best off road cars
May 03, 2024

Everything About Off-Roading: 9 Best Off-Road Cars in 2024

Off-road driving epitomizes the essence of adventure, inviting enthusiasts to venture beyond the confines of paved roads into the realm of untamed wilderness. From navigating rocky trails to conquering muddy bogs and scaling steep inclines, every moment behind the wheel is a test of skill and resilience. However, off-roading relies on essential elements like capable vehicles, terrain knowledge, safety gear, some off-road upgrades, driving skills, etc.

In this article, we explore everything about off-roading, from off-road diesel fuel to off-road accessories. Plus, you can find our detailed list of the 9 best off-road cars in 2024. So, if you want to discover the best off-road accessories, all you need to do is read this article till the end!

off-road car

What is an Off-Road Car?

An off-road car is designed to be driven on unpaved surfaces or rough terrain. It typically features large tires, higher ground clearance, and specialized suspension systems to handle rough conditions. These vehicles are often used for recreational activities like off-roading and practical purposes like farming, construction, and military operations.

What are the Different Types of Off-Road Cars?

Each type of off-road vehicle has its unique characteristics, advantages, and intended uses, catering to a wide range of off-road enthusiasts and recreational activities. Here’s the list of the off-road cars:

off-road cars


Jeeps are renowned for their legendary off-road capability and versatility. With advanced 4WD systems, they excel in various terrains, from trails to mud and snow. Solid axles provide durability and off-road prowess, allowing Jeeps to traverse challenging obstacles easily. Skid plates safeguard critical components like the engine and transmission from damage, while generous approach and departure angles ensure clearance over obstacles without scraping. 

4x4 (Four-Wheel Drive)

4x4 or 4WD systems allow the driver to engage all four wheels. They typically offer two-wheel drive for regular road use and four-wheel drive for severe off-road driving, with additional torque and low-range gearing for tackling challenging terrain. So, drivers can manually engage or disengage in the 4x4 mode, allowing flexibility in adapting to changing driving conditions. Also, 4x4 is commonly found in trucks, SUVs, and crossovers. While AWD is suited for on-road and off-road conditions, 4x4 excels in challenging off-road terrain.

AWD (All-Wheel Drive)

AWD vehicles are designed to distribute power to all four wheels simultaneously, providing increased traction and stability on various surfaces. Unlike standard four-wheel drive systems, AWD systems can calibrate the torque distribution between the front and back wheels as necessary. AWD is commonly found in SUVs, crossovers, and some passenger cars, offering improved performance in inclement weather and light off-road conditions without driver intervention. 


Many SUVs have optional four-wheel drive systems that improve traction on slippery or uneven terrain. They have advanced off-road driving modes or terrain management systems that optimize performance on off-road terrain and higher ground clearance than standard passenger cars. Additionally, certain SUVs come with features like skid plates, tow hooks, and off-road suspension systems.


While crossovers generally prioritize on-road comfort and fuel efficiency over off-road capability, some models offer optional all-wheel drive systems for better traction in adverse conditions. Crossovers with higher ground clearance and rugged styling cues may have limited off-road capabilities and be suitable for light-duty trails and gravel roads.

Pick-up Trucks

Pick-up trucks often have robust four-wheel-drive systems and high-performance off-road suspension components for tackling challenging terrain. Many pick-up truck models offer off-road specific trim levels or packages, including features like locking differentials, skid plates, and off-road tires, to enhance their capabilities. Off-road pick-up trucks may also have features like hill descent control, off-road specific traction control systems, and trailering cameras to aid off-road driving and towing tasks.

How Have Off-Road Cars Evolved?

Over the decades, the evolution of off-road cars has been a fantastic journey marked by innovation, adaptation, and technological advancements. Let’s take a closer look at it below:

off-road car
  • Introduction of Four-wheel Drive: Originating in the early 20th century, 4x4 vehicles served agricultural and military needs with simple yet robust designs, laying the groundwork for their future evolution. 
  • Body-on-frame Construction: Off-road vehicles evolved to feature body-on-frame construction, where the vehicle's body is mounted on a separate chassis. This design makes off-road vehicles more capable of handling rough terrain. 
  • The rise of SUVs: The 1950s and 60s witnessed the rise of SUVs, which offered 4x4 capabilities while also serving as family cars. So, SUVs blended off-road prowess with on-road comfort, paving the way for the modern ones. 
  • Luxury and Comfort: As consumer tastes evolved, manufacturers shifted their focus towards elevating the luxury and comfort of 4x4s. Brands like Range Rover and Mercedes Benz led the charge, introducing SUVs with cutting-edge off-road features. 
  • Hybrid and Electric 4x4s: Automakers manufacture hybrid and electric 4x4s in response to environmental imperatives. They open a new era of eco-conscious off-roading, blending efficiency with adventure in an electrifying fusion. 
  • Advanced Off-road Technology: Modern 4x4s have advanced off-road technology, including adaptive terrain response systems, electronic stability control, and variable ride height suspension.
  • The Future of 4x4s: Off-road driving promises electrifying and autonomous advancements, with electric 4x4s offering zero-emission exploration and autonomous capabilities redefining safety and accessibility.
  • What are the Different Types of Off-Road Terrains?

    There are various types of off-road terrains, each presenting unique challenges and requiring different techniques for navigation. Here are some different types of off-road terrains:

    • Mud
    • Sand
    • Rocks
    • Gravel
    • Snow
    • Water Crossings
    • Hills and Mountains
    • Forest Trails
    off-road terrains

    What are Important Off-Road Driving Skills and Techniques?

    Off-road driving requires a unique set of skills and techniques to navigate challenging terrain safely and effectively. Here are some essential skills and techniques:

    • Vehicle Familiarity: Understand your vehicle's off-road capabilities, including ground clearance, approach and departure angles, and traction control systems.
    • Terrain Assessment: Learn to assess different types of off-road terrain, including mud, sand, rocks, and steep inclines, to anticipate potential challenges and plan your route accordingly.
    • Proper Gear Selection: To maintain traction and control, use the appropriate gear (high or low range) based on the off-road terrain and driving conditions.
    • Tire Pressure Management: Adjust tire pressure to optimize traction and flotation on different off-road terrain, such as lowering pressure for soft terrain like sand and increasing pressure for rocky terrain.
    • Effective Steering Techniques: Use proper steering techniques, such as the hand-over-hand method, to navigate tight turns and obstacles while maintaining control of the off-road vehicle.
    • Use of Differential Locks: Understand when and how to engage differential locks to improve traction in challenging off-road conditions, such as deep mud or loose gravel.
    • Uphill and Downhill Driving: Master techniques for driving uphill and downhill, including maintaining a consistent speed, using engine braking, and avoiding sudden acceleration or braking.

    What is Off-Road Diesel Fuel?

    Off-road diesel fuel is formulated explicitly for off-road vehicles such as construction machinery, agricultural machinery, tractors, dump trucks, and generators. Here are some FAQs about off-road diesel fuel:

    off-road fuel

    Is off-road diesel #1 or 2?

    Off-road diesel comes in two main types: #1 or 2 diesel. #1 Diesel has a lower viscosity and cloud point, making it suitable for colder climates, while #2 diesel is more commonly used in warmer temperatures and offers better lubrication.

    What color is off-road diesel?

    One of the most distinctive features of off-road diesel is related to its red color. This coloration is a regulatory requirement to prevent individuals from using untaxed off-road diesel in on-road vehicles to avoid paying road taxes.

    What's the difference between off-road diesel and regular diesel?

    One significant difference between off-road diesel and regular diesel is the sulfur content. In many regions, including the United States, regulations mandate lower sulfur content in both on-road and off-road diesel fuels to reduce harmful emissions. However, off-road diesel often has a slightly higher sulfur content than regular diesel because it is not subject to the same stringent emissions standards.

    How much is off-road diesel fuel?

    Off-road diesel fuel costs fluctuate based on regional taxes, market demand, and crude oil prices. However, due to the absence of road taxes, off-road diesel is generally more cost-effective than regular diesel.

    What are the best Off-Road Vehicles in 2024?

    From iconic legends to innovative newcomers, here are the 9 top off-road cars in 2024:

    Jeep Wrangler

    The 2024 Jeep Wrangler offers an array of powertrains tailored to off-road adventures. From the standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine delivering 285 horsepower to the electrifying Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid boasting up to 370 horsepower and the Rubicon 392 with its best-in-class 470 horsepower HEMI V8, the Wrangler ensures unmatched performance on any off-road terrain. Moreover, the 2024 Jeep Wrangler maintains grip and stability on challenging off-road terrain thanks to its advanced traction systems, such as the 4x4 High mode, and a suspension designed for maximum articulation.


    Toyota Land Cruiser

    The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser emerges with a groundbreaking powertrain merging hybrid technology with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. This advanced hybrid engine generates an impressive 465 lb-ft of torque. The 2024 Land Cruiser offers standard full-time four-wheel drive and a center-locking differential, which provide better traction and control in challenging off-road conditions. Additionally, the 2024 Land Cruiser's Multi-Terrain Select allows you to navigate various off-road terrain at different speeds, while its Crawl Control aids in navigating challenging terrain by operating at lower speeds and supporting the driver by managing acceleration and braking.

    The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

    Ford Bronco

    The 2024 Ford Bronco has three engine options. The base engine is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine with 300 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine produces 330 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. The 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 engine produces 418 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, the 2024 Ford Bronco boasts advanced 4x4 systems offering exceptional off-road capability across trim levels, especially with the Ford Bronco Wildtrak.

    ford bronco

    Mercedes Benz G-Class

    The 2024 Mercedes-Benz G-Class offers three trims and variations of its twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine. The standard G 550 model delivers 416 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, providing smooth power delivery ideal for navigating challenging off-road terrain or conquering steep inclines. The AMG G 63 receives a performance boost from AMG, with its V8 engine enhanced to produce 577 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. The AMG G 63 4x4 Squared variant also shares the same potent engine, generating 585 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque, offering an advanced off-road performance.


    Lexus GX

    The 2024 Lexus GX offers two different personas: luxurious on-road comfort and rugged off-road capacity. Standard in the GX550 is a twin-turbocharged 3.4 liter V6 engine boasting an impressive 349 horsepower. Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, all Lexus GX models have four-wheel drive for enhanced traction and control. Additionally, the Lexus GX Overtrail and Overtrail+ trims elevate the off-road performance with additional features such as 18-ich wheels equipped with 33-inch All-Terrain tires, an aluminum skid plate, an adaptive suspension system, crawl-control functionality, and multi-terrain select modes.

    lexus gx

    Land Rover Defender

    The 2024 Land Rover Defender offers various engine options supporting off-road performance. The base engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine delivering 296 hp and 295 torque. Two additional engine options are available for off-road enthusiasts: a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine generating 395 hp and 406 torque and two supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engines with 518 hp and 461 torque. So, the 2024 Land Rover Defender promises exciting off-road performance with its all-engine variants, four-wheel drive, and eight-speed automatic transmission.

    land rover

    GMC Sierra

    The 2024 GMC Sierra is one of the most capable off-road pickup trucks. It has four different engine options: a turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder, two V8 engines with 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter, and a torque-rich diesel six-cylinder. All engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Additionally, the 2024 GMC Sierra offers two off-road trims which are AT4 and AT4X. While the Sierra AT4 stands out with its impressive 2.0-inch suspension lift, the Sierra AT4X is equipped with advanced spool-valve dampers and electronic-locking front and rear differentials.

    gmc sierra

    Ram 1500 TRX

    One of the best off-road pick-up trucks is the 2024 Ram 1500 TRX, equipped with a supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8 engine delivering 720 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. Paired with four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission, the TRX accelerates from 0 to 60 mph, blistering 4.1 seconds. Regarding off-road performance, the TRX has 35-inch tires and optional beadlock-capable wheels. Additionally, the R-A-M emblem on the grille serves a functional purpose by providing up to 32.9 liters of air to the engine, contributing to the TRX’s off-road performance.


    Chevrolet Colorado

    The 2024 Chevrolet Colorado falls into the category of the best off-road pick-up truck thanks to its turbocharged 2.7L inline-four engine offering different power outputs based on trim levels: WT, LT, Trail Boss, ZR1, ZR2, and ZR2 Bison.  All Colorado trims are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Additionally, the WT and LT trims are equipped with a standard 237-horsepower engine, while the Z71, Trail Boss, and ZR2 models feature a more potent 310-horsepower version of the same turbocharged 2.7-liter engine, providing enhanced performance for off-road and rugged driving conditions.


    What are the Crucial Factors for Choosing an Off-Road Vehicle?

    Choosing the right off-road car requires careful consideration of several factors to ensure it can handle the demands of off-road driving. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

    • Terrain Compatibility: Consider the types of off-road terrain you’ll encounter, such as mud, rocks, sand, or snow, and choose a capable off-road vehicle with appropriate features and capabilities for those conditions.
    • Budget: Set a budget and take into account the upfront cost of the vehicle as well as ongoing expenses such as maintenance, repairs, and modifications. 
    • Four-Wheel Drive System: It provides better control and traction to all wheels when needed, especially in challenging off-road conditions.
    • High Ground Clearance: Look for an off-road car equipped with high ground clearance to navigate obstacles without getting stuck or damaging the undercarriage. 
    • Durability and Protection: Choose an off-road car known for its durability and reliability, with features such as skid plates, protective bumpers, and reinforced chassis to withstand off-road abuse.
    • Payload and Towing Capacity: If you plan to haul gear or tow trailers off-road, consider the vehicle’s payload and towing capacity to ensure it can handle your cargo requirements.
    • Off-road Accessories: Even if you choose the right off-road car, you may need to elevate its off-road capabilities to experience more exciting off-road adventures. So, keep reading to learn essential off-road accessories!

    What are Essential Off-Road Accessories?

    Various off-road performance upgrade parts or off-road accessories ensure car performance, durability, and safety in challenging off-road terrain. Here are some off-road accessories:

    off-road equipment

    Skid Plates

    One of the most essential off-road accessories is skid plates. Off-roading can potentially damage vehicles from various obstacles on the trail, such as roots and rocks. Skid plates are essential for safeguarding critical components like the engine, transmission, and fuel tank against impacts, scrapes, and punctures.


    A winch mounted to the front or rear of the vehicle serves as a valuable recovery tool for self-recovery or assisting other cars in challenging situations. Winches with high pulling capacities can pull vehicles out of mud, sand, or snow or assist in traversing steep inclines or obstacles where traction is limited. So, the winch falls into the category of essential off-road accessories.

    Lift Kit

    A lift kit is one of the most essential off-road accessories, which allows for smoother progress and reduces the risk of mechanical failure. The lift kit raises the vehicle’s ground clearance, providing extra space between the undercarriage and potential obstructions. This additional ground clearance prevents the car from getting hung up or damaged while navigating challenging terrain.

    Off-Road Lighting

    Off-road adventures often extend into low-light conditions or nighttime excursions. Enhanced lighting systems, such as LED light bars or spotlights, are crucial in improving visibility during these situations. An advanced off-road lighting system makes it easier for off-road cars to spot hazards and obstacles on the trail, reducing the accident risk and ensuring safe passage. Thus, off-road lighting falls into the category of essential off-road accessories.


    One of the most essential off-road accessories is a snorkel. Many off-road trails feature water crossings, where vehicles may encounter streams, rivers, or deep puddles. A snorkel is an elevated air intake system, positioning the engine’s intake point above the vehicle’s hood level. This design prevents water from entering the engine's intake system, reducing the risk of hydrolock—a potentially catastrophic condition where water enters the engine cylinders, causing internal damage.

    High-Performance Suspension System

    Off-roading demands a robust suspension system capable of absorbing shocks and maintaining stability on uneven terrain. Upgraded shocks, springs, and control arms provide better articulation, helping the wheels maintain contact with the ground for improved traction and control. Adjustable suspension systems offer flexibility to adjust ride height and damping settings to suit off-road conditions.

    Off-Road Tires

    Off-road tires are critical for traction and handling on various off-road surfaces. Aggressive tread patterns with deep grooves and large lugs bite into loose terrain, while reinforced sidewalls resist punctures and damage from rocks and debris. Tire size and air pressure can be adjusted to optimize traction and flotation depending on the off-road terrain, with lower pressures providing a better grip on soft surfaces like sand and mud.

    Additionally, regarding upgraded tires for off-roading, critical questions like “How long do off-road tires last?” “How to choose off-road tires?” “how to maintain all-terrain off-road tires?” etc. need to be answered:

  • How long do off-road tires last?
  • Off-road tire lifespan varies based on factors like quality and maintenance but typically ranges between 30,000 and 50,000 miles.

  • How to choose off-road tires?
  • Consider tread pattern, size, sidewall strength, and load rating to ensure they suit your driving terrain and vehicle specifications.

  • How to maintain all-terrain off-road tires?
  • Regularly check and adjust tire pressure, rotate tires for even wear, inspect for damage after off-road trips, and clean to remove debris, maximizing lifespan and performance.

    Throttle Response Controller

    One of the most effective off-road accessories is a throttle response controller. It allows drivers to fine-tune their vehicle’s throttle response based on the off-road terrain they’re navigating. If you want to learn more about it, just keep reading!

    How to Unleash Your Vehicle’s Off-Road Potential with Pedal Commander?

    Pedal Commander is the most practical and versatile aftermarket part in the market. It is designed to eliminate throttle lag from your accelerator pedal. Picture this: as you press down on the throttle pedal, your vehicle responds  with lightning-fast precision, effortlessly surging forward to conquer any obstacle in its path. So, this transformative power of Pedal Commander makes itself an essential off-road accessory.

    pedal commander for off-roading

    Moreover, what sets the Pedal Commander apart as the premier off-road accessory is its four adjustable modes: Eco, City, Sport, and Sport+. It allows you to experience a customizable throttle response tailored to your driving preferences and off-road terrain conditions. So, if you want to unleash the wild off-road beast within your vehicle, all you need to do is upgrade it with Pedal Commander!