For family camping, beachgoing, and bush touring over the summer holidays, we’ve lined up six of the best off-the-shelf 4×4 off-road SUVs.
The school summer holidays are fast approaching, and we are all looking forward to the break from routine and that big family summer holiday camping trip! Families are getting ready and looking for the best off-road SUVs for camping, beach, and off-road driving for your family summer trip. Not all large family SUVs are capable off the beaten track, despite having four-wheel drive and styling or badging that may make you think otherwise!
For confidence and ability off-road, especially if you are planning on spending your school summer holidays beach driving and bush camping, then genuine 4WDs like the models in this article are the right choice for your family. Big and with three rows of seats, they offer the flexibility to make the most of the available space when packing for your holidays.
Choosing the best 4×4 off-road SUV for family travel adventures
When we think of family holidays and off-roading, boot space for tents, swags, and everything including the kitchen sink is important! We all know that with kids, we have to take EVERYTHING with us, so it’s vital to know the 4WD is up to the task. Practicality for holding drink cups, snacks, and devices for those long journeys is crucial to keeping passengers big and small content and catered for. Our summers are hot, so air-con vents in the rear for all passengers are a must-have to keep everyone comfortable. If everyone can see out nicely and the ride is good, travel sickness will be reduced too. Even if your family likes the simplicity of swags, the day might come when a camper trailer beckons. So the towing capacity and knowing how much you can carry are important considerations for your family off-road SUV too.
We want something we are confident to drive on the beach and off-road a few times a year when on holidays, and the rest of the year we want it to be practical and perform as an everyday family car for the school run too. So ceiling height, boot space for prams, shopping, and scooters, and the ease of fitting child seats are all big considerations. There are some fantastic 4WDs and off-road SUVs out there that I have tested with my family over the past seven years as a mum of two, family car journalist, and founder of BabyDrive.com.au. So, here’s my top six best off-road SUVs for family travel adventures…
The latest Ford Everest is currently among the safest family cars for kids in the second row as rated by ANCAP, which awarded it 93 per cent for child occupant protection as part of its overall five-star safety rating. For those wanting to tow, the braked towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes is up there with the best, sufficient for most campers and caravans. Even when using all seven seats, the boot is large enough for a twin pram so there’s room for your tents. Standout features that make the Everest that little more comfortable for family holidays are the dashboard cup holders, large door bins, and the specially designed large fries holder in the front! There are air-con vents and sockets for charging devices in all three rows of seats.
The Isuzu MU-X has successfully taken my family on multiple off-road camping holidays, from beach driving to the Outback. The MU-X is extremely comfortable to drive and capable off-road. Air vents in all three rows ensure all passengers are comfortable, and storage is great throughout for passengers’ needs on the journey. Boot space in the MU-X is big and a twin pram can fit in the boot when using all seven seats.
Nissan Patrol Warrior
The Nissan Patrol Warrior is made for family off-road adventures, featuring suspension upgrades and more to make it seriously capable away from the beaten track. When creating the Warrior, Australian engineering company Premcar also improved the ride for on-road driving, reducing travel sickness and upping comfort for everyday use with the family. Three Infasecure child seats will fit in the rear two rows of seats. If you are only using the first two rows of seats, the boot space is enormous so all your camping gear can fit.
Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series
The Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series is a very capable off-road SUV and really feels at home on rough terrain. A 3.5-tonne braked towing capacity and lots of power mean the LandCruiser can easily tow your family’s camper or caravan. This large family 4WD also has the perfect-size boot for family camping, so you’ll fit your tent and camping chairs when using two rows of seats. Three Infasecure child seats fit across the second-row seats with excellent legroom. Air vents in all three rows of seats and power sockets for passengers’ charging devices are in all three rows.
Land Rover Defender 110
The Land Rover Defender is a very cool-looking family 4WD. With a 3.5-tonne towing capacity, you could rock a pretty cool off-road camper behind this. Three Infasecure child seats fit comfortably in the rear seats. The Defender 110 has air-con vents in all three rows of seats, so passengers are comfortable. There is some great storage in all three rows, including an optional chilled central console box, perfect for road trip snacks! When you go off-road, you can easily raise and lower the height of the Defender on the media screen.
Jeep Grand Cherokee L
The new Jeep Grand Cherokee L is a very well-equipped family off-road SUV for both everyday family life and family holiday adventures. It fits five Infasecure child seats easily in the back two rows with plenty of legroom throughout. There are air-con vents in all three rows and built-in window blinds in the rear doors, as well as a rear seat camera that displays in the media screen.
These are the top six best off-road SUVs for family travel adventures. Whether you’re planning a camping trip, beach getaway, or bush tour, these vehicles offer the space, comfort, and capability you need for an enjoyable family holiday. Invest in the right 4×4 off-road SUV and make the most of your summer adventures with your loved ones.