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4×4s offer more utility than any other car feature. It gives drivers a sense of security in knowing that even if the road gets rough, their 4×4 can get them where they need to be. However, a 4×4 is only as good as the vehicle it’s powering. This is why it’s important to buy a reliable 4×4. You don’t want to be out in the woods, and your off-roader quits on you. Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Here are the five most reliable 4x4s that are still affordable in 2023

2023 Toyota 4Runner is red. This is one of the most reliable 4x4s on the market.
2023 Toyota 4Runner | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

How much do you have to spend to get a good 4×4 truck? 

Normally, buying a good reliable 4×4 could cost $10k all day. However, car prices have gone bananas over the past few years. Demand has shot up for used 4x4s because new car production has suffered so much from COVID and supply chain issues. 

These days getting a good, reliable 4×4 for under $20,000 is harder to do. However, there are still some options. 

Is the Toyota Tacoma a reliable 4×4 truck? 

A first-generation Toyota Tacoma can make a good used truck for under $15,000.
Toyota Tacoma | Michael McCullough

Toyota has built its truck and SUV name on reliability. At this point, there isn’t a 4×4 fan that isn’t hip to the Toyota line. Of all the 4×4 options, the Toyota Tacoma is one of the most reliable 4x4s the brand offers. 

The Tacoma TRD trim sports off-road-specific features like upgraded suspension and tires for more extreme off-road exploration. According to Hot Cars, if you are willing to go back to a 2011 model, you can get a reliable 4×4 pickup truck for less than $20,000. 

Never forget about the Jeep Wrangler

Newer Jeeps won’t come for a bargain. However, if you get a Wrangler TJ (1997-2006), you can score a decent deal and likely have a killer and very reliable 4×4. This generation had the tough 4.0-liter straight-six as an option. This engine offers tons of torquey power and dependability. 

Like the Tacoma, the Jeep also commonly comes in a 5-speed manual, making hitting the trails all the more exciting. 

4×4 luxury: Lexus GX470

“Lexus” and “affordable” aren’t words we typically use together. However, the reliability of the GX470 makes looking back at older used models a wise move. On older models, you can still get a GX470 for a pretty decent price.

These 4×4 SUVs offer one of the nicer interiors of any 4x4s on the market. Don’t mistake the GX470 for your gimmicky “4×4,” this is a proper off-roader with leather and wood throughout the interior. 

Don’t sleep on the Nissan Xterra

A very stylized picture of a yellow Nissan Xterra in the snow.
Nissan Xterra | Wikimedia Commons

The Nissan Xterra had its moment, but the sporty little 4×4 SUV has since lost favor with many off-roaders. The Xterra is a perfect example of an affordable 4×4. The little Nissan can kind of hide in plain sight because many Americans don’t consider Nissan when they think about driving something through a mud hole. 

However, with the state of current SUV prices, anyone who wants an Xterra for a bargain, you might need to look for 2012 models and earlier. 

The Toyota 4runner 

Older JDM Toyota 4Runner
JDM Toyota 4Runner | Wikimedia Commons

4runners are one of the best, toughest, most reliable 4x4s ever made. The 4runner has been charging trails for over 30 years. It’s one of the very few body-on-frame SUVs still in production. 

The only problem with buying a Toyota 4runner is finding one that hasn’t been ragged out for less than $20,000. Sticking to models before 2015 is probably the best bet at finding the most reliable 4×4 that is still affordable. 

What is the most reliable 4×4 for cheap? 

Again, promising a decent deal on anything car-related today is tough to do. Prices are insane. However, with some digging and maybe a little luck, any one of these options would be a great reliable 4×4. Happy hunting.