by Luke Peters
For those not familiar with the term Off-Roading, it simply refers to driving a vehicle on unconventional surfaces such as dirt, sand, rocks, riverbeds and snow etc. While off-road driving can be achieved with a variety of vehicles such as motorcycles and bicycles, SUVs or Sports Utility Vehicles are the preferred choice for enthusiasts. As evidenced by its name, the sports utility vehicle is a large vehicle that combines the power of a pickup truck with the seating capacity of a large luxury sedan. This not only makes it a formidable choice for adventurers but it can easily be tread into unconventional territories like deserts, swamps and rocky riverbeds. Listed below are some of the best SUVs that are perfect for off-roading.
1. Nissan Frontier PRO-4X
Also known in Japan as the Nissan Navara, the Frontier PRO 4X provides the ultimate off-roading experience. The model is available in 2 door and 4 door truck variant and is powered by a 5.6 liter V8 Engine. The gear box is also available in 6-speed manual and 5 speed automatic variants, based on the buyer’s preference. The 4 –wheel drive makes it perfect for off-roading and some heavy during treading. Apart from the powerful engine and the sturdy built, it comes loaded with features such as auto dimming rear view mirrors, internet support, heated seats, air bags and anti-lock breaking system.
2. Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Being in production since 1986, the Wrangler is one of the best off-roading vehicles manufactured by Jeep. The name Rubicon is taken from the Rubicon adventure trail in the Sierra Nevada region in the US. Launched in 2003, the vehicle is powered by a 3.6 liter V6 engine and comes in both manual and automatic gearbox variants. The Hard Rock edition also features a sturdy Rock-Trac 4×4 differential, which provides one of the most stable driving experiences while off-roading. It also features a stylized hood with added cooling vents for maximum engine performance without overheating. The integrated fog lamps and wide 17 inch wheels provide maximum stability and control.
3. Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Also known as, the G-Wagen, the Mercedes Benz G-Class provides a truly luxurious off-roading experience. The car was developed as a military vehicle as suggestion by the Shah of Iran but was later redesigned to suit the commercial market. Being in production since the past 36 years, the G-Class has certainly evolved into a masterpiece in automobile manufacturing. This is also one of the most expensive entries in the list, but you will be able to find easy insurance at websites like cheapautoinsurance and others. It is powered by the trademark, G550 V8 engine and 3 lockable differentials and comes in manual and automatic gear box variants. Apart from these, the G-class has several luxury features that make it a true Mercedes classic.
4. Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
If the menacing looks of this car don’t get your attention, its performance surely will. Its high ground clearance and the wide 17 inch alloy wheels coupled with its hardened design will certainly put it across as one of the best designed SUVs. The 4Runner is powered by a 4 liter V-6 engine that churns out around 270-hp and a 5 speed automatic transmission. The manual shift also allows the driver to switch to a lower gear for scaling tough terrains.
5. Land Rover Range Rover
Known to be the poster boy for off-road vehicles, the Range Rover is manufactured by the British automobile company Land Rover. The designers had been experimenting with larger sized vehicles since the late 1950s and finalized a design in 1969. After its commercial launch in 1970, the Range Rover became an instant hit in the market and a staple for the various off-road expeditions. The latest variant is powered by a massive 5 liter V8 engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid and diesel variants were also subsequently launched and are popular in use throughout the globe.
6. Chevrolet K5 Blazer
Been in production between 1969 and 1994, the Chevrolet K5 Blazer was one of the most popular American off-roading vehicles. It featured a shortened wheelbase than the previously released Jimmy, and a 4 wheel drive differential. It utilized a 6 liter V8 engine and was available in both automatic and manual gearbox variants.
7. Lexus GX
If luxury is what you want from an off-roading trip, the only vehicle that can deliver is the Lexus GX. Launched in 2002, the GX hit the markets in 2003 and has seen several facelifts and design changes since. The latest model is powered by a massive 4.6 liter V8 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. It also features variable height adjustor and various features one can only expect to find in a Lexus.
Labeling a particular car as the best is a matter of personal choice and experience. However, the above mentioned models are certainly some of the most versatile off-roading vehicles that you can get your hands on.