Which Land Rover Is Best For Off Roading?

Land Rover is one of the biggest names in the SUV and off-road vehicle sphere. This brand has a reputation for building capable off-roaders but is also known for being less reliable than other 4x4s. Land Rover has recently updated their entire vehicle line, which leads many to wonder which Land Rover is best for off-roading?

The Land Rover Defender is the best modern Land Rover model for off-roading. This vehicle is capable of conquering almost any terrain and is equipped with many useful off-road features and characteristics. All Land Rover models are somewhat capable off-road, but none more so than the Defender.

Land Rover Defender

The current lineup of Land Rovers is interesting and unique, as they are unlike any other off-roaders available right now. Let’s take the time to explore the Land Rover vehicle range to determine which is the best model for off-roading and discover how capable these vehicles are on rough trails.

Which Land Rover Model Is Best For Off-Roading?

The current Land Rover lineup is larger than ever before, offering more choice than available in the past and catering to a more diverse client base than ever before. Nowadays, there is a Land Rover for every occasion, but which of these capable SUVs is best for off-roading?

The best Land Rover model for off-roading is the Land Rover Defender. The Defender is a purpose-built off-roader with plenty of features and characteristics that make it a formidable 4×4 while still being ideal as a daily driver.

The modern Land Rover Defender is available in a range of spec options that are each designed to make the vehicle perform better in different situations. The off-road spec Defender is one of the best off-roading SUVs available on the market right now and even beats out the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon in many regards. 

Knowing that the modern Land Rover Defender is every bit as capable as the classic Defender models is a comforting thought in the world of off-roading, as the original Defender models are an icon of off-roading. The capabilities of the modern Defender match or supersede those of the original, which has kept Land Rover valid in the world of modern off-road SUVs.

The Defender is available in several sizes and specific models, but all of them are capable off-roaders, especially if they are equipped with off-roading spec. 

Some of the features and capabilities that make the Defender such a good off-road vehicle include:

  • 38° approach angle
  • 31° ramp-over angle
  • 40° departure angle 
  • 11.5 inches of ground clearance
  • 35.4-inch wading depth
  • An ultra-modern all-wheel-drive system
  • 2.91:1 low-range gear ratio
  • A sophisticated terrain response system
  • Automatic locking/limited-slip differentials
  • A full monocoque chassis
  • 6.5-ton snatch-load recovery points
  • 370lb roof load capacity
  • A two-speed transfer case
  • Hill-climb assist
  • Hill-descent control
  • 3D surround camera and HD monitor
  • Steel wheels
  • Fully-independent suspension
  • A 3.0 liter straight-6, turbocharged, mild-hybrid engine
  • An entirely flat underside

How Good Are Land Rovers Off-Road?

Modern Land Rovers do not share the same rugged off-roading looks of their predecessors, and most of the current lineup looks more suited for the school run than for an intense off-road trail. This has many enthusiasts and Land Rover fans wondering how good modern Land Rovers are off-road?

The truth is, despite their flashy modern stylings, Land Rovers remain very capable off-road vehicles. The Defender and Discovery models are designed to be good off-road vehicles while also being capable daily drivers as well.

Here’s a great demo video of the Land Rover Defenders off-road capabilities.

These vehicles are built with powerful yet economical engines with plenty of torque which immediately qualifies them for off-road use. They also have good ground clearance, impressive approach and departure angles, stiff chassis, powerful drive and transmission systems, capable suspension, and use modern features to aid the driver when tackling unforgiving terrain.

These vehicles look built for the city, but they are, in fact, built for the trail. These vehicles are very good off-road, and many compare the modern Defender to the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, which is the king of off-road. 

The Defender compares with this beast because it is very nearly as capable off-road while still being a sensible vehicle for everyday use as well, which the Rubicon is not.

At the end of it, the Land Rover vehicles available right now will not disappoint regarding off-road or on-road capabilities.

Can You Take A Range Rover Off-Road?

The modern Land Rover range includes four models of Range Rover alongside the Land Rover models. The Range Rover models are not purpose-built, hardcore off-roaders, but they are rather intended to be luxury SUVs.

This means that Range Rovers are not as capable off-road as they once were, but there is one model that stands out from the others for this use.

The Range Rover itself, the standard Range Rover, is the most capable off-roader of the set. This vehicle has a very powerful V8 engine and is equipped with many off-roading features such as hill-descent control, electronic air suspension, steep approach and departure angles, a deep wading depth, and plenty of torque.

This is the only Ranger Rover model that is likely to be somewhat capable off-road, as the other models are significantly lower and not intended for this use whatsoever. 

However, the standard Range Rover is able to tackle some light off-roading with confidence and is far more capable than you may expect. Just don’t try and tackle anything too intense with this luxury vehicle.

Is Land Rover Discovery Good Off-Road?

land rover discovery

One of the vehicles from the Land Rover lineup that many wonder about is the Discovery model. This range of Land Rover has always been hit-or-miss regarding off-road ability due to reliability issues, but the modern version has improved upon its predecessor.

The modern Land Rover Discovery is a capable off-road SUV for many situations. This vehicle is equipped with many off-roading features and a powerful engine that allow it to tackle most off-road trails, but it is not as capable as other SUV off-roaders.

This vehicle is intended to be a good mix of urban daily drivers and weekend Bushwacker, but it is not a purpose-built off-road vehicle. The Discovery is more capable off-road than the Rane Rover range but less so than the Defender range.

The Discovery is moderately good off-road, but if your intentions are to use the vehicle as a rugged off-roader only, there are better options available.


At the end of it all, the Land Rover Defender range is the best range of off-road vehicles available from Land Rover today. This vehicle is highly capable off-road, incredibly versatile, and able to handle almost any type of terrain.

James with daughter on the trails

About James...

Hi, I’m James. If I’m not working on this site, you can often find me outdoors roaming the trails. I’m an avid hiker, mountain biker, and overlander. I’m excited to share my passion for the outdoors with you.