Mercedes G550 vs. Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro vs. Jeep Wrangler Rubicon: Hands Down, THIS Is The Best Off-Roader You Can Buy!

Check out which one is the best in our latest video!

Which off-roader is the one to get?

With the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro and Mercedes-Benz G-Class, you’re getting a respectable amount of off-road ability right out of the box. Not all things are equal in this comparison, though. To that end, we take these three off-road machines into the snowy Colorado mountains to find out which is best.

However, we aren’t just taking them off-road for fun. To give a more objective sense of which off-road rigs are the best, we have a new scoring system: the TFL Off-Road Index (ORI) score. We are going to judge these three and many more by criteria every off-roader should have, as well as those that push some off-roaders above and beyond their peers.

The ORI scale measures off-roaders out of a possible 100 points. Cars on the lower end near zero couldn’t make it over a speed bump. Think NASCAR or slammed tuner-mobiles on this end of the spectrum. Up near the 100 end, you have cars with serious off-roading cred, like the three we’re featuring here. Here is how we break down each feature’s score for a truck, SUV or crossover’s off-road worthiness:

TFL ORI score breakdown

  • AWD or 4WD: 20 points
  • Transfer case (real 4×4 low-range): 20 points*

*5 points awarded if the car does not have a multi-speed transfer case, but has some form of terrain management or off-road setting (cars like the Jeep Compass Trailhawk, for example)

  • All-terrain tires: 10 points
  • 9 inches or more ground clearance: 5 points
  • Differential locks: Up to 15 points (5 pts front/5 pts center/5 pts rear)
  • Armor (skid plates): Up to 9 points** (3 pts front/3 pts center/3 pts rear)

**Automatic 5 points awarded if the vehicle has adjustable ride height over 9 inches (cars like the BMW X5)

  • Approach/Breakover/Departure angles of 25 degrees or more: Up to 15 points 
  • Front or 360-degree camera: 5 points
  • Subjective score: Up to 1 point

The purpose of this test is to judge most “soft-roaders” or light-duty off-road vehicles based on relatively equal capability. Once you get into the tougher portions like ground clearance and approach, departure and breakover angles, then only the purpose-built off-roaders will win points.

How do these three fare?

Here is how the ORI system works for the Mercedes-Benz G550, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro:

CategoryJeep Wrangler RubiconToyota 4Runner TRD ProMercedes G550
T. Case OR Terrain Mgmt.202020
A/T Tires10100 (all-seasons)
9+ inches G.C.5 (10.8 in.)5 (9.6 in.)5 (9.5 in.)
Diff. locks (F/C/R)15 (All)10 (C/R)15 (All)
Armor (F/C/R)6 (F/C)6 (F/R)6 (F/C)
Approach Ang.5 (44 deg.)5 (33 deg.)5 (30.9 deg.)
Departure Ang.5 (37 deg.)5 (26 deg.)5 (29.9 deg.)
Breakover Ang.0 (22.6 deg.)0 (Not published)0 (23.5 deg.)
Camera(s)0 (Rear only)0 (Rear only)0 (Rear only)
Mercedes-Benz G550 vs. Jeep Wrangler Rubicon vs. Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro drag race

Drag race

After going through the ORI scale, we have to take the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G550, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro to the track. It may be a bit of a foregone conclusion, but it’s still fun.

Stay tuned to for more news, views and real-world ORI scale reviews and drag races!