Top 10 best off-roaders
If you genuinely need your 4x4 to get you across tough terrain, these are the top 10 best off-roaders on sale. - by Rory White
A version of this article was first published on YesAuto UK.
1. Jeep Wrangle
The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most iconic off-roaders in the world but backs up its rugged looks with serious off-road ability.
It comes in two sizes - two or four doors - but all get switchable all-wheel-drive and impressive ground clearance and wading ability. The range-topping Rubicon also gets more aggressive tyres and the ability to decouple parts of its suspension to keep its wheels on the ground in the most challenging conditions.
2. Land Rover Defender
The Land Rover Defender used to be a back-to-basics machine that used simple mechanicals to get across rough terrain. It's now a much more luxurious SUV available in short and long wheelbases, but also in a commercial van version.
However, it's even better than the old Defender off-road, thanks to an array of clever electronics that can jack it up and keep its wheels on the ground when it's needed. The Defender is also a better car to drive on road in just about every regard.
3. Toyota Land Cruiser
The Land Cruiser is one of the biggest names in the off-road scene, loved for its extremely tough build and dependable reliability.
Like the Defender, you can have it in long or short wheelbases and it can be a luxurious SUV if you want it to be, but also a commercial van version as pictured here. All have all-wheel-drive, differentials and the option of more aggressive tyres if you want to use your Land Cruiser as intended.
4. Mercedes G-Class
Don't be fooled by the fact the Mercedes G-Class spends most of its time in Premiership football club car parks. It's a serious bit of kit away from the Tarmac.
You need to avoid the AMG version, mind, which has less ground clearance and performance tyres, but stick with the diesel and you'll find its all-wheel-drive, differentials and ground clearance will embarrass plenty of 4x4s on the rough stuff.
5. Land Rover Discovery
Another Land Rover, but that's no surprise given Land Rover designs all its model to be the best off-road from the start. The Discovery is one of its most popular.
It'll seat seven people, look great outside Waitrose, but will also tow the largest trailers and wade through deep water with the best of them. Like the Defender, its Terrain response technology means it'll do everything for you off-road if you want it to, letting you sit back and watch the countryside go by.
6. Ford Ranger Raptor
The Ford Ranger pickup truck is one of the best of its kind around, but with the Raptor, Ford actually reduced its carrying ability in the name of off-road prowess.
The Raptor gets Ford's more powerful diesel engine and unique suspension, tyres, wheels and styling, combining to make it the most capable version of the Ranger off-road there is.
7. Suzuki Jimny LCV
The Suzuki Jimny LCV might be the smallest car here, but it packs a punch when it comes to scrabbling through the countryside.
Its low weight actually works in its favour, as its skinny off-road tyres have less to haul along, plus its switchable all-wheel-drive and low and high range gearboxes help give you more precision in tricky situations. Just remember the Jimny no longer comes with rear seats.
8. Range Rover
The Range Rover is been combining luxury with off-road ability for decades. In its latest form, it truly is one of the most rounded vehicles it's possible to buy.
Inside it's essentially a luxury limo, especially if you buy the longer wheelbase version, but Land Rover's clever Terrain Response tech is on hand to make sure you get to that charity function, even if it happens to be on the summit of Ben Nevis.
9. Dacia Duster
Dacia builds some of the best value cars in Britain and its Duster is no different. You can great space, standard equipment and off-road ability for very sensible money.
You'll need the all-wheel-drive version rather than the front-wheel-drive model, which is a bit more expensive, but next to 4x4s of the same size it remains a bargain.
10. Range Rover Evoque
The Evoque might be seen slinking about the city most of the time, but this stylish SUV is actually extremely competent off-road too.
That's because Land Rovers have to be, and with all the bells and whistles fitted including Land Rover's superb off-road tech, the Evoque will jack itself up and control its all-wheel-drive automatically at the press of a button to make sure you get where you need to go.