Best midsize SUV for rough dirt roads?

jross18jross18 Member Posts: 4
edited December 2014 in Lexus
I'm in the market to buy/lease my wife a new SUV. She's had a Kia Sorento for the past 5 years and it's been great. We picked it mostly because it had a beefier suspension than most and that's important because we live in the mountains down some rough dirt roads.

For the replacement SUV, we'd like to stay in that body style, but maybe get something a little nicer. Lexus RX Sport? Range Rover? Volvo?

I suppose mostly I'm asking if the Lexus RX has a beefy enough suspension for us, or is it more just for city/suburban driving?

Thanks for any feedback!


  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    Until some first hand owners come along with their thoughts, you can also check the RX 350 Reviews and RX 450 Reviews pages
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    You can do some modest off-road but forget rock-crawling....also, be SURE before you buy one that the Park Assist can be defeated, otherwise you are going to beep every time you pass close by a tree! These are, after all, primarily urban vehicles. So they can "off-road" because of reasonable ground clearance, not because they are "rugged".

    also I'm not sure why you'd want to beat up such a nice car--the Kia seems somehow much more expendable.

    Last of all, no "mudding" in any kind of hybrid Lexus. (overheats the electric motors).

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372

    you are going to beep every time you pass close by a tree!

    Little by little, they try to "help us drive" ;)

  • jross18jross18 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks all for the comments so far. The wife will never be "rock crawling" or 4-wheeling. It's just that we have some rough mountain roads to get to and from our house. She'll be driving slowly.. just want to make sure the ride is comfortable and that the suspension won't break when she hits big potholes etc. thanks
  • jross18jross18 Member Posts: 4
    For instance, my F-250 Diesel 4x4 has plenty of ground clearance but it's MISERABLE down those roads as you feel every single divot in the road. I once test drove a Toyota 4Runner up there and it road like it was on glass. Very nice! But the wife doesn't want the big size of the 4Runner so we're looking for something smaller but still with that great suspension.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I think if you're careful you should be fine. My two biggest concerns with luxury SUVs off-road would be a) ground clearance and b) driving too fast on corduroy roads, which are really punishing on a car.
  • jross18jross18 Member Posts: 4
    Is there anywhere I can go that gives grades on how the suspension etc hold up on roughrider roads? I.e. the 4Runner I tried that time (with the fancy "x-res suspension" I would assume to be A+. I'd like to compare Lexus, Range Rover, Volvo SUVs for that durability on those roads. Thanks again!
Sign In or Register to comment.