Long before they evolved into family-friendly car-based crossovers, sport-utility vehicles were rough-and-tumble rides beloved by outdoorsy types for their all-terrain capability. At the same time, off-road SUVs never truly vanished, and in recent years, they’ve seen a renaissance, with manufacturers releasing new models and enhancing current lines with trim levels dedicated to heavy pioneering.
The following are some of the most popular SUVs that will enhance the excitement of off-road adventures.
Defender Land Rover
Its boxy and purposeful appearance pays homage to its past, while it is upgraded with contemporary foundations and components. It is available in two-door (Defender 90) and four-door (Defender 110) body styles and is equipped with a 296-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine as standard, with a 395-horsepower turbo-six engine available as an option. Its five-passenger seating capacity can be increased with the addition of a front-centre jump seat or a third row in the four-door model.
As befits its illustrious ancestors, the Defender is an exceptional off-roader with an extra-high ground clearance. A two-speed transfer case, a terrain response system, hill descent control, wade detection, and an off-road front-view camera are among the trail-ready features. Additionally, the Defender may be modified with an enhanced terrain response system, an electronic active differential, all-terrain cruise control, and a higher air intake snorkel for maximum capability on dirt, mud, rocks, and water.
Jeep seldom revitalises the Wrangler, but the newest model is more usable on the road and more competent off it than ever before. The fact that Jeep has faithfully kept the much-loved look – with its round headlamps, slatted grille, and precise geometry – is only half of the attraction. The inside is now roomier and less cheaply- and sparsely-finished, which complements the car’s increased economy and improved driving manners (everything is relative, mind).
Of course, the Wrangler remains remarkable off-road, particularly in three-door Rubicon form, with its ladder frame, locking differentials, knobbly tyres, specialised articulating axles, underbody bracing, and exceptional approach and departure angle figures. It just would not be as pleasant to live with on a daily basis as the Land Rover Defender, resulting in its second-place position.
The front part of the vehicle was derived from the original PX Ranger, while the rear half was derived from the Australian-made Territory SUV. It was an unusual mix, but one that makes sense — a seven-seat version of a Ford Ranger geared for off-roading. Ford has lately attempted to broaden the Everest range by adding a Sport variation between the Trend and Titanium trim levels.
Ford has thrown the book at the Everest with a high level of standard equipment, given the price tag. On the road, the black highlights, Everest lettering on the bonnet, bi-LED headlights, black mirrors, black lower bumper highlights, black window surrounds, black 20-inch alloy wheels, and black roof rails distinguish the Sport from other Everest versions.
The Ford Everest was originally tested in 2015 and received a five-star ANCAP rating. It earned a total score of 35.98 out of 37 possible points. The Everest Sport is equipped with standard front, side, and head airbags (including coverage for the third row), as well as automated emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, rollover stability control, trailer sway control, and lane departure assistant and all this to assist with those bumpy rides.
Land Cruiser Toyota
Though it has never been a very popular car, the full-size 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser has been manufactured continuously for the longest period of any brand vehicle. It’s luxurious and practical, with a boxy appearance, two or three rows of seats, and a complete complement of upmarket creature comforts and safety systems. It is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 engine that generates 381 horsepower and is mated to an eight-speed automated transmission. The Lexus LX is a more luxurious variant of the Land Cruiser.
While the Land Cruiser is luxurious on the inside, it is highly capable off-road. It comes equipped with all-terrain tyres, tow hooks, and skid plates, as well as a two-speed four-wheel-drive transfer case with low-range gearing and a locking centre differential. Additionally, Crawl Control (similar to a low-speed cruise control system for off-road use) and Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (which electronically disengages the vehicle’s sway bars for additional tyre movement as needed) are available.