Many US motorists used to mock the capabilities of crossovers and the easy off-road for which they are designed. But off-road is a very general term.
It can mean anything from well-maintained dirt roads to crawling over huge rocks, from dunes to swamps and river fords. Accordingly, the main task is to find an appropriate model among the diversity of SUV brands. For example, an SUV with a short wheelbase and entry-exit angles is more suitable for moving on stones. For high-speed off-road on flat but slippery surfaces, something with a long wheelbase is ideal, as it contributes to stability and correct weight distribution. Some SUVs offer versatile capabilities, but if you’re serious about either, here are examples of factory vehicles for each one from the Indianapolis used car dealer Indy Auto Man.
Land Rover Defender for Overlanding
Land Rover has always known a lot about the creation of versatile SUVs. Defender models, with a long 110-wheelbase, are the favorites of cross-country expeditions. Their main competitor is the excellent Toyota Land Cruiser, but most experts like the Land Rover better. Those who drive the Indiana off-road trails appreciate the Defender 110 for its amazingly comfortable behavior on and off the road. Today it is available with a powerful V8, but a small but reliable turbocharged four-cylinder engine that provides balanced fuel consumption is of higher preference. The future owner should only add an extended off-road package and air suspension to make the car capable of handling anything. In addition, Land Rover has ample storage space for gear.
Ford F-150 Raptor for Desert Running
If you have to drive in a desert, then the Ford F-150 Raptor is best suited. It has a lot of other talents, but it is built for desert riding first and foremost. It’s wider than the standard F-150 for more stability in bumpy terrain, plus it is equipped with FOX Racing adjustable suspension.
The F-150 Raptor is powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 450 horsepower connected to a ten-speed automatic transmission. The V8 Raptor R is coming soon, but there is no considerable advantage to it. The existing V6 is powerful enough, and fuel economy in the desert can be a decisive factor.
Subaru Outback for Fire Roads
Some motorists underestimate the Outback and in vain. Subaru has long learned to strike the perfect balance between light pavement and off-road capability. It is vital because most Indiana drivers spend more time on the road getting into the woods and fields from time to time than driving true off-road. At the same time, not everyone strives for a total off-road, but many still like to ride along Fire Roads to relax and enjoy nature and landscapes. There are many comfortable suspension SUVs, but the Subaru Outback has an appropriate ground clearance to tackle tricky terrain and an all-wheel-drive system to help out in rough weather. Ideally, it would be nice to have a Wilderness version of the Outback with engine protection, a slightly upgraded suspension, and all-terrain tires.
Jeep Wrangler for Thoughtful Rock Crawling
Jeep knows everything about rock climbing, and the best tool for the job in its lineup is the two-door Wrangler Rubicon. Its wheelbase and overhangs are short enough not to sit on the thresholds and not rest against the stones with a bumper, and the design allows you to install the 33 or 35-inch tires. The suspension is excellent, and the gear ratio is 4:1. Plus, front and rear differentials locking. Wrangler Rubicon is equipped with a reliable 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar, with a capacity of 285 hp, and 352 Nm of torque. It is also possible to find the Rubicon with a slightly less powerful 2.0-liter turbo engine, 270 hp, but with more torque of almost 400 Nm.
Ford Bronco as a Universal Option
However, if you want an impressive vehicle that does all of the above, shop for the Ford Bronco. It is good on rocks and can overcome deserts and classic off-road. The power of its 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine is 418 hp. The Bronco can overcome a depth of about 3 feet. It is a jack of all trades and does everything surprisingly well even compared to the Jeep Wrangler.
In general, you can prepare almost any SUV for extreme off-road because the US car market provides numerous tuning elements that can change the vehicle beyond recognition and give it great power. But still, it is better to decide on future operating conditions. There is a big difference between conquering swamps and forests and going out of Indianapolis on weekends with a family. And also, consider how much you are willing to pay and invest in your SUV in the future. Off-road is a business that requires regular financial investments.