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The 5 Best Off-Road Cars in Australia in 2024

Looking to go off the beaten track for your next adventure? Find out about five of the best off-road cars Australia has to offer right now with Savvy.
  Written by 
Thomas Perrotta
Thomas Perrotta is the managing editor of Savvy. Throughout his time at the company, Thomas has specialised in personal finance, namely car, personal and small loans, although he has also written on topics ranging from mortgages to business loans to banking and more. Thomas graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Media, majoring in journalism, and has previously had his work published in The Advertiser.
Our authors
 
  Reviewed by 
Bill Tsouvalas

Reviewer

Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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Published on June 14th, 2020

Last updated on March 25th, 2024



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Australia's vast and diverse landscape beckons adventure seekers with its rugged terrains, remote tracks and breathtaking scenery, but venturing off the beaten path demands a capable off-road vehicle.

Whether you're a seasoned off-road enthusiast or a weekend warrior yearning to explore hidden gems, selecting the right 4WD companion is paramount. You can find out more about five of the best off-road cars (in no particular order) available in Australia right now with Savvy, so learn all you need to know with us today!

Ford Everest

The Ford Everest has carved out a strong niche for itself in the Australian market, offering a compelling blend of practicality, comfort and off-road capability. This mid-size SUV caters to adventure seekers who are looking to explore beyond the bitumen while also valuing everyday usability.

Ford Everest
Ford Everest

Price:

The Ambiente RWD is the cheapest Everest variant in 2024, starting at a price of $53,990, while the Platinum 4WD is the most expensive at $79,490.

Key features:

  • Ground clearance: the Everest comes with a maximum unladen ground clearance of 230mm on its RWD variants, with 4WDs offering clearances of between 226mm and 229mm. It also comes with front and rear departure angles of 30.4° and up to 25°, respectively.
  • Cargo space: in terms of storage, you’ll have access to 259L of storage with all seats up. However, if you lower the seats in the third row, this can increase to as much as 898L.
  • Safety features: one of the key off-road features that the Everest boasts on AWD variants is Ford’s Terrain Management System, which allows you to adapt the dynamics of your vehicle to suit the road (or lack thereof) ahead. Other base safety features include Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB).
  • Engine and power: the Everest offers a choice of either a 2.0L Bi-Turbo Diesel engine on the Ambiente, Trend and Sport variants or a more powerful 3.0L V6 Turbo-Diesel engine, which is only available on the Sport and Platinum models. This helps deliver up to 157kW of power, 500Nm of torque and up to 3,500kg towing capacity.
  • Seating capacity: all Everest variants enable you to seat up to seven people, making them suitable for large family trips both off-road and to and from school. This is standard on the Trend, Sport and Platinum variants, while you have the option to upgrade your Ambiente from five to seven seats.

Isuzu MU-X

The MU-X from Isuzu Ute has built a reputation for being a workhorse, prized for its durability, functionality, and off-road prowess. This utilitarian SUV caters to adventure seekers who prioritize reliability and capability over bells and whistles.

Isuzu MU-X
Isuzu MU-X

Price:

The base model of the MU-X, the LS-M 4×2, will set you back $48,900 in 2024, while you could pay up to $67,400 for the LS-T 4×4.

Key features:

  • Ground clearance and wading depth: the MU-X’s ground clearance tops out at 235mm (LS-U and LS-T) and boasts steel and poly-composite underbody protection, as well as a wading depth of up to 800mm. approach and departure angles vary by model but can reach up to 29.2° and 27.6°, respectively.
  • Cargo space: all variants come with a cargo capacity of 311L with all seats up, which increases to 1,119L once you fold the third row of seats down.
  • Safety features: Terrain Command is standard across all variants, which allows you to switch between 2WD-high and 4WD-high modes at up to 100km/h. It also includes Rough Terrain Mode, which aids your driving in more challenging or slippery conditions. Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA) will also come in handy.
  • Engine and power: the MU-X comes with a 3.0L Turbo-Diesel engine which can deliver up to 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque, as well as a towing capacity of up to 3,500kg.
  • Seating capacity: all MU-X variants offer a seven-seat capacity which, like the Everest, gives you more freedom of choice when it comes to how you wish to use your vehicle as a family.

Land Rover Defender

Land Rover is one of Australia’s leading luxury car brands, particularly when it comes to rugged off-roaders. You’ll be able to select from a range of 4×4 variants with the Defender, whose reputation in Australia for all-terrain adventures is a strong one.

Land Rover Defender
Land Rover Defender

Price:

Luxury brands charge luxury prices. The cheapest Defender variant is the 90 S P300, which begins at $88,870, with the price reaching $240,270 for the costliest variant, the 130 V8 P500.

Key features:

  • Ground clearance and wading depth: when it comes to tackling rougher terrains, the Defender comes with a wading depth of up to 900mm and an off-road ground clearance of up to 290mm (both air suspension). Its approach and departure angles are the best on this list at up to 37.5° and 40°, respectively.
  • Cargo space: if you have plenty of gear to take with you on your off-road adventure, the Defender comes with cargo space of up to 398L, although you can increase this significantly by folding down the rear seats (available on certain variants).
  • Safety features: the Defender is packed with a range of safety features, some of which may differ between variants. Terrain Response and Terrain Response 2 are among its flagship features, adjusting drive modes based on the terrain. Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), wade sensing and a 360° camera all also feature.
  • Engine and power:you’ll have the choice between a range of different engine types, with turbo petrol, diesel and supercharged V8 all available, as well as mild hybrid electric vehicles (MHEV). The 130 V8 P500 is the most powerful of all variants, with a remarkable maximum power of 368kW and torque of 610Nm. The maximum supported towing capacity is 3,500kg.
  • Seating capacity: the Defender’s variants provide buyers with a range of options to choose from in terms of seating, with the 130 coming with a capacity of up to eight. Options for five and seven-seat vehicles are also on offer.

Nissan Patrol

The Patrol is Japanese manufacturer Nissan’s flagship and best-known vehicle. It’s well-established in Australia, having entered production in 1951, and offers a level of power not seen by many top off-road SUVs on the market today.

Nissan Patrol
Nissan Patrol

Price:

The Patrol is a step up in value on the Everest and MU-X but falls short of the Defender’s pricing, with the base Ti setting you back $84,900, while the Warrior is the most expensive variant at $101,060.

Key features:

  • Ground clearance: the Patrol offers an impressive 273mm ground clearance, while it also comes with approach and departure angles of up to 34.4° and 26.3°, respectively.
  • Cargo space: it also comes with ample storage space, listing it at 467L with all seats up and as much as 1,413L if you fold down the third row of seats.
  • Safety features: the Patrol’s Hydraulic Body Motion Control (HBMC) suspension system helps reduce body roll when turning corners and can boost wheel traction on more difficult terrains. You can also take advantage of features like the Intelligent Around-View Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection and Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS).
  • Engine and power: your car will come with a 5.6L V8 Direct Injection engine, which enables the Patrol to hit power and torque peaks of 298kW and 560Nm, respectively, as well as a braked towing capacity of 3,500kg.
  • Seating capacity: with the Ti, you can pack up to eight people in your vehicle, which drops to seven if you decide to go for the Ti-L. The Nissan Patrol Warrior also comes with eight seats.

Toyota LandCruiser 300

The Toyota LandCruiser 300 needs no introduction in the off-road world. The Japanese giant has had a stranglehold on a large portion of the Australian market for decades and its large SUV is one of the most popular in its class, selling over 15,000 units across Australia in 2023 according to VFACTS data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

Toyota LandCruiser 300
Toyota LandCruiser 300

Price:

The LandCruiser 300 clocks in at the highest base price of any car on this list, with the GX starting at $98,076. The most expensive model is the Sahara ZX, which is listed at $146,876.

Key features:

  • Ground clearance: all LandCruiser variants offer an unladen ground clearance of 235mm, placing them around the middle of the pack for this list. You can expect an approach angle of 32° on all variants except the Sahara ZX, which falls to 24°, while all models have a departure angle of 25°.
  • Cargo space: the LandCruiser offers cargo space of up to 1,164L in the Sahara with both second and third rows folded down, though the exact space available will depend on the variant you choose.
  • Safety features: Downhill Assist Control and Hill-start Assist Control are standard across all variants, while Multi-Terrain Select is available on all models above the GX. The suite of features included through Toyota Safety Sense, as well as Anti-lock Braking System and Brake Assist, Trailer Sway Control and a reversing camera are all included.
  • Engine and power: your LandCruiser will come with a 3.3L V6 twin-turbo diesel engine, which offers a maximum power of 227 and peak torque of an amazing 700Nm. You can also enjoy braked towing of up to 3,500kg.
  • Seating capacity: the model range is split down the middle when it comes to seating, with the GX, Sahara ZX and GR Sport all offering five and the GXL, VX and Sahara all coming with seven.

What is the best off-road vehicle in Australia?

While there’s no one answer for which model is best, as this will come down to your preferences, it’s important to know what to consider when comparing the best, most capable off-road vehicles. While some of these are discussed above, it’s worth doing your research into some, or all, of the following variables:

  • Ground clearance: higher clearance allows for better handling of obstacles and uneven terrain.
  • Approach and departure angles: determine the vehicle's ability to climb inclines, navigate obstacles and descend slopes without scraping the underbody.
  • Wading depth: important if you plan on traversing water crossings.
  • Towing capacity: consider if you plan on hauling trailers or campers.
  • Underbody protection: skid plates safeguard vital components from damage on rough terrain.
  • Engine power and torque: sufficient power and torque are crucial for tackling inclines, hauling loads and navigating challenging terrain.
  • Fuel efficiency: this is especially relevant for longer off-road journeys.
  • Off-road specific features: hill descent control, crawl control and multi-terrain select systems can enhance off-road capability.
  • Driver-assistance features: advanced safety features like pre-collision warnings and lane departure alerts can be valuable in off-road situations.
  • Interior space: consider passenger and cargo space needs for off-road trips and camping adventures.
  • On-road comfort: if the vehicle will be used for everyday driving as well, consider on-road comfort and features.
  • Fuel range: important for venturing into remote areas.
  • Price: off-road vehicles can range significantly in price depending on brand, capability and features.
  • Availability of aftermarket parts and accessories: can be essential for customising the vehicle for specific off-road needs.
  • Running costs: maintenance and fuel costs can vary depending on the vehicle's complexity and engine type.

If you’re in the market for a good new or used off-road vehicle, you can consider a variety of car loans and other finance options with Savvy before you buy.

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  Written by 
Thomas Perrotta
Thomas Perrotta is the managing editor of Savvy. Throughout his time at the company, Thomas has specialised in personal finance, namely car, personal and small loans, although he has also written on topics ranging from mortgages to business loans to banking and more. Thomas graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Media, majoring in journalism, and has previously had his work published in The Advertiser.
Our authors
 
  Reviewed by 
Bill Tsouvalas

Reviewer

Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors

Published on June 14th, 2020

Last updated on March 25th, 2024



Fact checked

At Savvy, we are committed to providing accurate information. Our content undergoes a rigorous process of fact-checking before it is published. Learn more about our editorial policy.

This guide provides general information and does not consider your individual needs, finances or objectives. We do not make any recommendation or suggestion about which product is best for you based on your specific situation and we do not compare all companies in the market, or all products offered by all companies. It’s always important to consider whether professional financial, legal or taxation advice is appropriate for you before choosing or purchasing a financial product.

The content on our website is produced by experts in the field of finance and reviewed as part of our editorial guidelines. We endeavour to keep all information across our site updated with accurate information.

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