You’re a family of four and you love to go camping on the weekends. Your adventurous souls draw you to explore off the beaten path so it only makes sense that you’d want an SUV that can take you there.
The ideal SUV for an adventurous family should be capable enough for a bit of rugged terrain but offer the versatility to also operate as a daily driver. And for most families it doesn’t need to be quite as big as some of the huge full-size SUVs.
A city car with a wild side like the Subaru Outback, Toyota RAV4, or the Jeep Wrangler. You want car that everyone can fit in, maybe even tow a little trailer, or handle a loaded roof rack all while maintaining decent gas mileage. Each of these cars are marketed as capable and family friendly. Here’s why they are the best small SUVs for an adventurous family.
Each of these cars should be fit for a bit of rough and tumble, accommodate the entire family, and then get serious on Monday to prepare for the workweek commute.
The Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT
It’s no surprise that this sturdy Subaru wagon made the list. The brand is known for producing vehicles with all-wheel drive capabilities.
The Subaru Outback Onyx XT comes equipped with symmetrical all-wheel drive. 8.7 inches of ground clearance isn’t fantastic, but it will do alright over some dirt or gravel terrain with some hills.
Its a little low on cargo space with 32. 5 cubic feet, but it gets a great overall mpg of 33 with 600 miles of range. The Subaru Outback Onyx Edition comes with the dual-functioning X mode feature that allows drivers to choose different terrain preferences by changing drive settings at the push of a button.
The Toyota RAV4 TRD Pro
Said to be inspired by a rally car, this RAV4 has 8.6 inches of ground clearance and a dynamic all-wheel-drive system. Though the Toyota RAV4’s AWD isn’t beastly by any means, it is capable of hauling the fam out for a weekend camping trip.
The Toyota RAV4 gets around 27 mpg overall and has options for really nice upgrades like all-weather mats and a heated steering wheel. The RAV4 TRD Pro crushes the cargo capacity aspect with 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space and comes with specialty off-road tires all around.
One family-friendly fact about the RAV4 TRD is the protective technology implemented by the improved Toyota safety suite. Safety is an important feature, family or not.
The 4-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Though this SUV for an adventurous family isn’t the most roomy or the most comfortable daily commuter, it is the most off-road capable of them all. This is the vehicle for the more serious adventures.
Electronically-controlled locking differentials for its axles, great off-roading drive preferences, 10.8 inches of ground clearance, and brutal all-terrain tires in addition to the classic rugged style lend some serious popularity to the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.
Any family that wants to go anywhere anytime should be in a Wrangler. The locking axles give it unparalleled off-road ability in its class. It gets the lowest gas mileage of the three at 18 city and 23 highway and has the smallest cargo capacity of 31.7 cubic feet, but it’s absolutely the most adventures one of the bunch.
Which one is the best?
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, the Toyota RAV4 TRD Pro, and the Subaru Outback are all designed to explore the backcountry. They all have upgrades that lend them extra off-road capabilities.
The Outback has the best fuel efficiency, while the RAV4 boasts the largest cargo capacity. But it’s the Wrangler that reigns supreme in the off-roading category. These are the some of the best SUVs for an adventurous family.