting into, go ahead and buy an old Range Rover. But don’t be shocked if your SUV spends a lot of time in the shop.


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