There is a select breed of individuals driving on the road today who would purchase a car or SUV second to a kayak, many of which, I would imagine, are readers of this blog. These adventure bound people are looking for cars with many key features including cargo space, roof top capability, roof height, ground clearance, AWD/4WD capability, fuel economy, and of course… price.
From the passenger cars available on the market today there are very few that fit into the adventure category. I have compiled a list of the top featured cars for the adventure spirited driver. I personally call this category of vehicle the AUV (Adventure Utility Vehicle).
Your feedback is appreciated! If you own one of the cars listed and want to make a comment on your personal experiences, we would love to hear about it.
All quoted reviews and photos courtesy of Edmunds.com
“With its generous cargo capacity and commendable off-road performance, the 2014 Subaru Outback wagon offers far more utility than many competing crossover SUVs. It’s a good option for families, especially those who enjoy the great outdoors.” (Also see the Subaru Forester)
Volvo XC70 AWD
“The current generation Volvo XC70 is ruggedly handsome, and it continues to offer many of the same virtues as previous versions: confidence-inspiring all-wheel drive, top-notch safety, a luxurious cabin and enough cargo space to satisfy all but the most haul-happy families.”
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
“The Outlander remains a good choice for buyers with performance-oriented criteria, including sporty handling and V6 power. The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander is also among the roomiest cargo haulers in its class, and it offers plenty of standard and optional features, including a rear-seat entertainment system as well as a navigation system and 40GB music server.”
“With the original Escape, Ford successfully combined the styling and four-wheel-drive capability of a traditional SUV with the size, practicality and driving characteristics of a midsize car. For the urban dweller in need of something comfortable, versatile, fun to drive and capable of doing some light-duty off-roading or towing, it fills the bill perfectly.”
Jeep Grand Cherokee
“The Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the most appealing five-passenger midsize SUVs on the market. Unlike similarly sized crossovers, it stands out with its significant off-roading and towing capabilities. Its well-trimmed cabin is comfy for five, and it can handle a daily commute as easily as it does an off-road trail.”
“[The Explorer] drives well, gets good fuel economy for its class and still retains the versatility that made people like SUVs in the first place. Fitted with most of its optional high-tech features, the Explorer is also one of the most advanced SUVs available, luxury brand or not.”
Cadillac SRX Crossover AWD
“One of the SRX’s most appealing traits is its healthy roster of standard equipment. There are four available trim levels for the SRX… Even the base model comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, a power driver seat, 60/40-split-folding and reclining rear seatbacks, dual-zone automatic climate control and an eight-speaker Bose sound system.”
Land Rover LR2
“The LR2’s small size makes it maneuverable in urban environments. At the same time, the LR2 still retains the superior off-road ability for which Land Rovers are known. Land Rover endowed the LR2 with technologies to make it both capable and confident when the journey is off the beaten path.”
Subaru Impreza 5-door
“The Impreza’s most notable edge is its distinctive powertrain, as this model has always been available with all-wheel drive. This provides it with extra traction in slippery conditions and, on higher-horsepower models, works in combination with the Impreza’s well-sorted chassis to provide entertaining handling.”
Subaru XV Crosstrek
“The Subaru XV Crosstrek is an all-new model for 2013. While Subaru’s all-wheel-drive lineup has developed a reputation for being unflappable in the face of some truly nasty driving conditions, this variation of the Impreza takes things to another level in dicey situations both on- and off-road.”