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Seemingly everyone wants a classic Toyota 4×4, but not everyone can afford the premium for an 80 Series Land Cruiser or a second-generation 4Runner. Enter the Isuzu Trooper – a rad-looking classic SUV with legitimate off-road chops that helps you avoid the Toyota Tax as a Land Cruiser alternative. 

Isuzu Trooper is a capable, affordable 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser alternative

A black and white photo of a first-generation Isuzu trooper SUV.
First-Generation Isuzu Trooper | Denver Post, Getty Images

The boxy Isuzu trooper has all of the 80s/90s 4×4 performance and style you love – and its price is friendlier than a classic Land Cruiser. 

Scroll listings for classic off-road SUVs, and you’ll see the effects of the 4×4 craze. Prices are inflated across the board, from Jeep Cherokee XJs to Land Rover Discoveries. Enthusiasts on the rad-era SUV market are left to find more affordable alternatives off the beaten path. Fortunately, there are still plenty of options available if you know where to look. 

The Isuzu Trooper is one of these overlooked gems. It’s a true body-on-frame SUV built with the old-school analog toughness many drivers crave. Standard four-wheel drive, body lines as square as Stonehenge, and an available manual transmission will surely please off-road enthusiasts. Plus, it comes from Japan, so you can feel pretty confident about its durability. 

The second-generation Isuzu Trooper drives off-road.
Second-Generation Isuzu Trooper | Heritage Images, Getty Images

You’d be forgiven for not immediately recognizing an Isuzu Trooper. The brand only sells commercial trucks in the U.S. market nowadays, and the last Trooper was sold back in 2002. But back in the 80s and 90s, Isuzu was a significant competitor in the SUV market. Models like the Rodeo and Amigo filled their own niches in the market – but the Trooper was always the top tog. 

Sure, the Trooper isn’t as iconic as a classic Range Rover or as hardcore as a Jeep CJ. But if the 4×4 shoe fits, then you had better wear it. And the Trooper’s blend of style, capability, and value is an excellent fit for plenty of enthusiasts. 

One of the cheapest classic SUVs of the 80s and 90s

A red second-generation Isuzu Trooper drives on a mountain road.
Second-Generation Isuzu Trooper | Heritage Images, Getty Images

According to auction sites, the Isuzu Trooper is one of the cheapest classic off-road SUV, commonly selling for $10,000 or less. 

Online auto auction giant Bring a Trailer has sold dozens of Troopers over the years. Its plot graph of Trooper sale prices shows a concentration in the $10,000-$15,000 range. Some have gone for as low as $5,000, while outliers have gotten close to $20,000. 

Compare those to Land Cruiser auction prices, and the Trooper’s value comes into full view. Bring a Trailer’s sales data shows a cluster of 80 Series Land Cruiser (the 1990s variant) prices selling for at least $20,000, with many going for $40,000 or more. Prices climb even higher for the 60 Series Land Cruisers of the 80s. 

The Isuzu Trooper is a bargain, by contrast. It may not get the same kind of attention at cars and coffee meets, but the Trooper’s lower pricing makes it a great entry point into the world of classic SUVs or an affordable Land Cruiser alternative. Now it’s all a matter of finding a clean one. 


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