Many new cars these days look like an off-roader, that they can head off into the wilderness on a lonely mountain trail. In reality, however, they will struggle getting over the roadside verge, never mind into the real rough stuff.
But there are off-roaders that are guaranteed to cross the roughest of terrains without getting stuck and it is these workhorses that you’ll find here – the 10 best off-roaders on sale today.
If, however, you’ve already decided which is the perfect new car for you, click ‘login’ in the top-right-hand corner to sign up and configure a brand new model, or browse our extensive selection of pre-reg, ex-demo, new, nearly new and used cars. For more options, read our lists of the 10 best small 4x4s and off-roaders and 10 best SUVs for other great new models that might not appear in this list.
(July 2018 update: The latest update to our best off-roaders, is a case of swapping like for like – out goes the old Mitsubishi Shogun and in comes the new Mitsubishi Shogun Sport. The Sport has smart looks and a more modern cabin, but keeps the old model’s tough internals and rugged drivetrain.)
Here are the 10 best 4x4s and off-roaders on sale:
- Range Rover
- Land Rover Discovery
- Kia Sorento
- Range Rover Sport
- Toyota Land Cruiser
- Mercedes G-Class
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Mercedes GLS
- Mitsubishi Outlander
- Mitsubishi Shogun Sport
1. Range Rover
While all the SUVs here can handle tough off-road conditions that would leave other 4x4s struggling, the Range Rover goes one better by doubling as a luxury limo. Its air suspension – that gives brilliant clearance for tackling rocky roads – is also extremely comfortable on Tarmac and interiors don’t really get more luxurious unless your willing to splurge more than £130K on a Bentley Bentayga. The Range Rover also gives you an excellent driving position and loads of space for four adults and their kit. But, if and when you take it off-road, it’s clever Terrain Response 2 drive select system makes challenging off-roading a doddle even if you’re an amature.
2. Land Rover Discovery
The Discovery might not feel quite as posh inside as its bigger brother, the Range Rover, but it more than makes up for that with some of the most advanced off-road tech available. It even comes with a system that works like off-road cruise control.
Entry-level diesel models do feel a bit sluggish, however, and the most affordable versions miss out on some key equipment (including sat-nav) but it’s hard to argue with the Discovery’s absolutely vast cabin, seven usable seats and hugely practical 1,137-litre boot.
3. Kia Sorento
Kia might not have the off-road kudos of Land Rover, but the new Sorento is more than capable of dealing with the odd farm track, muddy lane or snow-covered country road. All models come with four-wheel drive and a 200hp 2.2-litre diesel engine that make it ideal if you regularly tow trailers.
Unfortunately, this engine’s quite thirsty, and the optional eight-speed automatic (that you’ll want to pick if you do lots of long journeys) will set you back an extra £2,000. That said, the Sorento’s still significantly cheaper than most cars on our list and comes with plenty of equipment as standard in its spacious, well-built cabin.
4. Range Rover Sport
The Range Rover Sport might be happiest on long motorway cruises, but that isn’t to say it’s afraid to get its tyres dirty. It gets plenty of kit lifted from the standard Range Rover and the Land Rover Discovery to help make it one of the best off-roaders around so, despite some lowered suspension, it has no trouble clawing its way through tough terrain. The 306hp 3.0-litre diesel engine is easily powerful enough to tow cumbersome trailers, too.
Unfortunately, the Range Rover Sport is quite expensive to buy and, if you go for a petrol model, even more costly to run. Still, it handles impressively well for such a heavy, high-riding SUV and will certainly put a bigger smile on your face on a country road than most 4x4s on our list.
5. Toyota Land Cruiser
Where some off-roaders try to win you over with stylish looks and posh cabins, the Toyota Land Cruiser goes about attracting customers by being pretty much unstoppable when you head off the beaten track. The seemingly bullet-proof 2.8-litre diesel engine has enough grunt to drag the Toyota over rocks that you’d struggle to climb on foot and the rugged suspension helps keep you pointing in the right direction at all times.
Unfortunately, its utilitarian underpinnings mean it isn’t particularly relaxing to drive on the road and plenty of cheap-feeling interior trims make it feel less upmarket than most other cars on our list. It’s still impressively roomy, however, and comes with a gigantic boot that’ll carry two mountain bikes with room to spare.
6. Mercedes G-Class
The all-new Mercedes G-Class is a far cry from the slightly archaic model it replaces. It comes with a luxurious high-tech interior, a range of updated engines and modern suspension that helps make it feel as sure-footed as possible when you’re tackling a boulder-covered trail and just like a big car when you’re popping to the shops.
All these improvements mean it’s even more expensive than the old car and its thirsty engines mean it’ll cost a huge amount to run. It’s surprisingly relaxing to drive, however, especially on long motorway journeys, where its lofty driving position gives you a commanding view out over everything shorter than an HGV.
7. Jeep Grand Cherokee
No list of the best off-roaders would be complete without a Jeep – in this case, the Grand Cherokee. It comes with a punchy 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine that drives all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Combine this with raised suspension that provides good ground clearance and you’ve got a 4×4 that’ll think nothing of traipsing through deep mud and up rocky off-road tracks.
It doesn’t feel particularly upmarket inside, however, and its infotainment system is far from the most intuitive to use, but there’s a generous amount of space in both the boot and the back seats that make the Grand Cherokee easily big enough for a family of five.
8. Mercedes GLS
The Mercedes GLS is an absolutely vast seven-seat SUV with a range of powerful petrol and diesel engines and a tough go-anywhere four-wheel-drive system that’ll handle almost anything the British countryside can throw at it. It’s even pretty easy to drive thanks to a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox, light steering and the excellent visibility you get from its raised driving position.
It might not feel as modern inside as many alternatives and its button-laden dashboard looks a little old-hat compared to what you get in a Range Rover, but the GLS is still one of the most luxurious 4x4s on sale – even if it’s starting to get a little long in the tooth.
9. Mitsubishi Outlander
At the more affordable end of the spectrum, you’ll find the Mitsubishi Outlander. This practical 4×4 is roomy enough to carry a family of five and its luggage with ease and its 2.2-litre diesel engine is reasonably quiet when you’re cruising along. All models come with four-wheel-drive as standard, too – so you won’t have to worry about thick a muddy field crossing getting in the way of your next camping trip – and you can even get it as a fuel-sipping plug-in hybrid.
The Outlander’s slightly bland cabin comes with lots of hard, scratchy plastics that make it feel cheaper than many alternatives, but at least everything’s sensibly laid out and easy to use. It’s even fairly comfortable to drive and it doesn’t lean excessively in tight corners like some high-riding off-roaders.
10. Mitsubishi Shogun Sport
The Mitsubishi Shogun Sport might be an all-new model, but it is still very much an old-school SUV with permanent four-wheel drive and a tough ‘ladder’ construction which means it is essentially underpinned by hollow-steel girders. As a result, the Shogun Sport can go where other SUVs can’t and shrug off hits that would leave most so-called SUV’s with irreparable damage. Factor in its low-range gearbox and torquey 2.5-litre diesel engine and it’s clear the Mitsubishi is one of the best ‘working’ SUVs on sale. Its spacious interior, seven-seats and big boot mean it is also ideal for the family, but expect high running costs and a disconnected driving experience.
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