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Best Off-Road Vehicles For 2013

If off-roading is in your future , you can be sure that there is no guarantee you won’t get stuck somewhere with no cell phone coverage, but your odds of driving out are a lot better if you’ve got the latest four-wheel-drive technology at hand.  At Chapman Payson, you’ll find vehicles designed for those mud-crawling, stump-jumping, rut-running, stream-fording, hill-climbing conditions – in particular, check out these four off-road masters.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Any vehicle fitted with BF Goodrich Mud Terrains is going to be very good off road. The Wrangler Rubicon is available with 32-inch diameter Muds. That extra inch in diameter over the more-common 31s provides useful additional ground clearance. The Rubicon also features the ability to disconnect the front anti-roll bar. This increases suspension travel and helps keep the tires in contact with the surface. The tune of successful off-roaders is “As slow as possible, as fast as necessary.” The Rubicon’s Rock-Trac transfer case’s ultra-low gearing provides the torque multiplication – and speed enforcement – to allow you to successfully climb and descend steep trails. With lockable front and rear differentials, the Wrangler Rubicon is one of the few vehicles that truly have four-wheel drive.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Grand Cherokee

The  Jeep Grand Cherokee is not only a comfortable people mover, but it also maintains Jeep’s high standards for off-road capability.  The Trail-Rated Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with the choice of three different four-wheel drive systems, although hardcore drivers will want to go for the Quadra-Drive II edition which offers Selec-Terrain (for configuring engine, transmission, and stability / traction control parameters for a particular type of driving situation) as well as an air suspension with adjustable ride height and a pair of locking differentials.  The Grand Cherokee can be equipped with either a 3.6-liter V-6 putting out 290 horses and 260 lb-ft of torque, or it can be had with a 360 horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 that also generates a respectable 390 lb-ft of torque.

Chevy Tahoe

Chevy Tahoe

 

Though dressed for a Saturday night on the town, this 9-passenger utility’s DNA can be easily traced back to its rough-and-ready roots. A big truck, the Tahoe delivers excellent passenger and cargo room. Powered by a 5.3-liter 320-horsepower V8 engine, it is also capable of towing up to 8,200 pounds in 4-wheel-drive trim. It doesn’t offer stellar fuel economy, though; its mileage figures are in the high teens. Real explorers should opt for the Z71 off-road package, which includes better shocks, skid plates and dress-up items.

Ram 2500 Power Wagon

The Ram 2500 Power Wagon

The Ram 2500 Power Wagon is a serious three-quarter ton full-size pickup that makes use of an extremely aggressive rear axle ratio, locking differentials, a tough four-wheel drive system, a factory winch, skid plates, tow hooks, off-road tires, and the ability to disconnect the front swaybar from inside the cabin.  The Ram Power Wagon is a throwback to the days when one could spec out a heavy-duty truck to tackle the great wide open.  A 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is the only engine available with the Power Wagon, and it delivers 383 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque with a six-speed automatic transmission handling the gear-shifting duties.

To find the best off-road vehicle for you, visit the Chapman Payson Auto Center.

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