Off The Beaten Path: Great Off-Road Vehicles

Summer presents people with many opportunities to go on adventures and explore new places. People like to take advantage of the warm weather and longer days to do things like go fishing, camping and hiking.

Perhaps you have a few go-to places you like to visit every summer, or you like to change it up every year to discover new treasures. In either case, you’ll probably want a well-suited vehicle to get you to your destination.

But just because you’re in the market for a good off-roading vehicle doesn’t mean you have the budget for a brand-new model. Instead, you’ll find it’s much more financially smart to head to the used car lot to find a car that’s a few years old but still has plenty of life left in its engine. Here are five awesome SUVs to seek out at your closest DriveTime dealership this summer.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

One of the best vehicles to take on your favorite rocky roads is the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Consumer Reports pointed out that people have been investing in these cars for the better part of 20 years now, and for a number of good reasons. It’s perfect for your off-roading adventures, but won’t look or feel out of place using for your day-to-day driving.

What’s great about buying a Grand Cherokee used is that not only will you be able to find plenty available at most used car dealerships, but there’s a good chance that you’ll find one with some pretty nice upgrades, like lifts and trail-ready tires, Gear Junkie explained. But in the event you choose one without these features, it won’t cost much to have them added on.

Toyota 4Runner

Toyota has brought adventurers many great SUVs, but the 4Runner has been a favorite since its debut in 1984, Consumer Reports explained. While these sturdy vehicles have evolved over the years, their reliability and durability have remained staples. Though its interior storage space may be lacking, there is plenty of room for you and your three closest travelers to fit comfortably.

“The 4Runner has been a favorite since its debut in 1984.”

One great feature is the Crawl Control, basically a cruise control suitable for rough terrain, available in its Trail models. Plus, the locking rear differential will make your off-roading experience a smoother ride. However, even if you opt for a model without these features, the standard four-wheel-drive version offers plenty of power to get you over the rocks and ruts you’ll encounter on your summer excursions.

Land Rover Range Rover

The Range Rover is the go-to vehicle if you want a responsive SUV that will handle well wherever you choose to go. Popular Mechanics pointed out that the Range Rover can conquer any road type with its Terrain Response that is computer controlled, and its ability to rise up nearly a foot to provide added clearance when it’s needed.

If your off-roading journeys are more of the aquatic variety, look no further than the Range Rover. It boasts an ability to drive through water up to three feet deep. Each wheel has 10 inches of travel room, and combined with a low-range gear of 2.93:1, few things can stop the Rover.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

The Jeep Wrangler is the picture of off-road vehicle ruggedness and strength. Four-wheel drive enthusiasts know it is powerful enough to get them through some of the roughest terrain.

The Rubicon made a great SUV even better, with its electronic locking differentials in both the front and rear, and its ability to grant more travel to the wheels by disconnecting the front anti-roll bars.

The 2015 model was the first to offer consumers a Torx tool kit that will help owners remove doors, the roof and bumper cap ends as they see fit.

Toyota Tacoma

While many might opt for a sturdy SUV when going off the beaten path, this pickup demonstrates comparable capabilities. Consumer Reports explained that this truck, like the 4Runner​, boasts great four-wheel drive componentry and 2.56:1 gears. Even if you opt for a basic model, it has commendable ground clearance and can handle well on loose gravel and dirt roads. But if you spot one with the TRD Off Road package, your new-to-you truck will come equipped with an electronic locking differential, skid plates and Bilstein shocks. Plus, a pickup gives you the ability to haul firewood or anything else you’ll need on your trip without worrying about getting dirt or bugs inside.

Each of these SUVs and trucks can be counted on for exactly this purpose. Investing in one of these means investing in a worry-free, exciting summer, and many more to come.

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