Off Road Crossover

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Feb 27, 2016 In Off-road mode the Cayenne can conquer everything except serious obstacles like climbing large rocks, giving it more capability than you might expect from a car-based crossover. What makes the modern crossover so unique is the fact that it combines the car like the handling of a full-size sedan with the off-road characteristics of an SUV model which has made for a highly popular and versatile mode of transportation for most modern families.

There aren't that many body-on-frame SUVs around these days, save for a handful of large SUVs and iconic models such as the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota Land Cruiser. Instead, the majority of today's SUVs share platforms with their car counterparts, resulting in less off-road capability than body-on-frame vehicles. But that doesn't mean car-based SUVs shouldn't go off-road — the ones listed below can handle some of the rough stuff.


Honda Pilot

© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Honda Pilot AWD Elite front three quarters in motion No longer the boxy SUV it used to be, the Honda Pilot is more aerodynamic, more family-oriented, and larger than the vehicle it replaces. From the outside it doesn't look like the Pilot has a lot of ground clearance, but it has enough to clear rough, unpaved dirt roads on the way to a campsite. All-wheel drive is optional and the new 3.5-liter V-6 has 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. That's plenty of power for when you're traveling through the rough stuff.

Porsche Cayenne

© Provided by MotorTrend 2016-Porsche-Cayenne-GTS-front-three-quarters-in-motion-04 When equipped with the available air suspension, the Porsche Cayenne can raise and lower itself depending on how much ground clearance you need. In Off-road mode the Cayenne can conquer everything except serious obstacles like climbing large rocks, giving it more capability than you might expect from a car-based crossover. You can choose between several engines including a 420-hp, twin-turbo V-6 and a 570-hp, twin-turbo V-8.

Volvo XC90

© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription front three quarter in motion 03 Motor Trend's 2016 SUV of the Year, the Volvo XC90, is just as good off-road as it is on-road. When equipped with the available four-corner air suspension, you can raise the car to increase ground clearance or lower it for improved aerodynamics. If the 316-hp, super- and turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 isn't powerful enough for you, the T8 plug-in hybrid with 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque should satisfy you.


Subaru Forester

© Provided by MotorTrend 2014-Subaru-Forester-XT-front-three-quarters-in-motion1 With 8.7 inches of ground clearance and all-wheel drive as standard, the Subaru Forester is one of the few car-based crossovers built with off-roading in mind. Whether you get the base model or the 250-hp Forester XT, you'll be able to go farther—and faster—on an unpaved road than most of the Forester's competitors.

Audi Q7

© Provided by MotorTrend 2017 Audi Q7 30T Quattro front three quarter in motion 02 Redesigned for the 2017 model year, the Audi Q7 is lighter and more fuel efficient than the car it replaces. Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system is standard and so is a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 with 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque that lets the Q7 go off-road with ease. There's also an adaptive air suspension to help you traverse trails by letting you raise and lower the car.

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

© Provided by MotorTrend 2016-Mercedes-Benz-GLC-Class-4Matic-promo2 As with every Mercedes-Benz vehicle, the GLC-Class is over-engineered and able to do more off-road driving than its looks might suggest. An available adaptive air suspension allows the car to adjust to the driving conditions and lets the driver change the ride height and ground clearance based on the road.

Kia Sorento

© Provided by MotorTrend 2016-Kia-Sorento-SXL-AWD-front-three-quarter-in-motion-03 When equipped with the available all-wheel drive, the Kia Sorento comes with a locking center differential for improved low-speed traction on less-than-perfect roads. Available with the 240-hp turbo-four or the 290-hp V-6, the Sorento is more than capable off the beaten path and the 7.3 inches of ground clearance should allow you to clear most trail obstacles.

Volvo XC60

© Provided by MotorTrend 2015-Volvo-XC60-T6-front-three-quarters-in-motion Currently one of the best-selling Volvos, the XC60 is also one of the most off-road-worthy in its class thanks to 9.1 inches of ground clearance and an available Haldex-based all-wheel drive system. You can choose a 302-hp, super- and turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 for on-demand power.

Off Road Crossover

Audi Q5

Best Suv Off Road Capability

© Provided by MotorTrend 2015-Audi-SQ5-promo1 Regardless of the trim level and engine choice, all Audi Q5 models have standard all-wheel drive. Add to that nearly eight inches of ground clearance and you have a crossover that will take your family off the beaten path with ease. Should you fancy some rally-style dirt road action, the performance-minded SQ5 and its 354-hp, supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 will keep you entertained as you drift around and pretend you're competing in WRC.

Off Road Unlimited Crossover Steering

Subaru Outback

Best Off-road Crossovers

© Provided by MotorTrend 2015-Subaru-Outback-36R-front-side1 No other wagon is as capable off the beaten path as the Subaru Outback. Thanks to 8.7 inches of ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive, you'll be able to trek through rocky trails and even get through small ravines. If you've got a lot of gear, the Outback comes with nifty roof rails with integrated crossbars for your bikes and has up to 73.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the second row folded.

Off-road Crossover Car

© Provided by MotorTrend 10 Off Road Worthy Car Based Crossovers SUVs