January 10, 2022 By Nicolas A. Calanoc

Budget Off-Roaders (2022 Edition)

It’s extremely easy to be intimidated with off-roading thanks to the perceived expensive cost of entry when you start looking at pricelists for a brand-new 4×4 or when you hover through Instagram and see ridiculously good-looking Overlanding builds.

When you start to dig deeper on the off-roading hobby though, you then start to realize that beyond the glamour is the grit and can-do attitude that off-roading is all about.

As you go down the rabbit hole of off-roading through YouTube, Reddit, and different forums, I realized that the most important part of off-roading isn’t even having the most capable vehicle. What mattered more was to get out there and enjoy. Because of that, I asked my good friend Joel from Overland Kings to help me come up with a list of second-hand off-roaders with different price ranges, which honestly saved me from months of research.

With all that being said, these are the choices we found on Facebook Marketplace. Keep in mind, all prices are subject to change, but this list will definitely help you in the decision-making process or at the very list give you ideas to aspire for:

As low as possible – 300,000

Nissan Terrano (WD21/GD21)

Nissan Terrano (WD21/GD21)

When shopping at this price bracket, you must be extremely careful with the condition of the car. What may possibly be as great as striking gold can easily turn into a “you get what you pay for” scenario. If possible, it would be best to bring your car friends to help you inspect and test the vehicle. With that cautionary warning, we did find some off-roaders as low as ₱150,000! Your best bet in this category would be the Nissan Terrano (WD21/GD21) and its brother the Nissan Pathfinder. They are usually sold as a gas variant, but keep your eye out on the diesel variant for more pulling power.

300,000 – 600,000

We mentioned off-roading at the start of this article, so purists might find it weird that on this price bracket, we would recommend the previous generation AWD Compact SUVs like the 2012 Subaru Forester (SJ)  and 2010 Honda CR-V AWD (RE-RE5, RE7). They won’t be able to handle serious off-roading, but a mild trail to a great camping sight can be done. You can check YouTube to see how far you can go with these kinds of vehicles. And the plus side: their on-road behavior is excellent.

 

Going back to 4X4s, we did find some gold nuggets like the 1997 Ford Expedition (UN93) 4×4 for ₱370,000, the 5th Generation early 2000s Nissan Patrol 4×4 (Y61) for ₱400,000 and the 2002 Ford F150 (PN-96) for ₱450,000 if you are looking for a pick-up. Parts for the Fords will probably come at a cost, but they shouldn’t be too hard to find, and a good mechanic will make sure your build lasts long.

 

For the upper echelon of the price bracket, we have the highly sought-after 1995 Toyota Hilux (N80, N90, N100, N110) for ₱550,000 in good condition and the 2004 Mitsubishi Pajero (V20) for ₱560,000. Parts may be easier to find, but finding someone selling them in a good condition will be the challenge. If you’re really lucky, you will be able to find a 1998 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (J90) for  ₱500,000. Parts will probably be more expensive and gas prices will make you think twice, but there is a reason why it has the Land Cruiser badge to it.

 

600,000 – 800,000

If you ask me, this is the price bracket where the balance of capability, parts availability, and relative tech skyrocket from the previous options. So, if you are relatively new to cars but want to give off-roading a reasonable shot, this is where you should be starting. The cheaper choices earlier are for more seasoned car owners that know where to find parts and where to have cars inspected and fixed.

If space isn’t much of a problem, and you are looking for a cute off-roader or looking for the perfect rock-crawler project, we found a good amount of 3rd Generation 1998 Suzuki Jimnys (JB23/JB33/JB43/JB53) for around PhP 650,000 in excellent condition. For those who do need cargo capacity, we found a great number of 2nd Generation 2013 Isuzu D-Max (RT50/85) that are 4×4 and hover around the ₱700,000 mark depending on the condition.

 

800,000 – 1,000,000

With the all-new Mid-Size SUVs launching left and right, people who are looking to upgrade are selling their previous generation vehicles at a good price. But because of the nature of the deals, it is difficult to find a good unit at this price range. If you are looking for the best deal, I do advise having the cash ready while you search because of supply and demand.

Interestingly, we found a good number of 2011 Ford Rangers (T6) in their 3.2L 4×4 configuration for ₱800,000. Their off-road tech for new drivers is excellent, but make sure you know someone who can inspect the car and fix the problems it may have. For a little bit more, you can get yourself the tried, tested, and well-loved 2008 Mitsubishi Montero Sport 4×4 (KG/KH/PB) and my personal favorite 2004 Toyota Fortuner 4×4 (AN50/AN60) ₱850,000 range if you are lucky. If you are really lucky, I did come across some 2004 Toyota Hilux (AN10/AN20/AN30) for around ₱900,000. The pricing is steep, but you have to consider that parts are easy to find, upgrading options are vast, the knowledge database is huge, and these vehicles are durable.

 

1,000,000 – 1,500,000

I am sure at this point, some of you are wondering why we are including this price bracket that is so close to getting a brand-new pick-up that is 4×4 and fully loaded. The answer is: because of the comfort level and capability you get out of these vehicles that would cost double their original SRP. What is also interesting is when you buy these big boys 2nd hand, they usually come in excellent condition without having ever touched the dirt road. So, buying these vehicles gives you maximum comfort and capability without having to feel too sorry when you bring them off-road.

To start off this list, we actually found gold finds like the 2002 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (J120) for a bit above ₱1,000,000 and its bigger brother 1998 Toyota Land Cruiser (J100) hovering at ₱1,300,000. These cars are not cheap by any stretch, but they do have the caliber and legacy that brand new cars at this price bracket can’t match.

2021 Toyota Hilux 2.4J 4x4But for those who can’t fathom getting a used car at that price, I did find a brand-new off-road capable pick-up that is worthy of your consideration if you are able to manage your expectations: the new 2022 Toyota Hilux 2.4J 4×4 M/T for ₱1,148,000. Yes, it is a totally stripped Toyota Hilux and yes it uses a smaller engine and yes, it is in a manual transmission. But it’s brand new, it is very capable off-road, and with the aftermarket scene booming for this beloved truck, you can make it look like a higher variant without breaking the bank and you can upgrade things like wheels, tires, and suspension down the road. It is a definitely a safe great start with minimum risk in spending.

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