Here’s how each vehicle we have tested so far scores out of 100 possible points on TFL’s Off-road Index (ORI scale). Cars closer to 0 couldn’t manage to make it over a speed bump — think stock cars or mid-engined hypercars, for example. On the other side, cars and trucks closer to 100 could tackle the infamous Rubicon Trail, or pretty much anywhere else they please.
|2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon||86.6||TFLcar|
|2020 Land Rover Defender (110)||85||TFLcar|
|2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro||81.4||TFLcar|
|2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro||77.7||TFLoffroad|
|2019 Mercedes-Benz G550||76.5||TFLcar|
Check back often for more ORI updates!
To inaugurate our Off-Road Index score, we took three of the most dirt-worthy SUVs you could buy into the wilderness to try each one out in turn. But before that, we got to thinking: “What is a good way to objectively rate these cars against each other?” The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro and Mercedes-Benz G-Class each have their own sets of fans who will argue it is the best off-road rig of them all.
But despite their reputations, the ORI score breaks down each model by its features. From simply having four-wheel drive to good ground clearance, approach, breakover and departure angles, this score rewards the cars and trucks with the best off-road cred out there. To that end, here’s how we split up the score.
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