The Best Old-School Off-Road Vehicles

Old-school SUVs, like Toyota 4Runners, still run the road with style and performance. Here’s a list that includes cheap used vehicles and classic collectibles.
Written by Pat Roache
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jan 18, 2023
To this day, the third-generation Toyota 4Runner is considered one of the best offroaders ever made; however, car enthusiasts will agree that four-wheel-drive vehicles have an impressive lineage with plenty of contenders for the number one spot.
New SUVs have overtaken sedans and other cars in popularity in recent years, but off-roaders have been holding their place in the automotive industry for decades. Used classics have survived with impressive reliability– thanks in part to their function-forward design and easy upgradability. The value of these tuners may not always beat newer SUVs, but their character and resilience do every time.
It’s not always easy to decide if a used car is right for you.
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2001 Toyota 4Runner

Image of 2001 Toyota 4Runner from Toyota's pressroom.
Average price: $6,217
Toyota 4Runner
has been a staple in Toyota’s utility fleet for years, but the third generation saw this off-roader come into its own. By 2001, this offroader saw plenty of performance upgrades to an already durable body-on-frame construction, like coil-sprung suspension and a new 3.4-L V6 engine to up the power.
Toyota also introduced a new level of luxury to put the 4Runner a step above the rest with the following perks for today’s driver:
  • Pro: Incredibly long-lasting reliability
  • Pro: Handsome exterior with a spacious interior space
  • Pro: Refined drivability with impeccable handling

1972 Chevrolet K5 Blazer

Average Price: N/A
We’re kicking it back with an honorable old off-roader that changed the game in the world of SUVs. The
Chevrolet K5 Blazer
came onto the scene as the largest and most luxurious offroader of its time and it was met with immediate popularity. Today’s utility fanatics can continue to expect these advantages from a well-kept classic:
  • Pro: The 4x4 standard made for extreme drivability on all terrains
  • Pro: Get even closer to the outdoors with the removable hardtop 
  • Pro: It’s a roomy SUV for its time that can fit five adults comfortably
Of course, 50 years comes with some unfortunate downsides when buying a used
classic car
  • Con: OG Blazer’s are almost only available by auction, making them incredibly hard to find
  • Con: Newer models of the Blazer are more readily available, but they lose the classic “cool” factor

1997 Land Rover Defender

Average Price: $63,194
This legendary
Land Rover
can trace its roots back to the aftermath of World War II, but it made its way into the US market after 1993. It’s a trusted vehicle that can tackle some of the most extreme terrains across the world, not to mention that it is an icon for its utilitarian design among these other pros:
  • Pro: Tough construction with a bulletproof engine
  • Pro: Intense versatility for the roughest off-roading
  • Pro: The 110 models can seat nine passengers
For all its worth, the Defender carries some disadvantages in the modern market:
  • Con: Fuel economy suffers at only 15 mpg
  • Con: Older models are collector’s items with high price tags

1986 Jeep CJ-7

Average Price: $13,900
A precursor to the Wrangler, the Jeep CJ-7 has the iconic
look we all know and love with some pretty great potential for off-roading versatility. The original hardware isn’t particularly impressive, but you can pretty much customize these SUVs from powertrain to exterior, and that’s just one upside of many for this Jeep classic:
  • Pro: Great performance for handling, stability, and a quiet drive
  • Pro: Virtually limitless customization options for easy powertrain and style upgrades
  • Pro: Considerable affordability for a tried and true classic

1984 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-40

Average Price: $28,000
Comparable to the CJ-7, the
Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-40
is yet another symbol of Toyota’s excellence in the off-road segment—plus it looks pretty cool doing it. Tough like the Land Rover, the FJ-40 delivers torque-heavy power with these advantages:
  • Pro: Produced for 24 years, so plenty of models from across the years are still in circulation
  • Pro: Repair parts are in abundance
  • Pro: It fits the boxy style of the Defender into a cooler frame like the CJ-7

1977 Ford Bronco

Image of 1977 Ford Bronco from Ford.
Average Price: $59,600
One of Ford’s most notable contributions to the off-road segment, the early
Ford Bronco
packed major advancements in the class when it first hit the scene. A V-8 engine gives the Bronco considerable power for an off-roader of its size, but it’s known for its smooth front suspension. 
With roadster, pickup, and convertible models making the rounds in auctions, Ford Broncos have these arguments for and against them: 
  • Pro: Well-preserved performance for any terrain
  • Pro: Cabin design has always had a modern, refined feel
  • Con: Classic car enthusiasm continues to inflate the Bronco’s price
  • Con: The convertible top was more prone to rust, so think twice before going for an open-top model at full price

1980 International Harvester Scout

Average Price: $24,430
Coming from a fleet of tractors and agricultural equipment, the International Harvester Scout means serious business when hitting the backroads. This recreational breakout was designed to beat the Jeeps of its time. With a nice balance of comfort-driven extras and raw power, it puts up a good fight with these features: 
  • Pro: It’s longer than the Jeeps and Toyotas with great cargo space
  • Pro: Models with a Nissan-sourced engine hit 30 mpg for competitive fuel economy
  • Pro: Its design goes above and beyond for offroading needs and fares better against the elements than some of its competition
  • Pro: The Scout is still up and coming in the enthusiasts’ eyes, so now is the time to buy for the cheapest prices

1995 Range Rover

Average Price: $3,105
Range Rover
runs the gamut on luxury off-road vehicles and it has since it came to the U.S. in 1970. Land Rover’s contribution to the SUV class proved that utes can be city cars, too—while still ripping it up on the trails.
  • Pro: The Rover feels less rough or rugged than its competitors for drivers who crave a more refined feel
  • Pro: With an original 200-hp V8 engine, you can rely on the Rover’s luxurious power to get the job done
  • Con: The Rover has a reputation for poor reliability

1991 Jeep Wagoneer

Average Price: $2,450
The Jeep Wagoneer is considered the first luxury SUV and its faux wooden exterior detail is evidence that this off-roader loved to redefine the style. It remained relatively unchanged from 1962 to 1991 and can still be found on the market today.
  • Pro: The wagoneer sits lower and rides smoother than most other old-school SUVs
  • Pro: Many models have been refitted with a bit more height to fit larger wheels if low-riding isn’t your thing
  • Pro: Repair parts are readily available
  • Con: They can be hard to find on the used car market, and older models with more “classic” appeal can run the price tag up into multiples of ten thousand

2006 Hummer H1

Average Price: $151,500
Our list would not be complete without one of the most iconic off-roaders of all time—the
H1. This beast of an SUV comes from military roots and looks like it could conquer anything in its path—your bank account included. It’s no wonder this old-school Hummer averages the price that it does, but here’s what you’re getting with your recreational tank:
  • Pro: 5.7-L and higher V8 engines for serious performance
  • Pro: Extra large design with fantastic stability for up to 30 inches of water and climbing up to 22-inch steps
  • Pro: Adjustable tire pressure for multiple terrains
Accessibility is the most notable con—price and availability make this off-roading dream a hard bargain. However, if you know this is the old-school off-roader for you, you can look for government auctions of ex-military H1s for better prices and trail-exclusive fun.

The best off-road insurance

A new old off-roader is bound to be fun, exciting, interesting, and powerful. Believe it or not, shopping for your used car insurance ought to make you feel the same way! How is that, you ask? Take a ride off the road of traditional policy shopping with
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Once you download Jerry, just answer a handful of questions that will take you roughly 45 seconds to complete and you’ll immediately get car insurance quotes for coverage tailored to your needs. Better yet, our expert insurance representatives are just a text away to answer your unique questions for your off-roader classic.
It’s that kind of commitment that helps Jerry users like this one save an average of $887 a year
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