Powered by
Subscribe to the only car newsletter you’ll ever need

Australia’s cheapest four-wheel drives: what 4×4 should I buy if I want to go off-road?


Australians love going four-wheel driving: here is our list of the best new off-roaders for the least amount of money 

Australians have a great love for off-roading. More and more local buyers are purchasing four-wheel-drive SUVs and utes, not just for the weekly grind but also to take up to the beaches, forestry trails and off-road camp sites scattered across the country.

But for those wanting to enter the off-road market, it can often be a daunting task to find a four-wheel-drive vehicle that is capable, practical and won’t break their budget. 

While purchasing a four-wheel drive second-hand can be a good idea, prospective buyers won’t necessarily know the extent of how a used example has been driven, and in some cases older vehicles mightn’t come with a factory-backed warranty. 

2023 Mahindra Scorpio off-roading
The 2023 Mahindra Scorpio off-roading at the launch

Here are Chasing Cars’ picks for the best bang-for-your-buck, brand-new four-wheel drives on sale in Australia. 

We’ve broken the sections down into 4×4 SUVs and utes, and have listed them in order of cheapest to most expensive. 

Please note that our list only includes those SUVs that sit below $50,000 and utes that sit below $40,000 before on-road costs. 

Ford Ranger Sport 2022 rear offroading climb
The Ford Ranger Sport tackling a steep ascent

All prices listed are before on-road costs, unless otherwise stated 

4×4 SUVs from under $50,000

Suzuki Jimny Lite, from $30,490

Suzuki Jimny Lite 2021 feature front
The Suzuki Jimny Lite is the cheapest Jimny

The Suzuki Jimny has become a beloved and iconic four-wheel drive in Australia. It’s also the most affordable SUV in this list. Don’t let its small outputs (75kW/130Nm) fool you, the Suzuki Jimny is a very capable car off the beaten track. It’s obviously cheapest in five-speed manual guise – autos are available at a $1500 upcharge – but this micro-sized off-roader is a real gem to drive, on and off road.  

Why we pick it: Fun to drive nature and punches well above its weight off-road

Mahindra Scorpio, from $41,990 driveaway

Mahindra Scorpio 2023 puddle
The new-to-Australia Mahindra Scorpio

Mahindra has just launched its Scorpio SUV in Australia and it promises to offer off-road ability and general livability for a fraction of the cost of some other midsize 4×4 SUVs. Standard kit includes a part-time ‘intelligent’ four-wheel drive system, an 8.0-inch centre touchscreen, LED headlights and tail lights and 18-inch alloy wheels. 

Why we pick it: capable all-terrain vehicle, smooth auto and quiet diesel engine, 

LDV D90, from $43,691

LDV D90 SUV front 3/4 static sun in background
The LDV D90 is one of the cheapest large SUVs on the market

Is this the cheapest large off-road SUV in Australia? It may not have the overall badge appeal like Toyota and Ford, but the LDV D90 is a strong contender for the money. The D90 is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder engine that produces 160kW/350Nm. It’s also backed by a five-year, 150,000km warranty. 

Why we pick it: Powerful engine and solid factory warranty 

Ssangyong Rexton, from $46,300 

2022 Ssangyong Rexton Black edition front 3/4
The Ssangyong Rexton black edition

Another strong contender is the Ssangyong Rexton that uses a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine to produce total outputs of 148kW/441Nm. It also features an eight-speed automatic transmission, is capable of towing 3500kg and has a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. 

Why we pick it: Seven seats, long warranty, part-time four-wheel-drive system

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, from $49,940 

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport rear 3/4 driving shot
The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport uses a 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine

Based on the same platform as the Triton ute, the Pajero Sport uses Mitsubishi’s tried-and-tested 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that produces 133kW/430Nm and sends those outputs to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. A huge 10-year, 200,000km warranty comes with every Mitsubishi vehicle. 

Why we pick it: Class-leading warranty, off-road prowess 

It’s a stretch, and a bit over budget, but we would also consider:

GWM Tank 300 Lux, from $55,990 driveaway 

GWM Tank 300 2023 front 3/4 road
The new GWM Tank 300

Although deliveries are yet to begin down under, the GWM Tank 300 is set to be a cut-priced off-roading alternative to the Jeep Wrangler, and looks a lot like a mix between a Suzuki Jimny and a Jeep Renegade.

It’s powered by a hybrid 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 180kW/380Nm. It’ll also be backed by GWM’s seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty and will feature standard features such as 17-inch alloy wheels, a 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen and a 360-degree camera.

Why we pick it: a capable and rugged-looking off-roader for much less money than a Jeep Wrangler. 

4×4 Utes from under $40,000

It should be noted that some of these 4×4 utes are cab-chassis models – meaning they might need an alloy tray fitted at an extra expense. Prices listed are for a manual transmission option. 

Mahindra PikUp, from $30,990 (auto option is $37,990)

2020 Mahindra Black Edition mHAWK PikUp
The Mahindra Pikup Black Edition

Mahinda offers the cheapest four-wheel drive ute on the Australian market, the PikUp. It might be basic inside and only have the essential features like air conditioning, cloth seats and a 7.0-inch touchscreen, but the reality is the Mahindra PikUp can go to a lot of the same places as a much more expensive ute. It’s powered by a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine with 103kW/320Nm.

Why we pick it: it’s the cheapest way to get into the 4×4 ute market and is surprisingly capable for the money 

Ssangyong Musso ELX ute, from $35,000 (auto option is $36,600)

2021 Ssangyong Musso front 3/4 static
The Ssangyong Musso dual-cab ute

Say hello to the Ssangyong Musso ute. It’s the best way for newcomers to the four-wheel drive community to get off-road experience and for not too much money, either. 

Standard features include a part-time 4×4 system, an auto-locking differential, 18-inch alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. 

The Musso is powered by a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that produces 133kW/400Nm. It’s available in manual or automatic guise. 

Why we pick it: It’s a great value ute, comes with plenty of standard features, long seven-year warranty 

Mitsubishi Triton GLX 4×4 MR manual, from $37,490 (auto option is $39,740)

Mitsubishi Triton GSR 2022 -1
Mitsubishi’s Triton is one of Australia’s most popular utes

The Mitsubishi Triton is up there with the best of Toyota and Ford in the battle of the utes here in Australia. However, Tritons can be picked up for a relatively low cost of entry if you don’t mind having a lower-grade ute. 

Standard specifications include a 133kW/430Nm 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine, a 3.1-tonne towing capacity, Mitsubishi’s super select four-wheel-drive system and a 10-year factory warranty. 

Why we pick it: a reliable ute for every day work or play  

LDV T60 Max Pro 4×4 dual-cab utility, from $38,990 (auto option is $40,990)

2022 LDV T60 Max Luxe ute front 3/4 Sydney in background
The LDV T60 Max

LDV’s T60 ute offers the most power and torque for the money – 160kW/500Nm. It truly is bang-for your-buck motoring thanks to a 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel powertrain. It uses a part-time four-wheel-drive system.

A seven-year, 200,000-kilometre warranty is standard. 

Why we pick it: Most powerful ute for the money, long warranty, plenty of standard kit

GWM Cannon 4×4 pick-up, from $38,990 driveaway

GWM Cannon CC ute rear 3/4 shot
GWM offers dual-cab utes for those on a budget

GWM offers a dual-cab pick-up truck for under $40,000 with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and a torquey 2.0-litre diesel engine with outputs of 120kW/400Nm. 

Why we pick it: hard to beat feature value, surprisingly reliable and capable

Nissan Navara SL 4×4 cab chassis, from $39,300

2021 Nissan Navara SL super cab rear 3/4 driving shot
The current Nissan Navara SL

The Navara SL 4×4 cab-chassis ute is a worthy mention in this field. Available as standard with a twin-turbo diesel four-cylinder engine that produces 140kW/450Nm, the Navara is one of the most torque-rich off-road vehicles in this list.

The Navara SL comes with a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty, has a rear differential lock and can tow up to 3500kg. 

Why we pick it: torquey twin-turbo diesel engine, five year warranty.

Toyota Hilux Workmate cab chassis 4×4, from $40,115 

2023 Toyota Hilux 4x4 dual cab workmate with alloy tray
The Toyota Hilux 4×4 dual cab Workmate

The Hilux name is as iconic as they come. While only the Workmate around (and a smidge over) our $40K price limit, fun can still be had with the 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that makes 110kW/400Nm, however these are down when compared to some other off-road capable utes in this list. 
Why we pick it: Proven Hilux reliability, solid standard kit and safety tech

Chasing more Scorpio?

About Chasing cars

Chasing Cars reviews are 100% independent.

Because we are powered by Budget Direct Insurance, we don’t receive advertising or sales revenue from car manufacturers.

We’re truly independent – giving you Australia’s best car reviews.