Think you know the most-capable vehicles – SUVs and pickup trucks – to take on rugged terrain? You might be surprised. Here we list the 10 best 2012 vehicles for off-road use, courtesy of the latest ranking from Total Car Score.

All of these models offer a two-speed transfer case and advanced suspension design.

1. 2012 Jeep Grand CherokeeWay out front in the best off-road contenders, according to Total Car Score, the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee achieves its first-place

ranking due to “superb off-road capabilities,” “driver-selectable settings based on surface conditions, whether traveling over snow, rocks or mud.” The Jeep Grand Cherokee available V8 engine and “excellent on-road driving dynamics” also helped secure the win.

2. 2012 Land Rover Range Rover A luxury, five-passenger SUV, the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover, which was last fully redesigned more than a decade ago, still

has outstanding off-road chops to its credit. But, beyond its “superb off-road performance,” Total Car Score credits the Range Rover for its “car-like driving character and quiet, supple ride.” Full-time four-wheel drive and 5.0-liter V8 engine are standard. The base HSE gets 375 horsepower while the Supercharged model generates 510 horsepower.

3. 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor – A full-size pickup truck, the 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is unique from the standpoint that it is the only vehicle from Ford that’s modified for high-speed off-roading straight from the factory. The SVT Raptor is wider than the standard F-150 to accommodate long travel, boasts a race-bred suspension, and rides on aggressive 35-inch all-terrain tires. The SVT Raptor has part-time 4WD and is powered by a 411-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

4. 2012 Nissan FrontierThe off-road version of the 2012 Nissan Frontier is the Pro-4X, fitted with a beefier suspension, Bilstein shocks, skid plate and a locking rear

differential. The “stout off-roader” is perfect for hardcore off-road enthusiasts.

5. 2012 Toyota TacomaAlthough the current generation is now seven years old, there’s no getting around the high praise from the automotive press for the 2012 Toyota Tacoma compact pickup’s off-road prowess – particularly with T|X and T|X pro packages, including “burly shocks, all-terrain tires and a locking differential.”

6. 2012 Toyota 4Runner It’s the Trail model that’s the real outdoorsman version of the 2012 Toyota 4Runner. Featuring water-resistant seat fabric, all-terrain tires

, roof rack, a sliding cargo deck (capable of toting 440 pounds), a sunroof, rearview camera and two 120-volt power outlets, the 2012 Toyota 4Runner Trail will take seven passengers pretty much anywhere they want to go off-road.

7. 2012 Land Rover LR4With its sophisticated 4WD system, long-travel suspension and tall ride height, the 2012 Land Rover LR4 is readily acknowledged as powerfully proficient off-road. As Total Car Score notes, “if your travels include slickrock, sand dunes and muddy two-tracks, few vehicles will handle that terrain as well as the LR4.”

8. 2012 Toyota FJ CruiserRetro looks notwithstanding, the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser, equipped with full-time 4WD that uses a Torsen center differential, can tackle much the same terrain as any other production off-roader.

9. 2012 Nissan XterraThe Pro-4X is the most dedicated off-roading version of the five-passenger 2012 Nissan Xterra, featuring hill start and hill descent controls, an electronic locking rear differential, skid plates, a digital compass, and Bluetooth. Off-road enthusiasts hankering for the Xterra should hurry, as Nissan is expected to discontinue the line in a year or two.

10. 2012 Jeep WranglerWith its legendary off-road capability going back decades, it’s no surprise that the 2012 Jeep Wrangler is on the list of 10 best 2012 vehicles for off-road use. Go for the Rubicon trim on the 2012 Jeep Wrangler and get an upgraded transfer case with lower gearing (than the Sahara trim), a front anti-roll bar that can disconnect when axle articulation is required, special tires on 17-inch alloy wheels, heavy-duty axles and satellite radio.

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