The SUV market is currently at its global peak and that is a tendency that is going to stay. It became the most viral vehicle segment with a new model being announced almost every day. However to answer the consumers’ needs the manufacturers have neglected the off-road nature of the SUV and started producing more family-like cars that only have the looks of a car that could climb mountains but is actually an everyday family vehicle. It is not a good idea to try any off-road experience with a SUV with front wheel drive and a couple of traction control systems. It is not prepared to go through extreme terrains even though it may look like it is has all it takes. Of course if your SUV is well equipped it will be pleasant and truly satisfying wild driving. The true difference between these machines is what is under the body. The 4×4 SUV should have body on frame construction with the proper 4×4 drivetrain a high body clearance and tough axles and differentials. The urban SUVs are not equipped with any of that but with the sedan and minivan’s construction that offer all-wheel drive. That is the reason we have prepared the below list of SUVs that have the off-road qualities and performance.
1. Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester is a SUV that is entirely equipped and capable of off-road experience. Its flat six engines with a low center of gravity and the very decent all-wheel drive makes it very reliable for a rough ride. The Forester would be able to go through water and mud and stay stable in spite the tough environment. Another important thing about this SUV is it’s the very good on road drivability, comfort and the proper equipment. Its affordability should also be mentioned as a plus with starting price of $23,500. Overall the Frontier would be the best choice for people that occasionally go camping and hiking but still wants a very good on road experience.
2. Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
The Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is a real off-roader. It has the construction of a standard SUV but it also has the Trailhawk package built in which makes it reliable on an off-road crossing. The price of the Trailhawk is a bit higher starting from $35,000. For that price you’ll be delivered a 184 hp engine a lot of off-road components, great all-wheel drive system and you’ll be driving a capable and reliable SUV. The V6 version should be considered if you are looking to get most of both off-road and everyday driving.
3. Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited
The Jeep Wrangler still keeps its old spirit even though it was updated. It comes in two options two-door or four-door Unlimited with 285 hp engine, tough and capable 4×4 drivetrain, strong chassis and the typical craggy looks. The Wrangler offers one of the best highways experiences which is not something the SUVs are famous for. A new model is coming soon and it promises to keep its classic looks. It would be delivered a starting price of $28,000.
4. Toyota 4Runner TRD
Toyota 4Runner is one of the last mid-size SUVs that is similar with a pickup truck. That’s great for drivers who spend weekends off-roading but for those accustomed to the smooth ride and swanky interiors of car-based crossovers the 4Runner may not be the right choice. It comes in just one variation a 4.0-liter V-6 with 270 hp and 278 lb-ft mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. That configuration is perfect for driving through forests. The starting price is $35,000 and it offers a great proportion of value and comfort.
5. Land Rover Discovery Sport
The Land Cruiser is a world-wide legend, known to be one of the most competent SUVs ever made. They have outstanding body-on-frame design with powerful engines with automatic and full-time four-wheel drive which offers serious off-roading ability. That is absolutely proven for their 4.2 liter diesel units which are preferred especially in Australia and by the UN. The luxury reputation and the proven quality reflect on the starting price which is $39,000.
6. Nissan Armada
The Armada offers a great off-road qualities and four-wheel drive and overall it is an impressive and though SUV. It is great on the highway but it could also behave well climbing a hill if that what you are up for. Powered by a powerful 5.9-liter V8 with 395 hp which powers all four wheels through a 7-speed automatic there is no doubt that it is capable to pass through though terrains. The starting price is $46,000 which is totally worth it for the luxury and comfort you get inside and the quality and capability of that SUV.
7. Lexus GX
The GX is a mountain climber combined with a luxury and comfortable interior. It is powered by a 301-hp 4.6-liter V-8, a six-speed automatic, and a four-wheel-drive system with a locking center differential which are all standard and provide the GX its off-road credentials. Inside you can enjoy plush seats, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a power-adjustable steering wheel which are standard. You can get all that at a starting price of $52,000.
8. Range Rover Sport
Range Rover Sport is all about luxury comfort combined with great off-road capabilities so you can enjoy the best of both. It is mainly a luxury SUV but it also reveals it off-road qualities when you go for a rough ride. The starting price is $66,000 and Engine choices are a 340-hp 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 or a remarkably quiet, efficient 254-hp 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6. Both are matched to an eight-speed automatic and four-wheel drive. Classic styling, smart features, sharp handling, and go-anywhere reputation make the Range Rover Sport a well-rounded package.
9. Toyota Land Cruiser
The Land Cruiser is a world-wide legend, known to be one of the most competent SUVs ever made. Featuring a sturdy body-on-frame design and a 5.7-liter 381-hp V-8 engine with an eight-speed automatic and full-time four-wheel drive, it offers serious off-roading ability. The power comes from a 5.7-liter 381 hp V8 and it is connected to an 8-speed automatic and permanent all-wheel drive which is standard. It offers a great comfort with three rows of leather seating for eight and all other luxuries. It starting price is $85,000.
10. Mercedes G-Class
The 40 years old G-Class deserves to be one of the most iconic off-road SUVs ever. For all these years it kept its rough appearance, recognizable edgy design and absolute off-road qualities. It’s rocket-quick with its 416-hp 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8, all-wheel drive, and a seven-speed automatic. The interior is luxury and full of high-tech and ample comfort. Once you’re behind the wheel is where it all begins to make good sense. The base price tops $120,000 which is totally justified.