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CARFAX Finds: One-Owner Winter Warriors

If you’re in the Northeast right now, you’re probably thinking about something with four-wheel drive. Or a plow. Even if it can’t take you to work or the kids to school, it may get you to the airport to get out of the snow.

This is a look at clean examples of SUVs that aren’t crossovers, but rugged examples of the breed that could seemingly take anything winter wants to throw at them. And amazingly, all three are one-owner vehicles according to their CARFAX Vehicle History Reports. Soda stains and paw prints on the upholstery, well, that’s not mentioned. But these are utilitarian vehicles, after all.

Credit the 1984 Jeep Cherokee for jump-starting the SUV trend that exists even today. And really, the XJ-series Cherokee was all the SUV anyone ever needed. Ask a Jeep fan, and they’ll say that the 4.0-liter straight-six was all the engine anyone could ask for, lasting from the earliest days of American Motors to as recently as 2006. XJ Cherokees will be around long after we’re all gone.

Trouble is, good, clean XJs are harder to find every day, which makes this 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport a diamond among some rough examples.

Jeep Cherokee Sport
2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport

While $8,950 might sound like a lot for a 14-year-old Jeep, it might be nine grand well-spent. And you have the image that you’re not driving around in yesterday’s fashions, but the eternal attractiveness of time. An old-school Jeep Cherokee knows not the trendy sections.

But for a bit more money, you could have a couple more cylinders and a lot more space. Not that the Toyota Land Cruiser has always been that way, but it has always been synonymous with being able to combine immense capability and traditional Japanese quality. There’s a reason models from the 1960s are still going strong in certain parts of the world.

This 2000 Toyota Land Cruiser is more representative of what we’d consider a luxury SUV today – or maybe a highly trimmed mainstream model. Still, it’s a different world than the more spartan Jeep, which might appeal to you.

Toyota Land Cruiser
2000 Toyota Land Cruiser

Remember that the 80-series Land Cruiser, as this generation is known, comes from a time when Toyota’s reputation for refinement was well-deserved. With 102,475 miles, this Land Cruiser looks fantastic. And for $13,750, you get luxury approaching that of Lexus GS and LS sedans from the period – so definitely more refinement than you’d get from a Chevrolet Traverse from the modern era, with a lot more off-road chops as well. If you have lots of people to tow around, as well, the Land Cruiser has space for eight – OK, five and three more seatbelts in the admittedly small third row. Still, your neighbors will be grateful to sit there if their crossover leaves them stranded.

The only downside, though, with the Land Cruiser is that you’ll inevitably pull up alongside a Range Rover and feel a little jealous. While you’ll both make it over tough terrain, the Range Rover looks much more like a luxury car than the Toyota. And a quick glance of our used car listings shows there are plenty of cheap ones out there. Cheap one-owner examples are a bit trickier to find.

But here’s this 2006 Land Rover Range Rover HSE with just under 81,000 miles at a dealer in San Jose, Calif. for just under $20,000. This Range Rover also comes with a clean Vehicle History Report and a ton of service records, which should provide some peace of mind when you’re looking at one of these. And you’ll look, because you know you’re tempted to look like British royalty, or a Hollywood celebrity – or somewhere in between the two.

Land Rover Range Rover HSE
2006 Land Rover Range Rover HSE

Even though this Range Rover’s design is more than a decade old now, few vehicles look this good. Few interiors use such beautiful materials. And few SUVs are as capable as a Range Rover at beating the worst winter can throw at you.

There’s the practical and spartan, all the way up to the extravagant and beautiful. These are three off-roaders that can take a beating, but fortunately for you, haven’t seen much action thanks to their one-owner care. And they should be ready if, one winter day, you need to drive over something more arduous than a curb or pothole.

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