Trucks and SUVs of all sorts can look pretty tough and powerful these days. Sadly, a rugged appearance isn't enough if you want to head off-road. No worries. You can find plenty of legit off-road vehicles ready to take you off the pavement and into the backcountry. Whether you prefer blazing a high-speed trail across an open desert or crawling your way up rocks that aren't meant to be mastered by a vehicle of any kind. Almost all of these off-road AWD trucks feature tough 4WD systems, low-range gearing, and locking differentials to help with traction. Other features to keep an eye out for include underbody skid plates and protection, high suspensions and ground clearance, and massive, all-terrain tires. Take a look at these trucks that are ready to take you on an off-roading adventure.
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The Land Rover Range Rover provides that you don't have to give up luxury when you head off-road. This SUV's adjustable air suspension and adaptive AWD let it conquer any obstacle in its path. Other formidable off-roading features include hill-descent control, locking differentials, low-traction launch control, and a two-speed transfer case — all while you let yourself be pampered in the meticulously designed, climate-controlled ultra plush interior.
If jumping sand dunes and racing across the desert is your thing, check out the Raptor, which you can order with an off-road package that makes it immediately ready for the trails. Sure, it can climb rocks, too, thanks to its all-terrain tires and rear electronic locking differential. The aggressive design of this off-road truck features a two-tone hood to make it stand out.
The steel bumpers on the Chevy Colorado ZR2 are the first hint that this mid-size truck is ready for some serious off-road action. Widened front and rear tracks, a chassis that sits 2 inches higher than the standard Colorado and 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires also demand to be taken seriously. Locking differentials in the front and rear help manage traction whether you're crawling up rocks or blasting across the desert.
With a 2-inch suspension lift, all-terrain 32-inch tires and an off-road drive mode, this full-size truck was made for off-roading. Like other Sierra models, this truck features an ultra-cool six-position tailgate that extends the bed when you need it or turns into a step. Inside the cabin, the center console's screen features "Surround Vision," with ties together all the exterior camera feeds to let you see the terrain immediately surrounding you.
Adding the 4x4 Off-Road package to this full-size truck puts you in possession of skid plates, 33-inch tires, electronic locking rear differential, hill-descent control and more. Height-adjustable air suspension and a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing add to this truck's capabilities, and you can get it as a hybrid. Keep your eyes open for the Rebel TRX, due to be introduced with the 2020 model — especially if you've ever dreamed of off-roading at 100 mph.
Yes, the Titan XD is bigger, and it may look tougher, but the smaller Titan Pro 4X is the model with off-roading in its genes. It's a tall truck, and it's ready for anything, complete with hill-descent control, all-terrain tires, a two-speed transfer case, and skid plates protecting the fuel tank, lower radiator, transfer case, and oil pan. Inside, an accelerometer displays pitch and roll angles so you can see and avoid your tip-over angle.
Plenty of off-roaders had reason to post sad-face emojis last year when Toyota announced it was discontinuing this retro-styled AWD SUV, which was first introduced in 2005. Yes, it has a lot in common with the better-known Toyota Land Cruiser and was, in fact, a tribute to the Land Cruiser FJ40. And because you should always be prepared for anything, yes, the FJ has a snorkel.
When the last Land Rover Defender rolled off the production line in 2016, it was the end of an era that had started 67 years previously. In fact, the earlier Land Rovers didn't even have the "Defender" name until the Discovery model hit the streets, and the classic 110 was made continuously since 1983. Although the early 110s were made with a part-time AWD design, it was clear from the start that buyers would want to take this tough beauty off-road, and very soon Land Rover gave the Defender the same 4WD system as the Range Rover.
For many people, the name Jeep is synonymous with off-roading, and the Wrangler is the image they have in mind when they think of Jeeps. Every model, including the tricked-out Unlimited model, is ready for off-roading straight off the lot, thanks to its 4WD, two solid axles, and excellent ground clearance. Strip off the body to turn any Wrangler into a topless, doorless Jeep ready for wild exploration.
The original Unimog was made to operate harvesting machines and lumber saws, so it's not afraid of tough work. Military all over the world have adopted this tough multi-purpose truck as their own, and its off-roading capabilities are so powerful that you shouldn't be surprised to find one hard at work in a jungle or desert. You'll find them all over Europe, where they're used as municipal, agricultural and military utility vehicles, but they're rare in the United States, where they were marketed briefly as the Freightliner Unimog.
This tough mid-size truck has a well-earned reputation for reliability, and off-roaders also love being able to make their own mods easily, with tons of aftermarket add-ons available. You'll find all the standard off-roading must-haves already in place, including an electronic locking rear differential, lifted suspension, 4WD, and low-range gearing. Spot obstacles easily with the help of the underbody camera system.
With heated front seats and power-folding side mirrors, it's easy to think this Range Rover model is all about the luxury. But get your hands on the Terrain Response system, and you'll head straight for the desert or mountains. At the touch of a button, you can adjust your chassis and transmission to drive on grass, gravel, snow, mud and ruts, sand, or rocks — and the Range Rover Sport defies any AWD SUV to beat it at rock crawling.
Although the Nissan Patrol began manufacture in 1951, North Americans may not recognize the name. Fortunately for them, this tough 4WD truck was made available (with slight modifications) in the United States as the Infiniti QX56 in 2011 and as the Nissan Armada in 2016. Unfortunately, since 2014, the Patrol has only been available in the Middle East, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and some countries in South America and Africa.
The Jeep Gladiator takes up where the Wrangler leaves off, with enhanced towing capability (up to 7,650 pounds) and a pickup bed for greater hauling capacity. Generous approach and departure angles pair with 11 inches of ground clearance to climb rocks and ford up to 30 inches of water. And yes, you can remove the doors and roof for extra fun in the backcountry.
You may see this Mercedes handling carpool dropoff in the ritzier parts of town, but don't be fooled. It's actually a gutsy off-roader designed to handle the toughest conditions. High ground clearance (and the ability to ford 27 inches of water), new suspension, and off-road driving modes that include, Sand, Rock, and Sport help the G handle any low-range environment you throw at it.