I'm looking for a reliable used SUV that is
good for off road and towing small loads.
Am I better off with an older Range Rover
with miles below 70K or a newer Jeep
Grand Cherokee with miles below 20K?
I agree with the Trannyman, used Range Rovers are a nightmare. There is always something wrong with them and they are very expensive to repair. I would also avoid Jeeps as they have some reliability issues as well. The Jeep would be a much better choice over the Range Rover, but still not a good choice in my opinion.
Fords, Chevy's but no RR's or Jeeps..
The best used SUVs in my opinion would be the Acura MDX and RDX, the Lexus RX-350, the Ford Edge and anything Toyota makes that fits the bill. The Honda Pilot would also be a great choice. These vehicles are likely more pricey than what you are looking at, but you get what you pay for.
What about 4Runners?
A used 4 Runner in great condition that was well taken care of and well maintained would be an excellent choice. Just what ever you do, don't even consider a Range Rover. Also realize that any used car can be a gamble, but you can put the odds of getting a good on squarely in your favor by picking the appropriate vehicle and taking steps to get it inspected before buying. CarMax is a great place to look for a 4 Runner. They have a great site at www.carmax.com, they will move vehicles to the store near you (sometimes for free) and their vehicles are very well looked over. The downside is that you may have to pay a bit more. I have purchased 4 vehicles from them and haven't had an issue with any of them.
Bob - would an Acura or Lexus be a viable tow vehicle? To me they would not be a good choice to tow a trailer.
@ F_O_R...They could tow small loads, but if large capacity is needed then of course a Ford Expedition or Chevy Tahoe or Suburban would come into play. I guess it depends on what the OP meant by "small loads". Both the Lexus and Acura have been pretty bullet proof.