For a capable SUV under ten grand, this Infiniti QX4 looks like a really good option. It’s based on the R50 generation Nissan Pathfinder, which is known for offering a great compromise between on- and off-road handling, as well as good reliability and relatively low running costs. Plus, with the Infiniti badge, you get some extra goodies like Xenon headlights and 17 inch alloy wheels.
This specimen also benefits from some 2001 model year improvements, most notably a punchy 240 hp V6 engine (up from 168 hp previously), which should provide more than adequate power anywhere you might like to go.
It’s offered on craigslist HERE by a private seller in the San Diego area for $6000, which is quite reasonable for a nice example, especially considering the low miles.