5 of the worst off-road SUVs
Any vehicle is an off-road vehicle if you take it off the road. But any machine can also be a smoke machine if you misuse it. Some SUVs are designed for off-roading, but many are not. Just because they have four-wheel drive or have a Jeep name on a seven-slat grille doesn’t mean they’re crawlers.
For your next off-road adventure, don’t take one of these SUVs.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee TrackHawk is a great on-road SUV
Just because it’s a four-wheel-drive Jeep doesn’t mean the TrackHawk is suitable for mountain trails. The TrackHawk is a Grand Cherokee with racing tires. The TrackHawk has a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that puts out 707 horsepower, launch control, and a computer that tells you your 0-60 time in the dash. It’s built to go fast, but with the Brembo brake package, it can stop too.
Forget the Trackhawk for rocky trails. Get a TrailHawk for that.
The Mercedes-Maybach GLS is a terrible off-road SUV
Of course, it has a 4.0-liter V8 that develops 550 horsepower. Sure, it’ll hit 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds. Yes, it has all wheel drive. But can you imagine trying to fix a scratch from an errant branch on that $160,500 SUV? We can guarantee that your local AutoZone does not have touch up paint for this. The Maybach has one of the best interiors in the business that you wouldn’t mind getting muddy. It has all the technology that the rest of our cars will get 10 years from now and a stunning presence on the road.
The GLS 600 is better suited for reality TV star trips to the mall, or as a coast-to-coast killer SUV than as a mud-encrusted off-road beast.
The Alfa Romeo Tonale is a performance SUV
We’re not saying you can’t take the Tonale off the road, we just know that replacing that air dam in the low front bumper seems very expensive. The Tonale is Alfa Romeo’s new performance SUV for 2023, not one of the company’s off-road SUVs. You can order it as a 272-hp plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or as a 295-hp all-wheel-drive gasoline SUV.
The Tonale is more about driving dynamics on the road than on the trail.
The Volkswagen ID.4 is an impressive commuter
The ID4 does a good job of looking like a large SUV. But with just 6.7 inches of ground clearance, you don’t get over too many rocks in the VW ID.4. Instead, this SUV is designed to move comfortably. And, with approach and departure angles of just 20 degrees, you won’t get over too many steep hills. But this electric SUV can be ordered with all-wheel drive and it can go 280 miles on a charge.
If you insist on one of VW’s off-road SUVs, grab an Atlas Cross Sport instead.
The Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat is a drag strip racer
With 710 horsepower, the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat sends it. This SUV has a 6.4-liter Hemi-V8 that has more power than three base VW ID.4 models combined, all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic. This thing is on Pirelli 45-series summer tires, so you can expect great grip on the drag strip, not the 4×4 park. It does have eight inches of ground clearance though, and a monstrous thirst for gas. In terms of options, it has all the options Dodge can add to a Durango. Just like other Durangos, however, it will tow 8,700 pounds – but very quickly.
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