The Ten Best Used Cars for Off-Road Explorations

February 4th, 2016 by




Anyone who has ever had a vehicle designated for off-road explorations can attest to how dirty their car was – All. The. Time. No matter how many times a day you washed it, there was always at least a smudge of dirt, a loose pebble of gravel, or a bit of mud stuck in the tires. All of these things served as evidence that your vehicle was destined for so much more than the boring highway and exhausting interstate. Your vehicle took you beyond where the road turned to dust, and you reveled in the freedom that it afforded you. Whether your off-road companion isn’t cutting it anymore, or you want to purchase your first vehicle for off-road exploring, there are a ton of great used cars in Lexington, KY that will fit the bill.




All of that dirt, mud, and gravel can scrape a car up, leaving it vulnerable to imperfections that only the owner of an off-road vehicle can truly appreciate. Buying a brand new 4×4 can be fun, but it loses its “new car smell” as soon as you take it off the beaten path. Rather than spend a ton of money on a new vehicle and end up cautiously exploring the trails, why not purchase a great used adventure vehicle that you don’t have to constantly worry about?


10 Off-Road Vehicles for Under $10,000




Off-road vehicles are meant to take you wherever you want to go. Don’t think about that small dent from the hanging tree limb, or the mud that may get on your vehicle’s carpet, and instead – enjoy yourself. In an effort to help you do just that, we have compiled a list of ten great used vehicles to purchase for off-road exploring. The best part? All of these used vehicles will cost you less than $10,000. With that kind of sticker price, you can enjoy every adventure you embark on, without worrying about messing up a brand new car.

  1. Ford Ranger XLT (1998-2011): The Ford Ranger is a pickup truck that will take you as far off the road as you can imagine. Driver’s can expect to pay right around $5,000 for models in the early 2000’s, and a little more for newer trucks with less miles. The Ranger is a midsize pickup, so it’s easier to maneuver around town and in tight parking spots. The four-wheel-drive vehicle will take you wherever you want to go, without having to worry about getting stuck.
  2. Jeep Cherokee XJ (1987-2000): Let’s face it, this list wouldn’t be complete without at least one Jeep taking up a spot. Created, designed, and manufactured for off-road performance, Jeep Cherokees are well known for off-road capability. These Jeep models will cost you anywhere from $3,000-$5,000 used, and can easily be outfitted for ultimate off-road adventure without breaking the bank.
  3. Suzuki Samurai (1985-1995): These boxy four-wheelers can take you and your adventurous spirit anywhere you want to go. Best of all, these compact 4x4s will likely cost you less than $5,000 used. Be aware that the Samurai doesn’t make the most practical highway option, so if you plan to purchase one of these, expect to save its use for off-road adventures only.
  4. Toyota 4Runner (1996-2008): What makes this a great choice for our list, is that there are a LOT of used models on the road, and available for purchase. These larger off-road SUVs will likely touch up to the $10,000 mark, but are known for their reliability and long life span. It’s body on frame design makes the 4Runner a true off-road vehicle, but has enough interior space and creature comforts to keep you satisfied on long-haul trips as well.
  5. Subaru Outback (1995-2015): This is an especially good choice for drivers who live in a part of the United States that gets a lot of snow. The Outback features full-time all-wheel drive, making it an efficient performer on snow, mud, and just about every other terrain you are likely to encounter. A used Outback with moderate to heavy mileage is likely to cost around $5,000, and it’s exceptional fuel economy will allow you to save even more money at the pump. The Outback is considered a car, but has the clearance and ruggedness to perform like an SUV. With seating for five passengers, the Outback has plenty of room for your things, and your fellow adventurers.
  6. Isuzu Trooper (1992-2001): This large and very capable SUV is likely to cost you less than $5,000 used, and has enough off-road capability to take you anywhere your heart desires. The boxy exterior appearance makes it a unique choice, and it certainly stands out on the road. With plenty of space for passengers, gear, and even enough room to sleep in the back, the Trooper may be the perfect companion for your off-road adventures.
  7. Toyota Land Cruiser (1980-1996): These SUVs were designed to head off road, and are known globally for performing in adverse road and weather conditions. The Land Cruiser seats up to eight passengers, giving you plenty of room for long excursions. The large size and premium quality translates to a higher price for these used models. Expect to pay $10,000 for higher mileage versions of the car, but these SUVs have long life expectancies, which means more exploring for you.
  8. Chevy Silverado (1999-2005): This pickup is known for its reliability, dependability, and performance capabilities. Named the Truck of the Year by Motor Trend multiple times since it was first introduced, the Silverado will cost you between $5,000 and $10,000 used for these model years. The interior comfort of these Silverado pickups is remarkable, and the 4×4 versions can tackle any off-road terrain with ease. Even a bigger bonus is the option to tow a camper, boat, or trailer with ease. After all, who said that the adventure should end with the land?
  9. Toyota Tacoma (1995-2003): The Toyota Tacoma is another pickup truck to make our list, and for good reason. With exceptional capability, these good looking trucks will cost you around $7,000 used in these model years, depending on mileage. Tacoma’s are well known for their long lasting dependability, so even older models with higher miles will last you for plenty of years to come.
  10. Jeep Wrangler TJ Series (1997-2006): A list of best off-road vehicles would not be complete without the Wrangler. This Jeep vehicle is one of the most popular 4×4 vehicles ever produced, and is a favorite amongst off-road enthusiasts. With exceptional off-road capability, drivers can easily modify their Wrangler for even more advanced off-road adventures. These model years of the Wrangler came standard with a coil spring suspension which delivers better handling and ride comfort. Drivers can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000-$8,000 for these Jeep Wrangler model years, and can also expect them to last for plenty of years, as Jeep is well known for their long lasting dependability.




Wherever your next off-road adventure takes you, we hope you find the perfect used vehicle to help take you there. This list is only a small sampling of the many great used vehicle choices available to take you off-roading. For under $10,000, you can enjoy the freedom that comes with exploring beyond where the pavement ends, and we hope you take advantage of it!