War Horses: Five More Family SUVs For Your Off-Road Summer

June 14, 2011

We call them war horses--tough off-road SUVs with enough room for a family to make the great outdoor trek this summer.

We've brought you the first five in our group (check them out here) of family haulers that are just as comfortable – and capable – off-road as on. Some, you might not automatically think of as agile ‘utes for a trek through the wilderness.

But you’d be wrong, and maybe you would be surprised by these five as well:

Jeep Grand Cherokee

We'll start this group with the all-new mid-size 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee that seats five. Classic, wagon-like, yet totally capable off-the-beaten-path, the Grand Cherokee has Jeeps legendary DNA going for it. To go-anywhere off-road, you’ll want the Laredo 4x4, Laredo X 4x4, Laredo X 70th Anniversary 4x4 or Limited 4x4. Powered by a 290-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 engine mated with five-speed automatic transmission, these off-road war horses have the Quadra-Trac 4WD system, four-wheel traction control, electronic stability control and more. The Off-Road Adventure Group, available on all of these models, includes skid plate group, tow hooks, on/off-road tires and more. There are also an incredible number of off-road performance items to really outfit this 'ute. Prices begin at $32,215 for the Laredo 4x4.. In this review from TheCarConnection, editors give Grand Cherokee an 8.0 overall rating (out of 10).

2011 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71

2011 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71

Chevrolet Tahoe

Hauling up to nine passengers and gear and ready for the rough-hewn trail, the 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe large SUV (and corporate sibling GMC Yukon) is one powerful ‘ute that doesn’t lack for creature comforts. Consider the 320-horsepower 5.3-liter Vortec V-8 engine, outstanding cargo capacity (108.9 cubic feet) and passenger room, EPA-estimated 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway fuel economy and towing capacity up to 8,200 pounds in four-wheel drive. Best off-road exploring requires the Z71 Off-Road suspension package on the Tahoe LT, which includes skid plates, specially-tuned springs and monotube shocks, and GM-segment-exclusive locking rear differential. The Tahoe LT starts at $45,680 and Z71 Off-Road suspension package tacks on another $1,535. TheCarConnection editors rated Chevy Tahoe 7.2 overall (out of 10) in this review.

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