If you’ve steadfastly refused to trade in your mouldering 1987 Ford Escort until the long-anticipated new Ford Bronco debuts, you probably won’t mind waiting a few more months to see what the body-on-frame off-roader brings to the table. On the other hand, if you need fresh off-road capable wheels now, you’re going to have to look elsewhere; given the uncertain state of the world, we’re still not sure when, exactly, we’re going to get a look at the neo-Bronco.
Fortunately, you’ve got other options. Though Ford’s main quarry is, inevitably, the mighty Jeep Wrangler, there are a wide range of offerings—from relatively basic pickups to cushy luxury trail-cruisers—that can do many of the things we expect the Bronco to do. We’ve included both traditional body-on-frame trucks and SUVs and unibody vehicles on this list, for two very important reasons: First, there simply aren’t that many of the former left on the market, and second, it’s incredible what many family-oriented crossovers are capable of thanks to advancements in all-terrain technology.
Base price: $47,450 Chassis type: Unibody
Automakers often hesitate to change too much when relaunching a classic nameplate. That isn’t the case here: Land Rover’s new Defender sprints away from its agricultural roots with unibody construction and independent suspension all around. Its looks allude to the totally analog originals without copying them; this is a wholly modern beast. Land Rover claims its high technology only makes it more capable. We’re intrigued and can’t wait to put it to the test for ourselves.
Read more about the Land Rover Defender here
Base price: $58,050 Chassis type: Unibody
If the original Land Rovers were like British Jeep CJs (or first-gen Broncos), the early Range Rovers were akin to early Wagoneers—a little bit better suited to carrying the family, but still capable of exploring the far reaches of your estate. As the Velar proves, the marque has charged headlong into luxury territory in the intervening decades, yet you shouldn’t discount modern Range Rovers’ off-road credentials. Never mind that most owners won’t put them to the test—these vehicles can do surprising things where the pavement ends.
Read the full Range Rover Velar review here
Base price: $132,800 Chassis type: Body-on-frame
Taking a new Mercedes-Benz G-Class to an off-road park is a bit like showing up to the Appalachian Trail with a Gucci backpack … and then showing up the haters by jogging the whole thing without breaking a sweat. The all-new model still manages to keep its retro boxiness, and while it ditched the live front axle, it retains its traditional ladder frame. The overall package is an unparalleled mix of luxury and capability. Locking differentials? It’s got three.
Read the full Mercedes-Benz G550 review here
Base price: $39,100 Chassis type: Unibody
Be honest with yourself here: Do you want a Bronco because you actually plan to remove the doors and head for the hills, or are you merely looking for something slightly boxier than the jellybean-shaped crossovers that dominate the market? If it’s the latter, no judgment (OK, a little judgment); maybe the new Mercedes-Benz GLB is right for you. It’s relatively affordable, far more refined than the Bronco is ever gonna be, and its 4Matic system gives enough confidence to tread (lightly) into the wild.
Read the full Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 review here
Base price: $33,965 Chassis type: Unibody
The new Honda Passport shares a fair portion of its underpinnings with the Pilot and Odyssey family-haulers—which means it also has a lot in common with the Ridgeline pickup, including the unexpectedly capable Intelligent Variable Torque Management all-wheel-drive system, or i-VTM4. Standard on all-wheel-drive Passports, i-VTM4 can distribute varying amounts of torque to each rear wheel, as well as the front and rear axles.
Read the full Honda Passport review here
Base price: $87,030 Chassis type: Body-on-frame
It’s for good reason that the Land Cruiser name is known worldwide: The reliability and ruggedness of these Toyotas are the stuff of legend. But what started off as a simple, boxy off-roader not unlike the original Ford Bronco has evolved into something bigger and far more luxurious—and consequently, a lot more expensive. The good news is that you only have to buy a new one every few decades …
Read the full Toyota Land Cruiser review here
Base price: $37,265 Chassis type: Body-on-frame
The Toyota 4Runner is more closely related to the Tacoma pickup than the big Land Cruiser, but it’s still a stout, traditional SUV that will take you there and back again with zero complaint. Those accustomed to modern performance and refinement will note that the 4Runner is relatively loud, crude and slow, at least when it comes to day-to-day driving on pavement, but there are very few competitors when it comes to durability and all-around capability.
Read the full Toyota 4Runner review here
Base Price: $27,345 Chassis type: Body-on-frame
The first pickup truck on this list, the Toyota Tacoma won’t be the last; today’s pickups can pack all of the passenger space of yesterday’s SUVs and—when properly equipped—are happy to hit the trail (even if you have to make that trail). The TRD Pro package gets skid plates, Fox internal bypass shocks, available crawl control and more. You’ll pay $45,055 for all these factory-installed goodies.
Read the full Toyota Tacoma review here
Base Price: $35,420 Chassis type: Body-on-frame
Amid the raging luxury truck wars, the Toyota Tundra is about as close to a basic pickup as you can get today, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing—especially if you’re looking for affordable V8 power. The available TRD Pro package earns it a spot on this list. It comes with skid plates, Fox shocks (there’s an extra 1.5 inches of travel up front and 2.5 inches in the back), fog lights and more; 18-inch BBS wheels complete the package.
Read the full Toyota Tundra review here
Base price: $54,095 Chassis type: Body-on-frame
There’s more to the Nissan Armada (and the Infiniti QX80) than meets the eye: For this big SUV’s second generation, the Japanese automaker decided to rebrand the truck known to the rest of the world as the Patrol. Think of the Patrol as Nissan’s answer to the Land Cruiser; it too started off as a small, boxy utility vehicle, but has since grown into a relatively luxurious vehicle that is still a stout traditional SUV at its core.
Read the full Nissan Armada review here
Base price: $27,880 Chassis type: Body-on-frame
Like most pickups, the midsize Chevrolet Colorado can be built to meet a wide variety of owner needs, and that includes the needs of those who head a little off the beaten path. There’s the traditional Chevy Z71 package, which gets an off-road suspension and an auto locking rear diff, but Chevy took it even further with the aggressive ZR2, which gets a Multimatic Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve, or DSSV, damping system; extra ground clearance; and more.
Read the full Chevrolet Colorado review here
Base price: $31,195 Chassis type: Body-on-frame
Like the Chevy Colorado, the GMC Canyon midsize pickup gives an off-road option, though it doesn’t go as far as the ZR2. The Canyon All Terrain gets an off-road suspension package, underbody shielding and a hill-descent control system; the available All Terrain X package adds 31-inch all-terrain tires, side assist steps and spray-in bedliner.
Read the full GMC Canyon review here
Base price: $26,660 Chassis type: Body-on-frame
While Americans wait for the arrival of the Ford Ranger Raptor (it’s gotta be coming to our shores soon … right?), we can take consolation in the fact that the Blue Oval’s midsize pickup can be had with the FX4 package; off-road-oriented features include an electric locking rear differential, off-road shocks and all-terrain tires, plus skid plates. And if you want to stick with a rear-wheel-drive Ranger, there’s a corresponding FX2 package on the table just for you.
Read the full Ford Ranger review here
Base price: $55,000 (est) Chassis type: Body-on-frame
If you want to know why there are so many pickup trucks on this list, you can pin a good chunk of the blame on the Ford F-150 Raptor. The Raptor blends the dune-jumping, go-anywhere fun that led to the popularity of early SUVs (like the original Bronco) with the ostensible practicality of a pickup. With the Raptor, you can tow, you can haul, you can seat four adults in total comfort—and then fly down trails like a Baja prerunner on the weekends. America apparently can’t get enough of it; other manufacturers followed suit in their own ways.
Read the full Ford F-150 Raptor review here
Base price: $29,970 Chassis type: Body-on-frame
We’re still waiting to get an official look at the new Ford Bronco, but everything we’ve heard points to a close competitor to the Jeep Wrangler: a traditional body-on-frame construction, removable doors and top and ample opportunities to customize. What remains to be seen is whether the Bronco will go after the Wrangler Rubicon’s trail-ready, rock-crawling cred, but a little healthy competition should only serve to help make the already-great Wrangler even better.
Read the full Jeep Wrangler review here
Base price: $33,470 Chassis type: Body-on-frame
Given the immense, instant popularity enjoyed by the four-door Wrangler Unlimited upon its introduction, it’s hard to believe that it only hit the scene in 2007; it now greatly outsells the two-door, and its added practicality did more than anything else to help make the Wrangler mainstream. It should come as no surprise that the new Bronco will also be available in two- and four-door configurations.
Read the full Jeep Wrangler Unlimited review here
Base price: $35,060 Chassis type: Body-on-frame
There’s more to the Jeep Gladiator than a pickup bed slapped on the back of a Wrangler Unlimited, but conceptually, that’s the general idea. And why not? Off-road-oriented pickups are a proven quantity at this point, but the Gladiator is the only one that boasts a convertible top, removable doors, class-leading towing capability and a bushwhacking Rubicon variant.
Read the full Jeep Gladiator review here
Base price: $35,890 Chassis type: Unibody
Jeep is about much more than the Wrangler these days, but even its most luxurious current offering, the proven Grand Cherokee, takes its Trail Rated badging seriously. Though SRT and Trackhawk variants aim for high performance on the pavement, other variants—especially the ruggedized Trailhawk—can hold their own off-road while serving up more interior comfort than a Wrangler could ever dream of. Predictably, Mopar is standing by to offer add-ons like side rock rails.
Read the full Jeep Grand Cherokee review here
Base price: $16,599 Chassis type: Body-on-frame
OK, so this one is cheating a little bit, because the Mahindra Roxor isn’t strictly speaking road-legal—though there are a surprising number of rural and semi-rural municipalities in which you can legally use it on roads (or road shoulders). If you happen to have an expansive ranch, or need a rig primarily for off-road use, it’s hard to find a new vehicle that gets any closer to the original Ford Bronco’s simplicity, straightforwardness and rugged charm than the little Roxor.
Read the full Mahindra Roxor review here
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