Ranking the best off-road SUVs you can buy for $15,000
Today, four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive is available in almost every car segment, from compact sedans to big, monstrous 8.0L trucks, and even some hatchbacks! However, the difference between AWD cars and 4WD cars is that AWD focuses more on keeping the car on the tarmac regardless of the conditions. Off-roading, on the other hand, is an entirely different ball game, requiring a 4×4 powertrain, big beefy tires and high ground clearance that would make any terrain bow to your SUV.
Luckily, 4x4s are also some of the best vehicles you can get on the used car market because they were always built to last from the start and continue to serve that purpose. So if it’s off-road terrain you want to explore, unhindered by the limitations of asphalt, you don’t need to get the latest 4×4 toy on the block, because a powerful and no frills is always right. around the corner when you look for used ones. Here are the best off-road SUVs you can take home without spending a dime over $15,000.
9 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4MATIC $12,000
A ten-year-old model that lives well is a great way to show how good Mercedes-Benz cars are and how well they age. With tons of interior space, the 2012 German SUV also boasts remarkable off-road prowess, making it a contender on this list.
When fitted with the off-road package, the Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic truly offered unforgettable off-road fun, and its 3.5-liter V6 engine, which produced 268 horsepower, was mated beautifully to the automatic transmission. at 7 speeds. You can get one from the used car market for just under $15,000and some 2011 models for even less.
8 2012 Nissan Xterra $14,000
The Nissan Xterra has carved out a place for itself in the market as a remarkably capable and reliable SUV. Consider a 4th or 5th Gen 4Runner, but with a lower budget. Plus, with several shops always around that focus on Nissan 4WDs, an Xterra will also ensure you have ample customer support if and when you need it.
The Pro 4X model of the Nissan Xterra instills driver off-road confidence simply because of the badge, and the Pro-4x variant of the SUV still evokes fond off-road memories for many. At just under $14,000, the Nissan Xterra Pro-4X is a phenomenal deal.
seven 2006-08 Toyota Sequoia SR5 $11,000
Chevrolet designed the Sequoia with large families in mind and therefore equipped the SUV with three rows of seating and a comfortable ride quality. However, the Sequoia has remarkable all-terrain mastery if you need it, and it takes you to the most remote campsites with ease.
The full-size 4WD SUV came with a 4.7L V8 engine that puts out 272 horsepower with 314 lb-ft of torque and was mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. A low-end transfer case helped boost its off-road capabilities, making it a great choice for off-roading. For $15,000 you can easily get a Toyota Sequoia 4WD, and some 2006 models even cost close to $10,000. We even managed to find a 2011 modelhalf a decade younger, for a price that made the cut.
6 Suzuki Samurai $14,500
Where big 4WD SUVs are hammers, the Suzuki Samurai remains the scalpel of the 4×4 world. It’s the smallest 4×4 on this list, and its narrow dimensions help this buggy capable of reaching places large SUVs couldn’t get to.
For those who want a raw, authentic off-road experience with no bells and whistles, the Samurai is a great choice as its 5-speed shifter enhances the feeling of being in an old-school off-roader with nothing out of the ordinary. other than your skills to accompany you. For just under $15,000the car is a good choice if daily driving and family chores are not on your checklist.
5 2010 Jeep Wrangler $14,000
Jeep is synonymous with 4×4, and the Wrangler remains the all-terrain textbook ever. Anyone who knows first thing about off-roading also knows the Wrangler, and that’s because the car can truly handle and dominate any terrain nature throws at it.
The king of unpaved America, the 2010 Wrangler is enough to give any enthusiast a taste of the ultimate Jeep experience on trails, gravel, and rocky, muddy terrain. From 2009 to 2011, there are many purchase options for the Wrangler under $15,000.
4 2009 Toyota 4Runner (3rd or 4th generation) $13,900
The Toyota 4Runner is an off-road beast that has simply gotten exponentially better with each generation. That’s not to say previous generations lack it, as the 4Runner has always remained one of the best among its contemporaries in any given generation.
4Runners are very capable SUVs, they have ample seating space and more than enough power for an off-roader. Beware, though, if you’re talking to someone who already owns one to get one for yourself, you may need to set aside a day just to hear them talk over and over again about how great it is amazing car. Whereas this model can be picked up for around $14,000, there are a few older ones from a few years ago that have fallen below the $10,000 mark.
3 1994 Mitsubishi Pajero $14,900
Mitsubishi’s SUV range has been through a bit of turmoil, with its nameplate changed and the resulting confusion ‘overshadowing’ the brand. Nonetheless, Mitsubishi produced tough, capable SUVs in their time, and the Pajero will always be one of them.
The second generation Mitsubishi Pajero remains in the hearts of enthusiasts as a classic and also as a rally-winning 4×4. The car has proven itself as a tough, rugged off-roader, and a well-maintained Pajero should set you back around $15,000.
2 2014 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4WD $13,900
The Cherokee Sports has always been known for its off-road prowess which came as a bonus along with being a decent daily driver. Passengers will be treated to a comfortable and cozy driving experience, and when it comes time for the Cherokee Sport to hit the tarmac, its superb off-roader will also wow its occupants.
From 2014 to 2016, it would be easy for you to be spoiled for choice with several 4WD models of the Jeep Cherokee Sport ranging between $11,000 and $14,000and any Cherokee would prove to be a good choice.
1 2004 Toyota Land Cruiser $14,000
How could a Land Cruiser not be on this list? Regardless of generation, Toyota’s hugely powerful and capable SUV has always been an off-road beast, and for under $15,000 there’s some options available for those who want to bring the Japanese off-road into their garage.
If you’re using it for the purpose it was designed for, you simply can’t go wrong, and the powerful V8 makes any rough terrain unnecessary in front of the Land Cruiser. Plus, Toyota brand reliability comes with it, so feel free to push the car as hard as you can.
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