The Indian and international automobile industry offers a variety of cars with amazing off-road performances. To keep up with the adventure enthusiasts these cars are designed to be able to drive off the pavement, with higher ground clearance so as to not get hung up on obstacles, and keep their wheels or tracks on the ground so as not to lose traction.
Here is a selection of the best off-road SUVs that are available in the Indian market.
1. Mahindra Thar
Mahindra Thar has an amazing ground clearance up to 226 mm and comes as a 4-seater. It is priced starting from Rs 12.20 lakh (ex-showroom price). The new-generation Thar is offered with 2 engines:
- A 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol
- A 2.5-litre diesel engine
It gives a good mileage of 15.2 kmpl. Engine displacement is up to 2184 cc. Transmission options are a 6-speed manual or automatic. The SUV gets a 4-star rating in the GNCAP safety test.
2. Jeep Compass
Compass is one of the superior 4×4 rides in the market which is capable of dominating rough roads and difficult terrains. It also comes with 60+ advanced safety features that include six airbags, hill assist, rollover mitigation, electronic stability control, and panic brake assist.
Engine choices offered with Jeep Compass include a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol (163PS/250Nm) and a 2-litre diesel (172PS/350Nm), both paired to a 6-speed manual transmission as standard. The 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is linked with the turbo-petrol engine, while the diesel comes with a 9-speed automatic gearbox setup. The 4-wheel drive is exclusive only to the diesel models.
Jeep Compass is available in 11 trims with a price range of Rs 17.79 Lakh – Rs 29.34 Lakh.
3. Tata Harrier
Tata Harrier has a 2.0-litre Kryotec diesel engine that produces 168bhp and 350Nm of torque. It comes mated to a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic transmission. There is no 4WD version, but it comes with selectable modes for different conditions – normal, wet, and rough. It has a ground clearance of 205 mm.
There are six trims available namely the XE, XM, XT, XT+, XZ, and XZ+. Tata also offers exclusive Dark and Kaziranga Editions with the top trim. Harrier also has premium features including a panoramic sunroof, dual-tone alloy wheels, an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and rain-sensing wipers. It is offered from Rs 14.52 Lakh (ex-showroom price) and goes up to Rs 21.81 Lakh (ex-showroom price).
4. Force Gurkha
Force Motors’ New Gurkha is a compact crossover SUV and is driven by a 90PS, BS6 compliant 2.6-litre diesel engine with a 5-speed manual and automatic gearbox. This 7-seater off-road car has a ground clearance of up to 210 mm. It comes with an all-wheel drivetrain and a low-range transfer case and front and rear manual locking differentials as standard. The ex-showroom price of Gurkha begins at Rs 14 lakh and gives a mileage of 17 kmpl. The two-door is obviously not a family-friendly car but has amazing handling on difficult terrains.
5. Tata Safari
This mid-size crossover houses a 2.2-litre Varicor Diesel engine under its hood that generates up to 320Nm of torque and 140bhp. Transmission options are both 6-speed manual and automatic. Tata Safari is a constantly best-selling off-road vehicle in India. Its ex-showroom price begins at Rs 14.69 lakh. This 7-seater has a ground clearance of 205 mm and gives a mileage up to 16.14 kmpl.
Tata Safari is also offered in a Dark Edition that is priced from Rs 19.06 lakh (ex-showroom price) onwards.
6. Toyota Fortuner
Toyota Fortuner is one of the best off-road SUVs in India that comes with a 4WD drivetrain. Both petrol and diesel engines are offered. A 2.8-litre diesel engine generates 450Nm torque and 174bhp power and is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. It gives a mileage of 12.9 kmpl. Ground clearance is up to 221 mm.
This 7-seater SUV is offered for a price starting from Rs 30.34 lakh.
7. Jeep Wrangler
Jeep’s rugged SUV Wrangler was awarded 2019’s SUV of the Year by Motor Trend. Wrangler is currently in its fourth generation. The Trail Rated Badge on Wrangler is meant to highlight the fact that this off-road vehicle can easily overcome difficult terrains and run effectively in harsh weather. Wrangler is available in 2 variants names Unlimited and Rubicon.
The Wrangler is a 4 wheel drive with low and high modes along with differential locking at both axles. It also has a ground clearance of 217 mm. Jeep Wrangler comes with a 2-litre turbo-petrol engine generating 268PS/400Nm that is paired with an 8-speed torque converter automatic.
Jeep not only makes the Wrangler tough and rugged but also luxurious to ride in rough terrains with features like an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment unit with connected car technology, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a twin-pod analogue instrument cluster, push-button start/stop, LED headlamps, dual-zone climate control, and ambient lighting.
Wrangler is being priced between Rs 56.35 Lakh and Rs 60.35 Lakh (ex-showroom price).
8. Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Land Rover is one of the highly desired luxury brands in the world producing the successful line of 4×4 Range Rovers since the 1970s. The Range Rover Sport is offered in 5 variants – S, SE, HSE, Autobiography Dynamic and SVR. It costs between Rs 99.48 Lakh – Rs 1.96 Crore (ex-showroom).
Sport is offered with four engine options: two each for petrol and diesel. All 4 engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.
- A 340PS 3.0-litre supercharged V6 engine
- A 524PS 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine
- A 258PS 3.0-litre V6 engine
- A 340PS 4.4-litre V8 engine
Safety Features include ABS with EBD, 7 airbags, dynamic stability control, emergency brake assist, roll stability control, traction control, corner brake control, hill descent control, hill launch assist, and all-terrain progress control.
9. Toyota Land Cruiser
The latest Land Cruiser is similar in size to its previous generation model. It has a boxier look and comes with high-mounted LED headlights and three trim-specific grille designs. The engine options are a new 3.5-litre turbocharged V6 engine or a 3.3-litre turbo diesel engine. The gearbox is a 10-speed direct-shift automatic transmission. In the luxury off-road SUV category, Land Cruiser is definitely ranked among the top 5. Land Cruiser is offered at prices between Rs 1.5 crore and Rs 1.8 crore (ex-showroom).
10. Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Mercedes-Benz G-Class remains an unrivalled and iconic all-rounder in the luxury off-roaders with superior performance in climbing, fording depth and side slope angle. It was awarded the ‘Best Luxury Car’ at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2021. Its starting price begins at Rs 1.64 Crore (ex-showroom price). G-Class has 2 variants to offer: the G63 AMG and G350d.
The G63 AMG runs on a 4.0-litre V8 Biturbo engine that generates 585 hp of maximum power and 850 Nm torque. It can propel this luxury, off-road, 5-seater SUV forward from 0-100kmph in just 4.5 seconds. The engine is mated to an AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed sports automatic transmission. It gives a mileage of 6.89 kmpl – 8.13 kmpl.
Ground Clearance: 224 mm
The G350d runs on a 6 cylinder diesel engine that generates 286 hp of maximum power and 600 Nm torque and is paired with the 9G-TRONIC Automatic transmission. It accelerates from 0 – 100 kmph in 7.4 seconds.
Ground Clearance: 241 mm
This concludes the list of our top 10 choices in the off-road vehicles segment. Let us know in the comment section your favourite off-road car and why.