What Is the Best Off Road SUV? Top 10 Revealed

red jeep wrangler

​So you've decided you need something bigger than a sedan or sports car, but would rather still have the coverage from the elements that an enclosed vehicle provides, meaning we're talking SUVs. There are a great many variations of SUV on the market in the modern environment, ranging in size, shape, volume, and purpose. If you're looking for a mid-size SUV great for weekend adventuring, there are a great many options. If you want a 4x4 SUV capable of going offroad and caking some mud onto those tires, our choices narrow. In this article, we'll explore the best off road SUV by exploring 10 of the top options available.

The Best Off Road SUV - 10 Choices

Range Rover off road truck

Photo by Mike from Pexels

​Following is a list of popular SUVs and a few trucks to get you off the road.

How We Reviewed

red nissan off road truck splashing the sand

Photo by Emiliano Arano from Pexels

​To construct this list of the 10 top SUVs from which to choose to bring off road and into the wilderness, we assessed the market to determine which SUVs fit the bill. At minimum, the SUV had to be 4x4, as explained above. Once the truck can handle the conditions and terrain, we then moved into a consideration of the capabilities of the SUV, its style, and wide variety of other characteristics. As well. These include the comfort, reliability, general price, and even the style of the vehicle. With so many options out there is seems clear that whatever your preference, there will be a 4x4 off this list for you to find your personal best off road SUV.

Overall Price Range

​The overall price range of the best off road SUV can vary wildly depending upon the make, model, and features selected. Most of the vehicles we explore are around $30,000, although some of the higher-end models can cost in excess of $100,000.

What We Reviewed

  • ​Jeep Wrangler
  • Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison
  • Land Rover Range Rover
  • Jeep Gladiator
  • Ram 1500 Rebel
  • Ford Raptor
  • Toyota 4Runner
  • GMC Sierra AT4
  • Nissan Armada
  • Mercedes-Benz G550

Features

​Key features of the Jeep Wrangler if you're looking to go off roading are going to be found in the Unlimited Sport 4x4 model, which has the power and capacity to get off the road and up a mountain, with the commercial even seeing to communicate this to us.

Exterior Design

The exterior design of the Jeep is quite appealing, with the classic and iconic Jeep front-end and grille, with a strong forward-moving appearance to the updated design.

Interior Design

The interior cabin is designed quite well and comes with the option of cloth interior or Sahara leather. It features a multimedia display in-dash, with the cockpit having something of a modern and futuristic feel with still some of the understated classic style we've grown accustomed to with Jeep.

Performance

The performance of the Jeep really depends more on your driving abilities than the vehicle, as this Jeep can handle some tough conditions, and the engine and manual transmission option make moving all the easier.

Comfort

The Jeep is designed first and foremost with function in mind, but the modern design, comfortable seats, high-riding position on the road, and intelligent placement of features make this 4x4 SUV one of the best off road SUV options in terms of comfort.

Reliability

As with the purchase of any vehicle, the Jeep option we've explored here is covered by warranty. In the long-run, however, Jeep does have somewhat of a reputation for requiring repairs, at least amongst American vehicles, but don't worry, it won't drain your wallet like a BMW will when it comes time for that scheduled maintenance or the occasional emergency repair.

Value

​Given the technological advancements and various upgrades, with the incredibly rare possibility of a 6-speed manual transmission, the value of the Jeep is quite high.

Pros

  • ​3.6 V6 24V VVT Engine Upgrade
  • ​6-speed manual transmission option
  • ​17 inch x 7.5 inch black steel wheels

Cons

  • ​The Jeep is a very distinctive look that might not be for you
  • ​The soft top option can be a bit flimsy
  • ​Where to Buy
  • ​Warranty

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Features

​The Colorado ZR2 Bison is as the name implies, ready and prepared to stomp over the open plains and forward. This particular option has a 308 horsepower engine and is capable of 5,000 pounds of towing. The engine is a 2.8L turbo-diesel, and according to Chevy "this capable midsize truck was built for the road less traveled". Poems by Robert Frost aside, this vehicle is likely capable of running down a few paths that other vehicles would leave lesser traveled.

Exterior Design

​The exterior design of this vehicle is quite strong, although some of the stylized elements like the bump in the hood or the thick racing-stripe option are more sports car features than SUV.

Interior Design

​The interior is functionally designed with performance mostly in mind.

Performance

​This vehicle is capable of getting you where you want to go, featuring 17-inch wheels that are wrapped in thick 31-inch Goodyear tires.

Comfort

​The more truck-based format of this option will likely make for a stiffer ride that might be a little less comfortable than a traditional SUV.

Reliability

​Chevy products are noted for their reliability, and the cost of repair given the interchangeable nature of many GM cars makes it cheaper to keep up as well.

Value

​The price versus performance on this vehicle makes it a fine value.

Pros

  • ​A work-ready SUV that can perform much the same work as a truck
  • ​The hybrid style includes a small open bed for convenience

Cons

  • ​Some might prefer a fully enclosed SUV
  • ​The large stylized bump in the hood is 70s, but may not be everyone's favorite
  • ​Where to Buy
  • ​Warranty

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Features

​The Land Rover's newest Range Rover is a marvel of modern technology and design. The exterior holds the same classic Land Rover panache, although it has been updated slightly for a modern feel. The interior would be at home at a modern furniture showcase featuring top designers.

Exterior Design

​The exterior design is outstanding, with just the right amount of flash to the grille, and a variety of crisp lines really make this vehicle stand out on the road.

Interior Design

​As noted, top-notch and artistically inspired by mod and art deco aesthetics.

Performance

​The purpose of this vehicle is to provide you a large SUV to travel in comfort with, having all the space one might need to store the riches from their latest shopping outing, or if you decide to get a little dusty, this vehicle can also go off road.

Comfort

​​The level of refinement of this vehicle is exceptional, with reclining rear seats and integrated touchscreens.

Reliability

​The design of Land Rover vehicles is exceptional and must be maintained with ongoing maintenance to support performance.

Value

​While costlier than some of the competition, the level of design and advancement of the options nevertheless makes this a fine vehicle to purchase.

Pros

  • ​Luxury redefined
  • ​Incredibly stylish and smooth interior cabin
  • ​Classic Land Rover grille

Cons

  • ​Somewhat costlier than the other options
  • ​Note an SUV you'd want to get covered in mud inside and out
  • ​Where to Buy
  • ​Warranty

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Features

​In continuing to consider the best off road SUV, we again come to an entry by Jeep. The Jeep Gladiator is Jeep's answer to the truck/SUV hybrids that are emerging, and is made for durability and power.

Exterior Design

​The exterior design of the Jeep Gladiator is somewhat like a combination of a Hummer, and Mercedes G-Wagon, and a traditional Jeep Wrangler.

Interior Design

​The interior cabin is much like the interior of the Wranger, and has a nice mesh of modern and classic design elements.

Performance

​This is a top performer in terms of power, and it comes with an optional manual transmission.

Comfort

​The level of comfort in the Gladiator is strong compared to most vehicles in this class.

Reliability

​With the warranty you'll be covered for years, but keep in mind that Jeeps do require ongoing maintenance thereafter.

Value

​The value of this option given the capabilities is moderate, as there are SUVs and trucks that can do the same for far less money, although if the hybrid is what you're going for, this is it.

Pros

  • ​Dynamic design has the best of trucks and SUVs
  • ​Capable of towing a boat, or simply carrying back your groceries

Cons

  • ​Somewhat costlier than the other options
  • ​Parking may be difficult as this vehicle is extremely long
  • ​Where to Buy
  • ​Warranty

Amazon

Features

​The Ram 1500 Rebel is a truck, but we'll explore it on this list to provide a counterpoint to the many SUVs that we are covering, many of which have turned out to be SUV/truck hybrids anyways. The Ram is a classic truck meant for utility and simplicity.

Exterior Design

​The exterior design of the Ram is somewhat basic and smooth, it won't catch any eyes, but it won't displease anyone either.

Interior Design

​The interior design of the Ram is economical, although you can upgrade it with a Uconnect system to integrate your electronics into the vehicle.

Performance

​The money that went into the production on the Ram went into performance, and this vehicle brings it.

Comfort

​The Ram is a truck for those concerned with performance and capability, and while the interior is spacious enough, comfort was not the main concern in this design.

Reliability

​The Dodge Ram is a dependable vehicle that isn't too costly to maintain.

Value

​Given the performance capacity of this truck in addition to its engine, the value is decent.

Pros

  • ​10,150 lb towing capacity
  • ​3.6 Liter V6 24-value VVT engine
  • ​8-Speed automatic transmission

Cons

  • ​Relatively simple looking
  • ​Beyond the hood ornament not much exciting about this truck
  • ​Where to Buy
  • ​Warranty

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Features

​The ​Ford Ranger is the car manufacturer's answer for someone who wants the size and capacity of a truck, but at least some of the performance features of a sports car.

Exterior Design

The exterior design of the Ranger is what sets it apart, with an aggressive front end and a streamlined body with a unique taillight structure, the Raptor is unique and distinct.

Interior Design

The Ranger is meant to represent a strong option for the individual who wants a nice vehicle, but can also take it off road as they prefer, so the interior is designed to be friendly.

Performance

With the capabilities of the Ranger, the performance is limited only by the skills of the individual in the driver's seat.

Comfort

​The seats are designed for maximum comfort when engaging in some aggressive off road adventuring

Reliability

Being a Ford, the Ranger will be reliable and maintenance won't break the bank.

Value

​For the capabilities of this vehicle coupled with its design, the value is relatively strong.

Pros

  • ​Military-grade aluminum alloy body
  • ​Trail Control and Terrain Management System
  • ​A throwback muscle design

Cons

  • ​Some of the color options could be more stylish
  • ​The cloth interior could use some work
  • ​Where to Buy
  • ​Warranty

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Features

​The Toyota 4Runner is a top competitor of the top off road SUV options we have explored in this article. Priced right around the range of the other vehicles, the Toyota 4Runner has a superior and more unique style than most American SUVs, and has capabilities and technologies more in line with European luxury than American.

Exterior Design

​The exterior design of the 4Runner is very unique, distinctive, and stylish, witih strong features of a truck and some of the stylistic elements you might see on a Toyota sedan.

Interior Design

​The design of the interior is closer to a Land Rover than a Ford. It features wood-grain paneling, leather seats, wood-grain shift knob, and a fully interactive in-dash system.

Performance

​​The capabilities of this car coupled with its significantly high level fo design makes it perform exceptionally well.

Comfort

​The interior is designed for both style and comfort.

Reliability

​Toyota is notorious for its level of reliability.

Value

​The value of this vehicle is high given that many luxury features are included yet the price is far closer to economy.

Pros

  • ​Stylish and economical
  • ​Wonderfully designed interior
  • ​Excellent capabilities and technology

Cons

  • ​Not the largest of the options we have explored
  • ​No longer offers a manual transmission option
  • ​Where to Buy
  • ​Warranty

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Features

​The GMC Sierra is another full on truck that we'll review to provide a point of comparison for the SUVs and truck/SUV hybrids we are considering in this article on the best off road suv to choose for you.

Exterior Design

​The exterior design is strong, with hard edges and lines adding a masculine flair to the design.

Interior Design

​The interior is designed with style and performance in mind, with easy-to-clean interiors with a modern flair to the color striping and feel.

Performance

​This truck is extremely strong and capable of handling any job that might be thrown at it.

Comfort

​The intelligent interior design leaves a great deal of space and freedom in the cockpit.

Reliability

​As with GMC products, they are noted for being reliable, and not extremely costly to fix.

Value

​The value of this vehicle is somewhat lower than the others reviewed given the high cost, in line with entry-level Land Rover options.

Pros

  • ​Strong front-end design
  • ​Excellent wheels and rims

Cons

  • ​Somewhat costly
  • ​May look too beefy for some
  • ​Where to Buy
  • ​Warranty

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Features

​The Nissan Armada is a mid-sized SUV that has a great many capabilities, from hauling your boat on the roof to taking your family out for a day at the beach.

Exterior Design

​The exterior design of the Armada is crisp and clean with no offensive lines, although it is a bit mundane.

Interior Design

​The interior design on this SUV is very stylish and features pleasing contoured lines and wood paneling, although it does feel a bit cramped despite the large size of the SUV.

Performance

​The performance on this vehicle is moderate and is meant more so for hauling and driving over concrete than off roading through the muddy trails.

Comfort

​The comfort in this vehicle is high as it is a family SUV and comfort is a key feature of the design.

Reliability

​Nissan vehicles are noted for their reliability and solid design.

Value

​The value on this mid-sized SUV by Nissan is moderate, although the features it includes for the price are advanced.

Pros

  • ​Very stylish and unique interior design
  • ​Utilitarian exterior design

Cons

  • ​Somewhat cramped on the interior
  • ​Less appealing design than some of the competition
  • ​Where to Buy
  • ​Warranty

Amazon

Features

​For the final offering for the best off road SUV to choose from on the market, we'll explore the Mercedes option, the G550.

Exterior Design

​The G-class is one of the most distinctive vehicle designs on the road, with something of a Land Rover meets a Hummer feel to the design.

Interior Design

​The interior is luxury at its finest. Leather seats. Wood paneling. Fully integrated electronic system.

Performance

​The G-Class can outperform many of the other vehicles in this list pertaining to power, acceleration, and torque, but may not be the best when it comes to towing.

Comfort

​The comfort of the vehicle is exceptional with the interior manufactured to please and pamper.

Reliability

​With proper maintenance, Mercedes can last for hundreds of thousands of miles, but they must be kept up.

Value

​The cost of the G-class is quite high, so the value derived from it depends upon how much the user cares about the Mercedes brand and the features that go along with it.

Pros

  • ​Over-engineered design delivers comfort and luxury to your fingertips
  • ​One of the most distinctive and stylish SUVs around
  • ​Capable of high-end performance despite a luxury position

Cons

  • ​The purchase price is a bit high and can climb very high with customization
  • ​The cost of maintaining and repairing Mercedes vehicles can be substantial
  • ​Where to Buy
  • ​Warranty

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The Verdict

Red Black Toyota off-road truck

Image via Pexels

​​​​The best off road SUV depends largely upon what you truly intend upon dealing with it. If the idea of going off road helps sell you the SUV, but you have no real desire to get muddy, check out the 4Runner. If you want to blast through trails, the offerings by Jeep are ideal. For luxury, the Mercedes G-class is top of the line as is the Range Rover, with the Range having more interior space.

Whatever SUV you decide to take to the road with, check back to 4x4 Paradise at www.4x4paradise.com for ongoing articles and updates on all things SUVs.

Featured Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

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