Do you find yourself often getting attracted by overlanding adventure videos and images with cool overland vehicles in them on social media? I know the feeling. Off-road adventure is getting attention these days, and an overlander is definitely a necessity for such a terrific journey.


But here’s the thing: you want to give this exciting activity a try while are afraid of the intimidating price of the cool off-land vehicles.


Well, most people think the best overland vehicles must be expensive. However, a cheap and reliable off-road vehicle is your true friend.


The Charm in Off-roading

You may wander what’s the charm of off-roading, and why it becoming fashionable. Well, keep reading.


Escape from Reality for a While

An offroad adventure can help you escape from reality for a while. If you are an office worker leading a life going to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 5 days a week, you might be impatient to escape such hustle and bustle of city life on holidays. And when off-roading, you can enjoy the free but amazing landscape presented by forests, deserts, and mountains. Sounds really appealing, right?


The REAL Adventure

Many people like to follow the safe and smooth route when embarking on a road journey. It’s understandable because that brings comfort to them. But in that way, it cannot be called a REAL adventure. When off-roading, as the driver, you have to conquer tricky terrains and obstacles like steep inclines, deep ruts and large rocks. Also, your ride will be bumpy, muddy and murky. This is a true adventure, right? Because you cannot experience the thrill during regular riding.


Must-Have Feature of Overland Vehicles

Ready to set out off-roading? Keep reading.

Before finding the best overland vehicles, we’ll tell you the key features of a great overland vehicle, so you’ll not get lost in the face of numerous choices.

Let’s dive in:

  • 20 mpg fuel consumption

First thing first, you need to look for the mileage or fuel consumption of an overland vehicle.

Why? Because you don’t want to spend too much on fuel and external tanks. So we recommend a fuel efficiency of 20 miles per gallon (U.S.) or better, equivalent to approximately 11.5 liters per hundred kilometers. And if you aim for a long trip, carrying excessive fuel can reduce the available space for other necessities like essential gear, food and clothing.

  • Left-hand drive

The second important feature when selecting an overland is that it should have the steering wheel on the left-hand side, known as left-hand drive (LHD). This is because in some countries, driving a RHD vehicle is not allowed. If you don’t want to get yourself in trouble, set a preference for a left-hand driving overlander.

  • Equipped with good cooking, eating, and sleeping options

The overlander of yours should be practical because it is almost your “home” where you spend days on your off-road adventure. That’s why you should note whether the overland you want to buy is equipped with practical options. We humans need to cook, eat, and sleep every day, so it is important you’re comfortable and feel safe on the road.  Also, you might come across bad weather on the expedition, so maybe you can consider an overland vehicle with a pop-roof. So, now we understand that more options will enhance your journey experience to another level. You can also look for roof top tents, awnings, and annex rooms here.


5 Best Budget Overland Vehicles for Off-Road Adventures


Now let’s talk about the best overland vehicle for your off-road adventure. You do not need to break your bank to buy an ideal overlander. Why? As long as the overland vehicle is affordable, efficient, and brings you comfort, you can enjoy off-road trips and adventures on a budget. Check out the best as well as budget overland vehicles here:

1. Toyota 4Runner

Toyota 4Runner

The Toyota 4Runnner is rugged and reliable. And there is no other fancy electronics, just raw off-roading prowess. It was produced in 1984 at first and there were several changes that lasted up to 2009. If you want to buy a new overland vehicle, it will be your best budget off-road overlander. Toyota 4Runners will spend between $4000 and $16,000, and its 90s models are under $5,000.

2. Porsche Cayennes

Porsche Cayennes overlanding

Porsche Cayennes are really being underrated these days. While you cannot buy a new one for under $15,000, consider the Porsche Cayenne from about 2002 to 2012 for a low-budget option. And the Cayenne first gen has a few different configurations, so you can either get the Cayenne S, the Cayenne GTS with the larger engine, the turbo, the Turbo S, and there even was a Cayenne diesel. And if you are looking for a cheaper model, I recommend t the Cayenne S.

3. Ford Ranger

Ford Ranger overlanding

The Ford Ranger is also a budget-friendly pickup. And it has a long history and was recently reintroduced in 2019. You can look for the third-gen and older models, which will cost you under $15,000 but still offer great value. We recommend the third-gen Ranger (1998-2012), because it is am affordable overland vehicle and also has versatility. You can also go for the older ones, even as far back as the 80s if you can find them in good shape.

4. Suzuki Samurai

Suzuki Samurai overlanding

The Suzuki Samurai can evoke a sense of adventure and thrills for you guys, budget-conscious off-road enthusiasts. Its compact build, agile maneuverability, and unwavering toughness stir feelings of excitement and resilience. Priced at just $3,000 to $5,000, it tugs at the heartstrings of those seeking both affordability and a passion for off-road exploration. This rugged gem undoubtedly captures the essence of unforgettable adventures on a budget.

5. Jeep Cherokee XJ

Jeep Cherokee XJ overlanding

Why choose the Jeep Cherokee XJ as your off-road vehicle? Well, it’s a must-have on any list of affordable off-road vehicles. The Jeep Cherokee XJ is one of Jeep’s finest creations. It was in production from 1984 to 2001, so there’s a wide selection to choose from. And powered by a reliable 4.0-liter inline-six, it may not be indestructible, but it's incredibly dependable.While it may not be the absolute cheapest option, it’s a compact, tough SUV that thrives in any terrain. And the point is, you can snag a good one for around $8k.

Ready to embark on overland adventures? Check out 21 Best Overlanding Shows and Events in 2023.

Michael Chong