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Not everyone needs a hardcore off-road truck or SUV that can hop over boulders. However, some people need a little more dirt-road and incline-climbing capability for their daily driver. For 2022, there are a few brand new off-road options available. They’re not Jeep Wrangler competitors, but these mild off-road vehicles offer a little extra.

Best mild off-road vehicles of 2022: Mazda CX-50

2023 Mazda CX-50 review - one of the best mild off-road vehicles of 2022.
2023 Mazda CX-50 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

According to CarBuzz, Mazda’s newest SUV is one of the best mild off-road vehicles of 2022. Moreover, it’s a broader version of the CX-5 because American roads allow it to be. In addition, it uses some excellent extra features to ensure owners can do some off-roading. Although it’s definitely a mild model because Mazda knows most cars spend their entire lives on the road. With the CX-50, owners get an all-wheel drive system tuned for different driving modes, 3,500 pounds of towing capacity, and an optional turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 256 horsepower.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness one of the best mild off-road vehicles of 2022.
2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness | Subaru of America

Next, one of the most popular compact SUVs has a mild off-road trim. Buying the Wilderness model lands owners with 9.5-inches of extra ride height, an upgraded suspension, a skid plate, and all-terrain tires. In addition, the Subaru all-wheel drive system and 260 horsepower, 277 lb-ft of torque 2.4-liter four-cylinder give it the power it needs. In short, the Outback Wilderness is great for light snow, dirt trails, and camping.

Best mild off-road vehicles of 2022: Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road

2023 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road one of the best mild off-road vehicles of 2022.
2023 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

Just like the Outback, this variant of the RAV4 is mildly capable off-road. RAV4 drivers probably aren’t competing against a Bronco in rock crawling, but you’ll be good to go for camping and some light snow. For 2022, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road gains an upgraded suspension, retuned coil springs, re-valved twin-tube shocks with internal rebound springs, and bump stops for body control. In addition, buyers get Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires with 18-inch matte-black TRD alloy wheels with every RAV4 TRD Off-Road model.

2022 Honda Passport TrailSport

2022 Honda Passport Trailsport compact adventure SUV
2022 Honda Passport Trailsport | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Next, the Honda Passport TrailSport SUV has an adventurous side. More specifically, Honda added an Adventure package and the TrailSport trim to make it a little more capable. This mild off-roader gains all-wheel drive, off-road tires, and a “rugged” appearance. The TrailSport isn’t well-equipped for an off-road-focused model, so we’d label it slightly milder than the rest.

Best mild off-road vehicles of 2022: Hyundai Santa Cruz

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz compact pickup truck/sport adventure vehicle parked near a lighthouse
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai Motor America

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a brand new compact truck. For the new model year, it’s a Ford Maverick competitor but offers some off-road capability. Moreover, the Santa Cruz can use all-wheel drive, reasonable approach and departure angles, and a truck bed. Although it isn’t massive, the bed is excellent for people camping or just traveling to a remote location. Hyundai’s new truck is much smaller than a full-size pickup, making it great for driving along narrow paths but maintaining truck capabilities.

2022 Ford Bronco Sport

A yellow 2022 Ford Bronco Sport
Ford Bronco Sport | Ford

If you haven’t seen it already, the Ford Bronco Sport is a downsized version of the standard model. It’s a crossover and a mild off-roader, so don’t expect it to provide the prowess of its bigger sibling. Firstly, it uses Ford’s twin-clutch differential and terrain management system. Next, the Bronco Sport has available trims and packages to improve its off-roading capability. You can build the crossover to your liking and decide how mild it needs to be.

Best mild off-road vehicles of 2022: Kia Seltos

Kia’s smaller SUV offering comes with a little bit of off-road capability. CarBuzz says it’s more engaging to drive than the Jeep Compass or Renegade, which knocked them off this list. Firstly, it comes with a center-locking differential with all-wheel drive. Additionally, a turbocharged engine is available, as are hill descent and hill start functionality. All but the base model come standard with AWD, so opt for one of the most expensive versions.

Best 2022 mild off-roaders

In conclusion, the best mild off-roaders come with some capability to leave the beaten path but aren’t overly well-equipped for such purposes. The best mild off-road vehicles of 2022 are the Mazda CX-50, Subaru Outback Wilderness, Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road, Honda Passport TrailSport, Hyundai Santa Cruz, Ford Bronco Sport, and Kia Seltos. Overall, each of these models provides enough off-road capability to go camping or drive through the woods in the snow. However, we wouldn’t recommend driving them to go rock crawling with your friend’s Jeep Wrangler.


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