Fall is here, and the season is arguably the best for traveling to remote locations — the leaves are changing colors, the temperature is dropping, and wildlife is preparing for the coming winter.
If you’re planning on heading out to your favorite remote autumn destination, what type of vehicle should you look to rent? We’ve gathered a list of the best multipurpose vehicles to carry you and your family anywhere you desire.*
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Jeep has always been a go-to brand for driving on rough terrain. You could easily opt for a Wrangler if the roads might get a little rough at your destination, but if you just want a nice autumn drive with the family, the Grand Cherokee is the best choice.
You’re getting the all-terrain prowess of the Jeep paired with the comfort and legroom of a full-sized SUV.
However, if you’re looking for a lighter vehicle to lower your CO2 emissions or keep you from getting stuck in the sand, a Jeep Wrangler could be a suitable option — it’s looking like the newest Wrangler model might be switching to a lightweight aluminum frame.
The 4Runner might look like a daily driver, but it packs a punch when it comes to reaching those remote autumn locations. The body of the 4Runner is designed to handle everything from highways to rough roads. It won’t look out of place in your hotel parking lot, but it won’t leave you stranded if you decide to head up into the mountains to watch the leaves change.
If you can find one, opt for the TRD edition — it’s designed for four-wheel drive and has improved suspension and tires to help keep even inexperienced drivers safe in hilly or mountainous areas. The 4Runner is perfect for driving through the endless highways and roads of Vermont, as state that’s almost synonymous with autumn.
Sure, this isn’t an SUV, but hear us out — the F-150 is good for just about everything, including those autumn trips. F-150s are great if you’re hauling a ton of luggage with you too — as long as you’re not worried about rainy weather.
If you’re heading out for an autumn camping adventure, consider a pickup truck — not only do you get the extra storage space for your gear, but you’ve got plenty of space to work with on the tailgate for camp cooking.
Can you really go wrong with an SUV called Terrain? This is an excellent option for those long trips — it might not have the most powerful engine with its inline four-cylinder setup, but it’s got one of the highest gas mileage ratings in its class.
It can get up to 32 miles per gallon on the highway, which is probably where you’re doing most of your driving. If you’re renting, make sure your Terrain comes with four-wheel drive — it’s an available but optional feature.
Four-wheel drive is a useful option to have, especially if you’re heading up into the mountains where you might get caught in an early season snowstorm. If you don’t have experience driving in snow, four-wheel drive can make all the difference.
If you’re seeking out early season snow, check with the local ski resorts. A lot of them are expecting snow, or at least to be open, by mid-October or early November which can make for a perfect autumn treat.
One of the survivors of the age of truck/SUV crossovers, the Honda Ridgeline can be a great addition to your trip, especially if you’re hauling bikes, ATVs, or motorcycles along on your travels. The hybrid bed lays flat for carrying big equipment but also has a hidden trunk under the bed of the truck, so you don’t have to sacrifice storage space to haul your toys with you.
The Ridgeline also tends to average around 22 miles per gallon, even on snowy roads in Colorado, so if you’re heading up to some snowy mountaintops during your autumn driving, the Ridgeline should be on your short list of SUVs to rent.
The Nissan Pathfinder is a handy-all-around driver for your autumn adventures. It has a 284-horsepower engine under the hood, four-wheel drive to handle any terrain condition, and three rows of seats for the maximum amount of passengers. Just don’t put any adults in the back seat — there isn’t a lot of headroom in the back, so keep it for the kids.
The Subaru Outback is the kind of car you buy when you need a lot of cargo space and a lot of legroom as well as the power and control to get you anywhere you want.
It’s also got exceptional fuel economy for an SUV, with 25 city miles to the gallon and up to 32 highway miles. Pair that with the tried-and-true Subaru four-wheel drive, and you’ll be sure to get to your destination well before the leaves change color. The Outback is also rated as one of the best SUVs for snow, so if you’re heading up into the mountains or anywhere that has a chance of snowy weather, this is a good option for you.
Hit the road!
Whether you’re planning an autumn camping trip or a drive with the family to see the leaves change, you want to make sure you’re renting a reliable SUV to help you reach your destination safely.
Enjoy those beautiful autumn sights!
*Please remember that off-road driving is prohibited in cars rented from the Turo marketplace.