Important Features of an Off-Road Vehicle

Millions of Americans own pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. Most never modify their factory vehicles and rarely drive off the paved road.


But some feel the inexorable pull of nature and seek a thrill on rough terrain. These intrepid drivers spend time and money on their cars to make them off-road capable.

Four-wheel drive

A four-wheel drive vehicle is a great option for off-road driving because it can give the car extra grip when accelerating or when navigating slippery surfaces. It’s also very useful in reducing the chance of getting stuck, especially on muddy trails or sandbanks.

Four-wheel drive, or 4×4, is a system that sends power to all four wheels of the vehicle, either part-time or full-time. It’s a popular feature on off-road vehicles, but it can be found in many road cars as well.

When it comes to off-road driving, four-wheel drive is usually paired with locked differentials to maximize traction. This means that the wheels with the most traction get the most power, which is perfect for tackling sandbanks and rough terrain.

Corey is an avid off-roader, and he loves spending his free time on dirt bikes and ATVs. He says that if you’re serious about off-roading, you need to be patient and careful when driving up or down steep slopes. You should also use low gears and take it slowly so you don’t lose control.

Four-wheel drive is an essential feature for off-road vehicles, but it’s important to understand the difference between AWD and 4WD. AWD systems typically split the engine’s power evenly between the front and rear wheels, but they may not work well in wintry conditions or on difficult terrain. Some 4WD vehicles have selectable locking differentials that can be activated at the push of a button for added traction on tough trails.

High ground clearance

High ground clearance is an important feature in an off-road vehicle. It is the distance between the lowest point of the undercarriage and the surface of the road. Having adequate ground clearance means that the driver can drive over obstacles without getting stuck or damaging their undercarriage. It also allows them to navigate muddy or sandy roads without having to worry about the bottom of their car.

SUVs are the vehicles with the highest ground clearance, but if you don’t want to buy an SUV there are cars with good ground clearance as well. These cars aren’t as off-road ready as an SUV, but they can still get you over some serious terrain without worrying about scraping the bottom of your car.

If you don’t have enough ground clearance on your off-road vehicle, it could damage your suspension, brake lines and oil pan. These are expensive repairs to make. It’s also a good idea to invest in rated recovery points for your off-road vehicle. These are available as factory-fitted options through your dealer or from aftermarket companies like Ironman 4×4.

A lot of buyers will want a car with high ground clearance because they are looking for an off-road vehicle. They may have plans to do some rough driving, or they might just need a vehicle that can handle some serious snow. It is a matter of horses for courses though, as different types of off-roading require different levels of ground clearance.


Your tires are one of the most critical parts of your vehicle. They connect your vehicle to the surface it is driving on, and they provide traction, which gives you control over where your vehicle is going. There are many different types of tires for off-road vehicles, and choosing the right ones will make your drive safer and more fun.

Typically, off-road tires have blocky, heavy-duty tread patterns that withstand rocks and other obstacles. They also have puncture-resistant sidewalls. These tires are more capable on off-road terrains, but they wear out faster when driving on highways and may create road noise.

Some off-road tires are designed for a specific terrain, such as mud or sand. Others are rated for a particular speed. Sand tires, for example, have paddles that scoop sand and propel your vehicle forward. They are often used on dune buggies and off-road racing trucks.

If you are considering buying off-road tires, make sure they are DOT-compliant and safe for use on your vehicle. These tires are larger than standard passenger car tires, and they must be properly sized for your rims to ensure safety and performance. Using the wrong size can result in tire damage or poor handling and fuel economy. Besides having the right tires, you must maintain them by regularly rotating and cleaning them. This will improve their lifespan and improve your vehicle’s handling, ride quality, and power.


A vehicle’s wheels are critical to its performance off-road. They need to have a low ground pressure so they don’t sink into soft surfaces, lots of ground clearance so they can avoid getting stuck on obstacles and be able to keep their tires or tracks on the terrain as often as possible to get traction. Wheels are typically made of cast or forged alloys. Cast alloys are cheaper and more common. Forged alloys are lighter but more expensive and usually used only for professional racing cars or high-end custom wheels.

Some wheels are powder-coated to resist rust and make them easier to clean. The coating is also scratch-resistant, which helps to protect the wheels and keeps them looking new. The wheels can be found in a variety of sizes and styles. Some are designed for specific off-road situations, such as mud or snow. Some wheels are even built for a specific vehicle, such as a Jeep or Land Rover.

Other off-road vehicle features that deserve a spot on the list include four-wheel drive, which allows power to be distributed equally between the front and rear wheels. Some models are also available with AWD, which balances lateral traction with forward traction. AWD systems are especially good for snow and ice, where they can help with steering and prevent the vehicle from sliding backwards on turns.