Family four-wheel drives under $100k at a glance

SUVs dominate the automotive landscape in 2024, and you’re just as likely to see them at the school drop-off as you are in the great outdoors.

However, not all SUVs are equipped to tackle the challenges of off-roading. So, we’ve put together a shortlist of some of the most capable options for Australian buyers.

These cars have been selected from the four-wheel drive SUVs currently on sale in Australia for less than $100,000.

We’ve included data based on the variant with the best towing capacity and ground clearance in the range, as some options may see the figures quoted here decrease slightly.

Ford Everest

The Ford Everest is a popular choice among buyers, who purchased 15,071 examples in 2023.

Priced between $53,990 before on-road costs and $79,490 plus on-roads, the Everest is available in several different configurations.

Lower model grades come with a 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo four-cylinder diesel engine, while a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 is available further up the range.

Base models are rear-wheel drive as standard, but most variants are equipped with all-wheel drive.

Approach, departure and breakover angles are 30.2, 25 and 21.9 degrees respectively for the flagship Platinum, while those numbers jump to 30.6, 25.3 and 22.3 degrees for 4×2 model.

If you plan on tackling some river crossings, the Everest has a wading depth of 800mm.

Ford Everest
Braked towing capacity 3500kg
Unbraked towing capacity 750kg
Ground clearance 230mm

BUY: Get in touch with a dealer about a Ford Everest
MORE: Everything Ford Everest

GWM Tank 300

The GWM Tank 300 landed on Australian shores in 2023, and 1932 were sold by the end of the year.

Smaller than the Tank 500, the 300 is available from $46,990 drive-away and seats five people.

While the base car uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 162kW of power and 380Nm of torque, electric assistance is available in the form of the Tank 300 Hybrid.

Petrol variants feature a part-time four-wheel drive system, whereas the Hybrid gains full-time four-wheel drive.

GWM lists the approach and departure angles for the Tank 300 as 33 and 34 degrees, respectively.

GWM Tank 300
Braked towing capacity 2500kg
Unbraked towing capacity 750kg
Ground clearance 224mm

BUY: Get in touch with a dealer about a GWM Tank 300
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Everything GWM Tank 300

GWM Tank 500

If you want a GWM SUV and need seven seats, the new Tank 500 is the car for you.

Priced between $66,490 drive-away and $73,990 drive-away, GWM has positioned the Tank 500 as a Toyota Prado rival, testing the loyalties of Australian SUV buyers.

All variants feature a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder hybrid powertrain with total system outputs of 255kW of power and 648Nm of torque.

Approach, departure and breakover angles have been quoted at 30, 24 and 22.5 degrees, respectively.

The Tank 500 has a maximum wading depth of 800mm.

GWM Tank 500
Braked towing capacity 3000kg
Unbraked towing capacity 750kg
Ground clearance 224mm

BUY: Get in touch with a dealer about a GWM Tank 500
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Everything GWM Tank 500

Isuzu MU-X

Like the Ford Everest, the Isuzu MU-X was among the top sellers in this segment last year, tallying 14,139 sales.

Both two and four-wheel drive variants are available, the former kicking off the range at $48,900 before on-road costs.

All versions are powered by a 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel which makes 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque.

Isuzu lists the approach, departure and breakover angles as 29.2, 26.4 and 23.1 degrees, respectively.

Wading depth is capped at 800mm.

Isuzu MU-X
Braked towing capacity 3500kg
Unbraked towing capacity 750kg
Ground clearance 235mm

BUY: Get in touch with a dealer about a Isuzu MU-X
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Everything Isuzu MU-X

Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler is a well-established nameplate in this space with roots dating back to 1986.

The off-road credentials of the Wrangler vary across the range, but the flagship Rubicon boasts the best numbers of any variant with 20mm of extra ground clearance.

All variants are powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with 200kW of power and 400Nm of torque.

It’s worth noting that two-door variants lose nearly 1000kg of braked towing capacity.

Priced at the upper end of this market, the Wrangler is priced between $75,950 before on-road costs and $90,450 plus on-roads.

Rubicon examples offer 43.9-degree approach, 37.9-degree departure and 22.6-degree breakover angles.

Jeep Wrangler
Braked towing capacity 2495kg
Unbraked towing capacity 750kg
Ground clearance 255mm

BUY: Get in touch with a dealer about a Jeep Wrangler
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Everything Jeep Wrangler

LDV D90

The LDV D90 is the cheapest car here in base specification, at just $38,937 drive-away.

While petrol variants are available, diesel versions are the pick for those wanting to tow.

The D90 Diesel has a 2.0-litre bi-turbo four-cylinder engine with 158kW and 480Nm and comes standard with four-wheel drive.

Approach, departure and breakover angles are 28, 25 and 20 degrees respectively.

LDV lists a wading depth limit of 550mm.

LDV D90
Braked towing capacity 3100kg
Unbraked towing capacity 750kg
Ground clearance 210mm

BUY: Get in touch with a dealer about a LDV T60
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Everything LDV T60

Mahindra Scorpio

The Mahindra Scorpio is a mid-sized, body-on-frame, three-row SUV from India that competes in the budget off-roader space.

With a rare 2+2+2 seating layout, the Scorpio comes in two flavours – the Z8 ($41,990 before on-road costs) and Z8L ($45,990 before on-roads).

Both variants use a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine producing 129kW of power and 400Nm of torque.

When taking on uneven terrain, the Scorpio has approach, departure and breakover angle limits of 27.2, 21.3 and 23.5 degrees, respectively.

Mahindra Scorpio
Braked towing capacity 2500kg
Unbraked towing capacity 750kg
Ground clearance 227mm

BUY: Get in touch with a dealer about a Mahindra Scorpio
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Everything Mahindra Scorpio

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

The current-generation Mitsubishi Pajero Sport has been on sale for nearly a decade.

Four-wheel drive variants start at $49,490 before on-road costs, and come with a 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine producing 133kW of power and 430Nm of torque.

Other numbers that matter include approach, departure and breakover angles of 30, 24 and 23 degrees, respectively, while wading depth is 700mm.

Mitsubishi’s 10-year conditional warranty is included with every Pajero Sport purchase.

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
Braked towing capacity 3100kg
Unbraked towing capacity 750kg
Ground clearance 218mm

BUY: Get in touch with a dealer about a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
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Nissan Patrol

Like the Pajero Sport, this iteration of the Patrol has been on sale for many years, although the Patrol Warrior has been freshened up for 2024 courtesy of Australian engineering specialists Premcar.

All variants are powered by a naturally aspirated 5.6-litre V8 engine producing 298kW of power and 560Nm of torque, sent through all four wheels.

The flagship Warrior will set you back $101,160 before on-road costs, and is the best of the bunch in terms of off-road capability.

Approach and departure angles are 40 and 23.3 (28 in the Ti-L) degrees, respectively, while its 323mm of ground clearance is the most of any car here.

Nissan Patrol
Braked towing capacity 3500kg
Unbraked towing capacity 750kg
Ground clearance 323mm

BUY: Get in touch with a dealer about a Nissan Patrol
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Everything Nissan Patrol

SsangYong Rexton

SsangYong’s contender in this segment, the Rexton, is offered from $50,000 drive-away.

All three model grades use a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine producing 150kW of power and 441Nm of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a part-time four-wheel drive system.

The Rexton offer 20.5-degree approach, 20.5-degree departure and 20-degree breakover angles.

All SsangYong vehicles are backed by a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

SsangYong Rexton
Braked towing capacity 3500kg
Unbraked towing capacity 750kg
Ground clearance 203mm

BUY: Get in touch with a dealer about a SsangYong Rexton
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Everything SsangYong Rexton

Toyota Fortuner

Two Toyotas contend in this space, the first of which is the Fortuner.

Based on the HiLux ute, the Fortuner packs a 2.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine across the range, producing 150kW of power and 500Nm of torque.

Pricing ranges between $53,775 before on-road costs and $66,755 before on-roads.

Off the beaten track the Fortuner has approach, departure and breakover angles of 29, 25 and 23.5 degrees, respectively.

Maximum wading depth is quoted at 700mm.

Toyota Fortuner
Braked towing capacity 3100kg
Unbraked towing capacity 750kg
Ground clearance 216mm

BUY: Get in touch with a dealer about a Toyota Fortuner
MORE:
Everything Toyota Fortuner

Toyota LandCruiser Prado

The LandCruiser Prado brings a few more bells and whistles to the party over the Fortuner, but commands an elevated price tag.

Starting at $69,350 plus on-road costs for the GXL, the Prado range is also powered by a 2.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine with 150kW and 500Nm, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Toyota lists the approach, departure and breakover angles as 30.4, 23.5 and 21.1 degrees, respectively, while the Prado is capable of wading into 700mm deep water.

Toyota Landcruiser Prado
Braked towing capacity 3000kg
Unbraked towing capacity 750kg
Ground clearance 220mm

BUY: Get in touch with a dealer about a Toyota Prado
MORE:
Everything Toyota Prado

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