Is the Jeep Wrangler The Best Vehicle For Off-Road Driving?

There are many vehicle choices when it comes to off-roading, and ‘best’ is a very subjective term when assessing the virtues of an all-terrain vehicle. But if by ‘best, you mean the most versatile, adaptable and plain enjoyable off-roader, then the Jeep Wrangler has got to be top of your list.

A direct descendant of the legendary World War II Willys Jeep, the Wrangler is the culmination of all those previous design iterations, refining and improving its off-road capabilities through the years. It has a short wheelbase which, combined with good ground clearance, allows the jeep to travel over sharp crests—where a longer wheelbase vehicle like a HiLux might get stuck. In fact, the Wrangler is relatively compact by American vehicle standards but still packs a powerful engine, which means you have high torque when crawling out of holes or up steep banks.

The Wrangler also has sturdy truck axles that can take the punishment of off-road travel. The Wrangler still adheres to the ‘body on frame’ design approach, where the vehicle body sits on top of a frame, providing a measure of separation where the frame handles most of the twisting forces. Unibody designs lack this separation and are more prone to cracks and misalignment as the vehicle ages. The Wrangler’s body on frame design makes it perfect for body lift kits too.


The Jeep Wrangler has built-in versatility—you can remove the doors, take the roof off, tilt the windscreen down. This makes access into the vehicle a breeze and provides an open-air experience that few other 4x4’s offer. Another benefit is improved visibility, which is vitally important when traversing trails with hard-to-see obstacles.


Whether its suspension or body lift kits, engine upgrades or replacement bumpers—the Wrangler is highly adaptable, with a huge after-market offering upgrades and enhancements to the standard, factory-issue Wrangler. Lift kits allow you to increase the ground clearance of your Wrangler, add more suspension travel and fit larger off-road-ready tires. More ground clearance means you’re less likely to damage the underside of your jeep when crawling over boulders or tree stumps.


It’s easy to get caught up in specifications and technical details when assessing which is the best off-road 4x4 on the market. Other brands offer more interior comfort or better reliability, but Jeeps offer an intangible ‘fun factor’ that is lacking in other vehicles. This is partly due to the freedom provided by its design, allowing owners to strip things back to pure off-road experience. Its also due to its iconic looks – the Wrangler is the archetype of what an off-road vehicle should look like.

The predominance of Jeep Wranglers, Rubicons and other Jeep variants in off-roading clubs is further evidence of its popularity as the ultimate off-road driving vehicle. Thanks to a ready supply of Jeep parts provided by Hi-Tech Auto Parts here in New Zealand, Jeep Wrangler owners can keep their cars road (and off-road) worthy for years to come