If you’ve been watching commercials for today’s SUVs, you could be forgiven for thinking they’re mainly used for kiddie carpools, grocery store runs, and taking Fido to the vet. But nothing could be further from the truth. Believe it or not, this year’s crop of SUVs has plenty of rugged, built-for-thrills models just made for tackling an off-road adventure. If you’re an off-road enthusiast looking for a vehicle to match your passions, look no further than these three high-performance SUVs.
2016 Jeep Wrangler
The Wrangler’s rugged good looks mirror its rugged performance — this Jeep is virtually unstoppable on the trail. Its iconic, uniquely American appearance is a large part of its appeal. Decked in the top-of-the-line Rubicon trim, known for its robust package of off-road equipment, the Wrangler boasts 32-inch tires, heavy-duty Dana 44 front and rear axles, electronic front and rear locking differentials, a 4.10 real axle ratio, a transfer case upgrade with low crawl ratio, and an electronic disconnecting sway bar.
The interior is equally equipped for comfortable off-roading, with power convenience group, touch-screen infotainment system with 28 GB of digital music storage, and navigation. There’s also automatic climate control and heated leather seats for cold weather trekking.
2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
The 4Runner is one of the few SUVs on the market with sturdy body-on-frame construction made for serious off-roading. Even the base model features skid plates and mud guards, while the four-wheel-drive models include hill start assist and descent control, as well as dual-range transfer case. The TRD Pro, however, piles on off-road options such as the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), variable terrain modes, crawl control, Bilstein shocks, and locking rear differential.
The 4Runner’s interior cabin is designed for performance over aesthetics, with easy-to-understand instrumentation and controls. Toyota’s advanced Entune infotainment system with smartphone-enabled apps are available with certain trim levels for even more comfort and convenience.
2016 Lexus LX 570
If you like your off-roading with a healthy dose of luxury and seating for up to eight, the Lexus LX 570 is the SUV for you. This hulking truck has go-anywhere capability, and it boasts an advanced Drive Mode Select system that lets the driver set powertrain and suspension configurations with the twist of a dial on the console. It’s also equipped with full-time four-wheel drive, hill start assist, a selectable multi-terrain system, and crawl control. The LX 570 can also tow an impressive 7,000 pounds and towing equipment comes standard.
The interior wraps passengers in luxury and convenience, with four-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power heated front seats, reclining and power sliding second row, dual-screen front and rear infotainment system, and Lexus Enform remote control through a smartphone. Safety features include pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, and automatic precollision safety system. There’s also a panoramic view camera system.
If your head is leading you toward an SUV but your heart won’t be happy without off-road capabilities, take a look at these three hardworking vehicles that can take you wherever you want to go.