When the paved road ends, does your SUV stop too? Or do you long to plow ahead, off-roading in your SUV?
You don't have to choose between a dedicated off-roader and a sophisticated around-town SUV any longer. Shop carefully, and you can find the best of both worlds in one SUV: A good citizen on the pavement, and an accomplished athlete in the dirt.
Check out our picks for the top 10 off-road SUVs. Not only do these have some serious all-terrain prowess, but our top picks are a great value, too. Make sure to watch the videos of each of these cars in action, too!
10. Land Rover Range Rover
MSRP: $82,650 - $130,100
Invoice: $75,625 - $119,042
Fuel Economy: NA
The Range Rover is an iconic off-road SUV. With an extremely well-appointed interior and legendary Land Rover off-road prowess, this SUV is among the elite.
For 2013, the Range Rover has shed a dramatic amount of weight, which should improve fuel economy. It also has a new navigation system with solid smartphone integration. The new design should please the badge-conscious, too. All in all, this is a great off-road SUV, but its price tag puts it at the number 10 spot on our list. No doubt it would be much higher if we were only ranking luxury SUVs.
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9. Toyota Land Cruiser
Fuel Economy: 13 mpg City, 18 mpg Highway
Almost a forgotten Toyota, the Land Cruiser has a cult following among people who have bought them for years, selling in small volumes year after year. This SUV is kind of a Land Rover in Toyota clothing, and always has been.
Its off-road capability is tremendous. Seriously, this vehicle can go anywhere, but much like the Range Rover, the price of the Land Cruiser keeps it from having a higher ranking on our list.
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8. Land Rover LR4
Fuel Economy: 12 mpg City, 17 mpg Highway
The LR4 is a great juxtaposition of luxury and extreme capability through inclement weather and rugged terrain. The badge gives any driver the panache they are looking for in the neighborhood and club parking lot. The only penalty here is fuel economy.
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7. Volkswagen Touareg
MSRP: $43,425 - $58,655
Invoice: $41,297 - $55,781
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 23 mpg Highway
The Touareg tends to fly under the radar a little bit, but trust us, this SUV is very capable off-road. We are huge fans of the TDI (diesel) engine, which puts out tons of torque and gets solid fuel economy. The main issue with this vehicle, though, is its sticker price.
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6. Jeep Wrangler
MSRP: $22,195 - $30,595
Invoice: $21,622 - $28,822
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 21 mpg Highway
The Wrangler is a great off-roading SUV priced below $35,000. The four-door version is far more practical for everyday living than the two-door. Chrysler has cleaned up the interior, and has made this a decent daily driver through suburbs and cities without compromising its go-anywhere capability
The only thing that holds this car back is its fuel economy.
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5. Nissan Pathfinder
MSRP: $28,270 - $40,770
Invoice: $25,781 - $37,159
Fuel Economy: NA
All new for 2013, the Nissan Pathfinder combines sharp styling, an affordable base MSRP and, of course, great off-road capability.
Nissan managed to remove almost 500 pounds from the Pathfinder for its newest generation, making it more nimble and more fuel efficient. Employing a solid 3.5L V6 engine and a great All-Mode 4x4-i system, the Pathfinder is a great value-oriented off-roader.
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4. Ford Explorer
MSRP: $29,135 - $40,720
Invoice: $27,459 - $37,972
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 24 mpg Highway
The new Ford Explorer comes with a lot of the capability of the old Explorers, but with much better fuel economy thanks to the 4-cylider Eco-Boost engine. Ford nailed a premium feeling, with a very well-laid out interior as well.
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3. Toyota FJ Cruiser
MSRP: $26,880 - $28,470
Invoice: $24,999 - $26,477
Fuel Economy: 16 mpg City, 20 mpg Highway
Though visibility is pretty terrible and the looks of the FJ Cruiser are, well, polarizing, this SUV is still a great choice for off-roading. Its low starting MSRP and prowess in a variety of environments make this a solid choice, despite a couple of flaws in design.
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2. Subaru Forester
MSRP: $21,295 - $29,995
Invoice: $20,166 - $28,084
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg City, 27 mpg Highway
For years, Subarus have enjoyed a reputation of reliability and great off-road ability. The Forester is no exception to the rule. With a fantastic All-Wheel Drive system, a nice, high ride height and tons of interior space, the Forester is one of the most versatile vehicles on the road.
With a starting price under $22,000, the Forester is also a fantastic value. Lots of bang for your buck with this rugged, yet refined SUV.
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1. Jeep Grand Cherokee
MSRP: $27,695 - $60,295
Invoice: $27,229 - $57,229
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 23 mpg Highway
Pound for pound, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is the best value when it comes to off-road SUVs. It has great capability and conveys a premium image, with a very nicely done interior.
Jeep's tradition of legendary off-road ability is continued in the Grand Cherokee, which can handle almost anything you throw at it. Considering this vehicle starts at under $30,000, we've determined that this is, undoubtedly, the best overall off-road SUV money can buy.
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