The Jeep Wrangler is one of America’s favorite SUVs. We’ve already discussed new Wrangler alternatives. But what if you are hunting for a used, capably, boxy 4×4? Here are our favorite used Jeep Wrangler alternatives.
We’ve all heard about the new (sixth-generation) Ford Bronco. But the original Ford Bronco is an American classic. The first generation was the Mustang of the trail, still oozes 1960s style, and commands classic car prices. But subsequent generations of the Bronco shared a chassis with short wheelbase F-150s. So while they look unique, parts are plentiful and lots of mechanics know how to work on them. If you want to go smaller, look at the Bronco II.
Dodge Ram Charger
Is even a Ford Bronco too mainstream? Get yourself a Dodge Ram Charger and you’re guaranteed to have the only one on the trail. Dodge sold this truck-based SUV in the U.S. from 1974-1993. The second-generation (1981 onwards) only came with V8s, though buyers could opt for automatics or manuals.
Land Rover Defender
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When you say Jeep alternative, many folks instantly think of the Land Rover Defender. Like the Jeep, Land Rover offers the Defender in a short wheelbase (90) and long-wheelbase variants (110 and 130). You can take off the top and cruise around, just like your Wrangler-driving buddies. But the last Defender sold in North America was in 1997, so if you want this British off-roader you will have to shop for a used one.
Mercedes G Wagon
In much of the world, the Mercedes G Wagon is a bare-bones work truck. But for the United States, Mercedes-Benz offers it with chrome, V12 engines, and at supercar prices. Many vintage 4×4 fans have imported older, often retired military G Wagons to the U.S. Some of these are even two-door, convertible versions. So if you’re dreaming of a trail-ready Mercedes, keep your eyes on eBay.
The Suzuki Jimny is a nimble, two-door off-roader that’s prized the world over for its capability and price. For ten glorious years (1985-1995), Suzuki offered this SUV in the United States as the “Samurai.” With a tight turning radius, narrow track, and part-time transfer case, the Suzuki Samurai tears up trails even the Jeep Wrangler can’t fit on. In many ways, it’s more true to the old Jeep CJ’s heritage than the current, bloated Wrangler.
For years, the first-generation Mitsubishi Montero was one of the best-kept secrets in the vintage SUV scene, but they are gaining popularity now. With its square body and round headlights, it’s reminiscent of the Toyota Land Cruiser J60 or the first-generation Range Rover. The rest of the world knew Mitsubishi’s 4×4 as the Pajero, but in the U.S. it was sold as the Montero from 1982-1990. It was available as a two-door or four-door with an I4 or V6. If your Jeep-driving friends ask why your SUV is named after a rapper, tell them that Montero got the idea for his stage name from his first car: a Mitsubishi Montero.
Do you still want a Wrangler? Definitely check out the cheapest model years of used Wranglers. Or, if you’re ready for a Jeep Wrangler alternative watch a test drive of a 1991 Montero in the video below: