Which Station Wagon Models are the Best Off road Cars?

Published: 05th December 2011
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They're often considered family cars and not necessarily the best option for the more adventurous driver who dares to go off road and explore everything which lies beyond the pavement. But station wagons can actually be quite effective in off road scenarios if they're equipped with the right features and options. If you're an off road driver, there are a few essential features and options you should select when shopping for versatile station wagon models.

Look for a Station Wagon with All Wheel Drive

This one is probably pretty obvious, but it's worth noting: any station wagon vehicle worth its weight in off road adventures must have all wheel drive in order to deal with the rough terrain and uncertain circumstances that await it beyond the pavement. Beyond simply off-loading, however, a station wagon that features all wheel drive will be more versatile in adverse weather conditions -- especially snowy or icy roads. This is a great way to consolidate vehicles and get rid of a bulky SUV in favour of a sleeker, lower-MPG station wagon model.

Consider Safety Features when Picking Your Station Wagon

Using you station wagon as an off road car is certainly a fun time, but it can also be a dangerous one depending on the terrain you're covering and the conditions you encounter after leaving the pavement. For this reason, it is absolutely necessary to consider at least basic safety features in your next off-loading vehicle. First and foremost, you will want to ensure that the station wagon you choose has an extensive series of airbags that protect passengers from the sides as well as from the front. And you'll want to make sure that the driver is adequately supported by these safety systems as well.

Another consideration is to find a model which sports daytime running lights. This feature is essential in bad weather -- either snow or rain -- as it increases a vehicles visibility on the road when precipitation might otherwise hide the car to other drivers. But daytime running lights are also important when you're driving an off road car, as it alerts any hikers, other drivers, or sportsmen to the presence of your vehicle. Because many off road terrains can be full of trees, brush, or other obstructions that won't necessarily allow your car to be seen, this is your first defence against a dangerous and potentially damaging accident or vehicular crash.

Finally, make sure your station wagon has anti-lock brakes. Not only will you save on your insurance premiums each month, but you'll be driving a safer vehicle that can make sudden stops with more ease and greater safety.

Take Design Cues into Account When Purchasing

Station wagon models are generally lower to the ground than their SUV counterparts, and if you're shopping for one that can go off road, this might be essential. The lower a car is to the ground, the better its turning radius is. Because you never know what you'll encounter beyond the pavement, it's good to have a car which can manoeuvre around anything with ease.

And, of course, look for a model that is attractive, streamlined, and aerodynamic. A car which can be easily cleaned of mud and debris might also be good to find, and it's likely that this particular vehicle will be quite a mess when you're finished with it for the day.

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