1. Toyota Land Cruiser
(image source; jalopnik.com)
The Land Cruiser is a Toyota staple. While it’s grown over the years in size, features and amenities, the price tag grew along with it. However, all that cost is worth it in a package that boasts a 5.7-liter, 381 horse power V-8. It also comes with Toyota’s much touted Kinetic Dynamic Suspension. This is a suspension model of Toyota’s own design that allows for much greater range and movement in off-road and low-speed drives while also maintaining a tighter ride when driven at typical highway speeds. Couple that along with a feature called Crawl Control. It’s a system designed to help brake the outside rear wheel on a tight trail turn. While all these features can certainly turn heads, they do come with a steep price tag just shy of $80,000.
2. Nissan Xterra Pro-4X
(image source; The Auto Channel)
Nissan might have a beastly Titan full-size coming down the pipeline equipped with a Cummins diesel next year, but if you’re looking for something perfect now, they’ve still got you covered. Their Pro-4X already shows up in the Titan, Frontier and Xterra, but it’s the Xterra to which we’re partial. The backbone of the Pro-4X is their standard locking rear differential; however, they’re also equipped with hill descent control and hill start assist so you don’t have to worry about rolling on inclines. The Pro-4X also gets an off-road friendly bump with 265/75R16 all-terrain tires on top of Bilstein shocks.
3. Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
(image source; Motus)
Toyota has some solid off-road entries (like the aforementioned Land Cruiser), but if you’re looking for something that’s not nearly as expensive but just as potentially functional, look no further than this 4Runner. Toyota has added their TRD Pro option package to their Tundra, Tacoma and 4Runner lines, but it’s the 4Runner that’s caught our eyes due to its abilities off-road and on comfort on the typical street. The 4Runner also comes with the Crawl Control the Land Crusier already boasts, but the TRD Pro package replaces the suspension with the taller Eibach coils along with Bilstein shocks, which allow for an extra inch of wheel range. Couple all that along with the much more affordable price of around $36,000 and you’ve got a great off-road option that won’t damage your wallet.
4. Ram Power Wagon
(image source; Auto Guide)
The Ram Power Wagon might just be the most capable pickup truck on the market right now. It takes the solid axles and front and rear coil-link suspension from the Heavy Duty Ram Truck and stands on those shoulders for the Power Wagon. It also has a partially taller suspension than the typical Ram 2500 along with increased articulation in the three-link front suspension in a new system called the Articulink. This new high-movement joint allows for much greater flex in the suspension while navigating rough terrain. With all its mobility and flex it’s much harder to get the Power Wagon stuck, but if that does happen you can always rely on its Warn electric winch behind the front bumper.
5. Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock Edition
(image source; http://sierrachryslerdodgejeepram.com)
For well over 10 years the Wrangler Rubicon has been the gold standard for 4WD SUVs. These days, Rubicons come with a variety of features: a 4:1 transfer case, Dana 44 axles and a swaybar disconnect system for additional suspension when body flex demands it. This Hard Rock version also boasts a sporty look with blacked-out trim, rugged bumpers and red tow hooks. Not to mention that as of 2015, all Wranglers come equipped with a new Torx tool kit that already includes every tool you’ll ever need to remove roofs, doors and bumper caps!