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What makes a good off-road car?

Even though all off-road cars have certain traits in common, each model and brand can differ greatly from the next. For this reason, there are several things to consider before you choose a 4x4, to ensure you select the best model for you and your lifestyle.

What is an off-road car?


Unlike most cars, an off-road car is any car that can be easily driven both on and off paved roads and ground. Off-road cars are also known as 4x4s (also known as four-wheel drive cars) because all four wheels are powered, compared with only two powered wheels in most other cars.

It is this extra power and stability that makes them suitable for harsher driving conditions. The Hilux, for example, has a tough frame and body structure as well as a wide under-body to offer protection from uneven ground.

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What to look for in an off-road car


When it comes to off-road performance, a car’s capabilities will depend on several design features. The ground clearance, gearing, approach and departure angles will all affect how much off-road power a car has, but these features can also impact on-road movement.

It’s important to consider how much of your time will be spent driving on-road and off-road, to decide on the features you’ll benefit from most and find the best 4x4 for your needs. The Land Cruiser’s Variable Flow Control (VFC) power steering system gives you a more solid and defined drive, whilst it’s Multi-Terrain Monitor (MTM) displays a choice of six live images from four exterior cameras, giving you an instant understanding of your surroundings.

Choosing an engine for your off-road car


Before choosing a model, it’s important to decide whether you’d prefer a diesel, petrol or hybrid engine. 4x4s like the Hilux and the Land Cruiser have diesel engines, whereas the RAV4 offers a choice of petrol, diesel and hybrid engines.

For those looking for the greenest solution, a hybrid engine makes for the most eco-friendly 4x4, while also giving the best fuel mileage. Our RAV4 hybrid has CO2 emissions from as low as 115g/km and a fuel economy of up to 57.6mpg.

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