Buying Guides

5 SUVs with the Highest Ground Clearance

The generous ground clearance of these vehicles lets you off-road like a pro

Jane Ulitskaya, Digital Content Specialist

We believe there is no better therapy than getting outdoors, away from congested city streets and bumper-to-bumper highway traffic. Off-road trails offer an escape from our hectic lifestyle while giving us a boost of adrenaline as we conquer their tough terrain. Not all vehicles are made to traverse off-road obstacles which is why the challenging trails are also the ones less traveled. Higher ground clearance, or the minimum distance between the lower end of the vehicle body and the road, will make tougher trails more accessible and prevent damage to your vehicle as you venture off the beaten path. These 5 SUVs offer the top ground clearance to take on any rugged adventure.

2020 Land Rover Range Rover

 
  • PROS: Best off-roader in the luxury SUV segment, powerful engine options, comfortable ride on paved roads.
  • CONS: Low reliability ratings, high price tag, below-average cargo space for the segment.

The Land Rover Range Rover leads the luxury SUV segment when it comes to off-road capability. Thanks to its air suspension and a ground clearance of 11.7 inches, the Range Rover lets you tackle obstacles like rocks and stumps with ease. Additional features that enable the Range Rover to take the road less traveled include standard four-wheel drive and a Terrain Response system for navigating sand, dirt, rocks, or snow. The Range Rover offers a wide range of engine options, all of which provide plentiful power and acceleration. Engine options range from the base 3.0-liter inline-six for 355 horsepower to a 557 horsepower 5.0-liter supercharged V8 in the top SVAutobiography Dynamic trim.

2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

 
  • PROS: Very capable off-road, spacious cabin, improved on-road performance.
  • CONS: Poor reliability ratings, below-average fuel economy for the standard engine.

33-Inch All-Terrain Tires give the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon an impressive ground clearance of 10.8 inches, but that isn't the only reason the Wrangler Rubicon is the go-to for serious off-roaders. While the Sport and Sahara trims are capable of taking on most off-road adventures, the Rubicon stands out when it comes to extreme rock crawling. The Wrangler Rubicon's approach, departure, and breakover angles and the new Rock-Trac 4WD system make it the best choice for the most hardcore terrain.The Wrangler Rubicon comes in a two-door or four-door configuration and offers a 3.6-liter V6 engine for 285 horsepower.

2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

Best

for Daily driving

  • PROS: Premium interior, plentiful off-road features, quiet and composed on pavement.
  • CONS: Poor fuel economy, less cargo space than the competition.

Like the Wrangler Rubicon, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk can handle extreme off-roading. Thanks to the adjustable suspension, the mid-size Grand Cherokee Trailhawk gets 10.8 inches of ground clearance along with hill ascent and descent control, an advanced four-wheel drive system with a two-speed transfer case, and a limited-slip rear differential. When it's not conquering an off-road trail, The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk makes an excellent daily driver offering an upscale interior with creature comforts like leather heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and user-friendly tech. A 295-horsepower V6 engine is capable on-road or off. On pavement, the ride is civilized and comfortable, making it a good option for an adventurous family vehicle.

2020 Toyota Sequoia

 
  • PROS: Powerful V8 engine, built like a tank, spacious interior.
  • CONS: Cheap cabin materials, poor fuel efficiency, high price tag.

The Toyota Sequoia has not been redesigned in a decade and it is starting to show its age. Yet, while it isn't the most modern SUV with the latest and greatest features, it will please serious off-roaders. Those who take the unbeaten path will appreciate the Sequoia's rugged and utilitarian features which include a generous ground clearance of 9.9 inches. The Sequoia also offers standard four-wheel drive, upgraded shocks, and underbody skid plates for those that plan to leave the pavement behind. Under the hood is a monstrous 5.7-liter V8 which is good for 381 horses. Although the engine offers solid acceleration for an SUV of its size, the Sequoia feels bulky to drive on-road and its tall ride height impedes handling.

2020 Ford Expedition

Best

for Adventurous families

  • PROS: Loads of passenger and cargo space, easy to drive for a large SUV, powerful turbo V6.
  • CONS: Pricey even in the base trim, some cheap interior materials, large size makes parking a challenge.

The 3-row Ford Expedition can take the entire family on an off-road excursion. Its massive size provides ample interior space for 7 or 8 passengers and all their gear. Getting to the best views won't pose a safety hazard thanks to 9.8 inches of ground clearance, and an off-road package that includes all-terrain tires, off-road shocks, skid plates, and limited-slip differential. The Expedition's 400-horsepower 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 will carry the whole crew from highway to trails with a comfortable ride on paved roads. The driver will appreciate the sharp steering and impressive handling the Expedition offers for an SUV of its size and ride height.

Benefits of High Ground Clearance

  • Enhanced off-road capability.
  • Less chance of vehicle damage on rough terrain.
  • Tackle driving in heavy snow.