Nature-loving American families are cherishing the adventure of off-road driving trails. Online resources offer hand-curated trail maps and driving directions with reviews and photos, and automotive manufacturers are onto the demand for this special breed of SUVs. They’ve got to come loaded with tech and safety features, with space for the kids and their buddies, look appropriate for the valet line at a charity luncheon, and lend a cushy ride…oh, and be able climb rocks and descend hills with ease.
With 8.1 inches of ground clearance, our AWD Honda Passport tester and its i-VTM4 Intelligent Variable Torque Management with settings for normal sand, snow or mud, and its 3.5 liter V-6, the Passport does the job well. With the AWD and Elite level trim adding ventilated seats and LED interior lighting along with an already comprehensive list of features, our tester could be had for $44k. The Passport is considered mid-size, slotting between the CR-V and the Honda Pilot in size.
MotorTrend’s 2020 SUV of the Year is one of several accolades already claimed by the all-new Kia Telluride. The three row mid-sizer can seat up to eight passengers and hold 87 cubic feet of cargo. The Telluride comes standard with a 3.8-liter, 291 hp, V6. Second-row captain chairs, rear sunroof, and Harmon/Kardon surround sound audio were some of the standouts on the standard features list for our SX tester with AWD. Even with the SX Prestige Package, adding a heads up display, Nappa leather, heated and ventilated first and second row seats and more, the price tag was under $47k
Hop into the Range Rover Sport and get ready to spend up to $30K more—but this beauty will get left up front in that valet line and sets the bar by which all others are compared in the mud and rocks, or even making 999 daunting steps to become the first ever vehicle to clime one of China’s famous landmarks. It comes with standard four-wheel drive with a maximum wade depth of 35.4 inches and an optional Terrain Response 2 system for even greater capability. Our HSE level had the more powerful version of the turbocharged inline-six paired to a mild hybrid system. There’s also a supercharged V8, a new plug-in hybrid that uses a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, as well as a diesel engine option.
Any of these will take you and the whole crew wherever you need or wish to go.
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