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.
Check back 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