RAC Cars News


Classic Off-Roading On The Cheap

By raccars Published

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Modern technology has produced some stunning automotive innovations, making driving not only much safer but also easier and less labour intensive. However, it could also be argued that advanced comfort and convenience features have taken a lot of the fun out of the process. Even big, brutal off roaders now allow you to press a button to help dig yourself out of a hole.

Fortunately, you can still enjoy some of that authentic off road feel and, as a bonus, save money! Invest in a classic off roader for some cheap thrills.

Subaru BRAT

The BRAT (or Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter) may not be the easiest used car to find but it's worth putting in a bit of effort to track one down. It's full of retro cool and features some great mechanicals that made it very popular on the agricultural scene. You should be able to pick up a good example for less than £5,000, but beware of rust.

Suzuki SJ

The SJ Series is a predecessor to the modern Jimny and actually has a lot of substance to go with its Eighties style. They may have been used for posing back in the days of mullet haircuts and pastel blazers with the sleeves rolled up, but are surprisingly nimble off road. You can buy a decent model today and still get change from £5,000.

Toyota Landcruiser

Older Landcruisers from the 40 Series era are far from cheap these days, but if you go for a slightly later 60 Series, you'll get all the tough 4x4 performance, space and comfort of both older and modern versions, for less than £5,000. It also makes a nice change from the obvious candidates, such as Range Rovers.

Land Rover 90

The go to off roading choice for mud plugging Brits is as dependable as it is basic. You won't get any convenience features with this but will be able to go absolutely anywhere, even in the worst weather conditions. You'll find something mechanically sound for £5,000, as long as you aren't too worried about a few dents and scratches. The V8s are great fun but diesels are probably a more sensible choice.

Jeep Cherokee

Over supply means prices are low for the XJ series Cherokee, which has the potential to become a genuine classic in the future. Good condition 4.0 litre petrol versions are going for peanuts, thanks to high running costs, but by contrast, repairs are surprisingly easy and cheap to effect. They're great off road and relatively luxurious inside compared to the other models on this list.

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