Best SUVs for Camping of 2020

Braving the vast American wilderness is almost a rite of passage in the USA, and doing so in the utmost style requires a real camp car. By this, we mean a vehicle that is rugged enough to go off the beaten path, and even double as a tent in a pinch. You might think that camping in an SUV sounds a bit bizarre, but today’s machines are certainly large enough and, in many cases luxurious enough, to make spending a night inside them quite appealing when the alternative is the cold, hard ground.

In our detailed reviews, we do not just cover what’s under the hood or drivetrain options. We also pay great attention to the interior, citing not only head- and legroom, but also cargo capacity either as standard or with the rear seats folded down. With all this information at your fingertips, it is remarkably easy to see which are the best SUVs for camping.

What SUVs can you sleep in?

There is no shortage of crossovers with space enough to accommodate an adult, or two or three, lying down. Most modern SUVs allow you to fold the rear seats flat, creating a level surface on which to place cargo, or people if that is your desire. Larger machines, like the Kia Telluride or Ford Expedition, are obviously more spacious inside, but even compact crossovers supply more than enough room for a couple of adults. And don’t worry, there will still be enough room for some personal boundaries if you and your buddy are not quite so intimately acquainted.

More than meets the eye

The best camping cars need more than just a spacious cabin. There are some key boxes you need to ensure are ticked before you sign off on a purchase. Here are some tips to help you reach the right decision.

  • Is it a good off-roader? While most crossovers offer all-wheel drivetrains, not all are genuinely capable of handling rough terrain.
  • Does it have the all the essentials? Roughing it does not mean abandoning all creature comforts. With features like heated seats, multi-zone climate control, moonroofs, and sound-proof windows all work to create a pretty luxurious mobile camper.
  • Can it haul your family and all your gear? You do not require all that much power to get around town, but when you’re climbing steeper terrain or pulling a trailer with a full cabin, you need a lot more.
  • Will it keep you safe? When you’re far from civilization, you will want to know that your vehicle is reliable. High safety ratings and a decent list of safety features are a must.

The Best Vehicle and Car for Camping

A number of brands have made it their mission to supply consumers with capable cars. At the top of our list is the Kia Telluride. Powered by a 291-horsepower V6 engine, the midsize crossover easily lugs your family and gear around the wild outdoors. And, when the seats are folded down, it supplies 87 cubic feet of cargo space - more than enough space for two adults to spend the night. It is also ideal for packing the tent and other goodies if you’d rather be out under the stars.

Another midsize model, the Chevrolet Blazer offers more choices when it comes to the engine. Available in front- or all-wheel-drive, it provides up to 64.2 cubic feet of space in the back. If you’re willing to spend more than the starting price of $28,800, you can get climate-controlled seats, a surround-view camera, and plenty of charging points for your devices.

Pros and Cons

While you could technically camp in a big sedan or a wagon, sports utility vehicles have some key advantages.

Pros

  • Most models offer all-wheel-drive
  • More spacious than sedan-like machines
  • Superior ride comfort
  • Saturated market means plenty of choice

Cons

  • More expensive than traditional automobiles
  • Worse fuel economy
  • Too many options mean plenty of substandard models

FAQs

What is the best car for camping?

Talking specifically about an SUV camping car, the Kia Telluride is our choice for the best camping vehicle. You will find a 2020 model for sale at just $31,890, but you may have to pay a bit extra for desirable features like heated seats, blind-spot monitoring, and a surround-view camera.

Are there any affordable camping cars?

Naturally, there are some cheap options out there. You save quite a bit by going for a basic trim. Subaru has two very economical models, the Crosstek ($22,145) and the Forester ($24,495). Alternatively, you could look to a 2019 or 2018 used model from a higher price bracket to get better value for your money. However, you may want to go the rental route if you only need it for the occasional outdoor experience.
BuzzScore
Design
Performance
MPG
Interior
Infotainment
Reliability
Safety
Value
#1
2021 Kia Telluride
9
BuzzScore
10
Design
7
Performance
7
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
10
Value
#2
2020 Chevrolet Blazer
8.8
BuzzScore
10
Design
8
Performance
7
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
8
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#3
2021 Subaru Forester
8.6
BuzzScore
7
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
8
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#4
2020 Ford Expedition
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
7
Value
#5
2020 Ford Expedition Max
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
7
Value
#6
2020 GMC Acadia
8.3
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
8
Infotainment
8
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#7
2021 Subaru Ascent
8.1
BuzzScore
7
Design
7
Performance
7
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#8
2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
7.6
BuzzScore
9
Design
8
Performance
6
MPG
7
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
7
Safety
6
Value
#9
2020 Subaru Crosstrek
7.5
BuzzScore
7
Design
5
Performance
7
MPG
8
Interior
7
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#10
2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee
7.4
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
6
MPG
7
Interior
9
Infotainment
7
Reliability
8
Safety
7
Value
#11
2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport
7.4
BuzzScore
7
Design
8
Performance
7
MPG
8
Interior
8
Infotainment
6
Reliability
7
Safety
8
Value
#12
2020 Toyota 4Runner
7.3
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
5
MPG
7
Interior
8
Infotainment
10
Reliability
7
Safety
6
Value
#13
2020 Nissan Pathfinder
6.9
BuzzScore
6
Design
6
Performance
7
MPG
7
Interior
5
Infotainment
7
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value