Good question! Is it just personal preference or is there a clear winner? Let’s take a look at the advantages of each and see where we land.
SUVs are a popular choice and have many features that make them a great option for off-road enthusiasts.
Backrow seating in an SUV is likely to be more comfortable for family, friends, or even pets. There may even be room to sleep inside if needed.
SUVs generally offer a smooth, quiet ride, especially on the road.
Cargo space in an SUV is less than a truck. That said, your cargo is safer and more protected from the elements inside your SUV than it would be in the bed of a truck. A fridge will have an easier time keeping food cool when stored in an air-conditioned cabin. And less space isn’t necessarily a bad thing; managing your vehicle weight is critical on off road adventures. The lower your weight, the better your maneuverability and fuel economy will be. Less storage space makes it a lot easier to keep those weights down.
Modern SUVs have good off-road capabilities. For example, some small and medium sized SUVs have good ground clearance and a small enough turning radius to make navigating trails easier.
SUVs have long been the classic vehicle for off roading. Jeeps, 4Runners, Ford Broncos, and Chevy Blazers are just a few examples of solid, dependable overlanding vehicles.
But What About Pickups?
Pickup trucks also have a lot to offer off road enthusiasts.
The selection of new or used body-on-frame pickups is greater than for SUVs so it’s easier to find an affordable option.
Pickups are built for work and have a sturdy construction that can withstand a lot of abuse.
You’ll generally find that trucks have higher payload capacities and higher towing capacities than SUVs. If you’re bringing along a heavy load, a pickup truck is probably the answer.
Pickups have more horsepower. That’s an advantage in many areas, including better fuel economy and less strain on the engine when towing.
A longer wheelbase gives pickups more stability.
You have lots of options for configuring a pickup to carry gear. And you can carry a lot of gear. It’s also great to be able to throw dirty, wet, messy gear into a truck bed without worrying about damaging the interior. Plus, there are tons of options for adding custom functions and style. For example, Toyota Tacoma mods such as front and rear bumpers, skid plates, lighting, and more let you configure your truck for any type of adventure.
As you probably guessed, there isn’t a clear winner. Both trucks and SUVs have very real advantages. You really can’t go wrong. Just choose what’s right for you and your lifestyle and then get out there and have fun.