The 10 best new cars for an outdoor lifestyle
There’s something special about the great outdoors. Fresh air, wide-open spaces and the freedom to move about wherever you like – there’s a lot to like. But what if you need a car to take you out to the wilderness and beyond?
Fortunately, there are plenty of cars currently on the market which are angled towards those who want a more active, outdoor-oriented lifestyle. Let’s take a look.
Ford Ranger Raptor
(Ford)With rally-spec suspension and the ability to go here, there and everywhere, the Ford Ranger Raptor is ideally suited to life outdoors. It’s rugged, solidly built and, thanks to a biturbo diesel engine, won’t need fuelling up too often.
It also looks the part, with big flared arches and a grille large enough to swallow entire towns whole.
Skoda’s seven-seat Kodiaq is a great choice for adventurers who want to bring the family along. Spacious and well-made, it’s got more than enough room for camping equipment, chairs and barbecues while Skoda’s expansive range of features and fittings mean you can expand its practicality even further with roof boxes and cycle racks.
In addition, a decent four-wheel-drive system available means you shouldn’t get stuck when things get tricky, either.
Given its Tonka toy-esque styling, it’s hard not to be swayed by the little Suzuki Jimny from the off. But it backs those looks up with genuine off-road prowess a decent – if rugged – build quality. Yes, it may not be the most practical of cars, but pack light and the Suzuki will see you through.
Thanks to its compact size, it’ll be ideal for nipping through tight spaces – either in the wilderness or the urban jungle too.
Land Rover Discovery
Land Rover’s go-anywhere Discovery has been the choice of adventurers for many years now, owing to its off-road abilities and relatively strong reliability. The latest car may be more tech-laden than ever, but this doesn’t make it any less capable when it comes to tackling rough ground.
Seven seats mean it’s practical when it comes to moving people too, while an efficient range of diesel and petrol engines allow for more spent time exploring, and less time at the fuel pumps.
The Jeep Wrangler could be one of the best-suited cars for adventuring in. It’s tough, rugged both inside and out and built to be able to conquer the worst conditions possible with minimal fuss.
It also – in our eyes at least – looks fantastic, with big, brash styling touches across the board. Want even more adventure capability? Then hold fast for the Gladiator, a pick-up version of the Wrangler due in the UK soon.
Having a vehicle capable of matching an outdoorsy lifestyle doesn’t mean having to splash loads of cash. Take the Hyundai Kona, for example, a car that
competes at the very top of the ever-growing crossover game.
It has the wannabe off-roader looks, but under the skin lies the ability to genuinely take on some rougher terrains — perfect if you’re looking to head off the beaten path. We’re not saying it’s an ideal greenlaning vehicle, but it’s great for weekend lakeside adventures.
BMW 3 Series Touring
You can’t go far wrong with an estate car, can you? The BMW 3 Series Touring has consistently been the pick of the bunch, and the latest version is no different. Well-made, practical and featuring a range of strong petrol and diesel engines, it’s a great choice for those who want to go off an explore, but do so in plenty of comfort.
Need a little more traction? Then there’s an all-wheel-drive xDrive version, better suited to dealing with slippery conditions.
If there’s one thing Subaru should be known for, it’s its ability to make proper off-roaders. We don’t just mean its blue and gold championship-winning rally cars either, with the firm proudly boasting how capable all of its all-wheel-drive vehicles can be.
We’ve picked the Outback crossover for this list — which may lay claim to being the most capable go-anywhere car in a segment that’s full of wannabe rugged lookalikes. A generous 512 litres of boot space means it’ll swallow a lot of gear too.
Mercedes G Class
Though the Mercedes G Class may be the dream car of many Premier League footballers, it still has the credentials to be a truly rugged and capable vehicle.
Originally designed for military use, the G Class has recently undergone a total overhaul that brings modern refinement, technology levels and safety to the big German — but still has the know-how to conquer a mountain if you so choose. Maybe stay away from the AMG variants if you don’t fancy taking ultra-expensive alloys rock crawling, though.
There are very few vehicles as iconic as a Volkswagen camper, and for good reason. For generations, the VW home-on-wheels has been a symbol of road trips, cruising and exploring the world — so it’s no surprise that the adventurous types still buy them in droves.
In its latest guise, the Volkswagen California is its most high-tech yet — boasting a plethora of luxury equipment designed to make driving that little bit easier. It still retains its versatility, ability to play holiday home to a small family and of course its iconic two-tone livery too.