There are definitely fewer hardy, off-road-worthy vehicles than there were a decade ago, but the models remaining are more rugged and trail-focused than ever.
The current Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has msintained this model's reputation, with very boxy, rugged styling combined with phenomenal off-road ability, and for 2012 it gets an all-new (and much more refined) powertrain: Chrysler's strong Pentastar V-6 and five-speed automatic.
Like the Xterra, Toyota's FJ Cruiser hasn't changed significantly in many years; it's not at all a family vehicle but appeals to either young people or purists who want off-road capability.
For families who also need off-road ability, the Toyota 4Runner Trail model might be a better alternative than the four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
Finally, if you have a higher budget and want a little more luxury with that true off-road ability, check out the Land Rover LR4.
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|15 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 21 MPG Hwy||12 MPG City / 17 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V6||Gas V6||Gas V8||Gas V6||Gas V6|
|2WD Sport Utility||4WD Sport Utility Vehicles||4WD Sport Utility Vehicle||Sport Utility Vehicle 2WD||Sport Utility Vehicle|
|2WD 4-Door Auto X||4WD 2-Door Sport||4WD 4-Door||RWD 4-Door V6 SR5 (Natl)||RWD 4-Door Auto (Natl)|
|Rear Wheel Drive||4-Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Sport Utility||2 Door||4 Door||Sport Utility Vehicle||4 Door|
|Automatic||Manual||Automatic w/OD||Automatic w/Manual Shift||Automatic|