Which 4×4 is Best for Family Road Trips on Australian Roads?

4X4 for Family Road Trip Australia

Australia’s vast and diverse landscapes make it a popular destination for road trips.

Whether you’re planning a trip across the outback, taking the family across Australia during the school holidays, or exploring the beaches along the east or west coast a 4×4 vehicle is an essential vehicle to own to ensure you don’t get bogged down by the mud. 

But with so many options available, it can be difficult to know which vehicle is right for your needs. Especially if you are not quite sure what you need.

So, in this article, we aim to help you decide, by highlighting which 4×4 is best for road trips on Australian roads.

What is a 4×4 vehicle

Before we do that, let’s take a minute to clarify what a 4×4 vehicle is.

Essentially, it is a type of vehicle that is designed with four-wheel drive (4WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) capabilities.

This means that all four wheels receive power from the engine simultaneously, providing better traction and stability, especially in off-road or slippery conditions.

Overall, 4×4 vehicles are known for their ruggedness, durability, and ability to handle challenging terrain. They are often used for outdoor activities such as off-road adventures, camping, and hiking. 

Additionally, some 4×4 vehicles are designed with advanced features such as hill descent control, electronic stability control, and locking differentials, to further enhance their off-road capabilities. 

Many people also buy 4×4 vehicles for their towing and hauling capabilities too.

Best Cars

Now that we have established what a 4×4 vehicle is, here is our suggestion of seven of the best models of them currently available. 4x4s are often hot commodities in the new car market, but you may find bargains on online marketplaces like Grays.

Toyota Land Cruiser

The Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the most popular 4×4 vehicles on the market for road trips in Australia. Infact its 300 series VX model was awarded the title of the best 4×4 wagon by Which Car in 2022.

Rugged and reliable, it possesses excellent off-road capabilities that can handle the diverse and challenging terrains of the Australian outback with ease.

This includes low-range transfer case, locking differentials, and adjustable suspension that can smoothly handle steep inclines, deep sand, and rocky terrain.

Built to last, the reliable vehicle is also a very comfortable ride, boasting a spacious interior, advanced suspension system, and plush seats.

It also has several, exceptional advanced safety features including multiple airbags, stability control, and a rearview camera, to ensure that you and your passengers are safe on the road.

Nissan Patrol

The Nissan Patrol is another very good option, offering a combination of rugged off-road capabilities and comfortable on-road handling.

Equipped with up to 298 horsepower and 560 Nm of torque, the vehicle has a powerful engine that can handle any terrain. This means you can drive through deep water crossing, up and down sand dunes or across rugged landscapes with a fair degree of confidence.

Also possessing state-of-the art safety features and a spacious interior that can accommodate up to eight passengers, this vehicle has plenty of room cargo space to store your esky, luggage and boogie board. 

It also offers advanced features such as a Bose audio system and a rear-seat entertainment system, which come in pretty handy on long drives.

Ford Ranger

It you are looking for a versatile 4×4 that is equally at home on the road as it is off it, then look no further than the good old Ford Ranger.

With a reputation for being reliable and durable, this vehicle features a Terrain Management System, Hill Descent Control, and an Electronic Locking Rear Differential. Making it ideally suited to managing the tough conditions of the Australian outback, as well as the regional dirt roads.

The Ranger also has a ground clearance of up to 237mm, depending on the model, which means it can clear obstacles easily and is less likely to get stuck.

A comfortable and smooth ride, it is also equipped with advanced features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and a touchscreen infotainment system, which makes road trips safer and less tedious.

Jeep Wrangler

With its unique look and excellent off-road capabilities, the Jeep Wrangler is a classic 4×4 that can handle any terrain.

Specifically built for off-road adventures, it has a solid front and rear axles, skid plates, and rock rails that can traverse any landscape with the minimum of fuss.

The Wrangler also has a timeless and iconic design that is instantly recognisable. This includes a removable soft top roof, which provides the unique experience of open-air driving. Therefore, allowing you to enjoy Australia’s beautiful scenery as the wind rustles in your hair.

One of the best things about the Jeep Wrangler is that it is highly customizable. Offering a wide range of options for adding accessories and modifying its appearance, you can tailor the vehicle to your specific needs and preferences.

Land Rover Defender

The Land Rover Defender is a legendary 4×4 vehicle that has been driven by generations of Aussies.

Known for its rugged exterior, luxurious interior, and advanced off-road capabilities, this vehicle is designed to comfortably handle even the most extreme off-road conditions.

This is because it has four-wheel drive, air suspension, and a terrain response system that can cleverly adapt to the driving terrain.

Another 4×4 that has an iconic design, the Defender is also equipped with a suite of cutting-edge safety features such as lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and a 360-degree camera, to maximise driver and passenger protection.

Mitsubishi Triton

The Mitsubishi Triton is a much-loved 4×4 vehicle on the Australian car market.

One of its key features is its powerful 2.4L MIVEC turbo diesel engine that provides plenty of power and torque, making it easier to navigate challenging terrain.

To assist with off-roading, it also has a 4×4 system with high and low range, a rear differential lock, and a Super Select 4WD-II system that seamlessly allows the driver to switch between 2WD and 4WD on the fly.

The Triton’s interior is designed to be comfortable, with features such as supportive seats, air conditioning, and a modern infotainment system creating a pleasurable transit experience.

In addition, it also has a ground clearance of up to 220mm, depending on the model, which means it can clear many obstacles and is less likely to get stuck.

Safety specs like driver and front passenger airbags, side airbags, and curtain airbags, as well as electronic stability control, traction control, and hill start assist are other impressive attributes it has.

Kia Sorento 2022

Only launched last year, the Kia Sorento 2022 is one 4×4 you should definitely look out for.

A versatile SUV, it has been widely acclaimed for offering excellent off-road capability, good ground clearance, powerful engine, comfortable interior, and impressive safety features.

The Sorento is available with a 2.5L turbocharged engine that provides plenty of power and torque. It also has a decent clearance of up to 185mm, depending on the model, as well as a 4×4 system that includes torque vectoring and an electronic locking differential. This allows the vehicle to maintain traction on difficult terrain.

Within the Kia Sorento you will find very supportive seats. There is also an excellent suite of driver assistance features such as blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assist that make road-tripping much easier.


So, there you have it! Our recommendation of the best 4×4 vehicles to drive on a road trip around Australia.

Ultimately, the best vehicle for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences, as well as the type of road trip you have planned. Just remember to create a checklist or road trip plan before you head out to ensure your family’s safety and comfort. 

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