If you’re looking for a raw, adrenaline-pumping, off-road adventure, it’s time for a trip through Arizona’s rough, breathtaking, and cactus-studded desert.
Here are seven, solidly-built desert vehicles that can take the bumps and bruises of off-road driving and keep you comfortable in the blistering heat.
1. Toyota Land Cruiser
If you want the best 4×4 for desert driving, coupled with the rock-solid reliability of Toyota, except no substitutions.
The Land Cruiser 200 gives you a broad-shouldered V-8 Powered engine, 8-speed performance, a 1,320 payload, and towing power of up to 8 tons.
The Toyota Land Cruiser’s 15mpg fuel efficiency, 5.7-liter gas tank and ability to support auxiliary fuel tanks make it a prime choice for your long, off-road trip.
2. The Hummer H1
If you’re miles from civilization in the ruthless Arizona deserts, you need steel-spined vehicle tough enough to carry you through the Mad Max apocalypse.
One enviable feature of this burly beast is its 16 inches of ground clearance, coupled with the capability to reduce tire pressure and muscle out of those really tough spots.
3. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is practically the prototype for the speedy, off-road driving adventure. With Jeep, you get the ultimate combination of fuel efficiency and all the off-road muscle of a desert driving machine.
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon’s large axles, locking differential, ultra-low gearing, and removable front sway bar make this gem one of the most agile desert vehicles, and at a reasonable price range of $40k.
4. Mercedes G-Class
If you want to combine pure class and luxury with raw muscle and durability, this is the desert vehicle you’ve been looking for.
This slab-sided SUV style desert vehicle has its roots in military use. You get heavy-duty, body-on-frame construction, locking differentials, four-wheel drive, stout axles, and big, sturdy tires.
But inside, you get to enjoy the comfort, luxury, and style Mercedes is known all over the world for.
5. The Land Rover Defender
The Land Rover Defender has a reputation for ruggedness, dating back to the late 1940s. It even started as a farm tractor, so you might say it was born for dirty business.
You might not get the fuel efficiency of the Jeep Rubicon or the Toyota Land Cruiser. But this hard-bodied desert vehicle can carry you through the bumpiest, and sandiest, off-road terrains like a chainsaw cutting through a stick of butter.
6. The Dodge (Ram) Power Wagon
No list of off-road vehicles is complete without the legendary power and muscle of the Dodge Ram Power Wagon.
This beast’s V-8 engine gives it the power to grind its 33-inch tires through the muckiest, sandiest traps that would have other off-road vehicles crying for mommy.
7. The Ford Raptor
Imagine the uber-popular F-150 pickup with an off-road capability, long-travel suspension, 11 plus inches of wheel travel up front and 13 in the rear.
Under the hood, its bold, V8-powered engine makes it a top-notch desert vehicle for those daring, deep sand runs you’ll be taking.
Regardless of which desert vehicle you choose, remember that nothing is 100% indestructible. Pack a spare tire, or two. If you need an emergency windshield or glass replacement while in Arizona, you can get help here.
Proper Care and Preparation of Desert Vehicles
This list of desert vehicles is not 100% exhaustive. Plenty of tough off-road vehicles can carry you safely through your Arizona desert adventure.
Bring plenty of extra gas, food, and water on your trip, because that’s one big piece of hot and dusty real estate you’re headed for.
If you’re mechanically inclined, it can’t hurt grab an auto-repair manual to bring with you. Have a blast.