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Features to Look for in an Off-Road Vehicle
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Features to Look for in an Off-Road Vehicle

Off-road vehicles are those that can travel over uneven surfaces, unpaved roads, or natural terrains. Some market vehicles are designed primarily for this purpose. Buyers who are interested in these vehicles should know the right features to look for in an off-road vehicle so that they can handle any off-roading adventure.

Adjustable Suspension or Suspension Lift

You should always check for an adjustable suspension system in any off-road vehicle. This is the most obvious feature necessary for any kind of terrain. You’ll travel over all types of terrain—rocks, sand, gravel, dirt, mud, et cetera—while off-roading, and handling these challenges ultimately requires a tough suspension system. Off-road vehicles maneuver easier when elevated compared to regular vehicles, which are lower to the ground. If your vehicle doesn’t have adjustable suspension, a lift kit or suspension lift will also do the job.


Traction is vital for driving on off-road surfaces. Unlike paved surfaces, natural terrain cannot provide consistent traction for your tires. For this reason, your vehicle should have good-quality all-terrain or mud-terrain tires. All-terrain tires are a standard choice that offer multi-use capability. They provide good traction in different weather conditions such as ice, snow, or rain. They’re also more road-safe, since they provide better handling without much noise. Still, they have a smaller tread and thinner walls than mud-terrain tires. Mud tires, on the other hand, give your vehicle that aggressive look, showing that it can handle any kind of surface. They’re excellent choices for rocky or rough terrain, but they’re not as good in wet conditions as all-terrain tires. The large voids in mud tires allow them to retain their grip on loose or unstable terrain, making them perfect for multiple off-roading.

Either option will get you through an off-roading trip. The type you ultimately choose should depend on how much off-roading you do and on what type of terrain.


Like your suspension, your vehicle must have the right gearing system to handle the changing surfaces. With many vehicles, you can control the gearing through an electronic system. For example, unlike the Ford F-150, the 2019 Ford Raptor comes with built-in Trail Control. This is essentially a low-speed cruise control that provides smooth drivability over rough surfaces. While other manufacturers have their own gearing systems, these mechanics ultimately use added torque to send extra power to your wheels, allowing the vehicle to climb steep hills or over uneven areas.


Off-road driving at night is extremely dangerous and not recommended, but sometimes you lose track of time and find yourself on the trail with the natural light dimming. When this happens, you should have the right lights to guide you, such as fog lights or a light bar. Light bars offer bright LED lights to illuminate your path. Fog lights are equally useful, since they’re designed for different weather conditions such as rain or snow.