A lot of people do not know this, but every vehicle that is listed as off-road capable may not actually have what it takes to take on various off-road challenges. That’s why you should always do your own research before investing in an off-road vehicle for the first time. While there are some good off-road models available at a great price, you need to check the following features in the vehicle to see if the vehicle can fulfill your off-roading needs or not.
While checking out an off-road vehicle, most people first notice their wheels. Such vehicles usually come with large tires with open treads and flexible suspension. Since these wheels will have to carry the vehicle over boulders, rocks, dirt, sand, mud, and more, you need to check that the wheels are competent enough for the job.
You have the option to customize your vehicles with wheels from reputed brands like Hostile later on, in case you do not like the stock wheels. For those wondering, “Are Hostile wheels good?” these are made from high-quality materials like billet aluminum and forged aluminum. They are strong, durable, and long-lasting, offering great performance on all kinds of terrains.
2. Torque Output:
Your off-road vehicle will require a high torque output to drive out of a mudhole or up a steep road/mountain, which are common scenarios for off-road adventures. So, it is important that you choose a vehicle that offers great torque power. It refers to the vehicle’s ability to twist, which is essential for driving through tough road conditions.
The higher the torque output, the better the vehicle is for tricky terrain situations. Depending on your budget and your requirements, you can choose a vehicle that offers the necessary power. However, you must follow the off-roading etiquette, irrespective of how powerful your vehicle is.
3. Ground Clearance:
When you drive over rocky terrains, high ground clearance ensures that your vehicle does not sustain any underbelly scraping against road bumps. As you may realize, ground clearance refers to the distance between the bottom of the vehicle and the ground. For off-road vehicles, higher ground clear is considered better.
Vehicles with high ground clearance offer higher seat positions, providing the driver with more visibility of the road. You can see over lower vehicles and spot traffic jams from a distance on such a vehicle. However, such vehicles are also likely to roll over in dangerous collisions.
4. A Locking Differential:
While taking turns or driving on uneven terrains, the wheels on your vehicle can rotate at different speeds. A locking differential solves this problem by locking the axles together mechanically to ensure the wheels rotate at the same speed. As the wheel that is off the ground will have no traction, it will not receive any torque when the wheels are locked.
This feature can be automatic and does not require driver action. In some off-road vehicles, you get the option to activate the locking mechanism using a driver-selectable switch.
5. Low-Range Transfer Case:
A low-range transfer case is almost like an auxiliary gearbox behind the actual transmission on a vehicle. It is extremely useful for off-road adventures as it has the ability to turn a two-wheel drive into a four-wheel drive by sending drive forward and backward.
This feature will give your vehicle an extra pull when its wheels are turning slowly. This feature also helps you while driving back up the hill by maintaining speed and direction without having to press the brakes.
Choosing the right vehicle is essential for an off-road journey. And if you want to live an aggressive off-road lifestyle, you cannot risk buying a vehicle that does not perform well in tough terrains. So, check the aforementioned things in off-road vehicles before you make your decision.