Fun and Functional
Everything feels big about the Toyota Tundra. The double cab variant packs 42 inches of leg space at front and 35 inches in the back, and bikes or bigger tents will easily fit in its 6.5 foot-long bed. A tow package comes standard, as do mudguards. With 10.4 inches of ground clearance and a towing capacity of up to 16,000 lbs on higher-end models, the Tundra will rock your world.
Need a truck with a payload of 5,300 lbs that can tow up to 16,500 lbs? Also boasting a flat-bed choice of 69.2 inches, 78.7 inches or 97.6 inches, the Sierra range has more than 240 combinations of trim and powertrain, so you're spoiled for choice at the higher or lower end of power and hauling capacity. The GMC Sierra 1500 SLE crew-cab, with its 6-CD changer and dual-zone cabin heating and cooling, is recommended for longer trips.
This flex-fuel compatible small pickup can fit more of your equipment with its innovative back-seat storage design, where the seats flip up to reveal safe and secure storage boxes. This helps the Dodge Dakota Extended Cab amass 30 cubic feet of cargo space, while the crew cab has 37 cubic feet. And if all you're stuff doesn't fit in the back, it offers class-leading bed-length and a 7,000 lb towing capacity.
X marks the spot where you'll be surfing, quad biking and canoeing while aping Nissan's current adrenalin-infused ad campaign. The off-road variant of the Nissan X-Terra, which offers four-models to meet your tastes, offers permanent 4WD and hill-assist controls alongside interior bike racks and a roof-mounted storage box. Its sturdy, sporty frame will look great to serious outdoors types or urban adventurers alike.
Perfect to get a few yards up that Mojave trailhead, the compact Toyota RAV4 also feels a lot more roomy than its "cute ute" monocoque exterior would have you believe. The 4WD model boasts combined gas consumption in the mid-20s MPG range, which eases any pain at the pumps while smoothing the worst of the desert rough. The V6 model can tow up to 3,500 lbs, and packs 37 cubic feet of rear cargo space.
They don't come much bigger than the H2 and perhaps no other brand has a greater reputation for ruggedness. It's got 10 inches of ground clearance, 42-degree approach and 38-degree departure angles. You can also select 2WD and 4WD modes on your way to your destination. And with its massively upgraded cabin, which offers almost 90 cubic feet of cargo space with the leather-dripped, heated rear seats folded flat, who needs a tent?
The best Land Rover ever made? This one packs three handily-labeled dials should you venture through a rocky campsite: one to raise the suspension, another to engage the stability controls and another to make doubly sure this mid-size SUV 'knows' it is on unstable ground. You also get 7.3 inches of ground clearance, 44.5 cubic feet of cargo space at the rear, towing capacity of nearly 8,000 lbs.
The Korean company's deceptively mid-sized CUV makes our list on account of its all-round cabin quality, ergonomics and ability on the rough and smooth. Legroom is 41 and 37 inches at front and back, and with the back seats folded flat it'll hold 77.7 cubic liters of cargo. It can fit seven at a squeeze, and the more powerful variants can tow up to 2,000 lbs of equipment.
Well-reviewed and perhaps even more surprisingly Trail-rated by Jeep on its 2007 release, this compact CUV startles even more with its 26 MPG combined fuel output. Alongside split-fold rear seats, a removable and washable cargo floor and cabin controls easily operated with gloves on, the Patriot comes with a nifty interior light that doubles as a flashlight, and a cool back speaker system that swivels to the rear for tailgating tunes.
Another well-designed medium-sized CUV, this Mitsubishi Outlander feels big on account of its wider, taller stance, third-row seating option (on the upscale variant) and versatile cargo space. It packs 39 cubic feet of cargo space at rear and a handy door-lock system, whereby the driver, with key fob in hand, doesn't have to unlock the front doors before opening them ÔøΩ very handy in the dark or with very cold hands.