A perfect hunting car has to be able to go anywhere, anytime. It should be a car that is reliable, cheap to run, and does not mind being thrown around the bushes. As such, buying used and cheap is always a good idea as it saves you money in the long run.
Such a car should also be practical and offer easy access all-around because a great hunting car has to be able to haul all of your equipment, including the animals. An SUV is always a great choice for hunting purposes as it offers a raised driving position and enough ground clearance for most hunting trails.
A Jeep Wrangler has always been a perfect utility off-road SUV capable of traversing rough terrain without any issues. The same story goes for the Dodge RAM Rebel edition, but the RAM also offers a bed large enough for all of your hunting equipment.
But if you are primarily interested in buying a used off-roading legend, a 1980-1997 Toyota Land Cruiser or an older Land Rover Defender are both great options. A Jeep Cherokee XJ can be bought for peanuts, and if equipped with a lift kit, the XJ is virtually unstoppable in most situations.
A Jeep Wrangler has always been at the very forefront of OEM off-roaders due to excellent suspension that is equally capable of smoothening uneven road surfaces and traversing rough terrain. If you opt for the Rubicon trim you are looking at an off-road machine.
As far as practicality is concerned, the Jeep Wrangler trunk space is perfectly capable of accommodating up to two fully grown dear. Besides the off-roading and practicality, the Wrangler also comes equipped with a stereo system and an A/C so it’s not all work no play.
Dodge RAM Rebel
The Dodge RAM Rebel is a fairly lightweight pickup truck capable of taking you wherever you want to go. Compared to the Wrangler, the RAM is not as capable off-road, but it certainly is more practical thanks to a large bed.
The Rebel offers a set of beefed-up suspension which includes a 1-inch lift kit that perfectly balances off-roading and on-road comfort. It also offers a more powerful and more efficient engine compared to the older model with all the necessary comfort amenities and features.
1988-1997 Toyota Land Cruiser
If you are looking for a no-nonsense purposeful hunting car that is not going to spend too much time doing anything else, an older used Toyota Land Cruiser is a great choice. A legendary four-wheel-drive system, ample ground clearance, and relatively cheap running costs make the LC a great hunting vehicle.
Besides the off-roading capabilities, the LC also offers superior reliability usually associated with a Toyota. A Toyota Land Cruiser is an icon due to its incredible toughness and virtually unstoppable mechanics. As such, the LC or the Jeep Cherokee XJ are the two best-used hunting SUVs money can buy.
Land Rover Defender
The Land Rover Defender is a car made for traversing rough terrain like nobody’s business, and as far as Land Rovers are concerned, the Defender is definitely the most capable. The Defender also holds a special place in the history of service SUVs as lots of militaries around the world used the Defender on all kinds of terrains.
A Defender lasts for generations, and as such is a great hunting car. It is highly serviceable and you can rely on the Defender to safely and reliably take you over any kind of terrain. Besides the off-roading capabilities, the Defender also offers a decent amount of comfort and safety features.
Jeep Cherokee XJ
The best thing about the Cherokee XJ is the ability to customize it for incredibly low costs. An extreme off-roading kit for a Cherokee XJ sometimes costs less than $1000. As such, you are able of buying an XJ for silly money, and if you spend the extra on a few mods, the XJ becomes a go-everywhere monster.
Whenever you go to an off-road session anywhere in the US, you are bound to come across a dozen of these. And the reason being is the fact that they offer the best value when it comes to off-roading while still offering a decent amount of on-road essentials such as A/C and comfortable seating.
What are the worst cars for hunting?
Even though a Mercedes Benz G-Class is an incredibly capable off-roader, it costs way too much to be used for hunting. So as far as SUVs are concerned, a newer G-Wagon is not worth getting beaten up. Besides SUVs, sedans, hatchbacks, estates are also a no-go, bar a few exceptions made by Subaru.
When choosing a car for hunting, you have to make sure that the ground clearance is enough. Besides the ground clearance, a hunting car always has to be practical, so anything that offers a small trunk/cargo area is a clear no-go.
Are EVs good as hunting cars?
As of right now, the only electric SUV capable of hunting duties is the Ford F150 Lightning as it combines the usability of a Ford F150 but it also increases the practicality with an addition of second trunk space in the front.
As such, the F150 Lightning offers enough EV range to satisfy most hunters out there and the silence of an EV sure is appreciated in the woods. Besides the 300-mile range, the F150 Lightning is also capable of powering all of your tools while in the woods.
Should I buy used or new when shopping for a hunting car?
In most cases, buying used is a better idea as hunting cars tend to live a rough life full of small dings, scratches, and accidents. As such, a new car is not made for this, especially so if you spend a lot of time in the woods. Buying used is almost always a better idea as the price of the car is way more acceptable.
That’s not to say that you should not pay attention while driving in the woods, no matter the car in question. But something like a Cherokee XJ is way more acceptable starched up than a new Dodge RAM Rebel.