Here are the Most Affordable Off-Road Vehicles in Australia

If you’re seeking a vehicle that suits your off-road excursions without breaking the bank, here are the most budget-friendly 4×4-capable cars available in Australia.

In Australia, the popularity of four-wheel driving (often referred to as 4×4) is soaring. Many buyers are leaving conventional passenger cars behind in favor of more adventurous options, with proper off-road-ready utility vehicles and wagons gaining more traction than road-based SUVs.

While prestigious and expensive models such as the Land Rover Defender, Toyota LandCruiser, and Ineos Grenadier often steal the limelight, it’s essential not to overlook the more economical end of the off-road spectrum.

Keeping that in mind, let’s explore the most cost-effective off-road-capable 4×4 vehicles in Australia.

Nissan Navara SL: Starting at $40,050 plus on-road costs

Here are the Most Affordable Off-Road Vehicles in Australia
2023 Nissan Navara SLOff-road specs
Powertrain2.3-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel, six-speed manual
Drive systemPart-time four-wheel drive, low-range transfer case
Ground clearance224mm
Diff lock?Rear
Wading depth600mm
Approach angle32.1
Departure angle28.8
Rampover angle24.2

The Nissan Navara, in its basic single cab form, surprisingly makes it onto this list. At this price point, there’s seating for one passenger only, with the five-seater dual cab ute costing around an additional $7000.

For those looking for affordable off-roading from a reputable brand, the Navara is a solid option. It features a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine generating 140kW and 450Nm, paired with a six-speed manual transmission. An optional seven-speed automatic transmission is available for an extra $2500.

Off-roading enthusiasts will appreciate the part-time four-wheel drive system and low-range transfer case. While the leaf-sprung rear end may not be as supple as other Navara models, the locking rear differential adds to its off-road capabilities.

Mitsubishi Triton GLX Cab Chassis: Starting at $37,490 plus on-road costs

2023 Mitsubishi Triton GLXOff-road specs
Powertrain2.4-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel, six-speed manual
Drive systemPart-time four-wheel drive, low-range transfer case
Ground clearance205mm
Diff lock?None
Approach angle30.0
Departure angleDependent on tray fitted
Rampover angle25.0

The Mitsubishi Triton sneaks onto this list with a starting price of $37,490 plus on-road costs for the GLX cab chassis with a two-door configuration and a six-speed manual gearbox.

While it lacks the advanced Super Select drivetrain of pricier Triton variants, it still offers a part-time four-wheel drive system with a low-range transfer case. However, the basic specification doesn’t include a locking rear differential.

This Triton grade boasts a potent 2.4-liter engine producing 130kW and 430Nm, paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. An optional six-speed automatic transmission can be added for an extra $2250.

With a 1220kg payload capacity, the Triton excels as a workhorse. Buyers should consider the cost of a tray when budgeting.

Mahindra Pik-Up: Priced at $37,990 drive-away

2023 Mahindra Pik-UpOff-road specs
Powertrain2.2-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel, six-speed manual
Drive systemPart-time four-wheel drive, low-range transfer case
Ground clearance210mm
Diff lock?Rear (auto)
Approach angle34.0
Departure angle15.0
Rampover angle18.0

The Mahindra Pik-Up is an under-the-radar option in the four-wheel-drive ute segment. Positioned as more of an agricultural tool than a recreational off-roader, the Pik-Up offers practicality at an affordable price point: starting at $37,990 drive-away for a cab-chassis model.

The Pik-Up is reminiscent of a budget-friendly 79 Series LandCruiser, prioritizing payloads and bush suitability over creature comforts. It’s equipped with a 2.2-liter Mahindra-designed turbocharged diesel engine generating 103kW and 320Nm. The Pik-Up’s low-range transfer case and auto-locking rear differential contribute to its surprising off-road capability.

Ssangyong Musso ELX: Priced at $36,790 drive-away

2023 Ssangyong Musso ELXOff-road specs
Powertrain2.2-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel, six-speed manual
Drive systemPart-time four-wheel drive, low-range transfer case
Diff lock?Rear (auto)
Approach angle22.8
Departure angle23.4
Rampover angle23.0

The Ssangyong Musso, a Korean-made four-wheel-drive ute, might not be as popular as competitors from Ford, Toyota, and Isuzu, but it offers several appealing features.

With a starting price of $36,790 drive-away for the short-wheelbase ELX with a six-speed manual gearbox, the Musso is attractively priced. It boasts decent off-road capabilities, including an auto-locking rear differential and a low-range transfer case. The inclusion of coil springs all-around or leaf springs in the XLV long-wheelbase model enhances its off-road prowess.

The Musso comes with a 2.2-liter turbocharged diesel engine generating 130kW and 420Nm, paired with a part-time four-wheel drive system. It’s backed by Ssangyong’s impressive seven-year warranty.

Suzuki Jimny Lite: Starting at $30,490 plus on-road costs

Here are the Most Affordable Off-Road Vehicles in Australia Jimny lite
2023 Suzuki Jimny LiteOff-road specs
Powertrain1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol, five-speed manual
Drive systemPart-time four-wheel drive, low-range transfer case
Diff lock?None
Approach angle37.0
Departure angle49.0
Rampover angle28.0

Despite its compact size and retro styling, the Suzuki Jimny excels off-road. Its live axles front and rear, coil springs, and low-range transfer case contribute to its capability.

Measuring less than 3.5 meters in length and just over 1.7 meters in height, the Jimny accommodates two adults in the front and two kids in the back, with a small boot. However, its diminutive size is advantageous off-road, allowing it to outperform larger and more expensive vehicles in the right hands.

Starting at $30,490 plus on-road costs, the Jimny Lite is the most affordable off-roader in Australia. It’s equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine generating 75kW and 130Nm. An optional GLX variant offers more features and the choice of a four-speed automatic gearbox.

In conclusion, these vehicles offer budget-friendly options for those looking to explore off-road adventures in Australia.

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