If you’ve got work that regularly brings you up in the mountains, you need a reliable ride that will be up to the challenge of rocky trails and steep hauling. But not every job requires a commercial vehicle. You may need to do a bit of towing and hauling, but if your main requirement is transportation, there are several consumer-grade vehicles that will fit the bill. Here are just a few of the best vehicles for off road and mountain jobs.
If your work requires a pickup truck, take a look at the Toyota Tacoma. It’s compact, while still being capable of hauling and handling off road situations. It will climb well, and provide you with a comfortable, controlled experience. You can also get it outfitted with their TRD off road package, built for performance on variable terrain. The suspension system is tuned to handle off road driving, and it has a fantastic assistance system for both downhill and uphill driving conditions.
If you really want a luxury driving experience even in the mountains, check out Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque. It’s a top of the line SUV, but completely up to any challenges you put in front of it. It highlighted the U.S. News and World Report list of the best SUVs for off road work, based on the strength of its engine and the vehicle’s unique Terrain Response System. That gives you ability to adjust how the suspension system reacts based on the style of terrain you are driving. It’s definitely a pricey vehicle, but you won’t get more luxury in an off road capable SUV than this.
Willing to come down a step but still looking for a polished feel? Check out the Jeep Grand Cherokee or the Toyota FJ Cruiser. The Grand Cherokee is incredibly reliable, regardless of the terrain. You can get your model equipped with four-wheel drive, as well as an air suspension system that will increase the vehicle’s ground clearance. The Grand Cherokee also comes with the ability to select your terrain, to maximize the vehicle’s power in off road conditions. Toyota’s FJ Cruiser comes with a bit more power. It’s incredibly high rated in off road situations, and includes variable four-wheel drive settings, nine full inches of clearance, and an inclinometer that comes standard.
If you’re looking for more of a classic choice and don’t need a lot of interior space to haul, take a look at the Jeep Wrangler. It’s been the top choice for mountain and off road drivers for decades, and has been rated to stand up to a wide range of conditions. The engine in the current model has been retooled to handle the heavy workload of mountain driving, and may also be your most affordable option.
Finally, consider the Nissan Xterra. It’s a smaller vehicle than many of the others mentioned here, which means you can squeeze it through tight fits and narrow trails. It’s really made for this work, as it drives more like a truck than a car, but it’s also highly customizable. People often trick out their Xterra’s for regular off road use, handling their own transfer case installation, changing out the suspension or wheels, and even adding interior amenities designed for trailblazers. It’s a solid choice if you’ll be spending the majority of your time in the hills.