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When it comes to SUVs that can tackle off-road trails, a few manufacturers stick out. From Land Rover to Jeep, to the Hummer, SUVs are paving the way, so to speak, for true adventurers. If you have seen modern-day crossovers, you may have noticed that some are now offering more ground clearance than before. Why would consumers want that?

U.S. News reported which 14 SUVs have the highest ground clearance measurements on the market currently. Which ones allow you to sit the tallest on the road?

Why is a higher ground clearance so appealing to consumers

White 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport is on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The 2020 Land Rover Discovery | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Having an SUV sit taller on the road has a few different advantages. One reason consumers like it is for off-roading adventures, which includes plowing through snowy terrain as well as crawling over rocks. The extra ground clearance prevents the vehicle from getting stuck or obtaining damage. 

Another benefit to having more space under the vehicle is the ease with which a driver can slip in and out of the SUV. Those who may be older or those who have experienced injuries might find it difficult to stoop down to get into a low-riding car or to climb up into a truck. Accessing the driver’s seat when the seat is closer allows them to avoid causing more stress on their joints. 

The last advantage people see from having a higher ground clearance is the visibility it can open up. Sitting up higher in the driver’s seat allows you to see more of the road and what’s going on. Sitting closer to the road makes you have to see up and over the hood as you drive. 

Which SUVs have the highest ground clearance?

The top five SUVs that are the tallest on the road begin with the 2020 Volvo XC90. With 10.5 inches of ground clearance, this Volvo handles different road surfaces pretty well; however, it isn’t really tuned to tackle off-road paths. 

Moving down the lineup to No. 4, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk stands with 10.8 inches of ground clearance. Unlike the XC90, the Trailhawk can go off the beaten path quite easily.

Next up is the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. It also has 10.8 inches of clearance from the ground and is designed to handle the most challenging terrain. It can handle pavements, but not as well as rough terrain areas. Another great off-road handler is the Land Rover Discovery, which slides into the No. 2 spot on the list. It’s known for handling rock crawling, and plowing through snow, but it comes with a hefty starting price of $52,300.

The tallest SUV on the list is the Land Rover Range Rover that stands at 11.7 inches tall. It also costs quite a lot. At $90,900, the Land Rover comes with some mighty powertrain options. You can get a hefty turbo V6 motor producing 254 hp, or you could go for another more powerful engine – a V8 that generates 577 hp. 

What other SUVs make the list?


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Out of the ones on the list, the one that might surprise you the most is the Tesla Model X. With 9 inches of clearance under the chassis, this all-electric SUV is making the Tesla brand more versatile in the market. While you’re not likely to take it on extremely rocky terrain, it can handle some minor off-road paths.

It’s not a surprise to see the 2020 Nissan Armada on the list, because it does have a powerful V8 engine that produces 390 hp, and it sits 9.2 inches off the ground. Its performance lacks a bit, however, since it guzzles fuel and rides like a truck, as the old SUV structures did. At $47,100, it’s not the most expensive, but it’s not the cheapest either. 

One stellar example of a vehicle that can travel on some of the toughest terrains is the most expensive one out of all the 14 listed. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV tackles rocky, sandy, and dirt trails with a price tag of $130,900 and 9.5 inches of ground clearance. The best part is that the G-Class holds more of its value than most other SUVs, so the high price could very well be worth it. 

Having a higher ground clearance on an SUV offers many benefits without making you feel like you’re stepping up into a monster-sized truck. Whether you’re interested in taking to the rocky trails or if you’re driving through snow, the extra inches will help get you where you want to go.

Related: Why Are Range Rovers so Expensive and Are They Worth It?