Despite the abundance of so-called SUV models on the market right now, you’d be surprised at how few are genuinely capable when the going gets tough. All-wheel drive should never be mistaken for four-wheel drive, and just because a car looks rugged, that doesn’t mean it’s an all-terrain vehicle – a true SUV is a whole other creature than a city-centric crossover. To find the best vehicles made for venturing off the beaten path, read a review of the Subaru Crosstek, or look at Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Expedition. If you want to feel pampered while blazing a trail in the wild, then the Land Rover Discovery Sport is another way to go. As for going where no other car would dare to, nothing can beat the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
Each brand brings something different to the table and various vehicle configurations on offer are each suited to a slightly different task. To get a better understanding of each, and to help you find the perfect fit for your outdoor needs, here is a quick breakdown of some of the best cars for camping:
Slotting in above the Crosstek in terms of size, the Forester has the added advantage of superior back seat space and cargo capacity. Unfortunately, it gets the same naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine as the smaller model, so don’t expect much in the way of performance. However, when it comes to off-roading, slow and steady wins the race, and this is where the Forester shines.
All-wheel drive is the only option you get, so you already know you have the extra traction needed for problematic road conditions. But, you also get a decent 8.7 inches of ground clearance, so a bit of rough terrain poses no substantial threat, either. And, while the 182-horsepower powertrain won’t thrill anyone, it does return some attractive mileage figures, meaning you can get pretty far on a single tank – close to 500 miles.
Inside, the Forester looks a lot more appealing than it does from the exterior. The cabin is well laid out, and the materials are of high quality. There is plenty of room for both people and stuff, with up to 31.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity. This is great since the Subaru doesn’t have the best towing capacity – only 1,500 lbs.
If you expect a giant SUV with rugged styling to be able to handle anything you can throw at it, then the Expedition won’t disappoint. It has more than enough power on tap to move its hefty weight, thanks to a twin-turbo V6 pumping out 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. And while this powertrain is pretty thirsty, its fuel economy is actually decent for a V6. Swapping from rear-wheel drive to four-wheel drive doesn’t make too much of an impact, either.
Of course, genuine 4WD means that the Expedition isn’t afraid to get its hands dirty. It can easily overcome rough terrain, and 9.8 inches of ride height means that it will take a lot to unsettle this behemoth. Add to this an exceptional towing capacity of up to 9,200 lbs with 4WD and this Ford is ready to take you and the caravan just about anywhere.
Of course, if you’ll be spending most of your time in the SUV, you should be eminently comfortable. The materials are nothing to write home about, but there is loads of space for everyone, so complaints aren’t likely to arise, even if it takes a few hours to reach your favorite camping site.
If the journey is more important than the destination, then a Jeep Wrangler is definitely worth consideration. Well-known throughout the USA, Jeep is all about the spirit of adventure, and in its Unlimited guise, there are few places the Wrangler can’t go. There is a plug-in variant available if you feel mother nature glaring at you as you venture deeper into her domain, but its limited all-electric range and higher power outputs aren’t enough of a boon to make up for almost 1,000 lbs of extra weight.
The V6 should be more than sufficient for any adventure, and the ability to remove the doors and roof means that you can get as close to nature as possible, even as you fight to overcome every obstacle it throws in your way. However, as such a hands-on vehicle, the Wrangler lacks many of the driver-assistance features we take for granted in our city cars.
Inside, the Jeep is just as rugged as it is on the outside. There isn’t a whole lot of space to go around, though headroom and legroom are sufficient in both rows. So long as you keep to four passengers and leave room in the back for broad shoulders, you should be fine. As for cargo, while it may not be class-leading, the Wrangler can stow a decent 31.7 cubic feet of junk in the trunk. This should be enough for camping supplies if you pack smartly. Since most trailers can’t handle the terrain where you are likely to venture, the mediocre 3,500-pound towing capacity probably won’t matter. Search on blogclus for more details.