The best off-road cars in the world
Determining the best off-road car in the world is difficult since the circumstances of using each vehicle are different. Even if you narrow down the basic parameters like wading depth, break over angles and wheel travel, some still perform better in specific terrains. Each off-road car has a unique blend of strengths to warrant a position in our list of the best off-roaders in the world.
Land Rover Defender
Toyota Land Cruiser
Mercedes Benz G-Class
Ford Ranger Raptor
2022 Lexus LX600
The Jeep Wrangler is perfect for excursions if you love crawling rocky areas. The latest revamp of the Jeep didn't change the renowned design of circular headlights, seven-slatted grille and geometrical shape recognisable from a distance. The improvements led to the introduction of a spacious interior with a better finish. The vehicle is lightweight and more efficient for off-road travel with the downsized engine. Jeep Wrangler's exterior features boost its off-road capabilities with knobbly tyres, three-door Rubicon trims with a ladder frame, custom articulating axles and underbody bracing. The car provides impressive departure and approach angle stats.
When shopping for an off-road car, the engine is a major determinant of its power and versatility. The Jeep Wrangler comes in four-cylinder petrol and plug-in hybrid versions. You can choose from the 3.6-litre V6 or 2.0-litre turbocharged cylinder. The diesel option is the 3.6-litre V6 turbo engine. With the selection of engines above, the horsepower ranges from 285 to 470. If you want the best 4x4 off-road SUV, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is a quintessential choice that can conquer rocks, mud, slopes and ruts that can damage other cars. The Tru-Lok locking front and rear features and the front anti-roll bar boost performance.
Land Rover Defender
The Land Rover Defender has shown strength, resilience and off-road excellence in extremely harsh off-road conditions. The latest Defender in the series is 90 and 110, providing innovative off-road capabilities, powertrain options and advanced tech features. Having switched to monocoque construction, the new Defenders are successors of the successful off-road range with impressive mud-plugging, water fording and axle-twisting capabilities. The Defender's ground clearance is 291mm and has an approach and departure angle of 40 degrees due to the air suspension. It allows drivers to select their preferred transmission to maintain the best momentum and keep to the right lane.
You can choose from four, eight or six-cylinder engines, but petrol engines are the only ones with four-cylinder options. The diesel vehicles start at six cylinders and provide plenty of torque, good fuel economy and drivability. The performance ranges from 296 hp for 4-cylinder engines, 395 hp for 6-cylinder units and 518 hp for 8-cylinder diesel engines. Aside from the performance capabilities, the Land Rover Defender also has a luxurious interior with advanced tech features to improve rugged performance capabilities.
Toyota Land Cruiser
The Toyota Land Cruiser has been an off-road car of choice for various outback excursions. While it is an old-school off-roader, it is tried and tested and checks off all the right boxes. Land Cruiser's ratings are impressive for various offroad activities, including towing, grind-it-out-driving and wading. You can choose from the five-door and three-door passenger versions. While the engine choices are limited, they provide exceptional performance envied by its rivals. For instance, the 2.8-litre turbo diesel with air suspension rides and handles better than a monocoque SUV. It also has a reputation for mechanical dependability regardless of the terrain.
The rugged body-on-frame construction makes it stand out from other Toyota 4x4 cars. While it is less sophisticated than the Toyota 4Runner TRG Pro, which has aggressive off-road tires and impressive horsepower, the Land Cruiser has a sturdy engine to take you on your outdoor trip and back.
Mercedes Benz G-Class
It's fair to categorise the Mercedes Benz G-Class as one of the best off-road cars in the world. The best off-roaders stick around like the Land Cruiser and Wrangler, which have been tried and tested in various terrains. The G-Class Mercedes is similar to the infamous G-Wagen. On its 40th anniversary, the G-Class received a substantial redesign. While you will still find the ladder-frame chassis, the front suspension is no longer height-adjustable like its predecessors. The independent suspension was input from Mercedes-AMG, and it gives the off-roader an improved ground clearance while retaining its best off-road abilities. You can handle the vehicle more comfortable, and it is enjoyable to drive on different terrains.
If you are looking for a Mercedes off-roader, the Mercedes-AMG G63 is the best pick. Like other G-Class vehicles, it has enough muscle to tackle obstacles on the way. With a potent 4.0-litre Biturbo V8, you can get a horsepower of 416 and 450 lb-ft of torque. The beautiful interior and timeless look are appealing features since they help you take in your surroundings comfortably. The seats are made from a variety of hand-fitted leather.
Ford Ranger Raptor
The Ford Ranger Raptor is a member of the infamous Range series, and the pick-up truck provides impressive off-road performance in various terrains. Thanks to the exclusive range of exterior features, the off-roader can hold its own, whether travelling in a muddy or sloppy area. The strength of the Ford Ranger Raptor lies underneath its body with re-engineered axles, Fox motorsport dampeners replacing the leaf springs and uprated springs. The dampener takes the place of the old Watt's linkage found in the vehicle's rear in previous models. With a ground clearance of up to 30 degrees, the vehicle works best without additional loads and can handle high speeds.
The engine is quite a let-down, with only one option available. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel is economical for personal use. You cannot use the Raptor as a workhorse, but it is perfect for covering rough terrains at high speeds.
Ford Bronco was designed to compete with Jeep Wrangler, but it has a long history on various outback roads. The car has a rugged look and can hold its own in the roughest terrains. Its pattern of use makes it suitable for driving in wide spaces. The feature that stands out is the ladder-frame chassis it shares with the Ranger. While the Bronco has a rear axle like the Ranger, it has an independent front suspension, unlike the Ranger, which has a height-adjustable suspension.
You can choose from four-cylinder and V6 EcoBoost engines of 2.3 and 2.7-litre capacities. The engines generate 270 and 310 horsepower with impressive torque. You don't have to fear any obstacles, even on rough terrains, since the Ford Bronco has a Terrain Management System with modes to guide you over any terrain.
2022 Lexus LX600
The Lexus LX600 is equivalent to the Toyota Land Cruiser. The reliability of the Lexus is based on the features that improve stability and control in difficult terrain. For instance, the vehicle has a Torsen rear limited-slip differential, locking centre differential, rear anti-roll bar and speed transfer case. You also get a downhill assist control for slope terrains and height control hydraulic suspension that improves your ground clearance. The crawl control and various terrain modes help you manoeuvre the vehicle expertly. The touch screen and infotainment system add a touch of luxury to the off-roader.
For performance and engine options, the Lexus LX600 is powered by a twin-turbo V6 of 3.4-litre capacity. It can generate 409 horsepower and 479 lb-ft torque. Despite its high purchase cost, it is economical to run and has impressive fuel economy.
What are the features of the best off-road cars in the world?
If you want to tackle the roughest terrains, you need torque. It doesn't matter how tough and powerful your off-road vehicle looks; it isn't an all-conquering car without a great low-end torque. Low-end torque ensures that the car delivers maximum control instead of speed. When looking for an off-roader, ensure the engine doesn't need much throttle input.
The type of tyres and their pressure determine how easily you can waddle through various terrains. When you go for an SUV off-roader, the downside is using Highway Terrain tyres that are skinny. When looking for off-road tyres, check the All-Terrain types, which can waddle through muddy waters or bushes. They are tough and aren't susceptible to sticks and stone damage. Mud-Terrain tyres are big and knobbly, perfect for getting through mud. Unfortunately, they are noisy on highways.
It is hard to travel in off-road terrains if your car continually belly-scraps the ground and gets stuck with minor obstacles. City or highway cars are comfortable with a 172mm of ground clearance, but an off-roader needs over 220mm. The Ford Ranger Raptor usually provides the best ground clearance of 283mm.
If you enjoy off-road travel and outdoor excursions, you need an appropriate vehicle for your needs. Off-road cars provide the best features for a fun driving experience on rough terrains. The best off-road cars in the world have varied options, from SUVs to trucks, giving you plenty of choices.