Off-roading is a relatively new activity, thought to have come about as a result of the end of World War Two. After the war, there was a surplus of off-road vehicles like jeeps that would have otherwise gone to the US Army. Instead, they were bought by the public, and the hobby was born.
Since then, off-roading has grown into a multi-billion-dollar hobby. The market for off-road vehicles was valued at $14 billion in 2020, and is on track to hit $18 billion by 2026. If you’re looking to get into this great pastime, you’ll need a car that can handle it. Here are the best cars for off-roading in 2022, and what you can do to prepare for going off the beaten track.
The best off-road vehicles 2022
To start with, we have to mention the 2022 Ford Bronco. Not only is it a great modern take on a classic design, but it comes in a range of models depending on the type of off-roading you’re looking to take up. Wanting to drive through the desert? Take a look at the Bronco Raptor. What about tackling the swamps? The Bronco Everglades is for you. Each vehicle is customised for the challenges you’re likely to find in those environments.
One of the most capable SUVs in 2022 is the Jeep Wrangler, particularly the Rubicon 392 model. Not only can it tackle most terrain without modification, but it’s also fast. While many Jeeps are rugged but sluggish, this model boasts a 6.4-liter V-8 engine with 470 hp. This makes it great for the open road, as well as crawling across rocks or through mud.
An all-time classic is the Land Rover Defender. This fantastic vehicle is back in 2022 with brand new models that really demonstrate what an SUV can do. You might think that the interior is a little basic and its on-road handling isn’t amazing, but when it comes to driving off-road it’s top of its class.
For a more luxurious option, you can try the Lexus LX600. The hi-tech cabin and stylish, comfortable interior might make you think this isn’t a capable car, but don’t be fooled. The LX600 can go almost anywhere, with nearly nine inches of ground clearance, crawl control and a host of different terrain modes. Just because you’re off-roading doesn’t mean you can’t be comfortable.
Modifying your car for off-roading
Even if you can’t manage to buy one of these top-of-the-range models, you can still enjoy off-roading. As long as you have a powerful car, preferably a 4×4, you can make a few modifications that will make off-roading possible.
The simplest upgrade is your tires. A good brand of all-terrain tires, like Mickey Thompson, will come with improved grip and deep treads. These will help you drive on mud, snow or sand without wheel-spinning and getting yourself stuck.
A lift kit could also be a good idea. The basics of lift for off-roading are that you want your vehicle to be as high off the ground as possible without sacrificing balance. This is going to be different for every car but try to get a lift kit that includes a suspension upgrade. Bouncing over rocks and hills is going to be uncomfortable without one!
A lot is going to depend on where you’re planning to go off-road. For dry areas, air filters are important to stop your engine getting clogged up with dust and sand. If you’re heading to the swamps, a snorkel might be a good idea to prevent the engine from getting flooded. Finally, many drivers like to add a winch to their car; if all else fails and you get stuck, it can be a good way of pulling yourself out of a sticky situation.
While off-roading is a great hobby and a fantastic way to explore the outdoors, make sure you’re doing it safely. Always map out your route carefully, have an emergency plan, and be sure to let people know where you will be and when to expect you back. And, of course, have fun!