Jeep gained great popularity during World War II when US forces and allies used their cars. At first, their models were mostly utility and functional, but now, Jeep makes luxury vehicles. The manufacturer is known for making sturdy and reliable SUVs. Throughout the years, Jeep has maintained the same design for all their models while also modernizing their systems. They also have some of the best 4x4s like the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the Jeep Renegade.

Usually, 4x4s are favored by off-roaders because they have good traction and can perform well on difficult terrains because of their weight. However, Jeep models can be quite expensive. Thankfully, Japanese manufacturers are no strangers to making competent 4x4s. In fact, JDM pickups and SUVs are some of the toughest in the world. We'd be focusing on some cheaper and more reliable Japanese models that we prefer over a Jeep any day.

RELATED: 5 Most Competent 4x4s New For 2021 (5 That Are Totally Useless)

8 2018 Toyota Hilux ($18,400)

2018 Toyota Hilux

The 2018 Toyota Hilux is a dual cab utility vehicle with a bed at its rear. Running on a 2.8-liter diesel engine, the 2018 Hilux produces 174.3 horsepower and 131.9 lb-ft of torque. On the outside, the Hilux looks good, and the interior is well-furnished. The floor is covered with carpet, and there's a multi-function control screen on the dashboard.


With its 80-liter fuel tank, the 2018 Toyota Hilux can complete 600 miles of travel on a full tank. When placed in brake, the vehicle can tow 7,054.8 lbs, but when unbraked, it's capable of towing a maximum of 1,653.5 lbs. There are many standard features on the Hilux, including trailer control, power steering, hill descent, and hill holder. You can get a 2018 Hilux for $18,400.

7 2017 Nissan Armada

2017 Nissan Armada

Though the Nissan Armada is one of the manufacturer's popular models, it isn't sold in the US. The Nissan Armada's second-generation model was unveiled at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show with a refreshed design. For the interior, Nissan fitted the 2017 Armada with eight comfortable seats, a 13 Bose audio system, and an 8" touchscreen infotainment display system.

2017 Nissan Armada Front

Higher trims of the Nissan Armada come with heated and ventilated seats. Under the Armada's hood, there's a 5.7-liter V8 from Mercedes-Benz with 395 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. The 2017 Nissan Armada is selling for $28,998.

RELATED: 10 Coolest 4x4s You Can Buy For The Price Of The New Ford Maverick

6 1994 Toyota 4Runner ($8,995)

1994 Toyota 4Runner
Via BringaTrailer

Originally a compact SUV, the Toyota 4Runner has evolved into a mid-size SUV. Toyota has been making the SUV since 1983, and the number "4" in the SUV's name emphasizes that it's a four-seater. However, the vehicle was known as the Toyota Hilux Surf in Japan from 1983 to 2009. The 1994 4Runner is quite simple with a smaller grille than the newer 4Runner models.

1994 Toyota 4Runner
Via BringaTrailer

For this particular model, Toyota used a 2.4-liter engine with 116 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque. What the 1994 4Runner lacks in power, it redeems with excellent driving quality both on and off-road. Apart from its excellent drive quality, the 1994 4Runner is also reliable, and it's a bargain at $8,995.

5 2019 Honda Passport

2019 Honda Passport
toyyoda8 via Flickr

In the 90s, Honda and fellow Japanese manufacturer Isuzu entered a partnership. These carmakers agreed to a vehicle transfer program which was not uncommon. They exchanged two vehicles, and Honda got the Isuzu Rodeo and the Isuzu Oasis. Honda rebadged these cars and marketed the Isuzu Rodeo as the Honda Passport.

2019 Honda Passport
toyyoda 8 via Flickr

On the other hand, the Isuzu Oasis became the Acura SLX. After a long hiatus from 2002, Honda resumed production in 2018, and in 2019, there was a redesigned Honda Passport. The 2019 Honda Passport Trailsport is available for $30,977.

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4 2019 Suzuki S-Cross

Dennis Elzinga

The 2019 Suzuki S-Cross has five gasoline engines and two diesel engines. Some of these engines are all-wheel-drive, while others have four-wheel-drive systems. Unlike the Suzuki Jimmy, the Suzuki S-Cross has enough space to fit five adults. The vehicle is a family-friendly crossover, but it has stellar off-roading capabilities.


Like other recent Suzuki off-roaders, the 2019 S-Cross is equipped with the AllGrip system. The AllGrip 4x4 system has four drive modes; Auto, Sport, Snow, and Lock. When the Lock mode is activated, the torque is evenly distributed throughout the SUV's four wheels to help handle rough terrains. Priced at $20,641, a used 2019 Suzuki S-Cross is a great investment.

3 2019 Toyota Tacoma ($19,991)

2019 Toyota Tacoma
Via ToyotaUSANewsroom

The Toyota Tacoma looks just as rugged as a Jeep. It doesn't just end with looks as this Japanese 4x4 can also keep up with a Jeep. Using a 3.5-liter V6, the 2019 Toyota Tacoma delivers 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. For the 2019 model, Toyota made many features standard, and you can get a privacy glass on the base model.


Also, the pickup truck can tow a maximum of 6,400 lbs. Like most Japanese cars, the Toyota Tacoma is both reliable and affordable. The Tacoma pickup truck has eight trim levels, and the highest trim only costs a little above $40,000. However, buying a used model at $19,991 is not a bad idea.

RELATED: Here's How Much A 2019 Toyota Tacoma Costs Today

2 2017 Nissan Pathfinder ($16,999)

2017 Nissan Pathfinder
Via Nissan

Nissan's Pathfinder is a large seven-seater SUV, but with the cleverly designed 2017 model, it doesn't look too big. After a facelift in 2014, Nissan decided to give the Pathfinder a refresh in the 2017 model year.

Via Nissan

Apart from updating the SUV's design, the manufacturer added direct injection and variable timing to the power train. These additions bumped the power in the Pathfinder's 3.5-liter engine from 260 horsepower to 284 horsepower. The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder has composed handling with a quiet cabin. A used 2017 Pathfinder at $16,999 is quite a steal.

1 2020 Suzuki Jimmy

2019 Suzuki Jimny

Suzuki's Jimny has enjoyed quite a lot of fame since the '90s, and rightfully so. After its initial release in 1970, the small boxy 4x4 is still the most exciting mini-SUV. Though the 2019 Suzuki Jimny doesn't have much power, it can tackle difficult terrains. To achieve this, Suzuki built the Jimny with a ladder-frame chassis and their AllGrip pro-4WD system.


Apart from its off-roading capabilities, the Suzuki Jimny has other features for the driver's convenience. These features include USB ports, cruise control, auto headlights, reversing camera, and a 7" infotainment touchscreen. The 2019 Suzuki Jimny is now selling for $21,710.

2002 Toyota Tacoma
10 Best Used Japanese 4x4s You Can Now Buy For Peanuts
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