We often talk about the quintessential American muscle car as if that’s all that Detroit ever made. But what about the tough and hardy American 4X4 that can last you a lifetime? Especially the ones that come from the used car lot but still have plenty of life left in them, and can be yours for cheap?
America makes its 4X4s well. Jeep is one whole brand of 4X4s, but there are others as well, like the Ford Bronco, as well as the pickup trucks from the Detroit 3, Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge. From the Ford F-150 to the Dodge Rams and Chevy Silverados, the 4X4 is as much part of the American vehicle culture, as is the muscle car. So here are 10 classic, modern classic, and modern 4X4s that can give you a bang for your buck, especially when they come used. Which one catches your fancy, and fits your wallet?
10 1995 Ford Bronco Eddie Bauer Edition
This legendary 4X4 from Ford came with a bevy of power accessories and amenities including some unique embroidery and badging all over. The Eddie Bauer Ford Bronco today has become one of those out-of-nowhere cars that are gaining a lot of interest from classic car collectors.
However, you can still find a few well-kept examples that haven’t been scooped up by a collector. There’s one selling on Hemmings for less than $20,000 and that’s a steal. Think of it as an investment for a lifetime.
9 1989 Jeep Wrangler YJ
Introduced in the late 1980s, this talented 4X4 is powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 putting out 117 horses and 135 lb-ft of torque. It may not sound impressive, but it got Jeep’s heroic 4X4 to boast about. Distinguished by its square headlights, this iconic Jeep was a massive success in the late 80s, as it embarked on its way to iconic status.
This American icon paved the way for the Wrangler’s present-day off-road dominance in the SUV bazaar. An excellent example will set you back by about $12,000.
8 2018 Ford F-150
This one is America’s bestseller that can be loaded with all the bells and whistles you can dream of in a pickup truck. The thirteenth generation F-150 came with a variety of powerful powertrains to choose from, and they’re all good for a lifetime.
However, the one equipped with a twin-turbo EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 cranking out 375 horses and 470 lb-ft of torque is the one to look for. It’s the best of the litter and offers a class-leading towing capacity of 13,200 pounds. You just need to put down about $25,000 to own it.
7 2012 Ram 2500 Power Wagon
This one is a brawny pickup truck that’s powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 gas engine pumping out 383 horses and 400 lb-ft of torque. The 2012 Power Wagon was built on the Ram 2500 platform and came with a gamut of off-road goodies including Bilstein shocks, 33-inch BFGoodrich all-terrains, and a 12,000-pound winch.
With this, you’re all good for an adventure drive on highways, trails, or even deep-forest roads. There’s one up for grabs for less than $25,000 and will make a lifetime of joy for any adventure junkie.
6 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport
For $15,000, this well-kept original iconic 4X4 Jeep is almost a steal. It’s got an AMC 4.0-liter inline-6 that cranks out 190 horses and 225 lb-ft of torque. This powerful engine is paired with an Aisin-Warner AW-4 4-speed automatic transmission which sends power through a 2-speed transfer case to all four wheels for a confident driving experience in slippery going.
Jeep offered two levels of 4WD on this Cherokee, a part-time Command-Trac and full-time Selec-Trac, but either way, it delivers exceptional off-roading results and is worth every dollar.
5 1995 Chevrolet K1500 Silverado
The Chevy 1500, 2500, and 3500 series used the C/K monikers until 1999, when Silverado and Sierra became actual model names rather than trim levels. The letter “C” denotes that the truck is a 2WD while the letter “K” signifies that the truck is armed with 4WD.
This 1995 K1500 4WD Silverado belongs to the final fourth generation of C/K lines and is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 jetting out 200 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. The gasoline engine is mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. It can be all yours for less than $10,000. That’s dirt cheap.
4 2011 Ford Ranger Sport
If you’re looking for a compact pickup that offers serious truck capability at affordable prices then the 2011 Ford Ranger is the pick of the litter. It was America’s best-selling compact pickup for a long time.
This one is an excellent buy for $20,000 as it’s got only 53,000 miles on it and is still ready to go a long way with and for you. The Ranger makes for a rugged 4X4 workhorse armed with a 4.0-liter V6 hammering out 207 horses and 238 lb-ft of torque.
3 1986 Chevrolet S-10
The demand for compact pickup trucks was growing in the early 80s and Chevrolet joined the bandwagon with the S-10 in 1982. It is smaller but has plenty of muscle to take you through all kinds of terrains.
There’s one mint condition example up for grabs on Hemmings for less than $20,000. It sports a new 6.3-liter Stroker V8 engine mated to an all-new 3-speed automatic and also boasts new wheels, tires, exhaust, and a deep blue paint to blow your mind.
2 1966 Jeep Gladiator
Pickup trucks have been a part of the Jeep’s fleet since 1947, intermittently. Known as Jeep’s longest-running pickup, the Jeep Gladiator, or the J-series after 1971, was born in 1963 and remained in production for more than 26 years until 1988. These Jeep Gladiators from the 1960s are remembered for their unique, versatile, powerful, and virtually indestructible build quality.
In the spring of 2019, taking a cue from the rapidly growing truck market, Jeep revived this nameplate with a considerable amount of success. However, the classic old Jeep is a very capable 4X4 machine that’ll last you a lifetime. There’s one for just about $25,000 for you to grab.
1 1975 International Scout II
International Harvester’s core business was tractors and agricultural equipment when they decided to take a plunge into the developing SUV bazaar in the early 60s. In 1961, they debuted the Scout 80, a capable off-road vehicle that could lock horns with the Jeeps of that era with some success. A decade later, the Scout II debuted with various engine configurations but the top-of-the-line 6.5-liter V8 is a gem.
To this day these Scouts are extremely desirable and pricey, but this one selling for only $33,900 on Hemmings is a good deal.
Sources: Hemmings, CarGurus, TrueCar, Autolist, CarsForSale
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