10 SUVs Made For Off-Road… But You’ll Never See Them Off The Beaten Path
Over the years, SUVs have gradually moved closer to the pavement. Decades ago, they started out as capable off-road machines, and while modern SUVs retain much of that capability, most people don’t buy them for that reason.
Most SUV buyers buy into a concept or a perception. The concept that SUVs are just bigger and more convenient, even if you are single. Or the perception that certain SUVs advertise the fact that you have entered a different class bracket, and serve as a less subtle status symbol.
Naturally, these are stereotypes, and many people go out and buy an SUV with the intention of using it as an adventure vehicle, but life catches up with them and they never get into it.
10/10 land rover defender
The latest edition of the Defender is arguably one of the most capable new off-road vehicles. Unfortunately, it sits between true off-roader and status symbol.
Most people who buy them opt for the top model, leaning more towards the status symbol side of this luxury SUV.
9/10 Toyota Land Cruiser VX
Although the land cruiser had limited appeal in the North American market, it was a resounding success in the rest of the world.
Toyota has also indulged in the luxury SUV market with the VX model. As much as previous-generation Land Cruisers became famous for the role they played in peacekeeping operations, the VX model was more infamous for being the vehicle of choice for less scrupulous individuals.
8/10 Range RoverVogue
Arguably the very first true luxury SUV. Until this point in history, SUVs were still more rugged alternatives, with most manufacturers only flirting with a few luxurious options on the spec sheet.
The Vogue, as its name suggests, was a complete luxury vehicle equipped with just about everything BMW, Range Rover’s parent company at the time, had to offer. Suffice to say, the market was ready for it and it sold well, especially considering its price.
7/10 Jeep Wrangler
Well, the Wrangler lives a bit of a double life. He thrived as both an off-road enthusiast and the proverbial “bro-dozer.”
Often wearing the most expensive off-road kit on the market, but they never even get a drop of mud on them, or even a light scratch from a bramble bush.
6/10 Land Rover Discovery II
Built on the same platform as the old Range Rover Classic, the Discovery II is one of the most capable off-road vehicles money can buy.
Unfortunately, they are more commonly used as suburban exploration vehicles, transporting children to and from school. The others live their lives in the store, perpetually waiting for the wrong parts to arrive.
5/10 jeep grand cherokee
The latest Grand Cherokee is supposed to be one of the most off-road capable new Jeeps, well, at least that’s what their marketing tells us.
We haven’t seen one in the wild yet, and you can hardly blame owners for not wanting to mess up their expensive new SUV…or get stuck somewhere.
4/10 Range Rover Sports
The launch of the Range Rover Sport would indeed start a trend. It has become something of an icon around the world, not for being luxurious or capable, but a pure status symbol.
Few vehicles have been bought and sold in such huge numbers on one name, but the first generation Range Rover Sport is one of those marketing success stories where people really bought into the brand. Underneath it was more or less just a Discovery 3, not a bad off-roader, but not quite a luxury brand (yet).
3/10 Lexus LX
Although most people know it’s just a fancy Toyota, they still buy it. The latest LX is effectively the same vehicle as the J300 Land Cruiser, but costs significantly more.
Granted, you get a bucket more luxury for your money, but all that only makes it even more exclusive. Most buyers prefer to sit in the back…
2/10 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Initially designed as a military vehicle, the G-Class has evolved into something completely different. It has now become the established SUV status symbol.
They’re very capable, but you’ll see a lot more ‘bling’ on these insanely expensive vehicles than mud.
1/10 Hummer H1
The original Hummer is literally a street-legal military vehicle. Although fully combat readythey’re also huge and prove rather troublesome off-road compared to the lighter, less bulletproof options.
In a world where image is paramount, they are the first real “bro-dozers”, most of them living their lives in the suburbs.