Not long ago, we showed you seven great off-road SUVs that arenít Jeeps ó and there are so many good alternatives out there, we just couldnít stop.
So here are seven more. When shopping for a new vehicle, which SUV would you pick? Make sure to check out our first post about great off-roaders that arenít Jeeps here.
If a Blazer or a Bronco is just too commonplace for you, check out Chryslerís competing truck, the Dodge Ramcharger. Designed to go head-to-head with the Blazer, the Ramcharger has the same advantages of a rock-solid pickup chassis and reliable transmissions and axles (provided you pick the right ones). RCs were offered with both big- and small-block V8s, and if youíre really ambitious, itís possible to fit a Cummins diesel under the hood. Because of their relative scarcity, youíll have to search a bit harder, but you should be able to find a good deal: Fixer-uppers can be found for two grand or less, and clean examples go for $3,000 to $10,000.
Shop for your Dodge Ramcharger here.
With 16 inches of ground clearance and the ability to inflate and deflate its own tires from right inside the cab, the Hummer H1 may be the penultimate turn-key off-roader. Though it wonít fit through small spaces like a Wrangler, the H1 is close enough for government work: Itíll climb over just about any surface, provided it can fit between the trees. While youíll see lots of shiny bro-dozers with six-figure asking prices, youíll also find plenty of functional H1s, both civilian and military, selling for less than $25,000, and a few fixer-uppers under $15k.
Shop for your Hummer H1 here.
Donít overlook this long-forgotten SUV, first introduced in the mid-80s as a competitor to Mitsubishi Montero. They are good off-roaders out of the box, though the earliest models have four-cylinder engines which arenít very powerful. (If youíre ambitious and live in a state with liberal emissions laws, you could swap in one of the diesels that was offered in Europe and Asia.) Second-generation trucks (1999-2002) are larger and more family-oriented, but theyíll go surprisingly far into the bush, even in stock trim. Lift kits are available and these trucks are super cheap, with nice examples selling in the $3,000 to $5,000 range. If you really have a love for the obscure, look for the Acura SLX, which is a rebadged Isuzu Trooper.
Shop for your Isuzu Trooper here.
Land Rover Discovery
Considering how much these vehicles sell for new ó a 2016 base-model LR4 lists for $51,895 ó even we were shocked (shocked, I tell you!) to see how cheap they are on the used market. Weíve consistently seen good-looking hundred-thousand-mile Discos selling for $3,000 to $7,000, and a handful going for $2,000 for less. Blame their complicated electrical systems and a reputation, not entirely undeserved, for less-than-stellar reliability. Remember, however, that the Discovery was designed specifically for off-road use, and in stock form will go farther than many modified trucks. If youíre handy with a scan tool and a multimeter, a Land Rover Discovery could be the project truck for you.
Shop for your Land Rover Discovery here.
Many feel that the XTerra is the spiritual successor to the first-generation Nissan Pathfinder: A burly truck-based SUV with baked-in off-road abilities. Throughout its model run, the XTerra shared its mechanical bits with the Frontier pickup, and while second-generation (2005-2015) trucks are capable, itís the first-gen trucks we prefer. Not everyone appreciates the XTerra for what it is, hence prices are low: Youíll find plenty of good examples with reasonable mileage asking $7,000 or less, and you should be able to close a deal for less than $5k.
Shop for your Nissan XTerra here.
The Vitara (and larger Grand Vitara) was the successor to the Sidekick, which replaced the Samurai. We had a chance to go off-roading in the Vitara when it was new, and we were impressed by how well it didóit may not look very burly, but never underestimate the value of a short wheelbase. Donít shy away from later model Grand Vitaras, which used a GM platform; Suzuki managed to turn the engine the right way Ďroundóbut stay away from the post-2006 transverse-engine XL7s, which arenít well suited to serious off-roading. Vitaras are a little scarce nowadays, but you can find them selling in the $2,000 to $5,000 range.
Shop for your Suzuki Vitara here.
Toyota FJ Cruiser
The Toyota FJ Cruiser was designed as a retro-style homage to the original FJ40 Land Cruiser, but with underpinnings related to the 4Runner and Tacoma, itís a respectable off-roader in its own right. These are relatively late-model vehicles and have developed a loyal following of their own, and that keeps prices up: Even the oldest high-mileage examples can fetch $10,000 to $12,000, and weíve seen limited editions going as high as $30,000. If your budget is that healthy, the FJ Cruiser is a good choice for a turn-key off-roader with future collectible potential.
Shop for your Toyota FJ Cruiser here.
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