If you’re looking to have some off-road fun, there is no shortage of vehicles to choose from. What truly matters most in picking the perfect one will be your goals and personal tastes. But there are some vehicles that stand out and can make outdoor adventures a blast.
Some of them are new this year while others have been around for decades. Each of these vehicles bring something interesting to any excursion, and each have specialties that can help you reach your off-road goals.
This is not a comprehensive list but more a glimpse at some of the options available to you in an off-road vehicle. If you’re looking to take part in more outdoor adventures, these vehicles are a good place to start.
Off-Road Vehicles to Look Forward to This Year
Ford Bronco (Ford Bronco Sport)
The Bronco brand for nearly 25 years has been dead. It went from beloved early SUV to that infamous car chase to the dredges of history. But Ford has done something very smart with how it is reviving and rebranding this once beloved outdoor behemoth. They’re making them customizable.
Ford is manufacturing seven different models, each can be customized to fit a particular hobby. Love to camp? Look at the Outlander package. Looking to go further into the woods or higher into rocky or muddy terrain? The Badlands has a beefier engine and bigger wheels to get you there.
And Ford promises scores of upgrades and features that the people who enjoy the outdoors will love, like fishing pole holders, winches, or Yakima racks, the Detroit Free Press said. That added versatility makes the SUV perfect for any overlanding adventure.
Ford has put a lot of work in bringing the Bronco and Bronco Sport back into national prominence. And early signs say they’ve built something that will become part of many excursions to come.
Base models begin at just below $30,000 and go up from there depending on model and accessories.
Subaru, similar to Jeeps, sell a lifestyle as much as they do vehicles. Subaru owners are built for the adventure, the company likes to say. And Subaru takes pride in building cars to match that attitude.
The Outback is a fun adventure wagon that can take on just about any job an SUV can with half the size. With nearly 9 inches of ground clearance, this Subaru can get in and out of places that might surprise many drivers. Plus, they’re just a lot of fun to drive. Owners always tout the Outback’s handling as one of its biggest selling points.
The base model Outback starts at about $27,000 so it’s one of the most cost efficient on this list.
If you end up in a Subaru, you’ve joined a club whether you realize it or not. Expect other Subaru drivers to wave as you pass and chat you up at every gas station you visit to swap stories about gas mileage or recent off-road treks.
Jeep Wrangler 4xe Plug-In Hybrid
In the United States, the King of the Off-Road remains the Wrangler. It’s the ultimate go-anywhere vehicle. They’re rugged and stylish, but most importantly fun to drive. And over the years, Jeep has worked to make Wranglers more practical with more amenities to keep up with the competition.
This latest edition, however, is a major step for the company. The new hybrid motor finally gives a green option for fans of the series without sacrificing power. The 4xe hybrid’s combination of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and electric motor has 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. That’s not far off from the V8-powered Wrangler with its 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft.
However, it will cost you. The high-end Wrangler 4xe Sahara model costs around $50,000 and the 4xe Rubicon comes in at about $53,000. Though the $7,500 federal tax credit for hybrid vehicles will offset some of those extra costs.
Admittedly, this isn’t the sexiest option on the list. The Honda Passport AWD is much more practical than it is spectacular. But that’s the point. It’s built for everyday use with an added bonus of some light off-roading.
The Passport is a mid-sized SUV with a lot of features built for comfort. It’s a great car for a family to go out for dinner, or take on a camping trip, or load-up with fishing gear for a day and night on the lake. Don’t expect to take the Passport into some deep forest terrain or into a muddy swamp. This car isn’t for that.
It’s for the outdoors enthusiast that has to be back in the office at 9 on Monday morning. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, Honda seems enthused to tap into the weekend warrior market and provide those little pluses that can make the commute to work tolerable and the family trip to the campsite exciting.
If you are a hunter, the off-road adventure vehicle for you is a truck. Lugging your gear and equipment is easy and bringing home a big buck in the bed is hassle-free with minimal clean-up. The selling point will likely come down to price, versatility, functionality, and ability to upgrade.
The Ford Ranger parks nicely at all of those crossroads. The Ranger starts out at about $24,000. That’s more affordable than most trucks and comes with the decades of Ford’s truck building know-how. But aside from the base capabilities, there are thousands of modifications available for Rangers.
Those mods can make the truck a hunters’ dream for a weekend then be converted into a work truck by Monday. That versatility makes them ideal for the outdoor enthusiast. The owner can mold the Ranger to their specific needs quickly and without spending a lot. It’s an off-road truck meant for the novice or the expert adventurer.