Which used 4x4 should i get

im looking for a 4x4 that can handle a reasonable amount of 4 wheeling. i need the car to be reliable not too expensive to repair and i want to buy it used at a price below 20k. ive been looking at jeeps but am hearing that they are not great with reliability than other 4x4s. i need a care that will not be in and out of the shop every month. any suggestions?

The best bang for the buck in off road 4 wheeling IMO are short bed Toyota 4 cyl PUs. The undercarriage is made for it more than any other compact PU. Had 3 of them; use them hard and they gave good overall service. Don’t expect much of a ride until you go the x-tra/extended cab with some loss of off road performance. Used x-terra is another good bet if you need passenger room. Older 4 Runners etc.

I have a 1995 Ford Bronco with over 200k on the clock. The only major repair was a transmission rebuild around 125k mile mark. Mine has been fortified with GT-40P heads, shorty headers, stright pipe exhaust, a 4 inch Dick Cepek suspension lift, powertrax rear locker, 4.56 gears, and 33 inch Goodyear MT/R’s. It is big, but it’s short wheelbase makes it more nimble you might expect. Fuel mileage isn’t great, I get around 9 or 10 MPG no matter what kind of driving I’m doing. But if you’re after an off-road vehicle fuel mileage probably isn’t a big concern.

Up around here, guys who ranch and need to haul stuff, such as fire wood, or hay bales, drive 10 year old for and chevy and ram trucks. Guys who want something smaller and with better milage go through the mud with Toyota 4x4 trucks allright. So I’d say it depends on what you want to do with it. Check out older years of the consumer reports mag. or go on line and see what it said when the truck was new. Ask yer buddies over a cold one tommorrow night on the way home from work.

My friend’s 1996 Cherokee has almost 300K miles, but it’s nearing the end of its life. I also know someone with a Bronco that has the same amount of miles.

Grand Cherokee or Cherokee are both pretty good and relatively easy to maintain. If you don’t need a V-8, get an older one with the AMC I6.

I’d avoid the Cherokee/Grand Cherokee. Unibodies are difficulty to repair should they suffer trail damage.

To expand on FoDaddy’s good point, there will be a difference between damage sustained 4 wheeling and repair for unreliability. Strictly speaking, Wranglers will require the least repair 4 wheeling with solid axles and full frame but are trouble prone otherwise. Full frame Nissan and Toyota trucks and SUVs in general, give you the best service over all in both respects.
Nissan is one of the leading sellers (along with Toyota) world wide in off roaders. The Nissan Petrol in diesel is my dream off roader but their American counter part (X-terra) is nearly as comparable. And, it’s reasonably cheap used for what you get.