Ten of the best off-road vehicles you can buy in 2023
The motors making vertical driving fun, without breaking a sweat
The Isuzu D-Max makes a compelling choice, not least because of its unreal off-road capability and no-nonsense attitude. It barrels across terrain like all was razed to the ground only moments before, yet, with recent 'lifestyle' refinements, the top-spec trims carry enough comfort to keep the family happy.Advertisement - Page continues below
New to the scene, yet not as new as you might think, the Ineos Grenadier takes serious dollops of inspiration from the Defender and the G-Wagen. But far from being an unwanted lovechild, the Grenadier has its own strong sense of character and adventure. Extremely capable off-road, it performs as well on-road, too.
If you’re looking for an off-roader with solid American might, you need look no further than the Jeep Wrangler. This is the freshest version of the Wrangler yet and a fair few changes have been made to make it lighter and more efficient. A convertible off-road warrior that smashes mud and mountains in a style of its own.Advertisement - Page continues below
Ford does what it does best in the Ranger. A 4x4 that combines street-savvy smarts with an unparalleled work ethic and plenty of cabin comfort. Though the top-trim kit and caboodle doesn’t come cheap, the capability of the UK’s best-selling pick-up is undoubtedly the essential element of its popularity. And yes, you're most likely just going to use that capability to go to the supermarket. Still good to have... so go for a Raptor.
Fiat Panda 4x4
Once associated with arguably ineffectual bobbies on the beat (we're thinking Heartbeat), the Fiat Panda 4x4 is a bit of a hidden gem. Popular in Italy, today’s Panda punches above its weight on plenty of fronts. It’s distinctive-looking without being ugly, there’s plenty of cabin room, it’s cheap to run and it when it comes to off-roading it's basically a mountain goat.
The Suzuki Ignis straddles several pigeon holes. A competent compact city car, akin to the Toyota Aygo or VW Up, yet an entirely capable off-roader, like the Dacia Duster, it’s a complete outlier. But it’s styled well, not too thirsty and has character, so we’re suitably charmed.
Subaru's been in the off-roading game for yonks. And what the Subaru Forester lacks in style, it makes up for in graft and off-road prowess. This chunky workhorse has a raft of plastics which emphasise function over fashion - the sensible selection.Advertisement - Page continues below
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class, fashionable city cruiser for the celeb types in AMG guise, is not just a good-looking cruiser. It’s also fiercely capable off-road. While the price tag remains heavy, the fundamental changes made to this latest version make it 170kg lighter than its predecessor. It's also got an improved cabin, better handling and continued toughness with the same agility that made it famous.
The Dacia Duster is a true workhorse. Fancy it ain't, but this immensely affordable all-wheel-drive motor offers seriously impressive off-roading ability and daily dalliances on the motorway aren't totally horrific. So, at this price, we're appropriately humbled.Advertisement - Page continues below
Land Rover Defender
Defender by both name and nature, Land Rover’s off-roading hero doesn’t come cheap, but it does bring a longstanding history of 4x4 capability. What's more, the Land Rover Defender is more comfy than it's ever been before - in fact, it's fancy to a fault. 'Too posh to be a real workhorse', by our measure. But Land Rover's got enough versions of this thing to accommodate everyone. Possibly in the same car, if that's what you're after.