The idea of overlanding is simple. Take an SUV or pickup that you can turn into an overlander and build it into a capable vehicle to be a basecamp for other outdoor adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, exploring, and more in hopes of getting away from it all. Here is the top 5 vehicles for that:
1. 2008-2010 Toyota 200 Series Land Cruiser
The 200 series is the strongest Land Cruiser ever produced by Toyota, a statement I heard straight from the mouth of the product engineer in Nagoya, Japan. Despite the bland styling, the newest Land Cruiser is highly suitable for long-distance adventures and moderate terrain. The model is also well supported by the aftermarket and is a global platform that can be serviced in nearly every country around the world.
2. Jeep Gladiator
Where the Wrangler is great for off-roading, it has less storage capacity than the new Gladiator. It’s got all the great overland qualities of the Jeep Wrangler JL Unlimited, but with a good-sized bed, it may be better suited for overland duties than its Wrangler sibling. Here, you can see how EVO Industries imagined the ultimate overlanding machine based on the Gladiator. That’s a tough act to follow.
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3. Land Rover Defender
Land Rover offers the widest variety of car modifications and configurations in the world. No other car company can offer this variety, and it’s all thanks to the range of size and space of their automobiles. There is a thrill in having something original and one of a kind. The exterior design of the Defender takes the form of a practical arrangement of squares and rectangles which caters to almost any customization the owner may desire.
4. 1995-2008 Mercedes G-Class
The Mercedes G is included on this list because it is one of the pinnacle overland platforms, despite its Gucci reputation. It boasts coil-sprung solid axles front and rear, a ladder frame, three locking differentials, and excellent approach/departure angles. Aftermarket support is good, although these vehicles require minimal modification for serious travel use. The global dealership network for Mercedes is excellent, but these vehicles are expensive to purchase and maintain.
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5. Jeep Wrangler JL
This one fares better as an overlander in the four-door Unlimited version because of the extra gear holding capacity and additional ingress/egress options. But there’s no doubt as to how reliable the stock motor is, and no one is questioning its ability to off-road. The more modern versions are probably better suited for long-distance excursions because of their better fuel economy.