Spending tens of thousands of dollars on a vehicle built for overlanding is less than ideal for some. However, if you plan on using it as your daily driver, the investment is sound. For most, the vehicle will be taken overlanding a few times a year, and you may not feel like paying an arm and a leg for a vehicle that only leaves your garage every now and then.
Currently, the automobile market offers plenty of vehicles that with a little time, energy, and hard work, can be transformed into a great overland vehicle. If you are on the hunt for some adventure, great times, and an affordable way to take a break from society, this article is for you.
Toyota Land Cruiser (1990-1997)
Kicking off our list is the Toyota Land Cruiser. This vehicle can be a bit difficult to find on the market today for under $10,000, but not impossible. With enough luck, you might be able to snag one in good condition for your desired price range.
The overlanding community highly recommends this vehicle for a few reasons.
- The price is right for what you are getting in return.
- The Land Cruiser community is growing strong.
- Toyota Land Cruisers are almost fully customizable.
With all of that said, older Toyota models are known for their long-lasting lifespan. At Rhino, this vehicle would be on our minds when looking for something reliable and fun for some overland adventures – hence why it made number one on our list.
Toyota 4Runner (3rd and 4th generations)
This SUV has proved itself to the overland and off-road communities time and time again. Its body on frame design allows for better than most off-road performance, and like we mentioned with the above 1990-1997 Land Cruiser, Toyotas are well-known for their long lasting and reliable lifespan.
Although a bit small in terms of storage space, this vehicle comfortably seats four, and is recommended for dual purpose driving – whether it be off-road or a long road trip.
A few reasons we recommend the Toyota 4Runner
- Reliable with a long lifespan.
- Endless customizable options.
- Could also serve as your daily driver.
With that said, we highly recommend this vehicle to anyone breaking into the overlanding scene. They are easily available on the market, and you can find plenty with moderate miles for under $10,000.
Suzuki Samurai (1985-1995)
With a lift and a few modifications, the Suzuki Samurai can take you just about anywhere. Suzuki discontinued sales of this vehicle in 1995, and although it would make a great overland vehicle, you should probably avoid the highway.
Drop the top, buzz around town, and when you feel like it, go rock crawling! The Samurai can keep up plenty with other 4x4s. Just don't purchase this as a daily driver, it likely would not fare well in any type of accident.
A few reasons we recommend the Subaru Samurai
- Street value is just right ($5,000-$10,000).
- Compact rock crawling machine.
- True "town and country" vehicle.
One thing to note with this vehicle is that finding one in good condition may prove difficult. So, check your local classifieds, and if you see one of these pop up, know that you are one of the lucky ones.
Ford Bronco (1966-1996)
Ford's prized SUV. A drivable, early generation Ford Bronco is admittedly difficult to get your hands on. However, with the launch of the 2021 Ford Bronco, the demand for earlier generations may ease up a little – or so we hope.
The Bronco is special for various reasons, one of those being its narrow body and short wheelbase. This alone gave the Ford Bronco a competitive edge against other off-road vehicles such as the Jeep CJ, I.H. Scout, and later. OJ Simpson and Pope John Paul II may have helped boost the Bronco's popularity, but at heart the Bronco is popular for its own well-deserved reasons.
Why do we recommend the Ford Bronco?
- Trail Friendly
- Spacious Build
- Built to Last
So, if you are looking for a kick-ass vehicle to purchase for under $10,000, the Bronco might be your best bet. Finding them is difficult, but never impossible. Check your local classifieds and see if you can find one that still works.