I'm a corporate stiff with a $4,000 budget. What rig should I buy?

So I got promoted and have a bit of extra money to spend. My new position provides a company car, so gone is the 4x4 DD. I just need a hoopdie for weekend and extended trips. I’ve already hid an extra $1,000 for tires in my dream journal, so take that expense out of the equation.

This is where I need your help! I’ve been all over the board, and now I’m in a round robin of really ridiculous rig rationalization. I’m typically a Toyota 4Runner guy, but I want something more interesting this time.


So I like Isuzu Troopers, but they’re IFS. So get a Land Rover Disco 1, but they’re too unreliable and rollover a lot. So get a FZJ80, but it’s too big. So get an XJ or WJ, but they’re too small. So get an Isuzu Trooper, but...

I’m paralyzed in thought. Expanding my list to pickups didn’t help. Maybe you can.

Illustration for article titled Im a corporate stiff with a $4,000 budget. What rig should I buy?


Budget: $4,000 purchase price + initial upgrades/repairs

Purpose: Off road trips, transporting bulky items

Location: Orange County, CA and Western USA

Miles per year: 3-6k

Needs: To fit 31-33" tires (265/75R16 - 285/75R16); comfort level must be 3 out of 5 or higher, (otherwise wife won’t come with); to accommodate a RTT; to keep up with my brother’s unlocked LZJ80; decent cargo space; an airbag would be nice.


Doesn’t want: Something uninteresting or with no aftermarket, something too big and heavy, carburetion.

Doesn’t care about: Brand community, gas mileage, country of origin unless it’s Korea.

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