You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Best SUVs for outdoor adventure

Motoring Research Logo By John Moroney of Motoring Research | Slide 1 of 12: It takes more than just four-wheel drive to make a great adventure SUV. All four wheels may be turning, but can they keep the vehicle moving? Is it prepared for low-traction surfaces like sand, snow, or mud? Is it tough enough to deal with the endless pounding of unpaved roads? For serious offroad work, many prefer the ruggedness of body-on-frame construction. In this method, wheels, suspension, and drivetrain are mounted onto something that often resembles a ladder, with two thick siderails tied together with lighter crossmembers. The body is then literally bolted onto the frame. This old-school style flexes and twists a bit, absorbs impacts, and resists fatigue, all very good things on uneven terrain. As an added bonus, body-on-frame vehicles tow more. Not every driver needs that much capability, however. Smaller, lightweight vehicles can make great use of their drivetrains and all-wheel drive systems to provide excellent offroad ability while still behaving well on pavement. No matter which style you choose, be sure to ask the dealer about racks and carriers for your gear. There are many systems offered that fit the car and your needs perfectly, and can be installed before you drive off the lot.  Follow MSN Autos on Facebook and Twitter

Best SUVs for outdoor adventure

It takes more than just four-wheel drive to make a great adventure SUV. All four wheels may be turning, but can they keep the vehicle moving? Is it prepared for low-traction surfaces like sand, snow, or mud? Is it tough enough to deal with the endless pounding of unpaved roads?

For serious offroad work, many prefer the ruggedness of body-on-frame construction. In this method, wheels, suspension, and drivetrain are mounted onto something that often resembles a ladder, with two thick siderails tied together with lighter crossmembers. The body is then literally bolted onto the frame. This old-school style flexes and twists a bit, absorbs impacts, and resists fatigue, all very good things on uneven terrain. As an added bonus, body-on-frame vehicles tow more.

Not every driver needs that much capability, however. Smaller, lightweight vehicles can make great use of their drivetrains and all-wheel drive systems to provide excellent offroad ability while still behaving well on pavement.

No matter which style you choose, be sure to ask the dealer about racks and carriers for your gear. There are many systems offered that fit the car and your needs perfectly, and can be installed before you drive off the lot.

Editor's note: All prices are listed in $US. Click the MSN Research links for Canadian specs and pricing.

Follow MSN Autos on Facebook

© Provided by Motoring Research

More from Motoring Research

Motoring Research
Motoring Research
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon