Below is an excerpt and updated list from our very popular article on the Best Overlanding Vehicles. In this article, we focus on entry-level vehicles that are capable of handling most off-road adventures with ease. We have added a few more vehicles to this article compared to our previous one and we have updated the stats and prices for 2023 as well.
One caveat: Depending on the model and trim package your vehicle is equipped with, you may need to make some modifications to the suspension & tires before hitting the trail. Of course, we also recommend investing in some cool Overlanding gear to make your journey more enjoyable.
Understanding the Data
Low, high and average price information was obtained using a variety of used car websites. Best and worst year(s) information was obtained through CarComplaints.com.
Budget Overland Vehicles
|Isuzu Trooper||1981-2002||1991-2002||1994, 2000||$3,495||$15,000||$5,997|
|Land Rover LR3||2004-2009||2005-2008||None||$3,500||$20,990||$9,458|
|Toyota 4Runner||1989-Present||1992-1996 2009-2010||2003-2005||$2,500||$82,495||$39,655|
Suzuki Vitara – $5,745
Also goes by several other names such as the Sidekick, Grand Vitara, Geo Tracker. The second generation (1998–2005) is a competent low-budget overland vehicle. There are plenty of these available. Very reliable. Not very roomy or comfortable.
Isuzu Trooper – $5,997
Massive cargo room and interior height. It’s an older car so don’t count on modern amenities. The second generation Troopers are better than the first. Good clearance. Not the easiest car to work on if it breaks down. Short on reliability.
Mitsubishi Montero – $7,772
aka Pajero. Second generation (1991–1999) Monteros are still widely available and cheap. Plenty of space, great off-road capability. Not a lot of horsepower and rust is common.
Land Rover LR3 – $9,458
Also called the Discovery 3. Reliable and capable. Quiet and comfortable. Expensive to maintain and fix. Not as much ground clearance as we would like so suspension upgrades would help. Solid engineering. Well made.
Suzuki Samurai – $10,843
Agile and nimble but prone to rolling over. About as comfortable as a golf cart. Will pretty much go anywhere and quite capable off-road. On-road is another story. Keep it under 40 and avoid sharp turns and you’ll be fine. Great rock crawler. Easy to work on. Fun to drive. Getting harder to find due to age. It was last available in the US in 1995.
Nissan XTerra – $14,316
Good ground clearance. Solid ladder frame. Locking differential is available in most models. Reliable. Comfortable and a strong performer off-road. Stable and scores high marks in maneuverability. A little on the light side in interior quality. Needs a good front bumper and skid plates to protect the fragile front end.
Subaru Outback – $24,035
Our one and only crossover on the list. It has Symmetrical AWD giving it plenty of traction and stability. It lacks cargo space and improvements should be made to give it more clearance. All-terrain tires will help as well. With the lack of clearance, a skid plate is also a great investment to prevent damage to the radiator, oil pan and undercarriage.
Toyota 4Runner – $39,655
On everybody’s Overland vehicle list, the 4Runner has a proven reputation as one of the best available for Overlanding and at a price range that can fit anyone’s budget. The 4Runner ticks all the boxes for capability, reliability, roominess and comfort. There are countless aftermarket upgrades available so you can make it as unique as you want. The safety and technology features improve with every newer model so it’s best to get the newest one you can afford. Toyotas last forever so don’t let high mileage concern you.