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SUV’s – Who’s got the highest ground clearance of them all?

By Nick Hodgson

Ground clearance is simply the amount of space between the base of an automobile tire and the underside of the chassis, typically measured by manufacturers on unladen mass in order to gain the highest possible figure. Living in South Africa with so many inhospitable dirt paths zigzagging across our country and the tarmac routes often looking worse than those dirt roads, it’s no wonder that so many of us are desperate to gain as much height as possible. So whether you’re looking to conquer the farthest flung reaches of our country or simply want extra piece of mind when making the daily pothole dodging run to work, ride height it turns out is one of the most critical factors to take into consideration when buying a car.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of every SUV/crossover currently on sale in South Africa and their respective ride heights. Land Rover, Jeep and Toyota dominate proceedings, no surprises there. However it’s the middle of the pack that provides some shocks.

Who’d have thought the Audi Q3 and Hyundai IX35 are so low to the ground when compared with something like a Renault Sandero Stepway? Or that the new Volvo XC90 is fighting it out with the big boys towards the top? Even something as innocuous as the Citroen C4 Aircross will surprise a few…

Manufacturer Model Ground Clearance (mm)
Land Rover Defender 323
Land Rover Discovery 4 301
Land Rover Range Rover 295
Jeep Grand Cherokee 287
Toyota Hilux 286
Jeep Wrangler 254
Toyota FJ Cruiser 245
VW Toureg 243
Nissan NP300 240
Volvo XC90 238
Ford Ranger 237
Toyota Land Cruiser 79 235
Audi Q7 235
Mazda BT-50 232
Toyota Land Cruiser 200 230
Toyota Land Cruiser 76 230
Nissan Patrol 230
Volvo XC60 230
Ford Everest 225
Mitsubishi Pajero 225
Jeep Cherokee 221
Toyota Fortuner 220
Jeep Renegade Trailhawk 220
Subaru XV 220
Subaru Forester 220
Isuzu KB 300 220
Chevrolet Trailblazer 218
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 218
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 216
Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 215
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 215
Mazda CX-5 215
Merc GL Class 215
Merc GLE 215
Porsche Cayenne 215
Subaru Outback 213
Land Rover Discovery Sport 212
BMW X6 210
Mahindra Scorpio Bakkie 210
Tata Xenon 210
Tata 207 Di 210
Volvo V70 Cross Country 210
Nissan X-Trail 209
BMW X5 209
Merc G Class 206
Renault Koleos 206
Jeep Compass 205
Renault Duster 205
Mitsubishi Triton 205
BMW X3 204
BMW X4 204
Isuzu KB 250 202
Jeep Renegade 200
Ford Eco Sport 200
Audi Q5 200
Mahindra XUV-500 200
Mahindra Bolero 200
Renault Captur 200
Suzuki Grand Vitara 200
Citroen C4 Aircross 200
Porsche Macan 198
Ford Kuga 197
Mahindra Genio 195
Mitsubishi ASX 195
Renault Sandero Stepway 193
Suzuki Jimny 190
Mahindra Xylo 186
Mahindra Quanto 186
Honda HR-V 185
Dodge Journey 185
Suzuki Vitara 185
Hyundai Sante Fe 185
Kia Sorento 185
BMW X1 183
Merc GLA 183
Nissan Qashqai 182
Merc GLC 181
Nissan Juke 180
Mahindra Scorpio SUV 180
Suzuki SX4 180
Fiat 500X 179
Chevrolet Captiva 178
Nissan NP200 177
VW Tiguan 175
Hyundai Tucson 172
Kia Sportage 172
Honda CR-V 170
Audi Q3 170
Hyundai IX35 170
Peugeot 2008 165
Mazda CX-3 160
Peugeot 3008 160
Mini Countryman 160
Opel Mokka 157
Fiat Panda 4×4 150
Volvo V40 Cross Country 144
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