The SUV is responsible for changing the way that we adventure and get to our destinations in a way that we were not able to achieve before. Prior to the modern SUV making its way onto the roads, there were only a few options and they were rough riding and not very practical for a family or the modern car shopper who also needed to commute to work and back. The premise of the SUV all changed when the original Jeep Cherokee was released, which offered an easy to drive and the practical family vehicle that could also be taken off-road to just about any trail that you could think of.
Nevertheless, there are quite a few old school rigs that are plenty capable of going just about anywhere that you can think of off-road. The Isuzu Trooper is one such vehicle that comes to mind, as it is known for being a capable off-road vehicle that was sold for many years without issue. This modern-day all-terrain vehicle was a capable choice for most families, while still offering the practical features that you would come to expect in an off-road sports utility vehicle that was in this price range. This is just one of the many capable old-school rigs that can be taken just about anywhere, and be purchased for next to nothing.
In this list, we are going to be taking a look at these one of a kind and practical modern off-road rigs.
20 Jeep Wrangler
Probably one of the most well-known vehicles on the road, and widely regarded as one of the most capable sport utility vehicles around. The Jeep Wrangler is a topless model that is based on the legendary CJ, and the model can be quite easy to both modify and work on.
The Jeep Wrangler is a one of a kind model that manages to be capable in all kinds of terrain, making for a winning vehicle that can be both fun to take on the beach and up into the mountains which is what has made the SUV capable and fun.
19 Plymouth Trailduster
Yes, there was a time when the Plymouth brand offered a full-size sports utility vehicle that managed to tackle just about anything that you could throw at it. The Plymouth Trailduster is powered by a strong V8 engine and offered with a removable top, which made the vehicle quite comparable to the Ford Bronco in every aspect.
The Plymouth Trailduster was also quite rare as opposed to the Dodge Ramcharger, and thus if you can find one in good order you are in for a one of a kind vehicle.
18 Isuzu Trooper
One of the most capable off-road vehicles that have ever been sold is the Isuzu Trooper, and this is because of the signature Isuzu engineering which has made their vehicles quite capable when it comes to going off-road.
The Isuzu Trooper was available in a two-door and a four-door model at the time, which made for the one of a kind sports utility experience. The Isuzu Trooper also offered a large interior and was also sold as the Acura SLX as well. The model managed to run until the 2004 model year.
17 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
Perhaps one of the most iconic large SUVs on the market, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer was the pioneer of the large and luxurious SUV that could go anywhere. Notable for its signature wood paneling, the Grand Wagoneer stood out from the crowd in many aspects.
It is interesting to note that the Grand Wagoneer also featured a very capable engine and this SUV is still one of the most capable off-roading rigs around to this day. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer has recently experienced a resurgence in the used car market as well.
16 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Replacing the Grand Wagoneer wasn’t an easy task, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee did it well. The Jeep Grand Cherokee was known for being a one of a kind luxury SUV that combined a big and powerful V8 engine into a more lightweight design. This made the Jeep Grand Cherokee one of the hottest selling mid-size utes of the nineties.
Although the model had some issues early on with reliability, the later Jeep Grand Cherokee models were known as a stellar choice for a family SUV that was also trail friendly.
15 Jeep Cherokee
The Jeep Cherokee is another bulletproof little SUV that was released during the eighties and lived on for two decades, it is an innovator in terms of design and features.
This lightweight little UTE provided a capable off-roading experience, while also incorporating many of the on-road driving manners that we want when it comes to an off-road vehicle. The Jeep Cherokee is one of the best and most affordable SUV models that you can buy, and the SUV is definitely worth checking out.
14 Toyota 4Runner
Perhaps one of the most reliable and legendary off-road rigs that there is, and it is known for being a capable off-road performer that you can do just about anything to. Especially in the SR5 trim level, the Toyota 4Runner will go anywhere and do just about anything that you expect it too. This makes for a one of a kind off-road product that you would never expect.
Not to mention the fact that the Toyota 4Runner is still produced to this day, the one of a kind vehicle is a long-running nameplate.
13 Nissan Pathfinder
The Nissan Pathfinder is another capable off-road sports utility vehicle that was released during a time when the Nissan brand was trying to regain a footing. The Nissan Pathfinder offered one of the most capable engines in the industry.
Not to mention being based on the legendary Nissan Hardbody truck which is known for being a capable vehicle that is also built quite durable and easy to work on. This makes it a stellar off-road rig that was designed for just about anything.
12 Dodge Ramcharger
The Dodge Ramcharger was the corporate version of the Plymouth Trailduster, and this made for an excellent choice for an off-road SUV that you can take off of the beaten path.
The Dodge Ramcharger was produced all the way until the nineties, and this has made the Dodge Ramcharger a stellar alternative to the more popular Ford Bronco model. This has made a good deal of consumers happy with the exceptional off-road rig. The Dodge Ramcharger was one of a kind vehicle, to say the least, and this makes for a collectible model.
11 Suzuki Sidekick
Released after the Samurai, the Suzuki Sidekick was the small-time sports utility vehicle that was designed far before the RAV4 and the CRV. The Suzuki Sidekick had a lot of interesting features and the gas efficient engine, and the one of a kind vehicle was easy to work on. It is one of the most reliable small sport utility vehicles on the road.
It is also interesting to note that the Suzuki Sidekick was one of the last true body on frame SUVs, offering a much more capable off-road suspension than many vehicles even today.
10 Suzuki Samurai
The Suzuki Samurai is one of the most well known compact sport utility vehicles that has ever been on the market and the brand to this day is well known and one of a kind with the off-road community.
The Suzuki Samurai has made a recent resurgence over the past few years, and this has made the one of a kind off-road vehicle a collector's item. The Suzuki Samurai is a barebones sports utility, and the vehicle is very easy to work on and take off the beaten path.
9 Suzuki X-90
Another one of the most memorable sport utility flops was the Suzuki X-90, which was something so unique that there has not been something similar to it to this day. When it comes to the Suzuki X-90 it was something that was quite unique, offing a true two-seat design and a Targa top which had never been seen on a sports utility vehicle up to this point which made the X-90 something that was quite unique, to say the least.
The Suzuki X-90 also offering a gas efficient engine and some wild colors, but the little UTE was actually quite capable off-road.
8 Suzuki Vitara
The evolution of the Geo Tracker and the Suzuki Sidekick was the next generation Suzuki Vitara, a new SUV that was designed to be more unique as well as more stylish and appealing to a younger crowd. The Suzuki Vitara was actually quite capable off-road, which made the small truck-based UTE a better alternative to many truck-based sport utility vehicles as well.
Offering a true off-road capable vehicle is never an easy task, but when it comes to the Suzuki Vitara you can’t go wrong.
7 Geo Tracker
Introduced as part of the brand new GEO brand, which was meant to bring import car buyers onto GM dealer lots. The Geo Tracker is a one of a kind sports utility vehicle that was designed from scratch and shared its platform with the Suzuki Sidekick and the Pontiac Sunrunner, which made for the one of a kind vehicle.
The Geo Tracker also featured an optional V6 engine, which gave the SUV some extra power which helped when it came to driving on a rough road or any type of off-road terrain.
6 Chevrolet Tracker
Introduced after the GEO brand was discontinued, the Chevrolet Tracker was re-introduced in a newly redesigned vehicle that offered a more modern interior and exterior coupled with a plethora of new features.
The Chevrolet Tracker also offered the same capable body on frame design of the previous outgoing model, which made the little sports utility vehicle one of the most capable off-road vehicles that money could buy for the price. The small design makes the little SUV extremely easy to manage.
5 Isuzu Amigo
Introduced in response to the topless Jeep Wrangler and the Tracker, the Isuzu Amigo was a one of a kind topless SUV that can make for a winning time. The Isuzu Amigo was basically a two-door Rodeo model, and this made the Isuzu Amigo something that was both unique and still a very capable sport utility vehicles.
The Isuzu Amigo featured an option V6 engine, which gave the sports utility vehicle a nice amount of power, and this made for a great off-road vehicle that you can take just about anywhere.
4 Isuzu Rodeo Sport
Introduced as the second generation of the Isuzu Amigo, the redesigned Isuzu Rodeo Sport was a much more modern incarnation of the two-door topless sports utility vehicle. With a plethora of interesting exterior colors and the addition of an optional hardtop, the Isuzu Rodeo Sport was a two-door SUV that also offered a good amount of interior space that wasn’t usually seen on the smaller sport utility vehicles.
The Isuzu Rodeo Sport was one of the longest-running Isuzu sport utility vehicles on the road.
3 Isuzu Rodeo
Introduced as the alternative to the other midsize sport utility vehicles that were on the market, the Isuzu Rodeo was a one of a kind midsize sports utility vehicle that is still driving around to this day.
The Isuzu Rodeo offered a good combination of interior luxury features and a stylish exterior that even manages to resemble the Nissan Pathfinder in many aspects. The Isuzu Rodeo is also a capable off-road vehicle that offered the serious Isuzu capability which Isuzu was known for in many aspects.
2 Isuzu VehiCROSS
One of the rarest sport utility vehicles to hit the road, Isuzu released the VehiCROSS as more or less of a concept car than an actual production model. The Isuzu VehiCROSS was very rare and the vehicle is actually based on the Trooper, which gives it a stellar amount of off-road capability which had not been seen on a sports utility vehicle of this model.
The Isuzu VehiCROSS also came in quite a few unique models, which made the one of a kind vehicle a stellar off-road experience.
1 Honda Passport
The first mass-produced sports utility vehicle by Honda was actually an Isuzu model, and it managed to sell very well. Although you don’t get the one of a kind Honda reliability that you would expect from a one of a kind Honda product.
However, the Isuzu Rodeo based Passport was a one of a kind vehicle that offered a good amount of off-road capability as well as the interior volume that made the one SUV a great choice for anyone who wanted a good deal of value for the price.
Sources: Motor Trend