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
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
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.
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 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.