The present Indian automobile market has been too much focused on making passenger vehicles, be it premium hatchbacks, compact sedans, or crossovers. And this is very rightly the call of the hour with the ever-increasing demand. However, somewhere behind this overwhelming passenger vehicle biased market, there is another breed of best cars, probably more superior than conventional SUVs, lurking, ready to catch the attention of the people who think different, prefer different, and drive different.
This is the breed of cars that have taken driving skills and technical developments to another level, winning the battle on both city roads as well as the rugged terrain of the off-roading world. Looking into such a segment, we get quite many powerful SUVs (best cars) that are suitable for fun on standard roads as well as adventures on rocky roads.
And indeed, this is that one segment that has improved tremendously over the last few years. Have a look at the current breed of off-road specialist cars, and you will get many to choose from. But are all of them good enough and powerful enough to take on the roughest and the coarsest road on the track?
5 Best Off-Road SUVs
The answer to this lies within the next set of paragraphs where you will come across the best cars for off-roading available in India presently.
If there was one car that was ever able to carry the finesse of premium and the power mode simultaneously with absolute ease, it is the Toyota Fortuner. Always known to be big, generous, and a daddy in power, the Fortuner is an able off-road specialist as well. A big ground clearance perfectly complements the 4X4 drivetrain, two of the most important necessities while beating the uneven track.
Under the hood of the top-end trim, there is a 2.8-liter diesel engine, which makes as much as 174 bhp of highest power and an insane 450 Nm torque. Quite evidently, you know what happens when high power meets a higher torque.
When it comes to off-roading, few cars click your mind as prominently as the Force Gurkha. And to provide testimony to this fact is the high 205 mm ground clearance. To make things spicier, you get to choose between two options – a 5-door Xpedition version and a 3-door Xplorer version.
An obvious 4WD does the job at its best in rocky surfaces. Moreover, the perfect low power-high torque engine assures that you are not stuck up in hurdles. The 2.6-liter diesel engine makes a maximum power of 85 bhp but a high torque of 230 Nm, enough to get you through uninvited rocky roads and craters.
A household name for many years now, Mahindra Scorpio had shot up to fame right from its first SUV edition itself. Such was the impact of this powerful 7-seater SUV in the market. With a ground clearance of 180 mm and a big fuel tank capacity of 60 liters, the Scorpio makes sure that you go a long distance even on challenging roads.
Keep the fun on. There is a 2.2-liter mHawk diesel engine that can make a maximum power of 120 bhp and the highest torque of 280 Nm. The top-end trip comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission gearbox.
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
The Japanese automobile making company may not have many models running on the road. Yet, the small number of a car has succeeded in making quite a big name for the company.
On the top end single tone variant of the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, you get a 2.5-liter diesel engine that can breathe out a maximum power of 178 bhp and a peak torque of 400 Nm. Along with a much needed 4X4 drivetrain, you get a car that has all the ingredients to help you hit the challenges of an off-road track without any worry.
When you speak of power, capabilities, and style, you can’t miss the Tata Hexa. Only around a quarter-year-old at the realm, the has grossed up good figures for itself. And why not? It offers all of the everything that you need behind the wheels – style, power, capability, luxury, premiums, and every good thing from the dictionary.
This new style icon is driven by a 2.2-liter VARICOR diesel engine on the top-end variant. The motor can thump out a power of 154 bhp and a maximum torque of 400 Nm. An AWD, manual transmission, and high 200 mm ground clearance stands in testimony of how Tata Motors has tailor-made this SUV to suit the challenging conditions.
The bottom line is – almost all of the automobile segments in India have gained prominence somewhere or the other. And the same goes for this segment of off-road SUVs (best cars for off-roading) as well. And guess what, none of them, apart from the Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (to some extent), will burn a big hole in your pocket. They are mighty and affordable, as well.
But yes, if you think that they are tailor-made for those extreme conditions and not for driving on normal roads, let me tell you – the new breed of cars are designed in such a way that they look equally suited for city roads as well. Everyone might have noticed the Scorpio or Fortuner drive past your car with equal grace. But little do they know that these SUV have a beast inside them, lurking within to get out all guns blazing each time you come at the foot of a bumpy path.