Off-road vehicles, capable of driving on and off paved roads, have a loyal following among automobile enthusiasts. As an off-road driver, your vehicle must be designed to withstand the rigors of off-roading; as a result, power, versatility, and ruggedness are the top considerations for off-road buyers.
You’ll have plenty to choose from if you’re shopping for an off-road vehicle. With trucks and SUVs rapidly growing in popularity, many leading vehicle manufacturers are expanding their product lines to include new or re-released off-road vehicle models. The best options for off-road capable vehicles in 2022 include the following:
2023 Ford Bronco Sport
One of the top off-road options for the 2023 model year is the Ford Bronco Sport, which starts at $29,215. For a vehicle starting below $30,000, the Bronco is full of features and capabilities. To start, the Bronco boasts a 25/28 miles per gallon fuel economy rating, boosted by a newly-standard Ecoboost engine.
The Bronco is available with two EcoBoost® engine options: a 1.5-liter, which provides 181 horsepower and 190 pounds per foot of torque, and a 2.0-liter, which improves performance to 250 horsepower and 277 pounds per foot of torque. While both engines are strong enough to handle various terrains, the 2.0-liter provides the extra horsepower needed to traverse the most challenging obstacles.
Another stand-out feature of the 2023 Bronco is its advanced 4×4, which delivers power to each tire to improve traction. The vehicle also offers an extra-high ground clearance and is capable of fording water, making it an excellent choice for off-road enthusiasts.
2023 Ford F-150 Raptor
The popular and acclaimed Ford F-150 Raptor returns for the 2023 model year, and like its previous iterations, it is among the elite off-road vehicles on the market. The 2023 Raptor starts at a whopping $76,775, making it one of the most expensive vehicles in the off-road class. The cost doesn’t end there, though. Offering just 15 miles per gallon in the city and 18 on the highway, you’ll likely pay more for gas with the Raptor than with other vehicles.
However, if it’s within your budget, the Raptor can provide a level of off-roading abilities that few other models can replicate. Under the hood, the Raptor boasts a 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost® V6 that delivers an impressive 450 horsepower. This added power, combined with the standard all-wheel drive, provides incredible traction.
Several other engine options bring the power to another level. For example, the Raptor R borrows its engine, a 5.2-liter turbocharged V8 engine capable of delivering 700 horsepower, from the Shelby GT. If that is not enough performance for you, it also comes with FOX™ Live Valve™ internal bypass shocks, which provide position-sensitive adjustability so your off-roader can adapt to fast terrain changes without overheating.
2023 Jeep Gladiator Mojave
Starting at $38,305, the 2023 Jeep Gladiator Mojave – an exciting combination of a Jeep Wrangler and a mid-sized pickup – is one of the best bang-for-your-buck options in the off-road class. The Mojave is designed with desert driving in mind, even sporting the hard-to-get Desert Rated seal, which proves its ability to handle the heat, dirt, and terrain of grueling desert conditions.
With smart traction control, reinforced axles, and a desert-tuned suspension (featuring a 1-inch front-side lift), the Mojave can easily traverse sand, gravel, rocks, and other challenging terrains. It also features exclusive FOX™ front hydraulics and nearly 12 inches of ground clearance to help traverse uneven surfaces. The 2023 Gladiator Mojave is a top choice for drivers looking for a desert-ready option.
2023 Land Rover Defender
For those looking for a full-sized 4×4 SUV, the 2023 Land Rover Defender is a capable off-road SUV option, though, at a $55,100 starting price, it’s also on the pricier end. The Land Rover features a stylish and iconic exterior with a high level of off-road capable performance features.
Its multiple driving modes can handle various terrain, from icy roads to water fording. It also offers a range of advanced equipment, such as locking front and rear differentials, to help improve the driving experience.
Under the hood, the 2023 Defender has a standard turbocharged four-cylinder that provides plenty of getup. The 11.5 inches of ground clearance provided by the frame helps the Defender ford water depths up to 35 inches. Drivers on the hunt for a versatile, all-terrain vehicle that doesn’t sacrifice luxury will be happy with the 2023 Land Rover Defender.
2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
A relatively new entry to the off-road vehicle class is the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, which starts at $45,000. When Chevrolet introduced the ZR2 in 2017, the vehicle was renowned for its performance capabilities: a best-in-class suspension, front and rear lockers, rock rails, and a well-designed chassis helped earn the ZR2 a reputation as an off-road warrior.
However, earlier models were also subject to complaints, mainly due to their limited tech, unluxurious interior, and small tires. In 2023, Chevrolet addressed these complaints, thrilling off-road enthusiasts with a vehicle that still offers top-of-the-class rough terrain capabilities but now has a complete portfolio of features.
The interior has been completely revamped to include a large, touch-screen infotainment center, stitched leather upholstery, and some nice-to-have features like padded front-seat knee rests. Overall, the 2023 ZR2 is an outstanding choice for drivers who need off-road capabilities in a relatively-affordable vehicle that can also fulfill the needs of a daily-driver vehicle.
2023 Ford Ranger
Starting at just $26,400, the 2023 Ford Ranger is one of the best off-road-capable choices for budget-minded people. One of the Ranger’s calling cards is its towing capability. With integrated tow hooks and a heavy-duty trailer hitch, the Ranger has a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds. As a result, the rugged Ranger is a popular choice for drivers who need to tow often.
Beyond its towing ability, the Ranger is designed to handle various driving surfaces. In particular, the Tremor trim off-road package features skid plates and a modified suspension that delivers an enhanced clearance height.
The Tremor trim comes with Ford’s Trail Control package and Terrain Management System. The Trail Control is a valuable feature, allowing drivers to select an appropriate speed and let the vehicle’s integrated AI take over, controlling acceleration and braking based on the terrain.
These features combine to make the 2023 Ranger an excellent option for off-road drivers looking for a budget-friendly option.
2023 Toyota 4Runner
The Toyota 4Runner returns for the 2023 model year, with its price starting at $38,805. The immensely-popular 4Runner is an affordable, off-road capable option that offers better performance than its domestic-looking exterior suggests.
Toyota has improved its classic 4Runner with Toyota Racing Development-designed performance features. These features include the TRD Sport X-REAS Suspension and all-terrain tires for enhanced traction. It also comes with Electronic Locking Rear Differential to deliver equal power to the rear wheels, even when one is not on the ground, allowing you to traverse any obstacle.
The fan-favorite body-on-frame design also returns, providing stability and reliability in off-road scenarios. The 4×4 4Runner comes with Toyota’s cutting-edge crawl control feature, which allows the vehicle to navigate through the most challenging terrains, like deep mud or a sandy hill.
Beyond off-road features, the 4Runner really shines under the hood. Offering a 270-horsepower 4.0-liter V6, the 4Runner’s standard engine is an attractive feature at the price point. With its performance capabilities and low price, the 4Runner is among the best off-road vehicle values on the market.
Choose the Best Off-The-Road Vehicle for You with SUViews
While there are numerous off-road capable vehicles on the market, many do not deliver the level of performance necessary for true off-road enthusiasts. With the help of SUViews’ in-depth reviews, you can separate the truly capable models from sub-par performers. For more information on high-performance vehicles to take your off-roading experience to the next level, browse our reviews page to help you decide which of these great vehicles is the best choice for your lifestyle.