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  2. Best Off-Road SUVs of 2021 & 2022 [Top 15]

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Overview

The best off-road SUV is one that doesn’t hesitate to take the road less taken. It can drive through rough, gravel-filled, adventurous terrains like a pro. And how does it manage to do all this? The SUV automakers make sure the off-road-focused models have high ground clearance and 4WD. They are more rugged in appearance and design so that they can perform well no matter how inconvenient the trails are. 

Traditionally trucks were the ideal option for off-roading, but now they have been replaced by modern-day SUVs. Off-road SUVs may seem like a dream come true for auto fanatics, but they are not without flaws. Let’s take a quick glimpse into the features we like and dislike about them.

Things We Like
Takes you on adventures
High ground clearance
Comes with 4-wheel drive
High towing capacity
Powerful engine
Things We Dislike
Fuel-thirsty engines
Subpar on-road performance
Expensive models
Unsuitable for everyday commute

If you prefer to drive down the rocky roads quite frequently, here’s something to help you out. In this article, we have listed down the best off-road SUVs of 2021 and 2022, ranked from lowest to highest price.

TOP #15 Off-Road SUVs of 2021 & 2022

1.2022 Jeep Compass

Class: Compact generalist, Type: 2-row,  Price: $27,985

Jeep Compass

Source: Jeep

Why We Picked It: Don’t go by the comparatively small dimension of this compact crossover– it can very well prove its mettle off-road. Considered by car experts as the best off-road SUV within budget, this one offers a dedicated trim called Trailhawk to meet the adventure-lovers’ expectations. The cabin has been given a brand-new look with posh elements and hi-tech features. The base engine might seem unimpressive to some, but one good news is that a plug-in hybrid variant (4xe) is on the way to compensate for it.

Pros
Stylish exterior and interior
Off-road-focused Trailhawk trim is impressive
Might introduce a plug-in hybrid option soon
Cons
Lack of standard safety features
Competitors have better towing capacity

2022 Jeep Compass Specs

  • Engine- It is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine which generates 177 hp. 
  • Cargo Space- The base cargo space is 27.2 cubic feet when all seats are in use.
  • Towing capacity- The maximum towing capacity of the 2022 Jeep Compass is 2000 pounds.

2. 2021 Jeep Wrangler

Class: Midsize luxury, Type: 2-row, Price: $30,965

Jeep Wrangler

Source: Jeep

Why We Picked It: The moment someone mentions off-road, you immediately think of a Jeep. The 2021 Jeep Wrangler carries the same image, with brilliant off-road performance and a fully modern cabin. With as many as 11 trim levels available, you will be spoilt for choices. Engine options are numerous, and if you’re keen on electrification, the 4Xe powertrain would be your ideal pick.

Pros
Rides like a king on trails
Vintage styling; but equipped with latest tech features
Convertible design
Cons
Cramped passenger seating area
Unimpressive on-road performance
Struggles to maintain ride quality on rough terrains

2021 Jeep Wrangler Specs

  • Engine- It has a 3.6-liter V-6 engine which generates 285 hp. You can also opt for the 4xe 375-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain or the 6.4-liter V-8 engine.
  • Cargo Space- It has 31.7 cubic feet of boot space.
  • Towing capacity- It has a maximum towing capacity of 3500 pounds.

3. 2021 Toyota 4Runner

Class: Midsize generalist, Type: 2-row/3-row, Price: $37,480

Toyota 4 runner

Source: Toyota

Why We Picked It: The 2021 Toyota 4Runner made it to our best off-road SUV collection for three main reasons. Firstly, it’s the most rugged midsize SUV you can find in the market. Secondly, it performs exceptionally well off-road. And thirdly, it doesn’t compromise on standard features. However, it carries a dated design, with a somewhat cheap-looking cabin. Another complaint we have about the 4Runner is something most off-road SUVs lack, that is, refined on-road performance.

Pros
Made for off-roading
Plenty of standard features available across all trims
Roomy boot space
Cons
On-road performance isn't great
Cabin looks cheap

2021 Toyota 4Runner Specs

  • Engine- The 4-liter V-6 engine generates 270 hp. 
  • Cargo Space- The 2021 4Runner comes with 47.2 cubic feet for cargo located at the back of the rear seats.
  • Towing capacity- It offers a maximum towing capacity of 5000 pounds.

4. 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Class: Midsize generalist, Type: 2-row/3-row, Price: $40,120

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Source: Jeep

Why We Picked It: The 2021 Grand Cherokee very much embodies the Jeep ethos, but nowhere does it compromise on its on-road performance– and this is what we love the most about this best off-road SUV. The entry-level trims are modestly priced, however, the upper ones can be too pricey for the content they offer. There are varied engine options, including an electrified variant to meet the expectations of modern-day car enthusiasts. Rest assured, with this midsize SUV by your side, riding the trails would be all the more fun. You also get a plethora of standard safety features and a hi-tech infotainment system.

Pros
Brilliant off-road abilities complemented by equally impressive on-road performance
Upper trims offer luxurious cabins
Stylish exterior
Cons
Low fuel economy
Pricing isn't value-based

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Specs

  • Engine- The 3.6-liter V-6 engine generates 293 hp, while the 5.7-liter V-8 engine produces 357 hp. It also comes with the PHEV variant 4xe, which gets a 14.0-kWh battery pack paired with a 134-hp electric motor. 
  • Cargo Space- The 37.7 cubic feet of available cargo space can be expanded up to 70.8 cubic feet.
  • Towing capacity- With the right equipment, it can tow as much as 7200 pounds.

5. 2022 Land Rover Defender

Class: Midsize luxury, Type: 2-row/3-row,  Price: $50,050

Source: Land Rover

Why We Picked It: The 2022 Land Rover Defender is one of the best off road SUVs you can purchase this year. This massive luxury midsize SUV offers 3 different engine options. Its adventurous demeanor is ideal for rough terrains, but inside the cabin, you’ll feel all the sophistication you can think of. There’s a plethora of trim levels available, so as a buyer, you have plenty of options in this lineup.

Pros
Remarkable off-roading ability
Luxurious cabin with ample safety tech
Composed on-road performance
Cons
Low fuel economy
The six-cylinder engine feels sluggish
Higher trim levels are full of content but are extremely pricey

2022 Land Rover Defender Specs

  • Engine- The 2022 Land Rover Defender comes with a standard four-cylinder turbo engine, a 3-liter inline-six, and another supercharged V-8 engine that generates 518 hp.
  • Cargo Space- The maximum cargo area is 78.8 cubic feet.
  • Towing capacity- The maximum towing capacity of this midsize SUV is 8,201 pounds.

6. 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe

Class: Large generalist, Type: 3-row,  Price: $51,795

Source: Chevrolet

Why We Picked It: This list of best off-road SUVs would be incomplete without the 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe. It’s brilliant in every possible way– spacious cabin, off-the-chart towing capacity, and statement styling– you get almost everything you could ask for in a large SUV. If stellar off-road ability is what you’re looking for, then the Z71 trim is your ideal choice. There are 3 powerful engine options, plenty of standard safety and driver-assist features, and a practical infotainment system. 

Pros
Versatile and practical
Roomy third row
Off-road-focused trims available
Cons
Pricy higher trim levels
Not everyone is a fan of its distinctive exterior styling

2022 Chevrolet Tahoe Specs

  • Engine- The standard V-8 engine generates 355 hp. If you upgrade to the V-8 option, it generates 420 hp, and the six-cylinder diesel engine offers 460 lb-feet of torque. 
  • Cargo Space- The basic cargo space is 25.5 cubic feet, expandable up to 122.9 cubic feet.
  • Towing capacity- It can tow up to a maximum of 8400 pounds.

7. 2022 Toyota Sequoia 

Class: Large generalist, Type: 3-row,  Price: $51,995

Source: Toyota

Why We Picked It: The 2022 Toyota Sequoia brings forth its two TRD models, much to the joy of serious off-road enthusiasts. However, the ride quality isn’t very smooth. It feels jittery and noisy while driving on uneven surfaces, which ends up affecting the passengers’ comfort. The cabin is spacious enough to have a roomy third row, and it’s equipped with all the necessary safety features and driver-assist features. The interior, appearance-wise, isn’t impressive. You’ll find cheap-looking materials all around, but thankfully, the overall design is practical for the everyday user.

Pros
Off-road focused TRD Sport and TRD Pro trims
Powerful engine
Spacious third row
Cons
Low fuel economy
Rides are noisy, particularly on bumpy terrains

2022 Toyota Sequoia Specs

  • Engine- The sole engine is a 5.7-liter V-8, producing 381 hp. 
  • Cargo Space- The 18.9 cubic feet behind third-row can be expanded up to a maximum of 120.1 cubic feet.
  • Towing capacity- The 2022 Toyota Sequoia can tow up to 7000 pounds.

8. 2022 Ford Expedition

Class: Large generalist, Type: 3-row, Price: $52,775

ford expedition

Source: Ford

Why We Picked It: One of the largest members of the Ford family, Ford Expedition is yet another worthy contender in our best off-road SUV 2022 list. As you enter the cabin, you’ll find a huge passenger seating area spread across three rows, a convenient cargo area, and plenty of necessary tech features. It also comes equipped with a hands-free driving mode to please tech enthusiasts. The biggest advantage of this model is, of course, its amazing off-road ability and towing capacity. 

Pros
Immensely spacious cabin
Quite agile despite its massive dimension
Best-in-class towing capacity
Cons
Fuel economy could've been better on the highway
Driving experience isn't that great

2022 Ford Expedition Specs

  • Engine- The 2022 Ford Expedition is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, which generates 380 hp. 
  • Cargo Space- It comes with a basic cargo space of 20.9 cubic feet, expandable up to 104.6 cubic feet.
  • Towing capacity- When properly equipped, it can tow up to 9300 pounds.

9. 2022 Chevrolet Suburban

Class: Large generalist, Type: 3-row, Price: $54,495

Source: Chevrolet

Why We Picked It: The 2022 Chevrolet Suburban is as good for off-roading as it is for pulling a heavy trailer. The engines are powerful but fuel-thirty. As for the cabin, you get plenty of legroom and headroom, a well-equipped infotainment system, and sufficient numbers of driver-assist and safety features. Out of the 6 available trim levels, we would recommend the middle ones. The high trims come at the cost of luxury vehicles, but do not offer the same kind of refinement.

Pros
Excellent towing capacity
Powerful engine options
Spacious cargo area
Cons
High prices are not justified for the content they offer
Subpar fuel economy
Add-on features are pricey

2022 Chevrolet Suburban Specs

  • Engine- The 5.3-liter V-8 engine generates 355 hp. The 6.2-liter V-8 model available for the High Country trim generates 420 hp. 
  • Cargo Space- With this vehicle, you get 41.5 cubic feet of boot space, expandable up to 144.7 cubic feet.
  • Towing capacity- It can maximum tow up to 8300 pounds.

10. 2022 Land Rover Discovery

Class: Midsize luxury, Type: 3-row, Price: $56,350

Source: Land Rover

Why We Picked It: This luxury midsize SUV offers its customers the best of both worlds. You’ll be seated inside its upscale cabin with utmost comfort, and at the same time, you’ll have a gala time driving through rough trails. This one has enough room to accommodate a big family, with enough legroom and headroom. And if you need to carry heavy loads, the Land Rover Discovery will definitely meet your expectations. But the excessive attention to off-roading affects its on-road ability.

Pros
Stellar off-road ability
Availability of many standard features
Looks stylish inside-out
Cons
The cargo space is too low when all seats are in use
Driving demeanor could be more improved

2022 Land Rover Discovery Specs

  • Engine- This one comes with a standard 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine which generates 296 hp. You might also upgrade it to a 3-liter six-cylinder turbo engine, whose output is 355 hp. 
  • Cargo Space- When all seats are in use, the basic cargo space is only 9.1 cubic feet, but it is expandable up to 74.3 cubic feet.
  • Towing capacity- The maximum towing capacity of the 2022 Land Rover Discovery is 8200 pounds.

11. 2022 Lexus GX

Class: Midsize luxury, Type: 3-row,  Price: $56,700

Source: Lexus

Why We Picked It: The 2022 Lexus GX makes you feel that the automaker had only one aspect in mind– off-roading. It might not be the most comfortable on-road SUV, but it rides on even the most difficult trails like a powerful beast. It gets a host of standard features from the base trim onwards. The cabin is luxurious and well-equipped. To make adventurous rides more seamless, Lexus offers the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System as a standard feature. Low fuel economy is a big downside of this SUV, but this is a common issue with almost all off-road-focused SUVs.

Pros
Rides on adventurous trails with ease
Well-equipped cabin
Generous amount of standard features available for all trim levels
Cons
Unimpressive on-road demeanor
Third row cannot accommodate adults comfortably
Low fuel economy

2022 Lexus GX Specs

  • Engine- The only available engine is a 4.6-liter V-8, which produces 301 hp.
  • Cargo Space- The basic cargo space is 11.6 cubic feet. You can max it out up to 64.7 cubic feet.
  • Towing capacity- The maximum towing capacity of the 2022 Lexus GX is 6500 pounds.

12. 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser 

Class: Large luxury, Type: 2-row/3-row,  Price: $87,030

Source: Toyota

Why We Picked It: This lineup has been an excellent off-roader historically. While the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser does promote a luxurious avatar, it’s still very much capable of taking you through rocky roads. Plenty of tech, well-equipped dashboard, impressive cabin, and lots of standard safety and driver-assist features– you get everything in this best off-road SUV.

Pros
Powerful engine
Serious off-road ability
Equipped with safety and driver-assist features
Cons
Interior doesn't look upscale
Low fuel economy

2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Specs

  • Engine- The 5.7-liter V-8 engine produces 381 hp. 
  • Cargo Space- Behind the third row you get 16 cubic feet of space, but you can max it out to 82.8 cubic feet.
  • Towing capacity- The maximum towing capacity this vehicle offers is 8100 pounds.

13. 2022 Lexus LX600

Class: Large Luxury, Type: 2-row/3-row,  Price: $88,245

Source: Lexus

Why We Picked It: In our hunt for the best off-road SUV, we found the 2022 Lexus LX600 to be another top contender. The stylish design with a focus on the off-road makes it a deadly combination. You get access to ample luxurious features, and when you hit the road less taken, you can feel the robustness of this large luxury SUV. To strengthen its off-roading capacity, it comes with standard 4WD, along with height-adjustable suspension. F Sport and Luxury trims are our favorites among the available trims, but with the F Sport, you can’t expect smooth rides.

Pros
Blend of luxury and off-road ability
Premium cabin with latest tech features
A range of trim levels available with diverse content
Cons
The third row doesn't come as standard
Competitors look more upscale

2022 Lexus LX600 Specs

  • Engine- The LX600 is powered by a twin turbo 3.4-liter V-6 engine, generating 409 hp.
  • Cargo Space- The base cargo volume is 11 cubic feet, with 46 cubic feet available behind the second row.
  • Towing capacity- The maximum towing capacity the Lexus LX offers is 7716 pounds.

14. 2021 Land Rover Range Rover

Class: Large luxury, Type: 2-row,  Price: $93,350

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Source: Land Rover

Why We Picked It: If you’re a fan of luxury vehicles, this is the best off road SUV for you. Its on-road performance is as good as its off-road ability. The leather-clad interior is complemented by wood trimmings and upscale designs everywhere you look. The entry-level trims are more focused on comfort, whereas the SV Autobiography is more performance-oriented. For all this, you have to pay a lump sum– most trim levels are priced in 6-figures.

Pros
Impressive on-road and off-road performance
The cabin looks premium with generous amounts of
Multiple powertrain options with electrification
Cons
Driving experience could've been better
Humongous price tag

2021 Land Rover Range Rover Specs

  • Engine- The base trims get an inline-six turbo engine, paired with an electric motor, while the higher trim levels get a supercharged V-8 engine producing 557 hp. 
  • Cargo Space- The available cargo space is 34.5 cubic feet, expandable up to 70.9 cubic feet.
  • Towing capacity- It can tow up to 7000 pounds maximum.

15. 2021 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Class: Large Luxury, Type: 3-row, Price: $132,800

Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Source: Mercedes

Why We Picked It: The 2021 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is undoubtedly a status symbol for most people, but what makes it worth the big fat price tag is its remarkable off-road ability. The massive dimension leads to a spacious cabin, which is well-equipped in all aspects. As it primarily caters to an affluent target audience who love to drive along the adventurous trails, you can’t expect it to be too agile at on-road performance.

Pros
Mind-blowing off-road ability
Customization options available
Roomy and upscale cabin
Cons
Wind noise is quite prominent
Poor on-road performance
Exorbitant prices

2021 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Specs

  • Engine- It is powered by a twin turbo 4-liter V-8 engine, producing 416 hp. 
  • Cargo Space- It has 38.1 cubic feet available for cargo at the back of the rear seats.
  • Towing capacity- The maximum towing ability is 7000 pounds.

In conclusion, which SUV is the best?

While all 15 of these SUVs are best in their own rights, if we had to pick one, we would go with the Lexus LX or the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Both of these vehicles are incredibly capable of off-roading, and they are also overall highly reliable.

We hope this comprehensive listing gives you a deep insight into the current automotive market and helps you choose the best off-road SUV for yourself. If you can make peace with their minor drawbacks such as low fuel economy or high expense, we can assure you that you’ll have a great time driving these models.

FAQs

1. Which GM Suv is the best off road?

Chevrolet Tahoe is the best General Motors (GM) SUV for off-roading.

2. What is the most reliable off-road vehicle?

Jeep Grand Cherokee is the most reliable off-road vehicle.

3. What is the ultimate off-road vehicle?

Lexus LX is the ultimate off-road SUV.