If you love to get off the beaten path or head down the road less traveled, you need the right vehicle for the journey. Your daily driver isn’t going to cut it if you want to head up the mountain or drive down the trail. We’ve picked a few of the best cars for outdoor enthusiasts, whether you want to go camping, fishing or wading through some mud holes.
If there’s one vehicle that has been the top adventure model for decades, it is the Jeep Wrangler. This iconic SUV perfectly embodies an outdoor lifestyle. Take the top off to feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your face as you smell the fresh air.
There’s nothing that stops this vehicle. Get the rocks under the tires and head down the unpaved path for a fun day away. For more than 70 years, the Wrangler has been a top choice for trailblazing. With the ability to tow up to 3,500 pounds, it’s also possible to take the boat or trailer with you.
The only downside to this vehicle is that it’s not ideal for daily commutes. You will probably want to purchase another model for driving to work.
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If you wish to achieve a complete balance between city driving comfort and off-road capability, consider buying an Outback. This Subaru has a cult following that proves the versatility and quality this model offers. It’s a great car for commuting in, especially during winter weather. The all-wheel-drive system operates perfectly in any condition.
You aren’t going to take this car over boulders or other extreme roadblocks, but it’s more than enough for dirt roads and exploring the backcountry. Other perks to this model include great gas mileage and lots of storage room. You can stock the back with your camping gear or put some equipment on the roof-top if needed.
The only downside we found to this vehicle is the additional road noise. The cabin isn’t quite as peaceful as some other options.
Trucks have a lot of purpose out in the wild. Anyone in love with the outdoors appreciates a well-built pickup. The reliable Toyota Tacoma offers a comfortable city drive, smooth handling and decent gas mileage.
Because you can purchase a Tacoma in many sizes and trim levels, there’s something for any desire. Tow your camper or take your water toys down to the lake for a weekend adventure. Consider upgrading with a TRD off-road package if you want to get serious about the trails.
While you can save a good deal of money buying this Toyota truck, it’s essential to know that you can’t tow as much as a full-size truck. If you want to take your 35-foot camper for a trip, you need something with a little more power.
The Land Rover Range Rover can tackle most any terrain like a boss. Aside from that, it’s an SUV that looks good while driving down the road. Its full luxury and complete adventure, all in one package. This off-road beast is equipped with a fully independent air suspension which lifts the vehicle and permits a wading depth of three feet.
There are also some supercharged engine options to give you the power you deserve. With plenty of cargo space, you can pack away your tents, skis or other outdoor equipment. With a newer Sport model, you can also tow almost 8,000 pounds for maximum versatility.
The biggest downside to this SUV is the price, but it’s a perfect model for both adventure and daily driving, which adds to the value.
The Xterra is a great body-on-frame SUV, which isn’t the typical construction of most vehicles today. If you enjoy heading off-road, this is a big selling feature. It shares the platform with a Frontier truck. While it offers a lot of the same capability as a Wrangler, it is more polished and comfortable.
There’s a special storage box located under the load floor to keep your smaller items organized. It also comes with an available sliding cargo net divider, tie-down cleats and ceiling hooks. With the reinforced suspension system and ample ground clearance, this 4x4 provides everything you need to get out of the city.
Of course, you must expect that this vehicle doesn’t get good gas mileage. If you plan to use it for a daily commute, you will be disappointed.
If you want a stylish SUV with maximum off-road ability, the Trailhawk should be at the top of your list. Comfort is thrown out the window and exchanged for rough and tough attributes. The Quadra-Drive II air suspension takes the clearance from 8.2 to 10.8 inches, simply by pushing a button.
It also features four-wheel drive, a terrain-select system, an armored underside, huge Goodyear All-Terrain Adventure tires and red tow hooks. You can conquer anything with this model, from mud to dust.
The downside is that you might have trouble getting it dirty. Since the interior is filled with tech amenities and the style is so sleek, you might be scared to take it off-road. Don’t worry about it; this beast cleans up nicely.
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To take a vehicle camping, you need plenty of room. The Suburban has everything you could want, and more. You can seat up to nine so the whole family can join in. It also features the same underpinnings as the larger pickup trucks from the automaker.
Choose one of the powerful engines for maximum horsepower and torque. Sure, you probably won’t take this down a trail, but you also won’t be afraid to tackle the unpaved road leading to your cabin. It’s hard to find anything with as much space as this SUV, other than its model twin, a GMC Yukon XL. Utilize the 8,000-pound towing capacity to take your camper or boat with you.
Just like some of the other models that were listed, just don’t expect to gain great gas mileage from this monster.
It’s hard to determine which vehicle is the best car for outdoor adventures. Each person faces different needs and wants. You can choose a model that geared primarily toward off-road trailblazing, but lacks in everyday amenities or find a model that suits both needs.
Evaluate the off-road gear to determine ability, look at tow ratings and consider how much space each model has. These criteria will help you find the truck, car or SUV that enables you to achieve your outdoor dreams.