Go into any new car dealership and tell the salesman you have a strict budget of $10,000 and you want to buy a vehicle. He’ll smile, try to hold back a laugh if he’s polite…then he’ll point in the direction of the door.
On the other hand, in the used car realm, $10,000 — even in the current used car market — opens up an entire world of transportation options. Big, small, foreign or domestic, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to halfway decent vehicles at this price. (It’s one reason why used car shopping online can quickly cause you to spiral down an internet rabbit hole.)
Still, when it comes to finding $10K cars, few categories offer quite the wealth of options as the 4×4 market. So we pulled together a few sweet trucks and SUVs you can grab right now for four figures that are primed for tackling some trails.
2000 Toyota 4Runner SR5
No list of affordable off-roaders would be complete without a nice used 4Runner. These indestructible Toyotas should last for well north of 200,000 miles and deliver a dynamite combination off-road capability and real-world usability. All you have to do is fork over the money and start enjoying that off-roading life.
2007 Land Rover LR3
An older Land Rover, on the other hand, isn’t quite as sure a bet as a reliable Toyota. Still, if you want to roll the dice on a Landie, this LR3 from California looks to be a solid choice to put your money down on. Plus, you can’t beat the LR3 when it comes to making boxy beautiful.
2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport
There are any number of used Jeep Cherokees out there you could score for less than $10,000. But few will be this clean-looking. And finding a car that looks that clean should be the major battle you'd need to fight, because that 4.0-liter inline-six is rock-solid.
2000 Jeep Wrangler
It's hard to find a Jeep Wrangler of any sort for less than $10,000. This one only has the base four-cylinder engine..but it also has a manual transmission, a mileage count under 50,000 and doesn't look like it has been overly accessorized.
2001 Isuzu Trooper
The Isuzu Trooper — known by many names in many locations — was a damn good boxy SUV. This is a one-owner vehicle with a relatively low mileage count that was apparently garage-kept in a warm-weather state.