10 Best Affordable Used 4x4s

Updated on January 25, 2019
ttravis5446 profile image

The author knows a lot about cars and motorcycles, especially the older and more affordable ones.

Many people would like a 4x4 vehicle, whether it is out of necessity or strictly for fun. Here of a list of 4x4 vehicles that can be found fairly cheap on the used car market in the U.S. They range from very small to very large, and from spartan to rather luxurious, so there should be something here for almost everyone.

Top 12 Affordable Used 4x4s

  1. Jeep Cherokee XJ
  2. Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60
  3. Jeep Wrangler YJ
  4. Suzuki Samurai
  5. Toyota Pickup
  6. Chevrolet S-10
  7. Ford F150
  8. Chevrolet K1500
  9. Nissan Pathfinder
  10. Toyota 4 Runner
  11. Land Rover Discovery
  12. Dodge Ram 150 / 1500

1. Jeep Cherokee XJ

The body style of Cherokee we are talking about here is referred to as XJ's in the Jeep community. These are great vehicles for the most part with a few exceptions. I would avoid any of them with anything except the inline six-cylinder engine. These particular engines are known for their reliability and longevity, while others don't have the same reputation. Two-door and four-door models are available. These trucks can be found dirt cheap, I looked at one last week that seemed OK, and the owner was only asking $800. Coil Springs and solid axle make them good off road.

2. Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60

This generation of Land Cruiser is world renowned for its durability. Toyota's inline six-engine is nearly bulletproof, as is the rest of the drivetrain. Automatic transmissions weren't offered until the FJ 62 generation. Parts are fairly common. The entrance price is reasonable on these rigs, with $3,000 to $4,000 buying one in very good condition. These trucks will go 200k or 300k miles with good maintenance. They were made from 1980-1987. Fuel mileage is the weak point on these rigs.

3. Jeep Wrangler YJ


The first generation starting to slip into the area of cheap 4x4s finally. These trucks are really capable offroad and have the added bonus of the soft top. There are obscene amounts of accessories for these Jeeps. In the Jeep crowd, they are referred to as YJs. As in the Cherokee, I would avoid anything but the 4.2L and 4.0L inline 6 engines. Wranglers are capable of turning incredibly high mileage when they are taken care of.

4. Suzuki Samurai

Many people don't care for these tiny rigs but I kind of like them. If you are not in a hurry to get anywhere, are not too tall, and appreciate decent fuel mileage the Samurai may be just right for you. They tend to be very basic, have kind of cheap interiors, and are severely underpowered with anything but stock sized tires. The good thing is that the aftermarket takes good care of these trucks. Some companies are also making conversion kits to install VW diesel engines in Samurais, giving them instant credibility.

5. Toyota Pickup

The basic 4x4 Toyota pickup is one of my all-time favorite vehicles. Every year and every drivetrain option is excellent. The main weak point on these is that the beds tend to disintegrate from rust in most climates. I routinely find these with over 300k miles or more on the clock. Modifications are easy and aftermarket support is plentiful.

6. Chevrolet S-10

While the S-10 is not my favorite vehicle, I am gaining some respect for it. When equipped with the awesome GM 4.3 liter V6, it is a great vehicle. It was available as a pickup, two-door and four-door blazer. First generation models can be had very cheap, and second-generation models are getting cheaper every year.

7. Ford F150

The Ford F-150 is a very good truck. The Ford truck has been the top-selling truck in the U.S. for many many years. They are very common in many configurations. I don't care for the IFS front suspension. But these trucks just keep going and going. They are extremely common, and the availability of plentiful junk yard parts is a huge plus.

8. Chevrolet K1500

The Chevrolets and GMCs are my personal favorite domestic half-ton truck. I prefer GM drivetrains to the Fords and Dodges. These trucks have a better ride than the Fords or Dodges as well. Prices tend to be slightly higher than the other half tons. I like the early 2000s models with a small block V8 and a manual transmission. I have a mid 90's 1500 in the fleet at work with well over 300k miles, and it is still in great shape.

9. Nissan Pathfinder

The Nissan Pathfinder sold in the U.S. in large quantities in the early to mid-'90s and is plentiful today. It is an ok alternative to a 4 Runner (see below), but the interior and the drivetrain aren't of the same quality in my opinion. Aftermarket support is not very good, so many mods will have to be custom. These can be found for around $1,000 in daily drivable condition.

10. Toyota 4 Runner

The Toyota 4 Runner is a great vehicle, and they tend to hold their value really well. They are commonly found with well above 300k miles. The first generation models had a removable top on the back half. Newer models generally are four-door hardtops with a very few two doors thrown in. Rust can be an issue on these vehicles so check it out really good before you buy.

11. Land Rover Discovery

Many people have bad impressions about Land Rovers due to Lucas electricals and the high cost of parts. I owned one of these trucks for a couple of years and I really liked it. If I could have owned a second vehicle at the time I would have kept it. It was definitely high maintenance, but I liked how capable it was off-road. The solid axles, coil springs, four wheel disk brakes, V8 engine, and seating were seven were very nice. I think the interior was more comfortable than a comparable Toyota FJ80, it was also faster. The prices of these have been steadily falling for a few years now. I routinely see them with mechanical problems for $1000 or so. I would definitely buy another one if the situation was right.

12. Dodge Ram 150 / 1500

Photo Courtesy of G.Goodwin Jr. & Snark
Photo Courtesy of G.Goodwin Jr. & Snark

The Dodge half ton has proven to be a good reliable truck, along with Chevy and Ford. As with most of the domestic full-size trucks, parts availability and aftermarket support are good. It is uncommon to find anything but a V8 in one of these. Manual transmissions are fairly common.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


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    • profile image


      3 months ago

      You couldnt find a land cruiser for under 5k that even runs lol let alo in great condition... come on man due some more research

    • profile image

      doug horrigan 

      7 months ago


      First, I just wanted to send you an email but your captcha system was impossible to get through, I nearly gave up and went elsewhere.

      My wife and I are thinking about buying a 4x4 in the usa then shipping it to columbia for a trip around south america, your list of vehicles seems quite impressive - we're looking for something that must be reliable but spare parts readily available if anything goes wrong, plus good mpg.

      The Ford F150 looks pretty good, as does the cherokee.

      We're having difficulty finding used cars for sale though, we've tried autotrader but they don't seem to have 4x4 for some reason and car lots don't seem very heelpful either.

      Top price we want to pay is about $5000.

      Any ideas?

      Regards, Doug

    • profile image


      8 months ago

      Yah, what VW power plant fit to the samurai? I would ppreciatemuch for ur answer.

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      No 87 jeep comche

    • profile image

      Travis Murphy 

      9 months ago


      Please tell me where I can find an FJ60 between three and four grand!! I will be eternally grateful

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      91-01 Explorers? 3 different engines 4.0 OHV, 4.0 SOHC, 5.0 Windsor. Got the 4r70w behind the V8. Cheap as hell. What's not to love?

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      No Isuzus? Y'all are crazy

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      No Bronco? No Ranger? And a discovery made the list, oy..

    • Aladdins Cave profile image

      Aladdins Cave 

      4 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Hi Travis,

      something went wrong with Hub layout

      Range Rover is underneath this comment section :(

      Not to worry

      Great info, I want to come over to the States sometime this year,

      and wanted to buy something, instead of renting. So you gave some idea's

      Thanks, and I gave you thumbs up as well

      Cheers from DOWNUNDER

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      My jeep be going 250000 miles and stilll satisfys the urge to take a huge crosby in someone s backyard

    • gymnastevan profile image


      7 years ago

      Toyota pickups are amazing, I had an 88 that could go anywhere offroad, and was very durable. I have a 99 dodge 1500 now and I also like it very much and so far have only taken it on the beach, but it does great.

    • cyberjeepkate profile image


      8 years ago from Ft. Lauderdale, FL

      Nice captured info. Thank you for the pics they're great. Go Jeeps!

      Amazing Selection of Quality Suspension Lift Kits and Body Lift Kits at Morris 4x4 Center


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      really? no bronco?

    • walkin profile image


      9 years ago from India

      I like the Toyota Land Cruiser !!!

    • profile image

      Baby Crib Bedding 

      10 years ago

      I love my Jeep Cherokee, its still rock solid with almost 200k on it. I love to have a Toyota Pickup but there almost impossible to find used in my area.

      Thanks for the Hub.

    • GAWjr profile image


      10 years ago from Denver, CO

      What kind of VW Diesel motor would fit best in a Samurai ? It would probably get a lot more torque, and you might be able to run on veggie fuel.


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