Wheels for Your Adventures: 10 Best Off-Road Cars in the Philippines

Jay Pagkatotohan

Jay Pagkatotohan

Last updated June 02, 2022

When car aficionados say that not all cars are created equal, believe them. The very existence of off-road cars in the Philippines is a strong testament to such a claim.

Off-road automobiles are muscly, a characteristic that commands attention. But don’t be fooled by their jacked-up looks, as they also boast agility, performance, and versatility. An off-road car will allow you to dominate any kind of terrain. 

If you’re planning to upgrade to an off-road car, there’s no fitting guide other than this article. Read on to learn more. 

The Basics of an Off-Road Car 

Off-road cars are a different breed of vehicles. Their build and framing are usually bigger, and they’re often outfitted with tougher housing and larger tires. They’re also designed with a flexible suspension. 

All these features make an off-road car ideal not only for city driving but also for adventurous rides on rough terrains, such as gravel, sand dunes, grassy lands, muddy surfaces, and unpaved roads. 


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What to Look for in an Off-Road Car in the Philippines

Before you buy an off-road car, here are some things you need to look for first: 

📌 The Drivetrain 

A drivetrain connects the engine to the car wheels. When the engine runs, the power is sent to the wheels, which can be either the front, rear, or all of the wheels.

If the power is sent to either the front or rear wheels of your vehicle, your car is a two-wheel drive. On the other hand, if the power is sent to all of the wheels of your unit, then your car is a four-wheel or all-wheel drive. 

If you’re planning to buy an off-road car, it must have a four-wheel drivetrain since it provides better traction. You can move on a rough, uneven, and unpaved surface more easily. 

The majority of the cars in this list are four-wheel drives. Nevertheless, you can still use two-wheel drives on rough terrains, albeit with the difficulty of navigating and the risk of getting stuck. To stay on the safe side, don’t put your two-wheel drive in sticky and rocky situations. 

📌 The Torque Output

Much has been said about a car’s horsepower. But when it comes to off-road vehicles, torque output is king. 

The torque is your car engine’s twisting power. This power will get your vehicle out of a muddy surface or help you navigate elevated and rocky hills. 

As such, you should opt for a car with a high torque. When high torque is paired with superior tire grips, it makes for a formidable off-roader. 

📌 High Ground Clearance 

You don’t want your car’s belly to get constantly scraped by gravel or rock when you navigate uncharted roads. If this keeps happening, the vehicle's underside and other important parts may get damaged. 

To address this dilemma, your off-road car must have a high ground clearance. If you want a visual reference, just look at the ride height of popular pick-up trucks and SUVs

📌 Safety Features 

Off-road vehicles are meant for adventures. However, driving unfamiliar roads comes with risks. To make your ride smoother and safer, your off-roader must have comprehensive safety features, such as airbags, stability control, blindspot detection system, hill start assist, and the like.

📌 The Style 

Gone are the days when off-road vehicles were typified by boxy appearances. Today, an off-roader can take on different looks. It can be an SUV, a pick-up truck, or a crossover. 

You can easily find an off-road car that matches your taste! 

Read more: Getting a New Ride? Here’s Your Guide to Different Types of Vehicles in the Philippines

10 Best Off-Road Cars in the Philippines

Now that you know what to look for in an off-road car, here are the best options that may match your standards. 

🚙 Isuzu D-MAX

off-road cars philippines - isuzu dmax

  • Price: ₱917,000 to ₱1,905,000
  • Key Specs of Isuzu D-MAX:
    • Seating capacity: Two to four 
    • Transmission type: Manual or automatic 
    • Engine: Four-cylinder, 16-valve, 3.0L 
    • Performance: 187 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque
    • Fuel type: Diesel 

With a maximum torque of 450 Nm, the Isuzu D-MAX is a beast when it comes to rough and unfamiliar terrains. Per the brand’s research involving more than four million kilometers of testing on- and off-road, it is the toughest pick-up in Isuzu’s history. 

While titanic and tough, the D-MAX uses a lightweight body. Its mechanisms reduce noise and vibration, making for a comfortable ride. Maintenance is also easy with its rust protection and tough components. 

As one of the best off-road cars in the Philippines, the Isuzu D-MAX boasts an 800mm wading depth. This allows you to safely navigate puddles and shallow streams. 

🚙 Nissan Navara

off-road cars philippines - nissan navara

  • Price: ₱1,071,000 to ₱1,876,000
  • Key Specs of Nissan Navara:
    • Seating capacity: Five
    • Transmission type: Manual or automatic 
    • Engine: Four-cylinder, 16-valve, 2.5L 
    • Performance: 161 horsepower and 403 Nm of torque
    • Fuel type: Diesel 

Looking for a tough pick-up? The Nissan Navara is one of the most reliable off-road cars in the Philippines. 

Power lies in its 2.5L turbo engine, which is also designed to save fuel. You won’t get stuck in deep puddles and terrains with its impressive 403 Nm of torque. 

Toughness meets peace of mind with the Navara’s safety features. Easily climb and descend inclined roads with its Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control features. The Navara’s reinforced body is coupled with six airbags in the interior.  

The Navara is also one of the smartest 4x4 cars. It’s outfitted with Nissan Intelligent Mobility system, which provides driver assistance and allows you to connect your smartphone to the car. 

It's also a relatively affordable 4x4 car in the Philippines.

🚙 Suzuki Jimny 

off-road cars philippines - suzuki jimny

  • Price: ₱1,258,000 to ₱1,320,000
  • Key Specs of Suzuki Jimny:
    • Seating capacity: Four 
    • Transmission type: Manual or automatic 
    • Engine: Four-cylinder, 16-valve, 1.5L
    • Performance: 100 horsepower and 130 Nm of torque
    • Fuel type: Gasoline

The Jimny has always captured the attention of both devoted car enthusiasts and casual spectators. And it’s easy to see why—its toy-like appeal is coupled with good features. 

Running on just 100 horsepower with 130 Nm torque, the Jimny isn’t the most powerful car on this list. Nevertheless, it’s worth remembering that its power just matches its size. 

The features that make the Jimny a truly capable off-road car are its four-wheel drivetrain and high ground clearance. Add to this list its short wheelbase, which makes cornering faster whether in the city or on the dirt road. 

While seemingly small, the Jimny’s trunk can carry enough load for your road trip. If you need more space, you can fold the rear seats. 

Safety features include airbags for the driver and the front passenger, anti-lock brake system, immobilizer, stability control, electronic door locks, and ISOFIX. The Jimny’s bonnet is also designed to absorb impact, mitigating a pedestrian’s potential injuries in case of a collision. 

🚙 Toyota Hilux 

off-road cars philippines - toyota hilux

 

  • Price: ₱1,312,000 to ₱2,192,000
  • Key Specs of Toyota Hilux:
    • Seating capacity: Five
    • Transmission type: Manual or automatic
    • Engine: Four-cylinder, 16-valve, 2.4L
    • Performance: 148 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque 
    • Fuel type: Diesel  

The Hilux is a quintessential Toyota truck with an enduring history that dates back to 1968.[1] Its popularity is attributed to its practicality and adaptability. It can be a workhorse for business people, but it can also be a family car. 

Its precise handling and light steering can take on challenging road conditions (though the car must not be pushed to its limit). It also has a generous torque of 400 Nm, which makes it a practical off-roader contender. If you’re looking for more power, its 4x4 variant can give you more than 200 horsepower and over 500 Nm of torque. 

When it comes to safety, this car for rough roads has a driver's airbag, front passenger’s airbag, knee airbag, electronic brake distribution, and anti-lock brake system. 

Related: A Classic Drive: 15 Best Sedans in the Philippines in 2023

🚙 Mitsubishi Montero Sport 

off-road cars philippines - mitsubishi montero sport

  • Price: ₱1,568,000 to ₱2,428,000
  • Key Specs of Mitsubishi Montero Sport:
    • Seating capacity: Seven 
    • Transmission type: Manual or automatic 
    • Engine: Four-cylinder, 16-valve, 2.4L
    • Performance: 179 horsepower and 430 Nm of torque 
    • Fuel type: Diesel

Easily a status symbol in the Philippines, the Mitsubishi Montero Sport has an imposing and sleek body that makes pedestrians and drivers do a double take. With its roomy interiors and archetypal SUV look, the Montero Sport is a popular family car. But you can also take it to long-distance and off-road sojourns. 

The Montero Sport boasts a full-time four-wheel drive system called Super Select 4WD-II.[3] With this in place, you can switch between two-wheel drive setting and four-wheel drive mode while the car’s on the move. This particular feature makes the Montero Sport one of the most flexible 4x4 cars in the Philippines.[2] 

The Montero’s 4WD system also gives you extra control over various kinds of roads. Just use the Off Road Mode selector and choose between gravel, mud/snow, sand, or rock. Moreover, this car’s off-road features, such as high ground clearance and powerful torque, aid it in taking on challenging driving assignments. 

Read more: For Your Long-Distance Adventures: 10 Best Cars for Road Trips

🚙 Toyota Fortuner 

off-road cars philippines - toyota fortuner

  • Price: ₱1,769,000 to ₱2,563,000
  • Key Specs of Toyota Fortuner:
    • Seating capacity: Seven 
    • Transmission type: Manual or automatic 
    • Engine: Four-cylinder, 16-valve, 2.4L 
    • Performance: 148 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque
    • Fuel type: Diesel

The Toyota Fortuner may look like a car fit for suburban neighborhoods and city roads. But its modern aesthetics belie its off-roading capabilities. 

With 148 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque, the Fortuner can also take on rough rural roads. Opt for more power by getting its 4x4 variant that comes with 201 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque. 

Since the Fortuner is an SUV, it has a generous cabin space that can accommodate up to seven people. You can even go for a variant that lets you fold the last seat row to carry more load. 

🚙 Ford Ranger Raptor 

off-road cars philippines - ford ranger raptor

  • Price: ₱2,339,000 to ₱2,424,000
  • Key Specs of Ford Ranger Raptor:
    • Seating capacity: Five 
    • Transmission type: Automatic
    • Engine: 4-cylinder, 16-valve, 2.0L
    • Performance: 207 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque 
    • Fuel type: Diesel 

If you’re a Ford fan who’s head over heels for the Ranger, you’ll definitely love the Ranger Raptor—it’s bolder and tougher! The large front emblem overlaying the grille simply screams muscle, and its humongous build easily suggests that it’s destined for adventures. Nevertheless, you can also take it for a spin in the city, provided the roads are wide. 

No terrain is too tough for the Ranger Raptor since it’s equipped with a four-wheel drivetrain and a T6.2 platform. Plus, its specs, such as shock absorbers and an engine that can churn out 207 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque, are truly designed for off-roading. 

For safety, this off-road car is outfitted with the following: driver’s airbag, front passenger’s airbag, side airbags, curtain airbags, auto brake system, electronic brake distribution, immobilizer, security alarm, stability control, electronic door locks, speed-sensing door locks, ISOFIX, lane departure warning system, and blindspot detection system. That’s loaded!

🚙 Ford Bronco 

off-road cars philippines - ford bronco

  • Price: Starts at ₱4,998,000
  • Key Specs of Ford Bronco:
    • Seating capacity: Five 
    • Transmission type: Automatic 
    • Engine: 2.7L EcoBoost® V6 Engine
    • Performance: 335 ps and 555 Nm of torque

The Ford Bronco will always be synonymous with off-roading. This world-renowned car is making its debut in the Philippines, exciting both Ford fans and weekend warriors. 

With a 2.7L EcoBoost® V6 Engine that can deliver 335 ps of power and 555 Nm of torque, the Bronco is easily one of the best off-road cars in the Philippines. This car’s advanced 4x4 system boasts G.O.A.T. Modes (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain), giving a superb performance regardless of the weather and road condition. 

The Outer Banks variant comes with the SasquatchTM Package. This includes 35-inch mud-terrain tires, 17-inch beadlock capable wheels, and suspension with position sensitive BILSTEINTM shock absorbers. 

Read more: Sailing the Road: 10 Best Cars for Flood-Prone Areas in the Philippines

🚙 Jeep Wrangler 

off-road cars philippines - jeep wrangler

  • Price: ₱5,090,000 to ₱5,690,000 
  • Key Specs of Jeep Wrangler:
    • Seating capacity: Five 
    • Transmission type: Automatic 
    • Engine: Four-cylinder, 16-valve, 2.0L 
    • Performance: 268 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque
    • Fuel type: Diesel 

With its recognizable facade, you’d know right away that the Jeep Wrangler means business. It’s one of the most reliable 4x4 cars in the Philippines, thanks to its torque and maneuverability. Its high air intake and sealed electrical components also make it the best car for wading and fording streams, creeks, and puddles. 

The Wrangler’s superb suspension provides maximum traction no matter the road condition. Its ground clearance, on the other hand, protects the car’s underside from logs, rocks, or any obstruction that comes your way. 

The ruggedness of the Wrangler’s exterior is complemented by the interior’s utility. For one, it’s outfitted with a dual-zone automatic temperature control. 

🚙 Toyota Land Cruiser

off-road cars philippines - toyota land cruiser

  • Price: ₱5,405,000 to ₱5,747,000
  • Key Specs of Toyota Land Cruiser:
    • Seating capacity: Eight 
    • Transmission type: Automatic 
    • Engine: Six-cylinder, 24-valve, 3.3L
    • Performance: 302 horsepower and 700 Nm of torque 
    • Fuel type: Diesel 

Off-roading can feel sophisticated and luxurious if you’re driving a Toyota Land Cruiser. If you have a sizable budget to spare, you can’t go wrong with this elegant mean machine.

One of Toyota’s heritage lines, the Land Cruiser boasts an ultra-powerful torque of 700 Nm, making it a force to reckon with on gravel, sand, and other unfamiliar roads. It can also weather long-distance drives since it has an output of 302 horsepower.[4] These features will make you realize that strength can be really beautiful. 

The interior space of this off-road car from Toyota is the epitome of grandiosity, as it’s roomy and outfitted with premium materials. Furthermore, it’s built with smart and intuitive technology, making every drive or ride a remarkable experience. 

When it comes to safety, the Land Cruiser has the essentials. A standout feature is the Toyota Safety Sense, which is made up of a pre-collision system, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert, and automatic high beams, among others. 

Price List: 10 Best Off-Road Cars in the Philippines

Find an off-roading option that fits your budget with this price list: 

Car Price
Isuzu D-Max ₱917,000 to ₱1,905,000
Nissan Navara ₱1,071,000 to ₱1,876,000
Suzuki Jimny ₱1,258,000 to ₱1,320,000
Toyota Hilux ₱1,312,000 to ₱2,192,000
Mitsubishi Montero Sport ₱1,568,000 to ₱2,428,000
Toyota Fortuner ₱1,769,000 to ₱2,563,000
Ford Ranger Raptor ₱2,339,000 to ₱2,424,000
Ford Bronco Available upon request
Jeep Wrangler ₱5,090,000 to ₱5,690,000
Toyota Land Cruiser ₱5,405,000 to ₱5,747,000

 

Related: Is It Better to Buy a Brand-New or Second-Hand Car in 2023?

Final Thoughts

Adaptability, beauty, security―you can find these and more in off-road cars in the Philippines. They can be quite pricey, but you can easily justify that if you’re the type of driver who loves adventures, whether on the familiar terrain of the urban jungle or the unpaved surfaces of uncharted roads.  

🚗 Get an Insurance Policy for Your Off-Road Car via Moneymax

If you plan to go on adventures with your new off-roader, give your car a layer of protection. Strange roads can be risky, so get a car insurance policy

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Sources:

Jay is a marketing communications professional who specializes in short-form and long-form content. He has written ads for TV, radio, print, and digital. He has also produced corporate blogs, magazine features, white papers, product listings, reviews, and press releases for clients here and abroad. When he’s not writing, Jay plays the piano or takes pictures for his visual diary. Follow Jay on LinkedIn.

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