Originally, SUVs were built to give us the off-road prowess we want to experience when we drive, but that seems to be a thing of the past.
The crossovers of today are made to replace many of the cars we drive with similar driving qualities while ditching the off-road prowess that was part of the previous mix. If you want to enjoy excellent off-road driving while also enjoying good on-road performance, you need to find the right SUV.
Find the Right Brand and the Right Vehicle
Several brands offer you SUVs that can handle the drive on the roads and on light trails but what you really want is a greater package of off-road features. Check out these models to find the right SUV:
No reason to make you wait, if you’re ready to have the most capable and impactful SUV for off-road fun, the Jeep Wrangler is exactly what you’re looking for. This SUV dates back to the 1940s and it continues to make short work of boulders, trees, mud, and sand. You’ll recognize the look and the build of the Wrangler when you get ready to take it for a drive.
The current generation of the Jeep Wrangler has some of the items you remember from the past including removable doors, a fold-down windshield, and a retractable soft top. There are several trims, engines, and features offered for the Wrangler to make it the SUV you want to drive.
Currently, the smallest vehicle in the Jeep lineup is the Renegade. This little SUV gives you the right size and the build that you can enjoy when you’re looking for an off-road vehicle in the subcompact class. You probably won’t find another vehicle in this class that can handle the challenges of going on the trails, but the Renegade can get the job done.
How do you head out on the trails with the Renegade? The best way to do this is with the Trailhawk model which has an upgraded suspension, a more capable drivetrain, and the technology upgrades of the Uconnect infotainment system. Enjoy the connectivity of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto when you let the Renegade become the SUV you want to drive.
When you want an attractive compact crossover SUV that can take on the trails, the Jeep Cherokee can be the perfect model for you. The most recent version of this SUV has a front style that’s much different than in the past to give you the classic Jeep appearance you want in the front. You’ll love the way this SUV feels when you get behind the wheel.
Another model that’s most capable in the Trailhawk trim, the Jeep Cherokee can give you the settings you need for the different terrain that you drive on. There’s even a Rock model that comes in the Selec-Terrain system which comes with the Jeep Active Drive II system. The dominance of this 4WD system makes the drive great for you on the trails.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Currently, the flagship model in the Jeep lineup is the Grand Cherokee. This SUV is built to give you excellent off-road capability and room to take your family and all the gear you need. You can find a basic version and have the Latitude model or move up to some of the luxurious versions of the Grand Cherokee for a drive.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is where we find the power that we want to see in the Trackhawk version. When you’re after a great off-roader, the Trailhawk is the trim you desire with the choice of 4WD systems that can take you where you want to go when you’re on the trails.
When you want to see great things that come in a small package, the Jeep Compass will be the off-road SUV that you want to drive. All trims of the Compass give you a seven-inch touchscreen for the connectivity you want to enjoy, even when you go deep into the woods during your drive.
Choose the Trailhawk version of the Compass and experienced ground clearance, additional skidplates, all-season tires, and the Jeep Active Driver Low 4WD system with low-range gearing. You’ll have the power you need and a smooth nine-speed automatic transmission to make sure you can have the experience you’re looking for when you take a drive. Take the Jeep Compass out on the trails today.
Are you looking for a throwback SUV? If so, the Toyota 4Runner can easily be the right choice for you. This SUV has the capability you’re looking for with the clearance that makes sense when you get behind the wheel. Take the 4Runner out on the trails and let it perform the way you want today.
If you’re looking for the most impressive version of the Toyota 4Runner, you’ll be ready to have the TRD Pro model. This version features Fox high-performance shocks, TRD springs, a front skidplate, and a roof rack. These features make the 4Runner the right choice when you want to have an adventure in the wilderness during your weekends of fun.
You’ll find a similar build in the Lexus GX as you do in the Toyota 4Runner, but the GX has more upscale items to be the luxury vehicle you’ll want to show off. Enjoy the standard synthetic leather upholstery, power pedals, and three rows of seats to fit seven people in the cabin o the Lexus GX.
The standard 4.6-liter V8 engine of the Lexus GX makes 301 horsepower and it comes with the innovation of the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System. This feature improves the GX when you’re on the road and it provides a comfortable drive to make sure you can have the feeling you want when you take this SUV out for a ride on the trails.
Toyota Land Cruiser
If you’re after a big and bold SUV that has the massive size and power you need on and off the roads, the Toyota Land Cruiser can be the right model for you. There’s a long list of amazing features to give you the performance and drive that makes this SUV an easy choice for you.
The Toyota Land Cruiser comes with standard 4WD, a limited-slip differential, low-speed crawl control, and a terrain-selection system. The suspension makes it easy for you to climb over several obstacles to make sure you can go where you want and drive the right way. Take on the trails, let your family ride along, and enjoy the luxury feeling of this big Toyota SUV.
Are you looking for a big and bold off-road luxury SUV? If so, you’ll be amazed by the Lexus LX. This big brute has a massive V8 engine to give you 383 horsepower, strong off-road capability, and the reliability rating you’re looking for. Inside, you’ll find one of the most comfortable cabins offered in an off-road SUV.
The Lexus LX gives you full-time 4WD with a center differential and an electro-hydraulic suspension. You’ll find a crawl control system with hill-start assist to make it easy for you to set this feature and use it like cruise control when you’re on the trails. This big brute can make the drive right when you get behind the wheel.
Ford Expedition with FX4 Off-Road Package
The standard version of the Ford Expedition can handle some driving on the trails, but if you want the most capable version of this SUV, you’ll want to include the FX4 Off-Road Package. Enjoy the power and performance of this SUV when you’re ready to take on the trails and have the feeling that makes you smile during your drive.
Step inside and see the massive roominess offered that will make it possible for your entire family to ride along in this SUV. The FX4 Off-Road Package allows you to have skidplates, off-road shocks, a limited-slip differential, and a set of all-terrain tires. Its time to take your Ford Expedition out for an adventure.
Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban with Z71 Package
A pair of full-size brutes are found at Chevrolet. The Tahoe and Suburban are two SUVs that you know can give you the experience you want with the family. Add the Z71 Package to the mix and you’ll have the off-road items that make driving right for you when you take one of these SUVs on the trails.
The Z71 Package can be added to the Chevrolet Tahoe or Suburban and give you an upgraded suspension, all-terrain tires, skidplates, and hill descent control. You can go to many of the remote locations with the right equipment from this package. Let one of these massive Chevrolet brutes become the off-road SUV that’s right for you.
A Few Lighter Off-Roaders
There are a few models that didn’t make the list because of the lack of heavy-duty trail-riding equipment, but they should be mentioned. The Subaru Forester and Crosstrek both have 8.7 inches of ground clearance and standard AWD to give you the capability you desire. Choose the Toyota RAV4 in the TRD Pro trim and you’ll have the benefits of torque-vectoring AWD and the off-road suspension you want.
You can also look to the Honda brand and find the Passport which has a shorter wheelbase than the Pilot and an Intelligent Variable Torque Management system to give you a great AWD system. The Ford Explorer should also be considered, but only if you choose the 4WD model with Terrain Management to give you the light trail riding capability you desire.