The Best Off-Road Vehicles

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Since the invention of the wheel, so much of our planet has been paved over. The US alone is covered in about four million miles of road. Today, we can drive nearly anywhere. But some of us are no longer satisfied with the beaten path.

Looking for unique experiences, we readily give up the comfort of the paved road. Many of us want to leave all rules and regulations behind. We willingly challenge ourselves and our cars into going into the wild to discover our own new paths. Chasing the adventure, we take to nature’s steep slopes, deep lakes, rolling rivers, and fun in the mud. Still, safety is an important part of any adrenaline provoking experience, and off-roading is not an exception.

To help you choose a 4X4 for your next outdoor adventure and for the list of our favorite off-road vehicles, keep reading.

Whether you decide to buy a new or used vehicle is a matter of preference and your particular situation. We’ve picked the brains of some die-hard off-roaders around the web to compile a small guide with the best off-road vehicle.

What you need to know about off-road vechicles

Appropriate tires.

If you are serious about off-roading, invest in Max Traction tires which do exceptionally well in mud, deep snow or any other difficult terrain. If you plan on using your 4X4 for everyday commute and only do light off-roading on weekends, you may want to opt for mixed use “On and Off Road” tires which combine highway patterns with semi-aggressive off-road tread.

Ground Clearance.

Ground clearance or ride height is an important feature. Underbody damage is almost inevitable if your vehicle doesn’t have enough clearance over rocks or logs when traversing through a rough terrain.

Flexible Suspension.

For maximum stability and traction, the tires must stay on the surface. Axle articulation is what allows a vehicle to keep all four tires in contact with the ground. Most prefer a solid axle since it provides the most articulation.

Low-end Torque.

Low-end torque is what gets your off-roader through a challenging terrain. Forget about the horsepower, it won’t get you anywhere when you push through mud or crawl over rocks. Low torque is what will keep your engine from working too hard while you are traversing those rough terrains.

Angles.

The approach angle is how steep of an incline your vehicle can handle without hitting the front bumper. Same is true for rear bumper and the declining terrain; it’s called the departure angle. But that’s not all. If during your off-roading adventure you don’t want to find yourself balancing on some rock with all four wheels in the air, you have to know your break-over angle.

Locking differentials.

Locking differentials ensure that you have all wheel drive when traction is poorest. Make sure your vehicle is equipped with limited slip differentials and you can slide gracefully through those muddy slopes without losing traction.

And although most seasoned ATV drivers will agree that the above car features are essential for a successful off-road trip, don’t discard your current vehicle if it’s not perfect. The good news is that almost any 4X4 can be converted into a good off-road vehicle. To get the best out of your car, make an honest assessment of how often you’ll be driving it off-road and what type of difficult terrain you’ll be conquering.

What are the best cars to go play in the great outdoors? We’ve picked a few we love the most, even if they are not perfect right by us because when the pavement ends the car must go on!

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock

It is the legend among the off-road vehicles. A classic symbol of America since World War II, it retains the catchy look we all want along with the higher performance qualities of a military vehicle. Rubicon is the toughest and the most capable off-roader in the Jeep family.

Why we love it.

Jeep creators equipped this beast with the sturdy Dana 44s axles, Rock-Track 4:1 transfer case, front anti-roll bar, and front and rear locking differentials ensuring it can tackle even a river of boulders and rocks. It’s a great vehicle for everyday use, and thanks to its V6 engine well isolated from the cabin, Rubicon is quieter than you’d expect.

The four-door model comfortably fits five people and has plenty of cargo room in the back. And UConnect infotainment system will make sure you keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

And one more thing: Rubicon doesn’t discriminate. You see people from all walks of life driving Jeeps. Moreover, when you own a Jeep all other Jeep owners in the world becomes your friends.

Why many people don’t love it.

The Rubicon is expensive. Fresh off a dealership lot, it has a base price of $37,445. Add all the options and the price will climb to a hefty amount of $46,330. It’s fuel economy also leaves much to be desired. According to the EPA Rubicon’s fuel efficiency is rated at 16mpg city/20mpg highway.

 

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon

 

Hummer. Is it the best off-road vehicle?

One of the most popular off-road vehicles is the Hummer. All models are equipped to take you anywhere where you don’t have to rely on paved roads. These beasts are (in)famous for their gigantic size and somewhat unique look.

Why we love it.

Hummers are heavy-duty, military vehicles because of their weight and main use in the military. They run on diesel, so we could consider them somewhat fuel efficient. The cruising range of a Hummer is about 400 miles with 30-40 mph crawling a hard surface.
Flat tires? Fear no more. All H1 and H2 models are equipped with CTIS (Central Tire Inflation System) which enables the driver to inflate or deflate tires by flipping a dash mounted switch. And if your tires do get damaged, Hummer’s unique Run Flat tires will allow you to drive for up to 30 miles at 20mph. So the chances of you getting stuck somewhere in a deserted area are almost null. Dual fuel tanks and the unique traction control system are two more features that make the Hummer worthy of our love.

Why many don’t love it.

A Hummer is expensive to buy, expensive to maintain, and doesn’t retain it’s value very well. Given it’s size, Hummer is difficult to park and maneuver through tight spaces. It’s fuel economy is far from the best –  12 mpg combined city and highway. And it’s also not the most child-friendly off-road vehicle due to the absence of child seat tethers and safety locks.

However, the Hummer is still considered one of the best off-road vehicles you can buy. We really have our doubts whether it’s the best vehicle for some of the most dangerous roads in the world. But if you happen to drive on one of these, share your experience with us.

 

Hummer

 

Jeep Grand Cherokee – Adventure with style!

The leader in off-road vehicles, Jeep married its legendary off-road capability with top-end luxury in the Grand Cherokee. The Cherokee is probably one of the best vehicles for hitting the trails in style.

Why we love it.

It is a midsize luxury SUV with off-road readiness. It has electronic stability program and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. A Selec-Terrain Traction Management System provides all-weather capability in four modes: Auto, Snow, Mud, and Sand. Whether you want to venture off the beaten path or run your daily errands, Jeep Grand Cherokee should fit your needs. For improved fuel efficiency, you can opt for a diesel V6 engine. In 2017, Grand Cherokee in the standard rear-wheel configuration received a four-star safety rating from the National Highway Safety Administration. Some consider this car almost the best. For us it is definitely one of the best.

Why many don’t love it.

Honestly, we find it hard to come up with reasons not to love the Grand Cherokee. Maybe it is the price tag as it could get is a bit too expensive.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

 

Nissan Xterra is on the list!

To some it feels a little dated, but it is the one off-road vehicle that’s become a lifestyle for many.

Why we love it. 

Thanks to its tenacious steel suspension Xterra can handle any rocky mountain road, in many cases even better than some of its most capable rivals. It has six-speed manual transmission and, now don’t be shocked, manual locks and windows. You just roll them down, manually! The Xterra makes you feel that you are really out in the wild! It dares you to forget about comfort and reclaim that primal feeling of discovery and conquest.

This off-road SUV was built for adventure and can really become your home away from home. With its 5000 lbs max towing capacity, there is enough space for everything. If you go road tripping or camping often this is a great vehicle to consider. Are you ready to take it out?

Why many don’t love it.

Xterra doesn’t show the best on-road performance. It’s a bit stiff. And with over 75 inches of height and over 8 inches of ground clearance, it’s not the car made for curves. Nissan Xterra is also quite thirsty with an average of 17mpg.
Nissan Xterra S 4X4-3

Subaru Forester – the ugly duckling swimming in the main stream

Forester is a stable and affordable crossover with solid off-road capabilities and a whole lot more to love. Really, it is love!

Why we love it.

Coming from the Japanese automakers, this sport-utility vehicle is naturally very reliable and capable. The Forester is an AWD with impressive fuel economy. This crossover guarantees a smooth city or highway ride, and at the same time handles mountain roads with ease. The Forester boasts plenty of passenger and cargo space. The model offers best of both worlds – good for every day and fully equipped for off-road adventures. Although Forester is loaded with many features, no matter where you are going, don’t forget a few must have things in your car when you drive.

Why many don’t love it. The cabin design is quite simple and less modern than other rivals’ interiors.

This short list of great off-road vehicles might help you choose. What’s your favorite choice? Share with us in the comments below! We’d love to know.

Subaru Forester 2014

And if off-road driving does not gets your adrenaline high enough, then I would suggest you try driving a Lamborghini. It will do the job! And one last advice for when you get this off-roader or this Lamborghini. Let’s talk about shipping a car.

Shipping an off-road vehicle.

Have you found an off-road vehicle you can’t wait to own at a dealership 2000 miles away? Do you need to transport your beast to an off-road race site? Are you moving across the state lines and need to ship your vehicle to your new home?

For a worry free car transport experience, get in touch with Corsia Logistics. Our seasoned logistics specialists will gladly walk you through the entire car shipping process and answer any questions you may have. In fact, we urge you to ask questions, because we want you to make informed decisions.

What you need to know about shipping an off-road vehicle.

In car shipping, an off-road vehicle is considered oversized. And hauling oversized vehicles is more expensive. First, because these cars usually take up twice as much space as your regular sedan. Second, they weigh more, and the carrier must be equipped to handle a heftier mass. When you request a car shipping quote, don’t forget to mention if your car has oversized wheels, roof rack, lift kit or any other modifications that may require special handling.

Here is how vehicle shipping process with Corsia Logistics works:

  1. Request a car shipping quote online or by phone at (818) 850-5258.
  2. Disclose details – make, model, and any modifications.
  3. Decide on your first available date, which is not a guaranteed pick-up date.
  4. Based on the information you provide, we will contact one of our carriers and schedule your shipment.
  5. The carrier will pick up your vehicle one to few days from your first available date.
  6. Then an inspection follows, and the carrier fills a report before loading the car.
  7. At delivery, the carrier will inspect the vehicle again and unload it as close to your door as possible.

We love what we do. And you have the right to a worry-free car shipping experience! Call us now to discuss your options and service. Have fun choosing your off-roader, go wild and stay safe in the wild. Thank you!

 

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About the Author:

I am the co-owner and marketing director of Corsia Logistics. I believe in creating useful content for our customers and readers. If you would like to contact me please do so via our contact us form or any social media channel. Thank you.
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