A good off-road car can be the difference between a killer weekend adventure and being stuck in a ditch waiting for help. Do not be the guy that no one wants to head out into the unknown with; pick a comfortable ride with plenty of interior room for camping gear or sleeping in and enough power to leave the city streets behind without worry. Here are the twenty-five best off-road cars built to plow through any weather or terrain.
25. Volkswagen Touareg TDI
For a little less than forty-seven thousand dollars, the Volkswagen Touareg TDI provides adaptive torque distribution, good angles, and diesel torque. It is built on the same platform as the Porsche Cayenne and the Touareg race car, so it has lots of potential. The Touareg features a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 280 horsepower and an eight-speed automatic engine with all-wheel drive for a comfortable and reliable ride with ample interior space.
24. Subaru Outback
With symmetrical all-wheel drive and good ground clearance, the Subaru Outback is one of the best off-roading vehicles around. It is also relatively cheap, with newer models going for around twenty-five thousand. The 2017 Outback has a 2.5-liter V4 engine with all-wheel drive and 175 horsepower. It also has a lot of interior room, ample cargo space for gear and supplies, and doubles as a daily driver better than a lot of other off-road beasts.
23. Range Rover Evoque
With a base price of around forty-three thousand dollars, the Range Rover Evoque comes with a 240 horsepower turbo V4 engine with a nine-speed transmission, an all-around camera view, and lots of sweet electric upgrades. It is also available in a convertible option for the best of both worlds. It may be one of the prettiest cars on this list, not that it would matter to a bunch of dudes on a road trip, but it's a solid argument for talking the wife into buying one.
22. Baja Beetle
The Baja Beetle looks like a Volkswagen Beetle on steroids. It was created to be an inexpensive version of the dune buggies from the 1960’s, such as the Meyers Manx. It is almost impossible to kill and is really hard to drown. If it does manage to die or crash, it is a cheap fix since most of the important parts are in the back of the car, or just check out Craigslist for a replacement. Although it is a rear-drive vehicle, it handles well in sand.
21. Nissan Xterra Off-Road
It has “Off-Road” in its title, so that alone makes this Nissan worth looking into. Base prices start at less than twenty-five thousand dollars, making it a great second car if need be. It has a two-speed transfer case, locking rear differentials, and boxed ladder frame. The 2010 Nissan Xterra Off-Road has a 4.0-liter V6 engine with two-wheel drive, 265 horsepower, and a six-speed manual transmission. Four-wheel drive and a five-speed automatic transmission are optional.
20. Toyota 4Runner
Before brushing the Toyota 4Runner off as a soccer mom car, consider the underlying potential it has to be a real off-road terror - which is what it was designed for anyway. With an estimated cost of thirty-one thousand dollars, the 4Runner features a 4.0-liter V6 engine with 278 pounds per feet of torque power, a five-speed manual transmission, and 270 horsepower. It also has limited slip locking differentials, traction control, and a body on frame construction.
19. Toyota Sequoia
Toyota might not be anything to write home about, but they do make some sturdy SUV’s that can take care of themselves off-road. Notable features of the Sequoia include a body on frame construction and locking limited slip differentials. The newest version of the Sequoia starts around forty-five thousand dollars and includes a 5.7-liter V8 engine with rear wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive options are also available and it has lots of interior room.
18. GMC Sierra 1500
For around thirty thousand dollars, the GMC Sierra 1500 provides locking differentials and a Z71 off-road suspension; it is like a more attractive version of the Chevrolet Silverado X71. Base trims offer a V6 engine with 285 horsepower while optional trims include a V8 with 355 horsepower and a V8 with 420 horsepower. Regular cabs have either 6.5 or eight feet boxes while double cabs have a 6.5 box. All models have all-wheel drive options.
17. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71
The Chevrolet Silverado is a great truck by itself, but upgrading to the Chevrolet Z71 package is a must for the avid off-roader. It includes a V8 engine, locking differentials, and a Z71 off-road suspension with an estimated cost of less than thirty-three thousand dollars. Reviewers claim it has a high towing capability, comfortable front seats for long drives, quick acceleration, and a surprisingly quiet cabin on the highway. It is also an easy truck to customize for the right look.
16. Ram 1500
The Ram 1500 is available in either four wheel drive or rear wheel drive. Choose from a regular, quad, or crew cab. Bed lengths range from 5’7 feet, 6’4 feet or eight feet in length. Base models come with a 3.6-liter V6 engine and 269 pounds of feet per torque. Other options include a 3.0-liter engine with 420 pounds per feet of torque, a V6 turbo diesel with 420 pounds per feet of torque, or a 5.7 liter V8 with 410 pounds per feet of torque.
15. Lexus GX
A Lexus might not seem like the best choice for a car to get dirty, but the GX was designed for just that. It was built on the same platform as the FJ Cruiser and 4Runner and features crawl control and a dynamic suspension system. The fifty-two thousand dollar vehicle includes a 4.6-liter V8 engine with 301 horsepower, four-wheel drive, and a six-speed automatic transmission. Plush seats and an eight-inch touch screen are located on the inside.
14. Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Anything that was made specifically for the German military should be able to handle any terrain the average weekend warrior has to throw at it. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is equipped with rigid axles and three lockable differentials along with a 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8 engine, 416 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and a seven-speed automatic transmission. It is super speedy, and the interior is lined with ultimate comfort and lots of high-tech toys. Newer models start around one hundred and twenty thousand dollars.
13. Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
With a starting price of around twenty-eight thousand dollars, the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is advertised as a kickass off-roading vehicle with an affordable price. It was named the Hottest 4x4 SUV at the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show, and Four Wheeler magazine called it the “4x4 of the Decade.” It features 285 horsepower and 260 pounds per feet of torque with a 3.6-liter V6 engine and integrated LED map lights.
12. Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited is what most people buy when they want a decent off-road car that does not look like one. For approximately thirty thousand dollars it comes with air suspension, traction settings, and sharp angles. The 2017 model features a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 295 horsepower, rear-wheel drive, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. An optional V6 turbo diesel engine with 240 horsepower and a 5.7 liter V8 with 360 horsepower are also available.
11. Nissan Frontier PRO 4X
Sometimes the best pickup trucks are the ones that can handle a harsh terrain, not just those that can haul a lot of junk, and the Nissan Frontier PRO 4X can do just that. For around twenty-eight thousand dollars, it features Bilstein shocks, locking rear differentials, and a clutch start/cancel. It is powered by a V6 engine and has a towing capacity of around six thousand pounds. With twenty-one trims available on the Frontier, the PRO 4X is the one to pick for the best off-roading skills.
10. Porsche Cayenne
Porsche may not be known for being an off-road brand, but the Cayenne gained lots of bragging rights when it won the Transsyberia Rally. For around sixty thousand dollars, the 2017 Cayenne comes equipped with a standard 300 horsepower V6 engine and an optional 420 horsepower or 440 horsepower 3.6 liter V 6 twin-turbo engine. Expect to find luxurious features inside as well, such as a leather-lined cabin and navigation system. Reviewers state it is easy to handle around curves and is a great sports performance car.
9. Land Rover LR4
The Land Rover might not be a Range Rover, but it still has good angles, a powerful engine, and air suspension that can keep going over any terrain it encounters. Starting around fifty thousand dollars, the 2016 Land Rover LR4 is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine with an eight-speed transmission and 340 horsepower. It comes with all-wheel drive and a Terrain Response system, hill descent control, as well as seating for the entire family.
8. Jeep Liberty
Although it is one of the cheapest vehicles on this list - at twenty-three thousand dollars - do not discredit the Jeep Liberty. It is still a Jeep after all, and Jeep is known for producing well-made off-roading vehicles. Although no longer in production, the 2012 Liberty comes in six different trims and has a 3.7-liter V6 engine with a four-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. It also has 210 horsepower and 235 pounds per feet of torque power.
7. Toyota Tacoma TRD
The Toyota Tacoma is TRD the cheapest vehicle on this list with a starting price of around seventeen thousand dollars. The TRD version makes it an excellent off-road vehicle as it comes equipped with skid plates, good differentials, and hill assistance. The 2017 Tacoma TRD comes with a 2.7 liter four cylinder engine with 180 pounds per feet of torque and a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Optional versions include a 3.5 liter V6 with a six-speed transmission and 265 pounds per feet of torque.
6. Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
The base price for a standard Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is right around fifty thousand dollars. It features a 3.5 liter twin-turbo V6 engine with 450 horsepower, a ten-speed automatic transmission, and 510 pounds per feet of torque power. Newer versions are more fuel efficient than previous models at eighteen miles per gallon highway, and it comes available in super cab and super crew options. It has speeds of around one hundred miles per hour on sand dunes.
5. Toyota Land Cruiser
The Toyota Land Cruiser was built to survive the nuclear war and has an excellent limit slip differential, making it the ultimate off-road vehicle. At a base price of around eighty-five thousand dollars, it is used in places of the world that eat cars for lunch, including the jungles of South America and the Australian Outback. It features a sturdy body and a 5.7-liter V8 engine with 381 horsepower, full-time four-wheel drive, and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
4. Range Rover Sport
Other car manufacturers use the Land Rover as the standard for their own vehicles, as it has a 39.4-inch wading depth and killer angles that make it the perfect off-road adventurer. The 2017 model weighs nearly 2.5 tons and goes for around sixty-six thousand dollars. It features a 3.0 supercharged 340 horsepower V6 engine or a 3.0-liter turbo diesel V6 engine with 254 horsepower. Both options come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.
3. Toyota FJ Cruiser 4x4
The Toyota FJ Cruiser 4x4 goes for around twenty-eight thousand dollars and is one of the most iconic off-roading vehicles ever created. It features a 260 horsepower V6 engine with a five-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. It is available in an all-wheel-drive version that has a six-speed manual transmission, increased ability to go just about anywhere, Bilstein shocks, TRD wheels, and a two-speed transfer case. Newer models are estimated at less than thirty thousand dollars.
2. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited most commonly comes to mind when picturing the ideal off-roading vehicle. It costs about twenty-five thousand dollars and features a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 285 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission. It comes with an optional five-speed manual transmission and a choice of a soft or hard top convertible. The Wrangler also has a good supply of aftermarket parts so it would be an excellent vehicle to customize.
1. Custom Built Tube Frame Off-Roader
Only serious buyers need to apply for a Custom Built Tube Frame Off-Roader. One of these would be the ultimate project for any group of guys looking to hand-craft their off-roading vehicle of perfection. Be sure to team up with a professional who knows what they are doing before taking one of these out in the wilderness. Custom built cars are awesome, but they can also be dangerous if not properly constructed. Budget is only limited by whatever money can be comfortably forked over.