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SUV exploits to drive your new year

Love SUVs but yet to explore their full potential? For new year, check out our guide to some of the ultimate adventures these cars were made to drive.

Himalayan heights
Where Tibet and northern India meet lies the ancient, mountainous land of Ladakh. An expedition from Delhi to the region’s ancient capital at Leh, two miles up in the clouds and dominated by a ruined royal palace, will take you four days. En route you’ll take in breath-taking gorges, deserts and glaciers. And you’ll navigate dirt tracks, slushy quagmires, impossible inclines, rock-strewn streams and – if you ascend too fast – altitude sickness.

Johannesburg to Victoria Falls
Just 150 years after Scotland’s David Livingstone became the first European to see the planet’s largest sheet of falling water, you can drive to Victoria Falls yourself. Starting from South Africa’s largest city, you’ll witness sights few orthodox safaris can cover. Like the Makgadikgadi Pans, the world’s largest salt flats and home to unique desert-adapted wildlife. Your SUV’s off-road capabilities will also get you up close and personal to the lush and serene Okavango Delta, to the majestic Zambezi River, and to the Caprivi Strip, a haven for many of Africa’s rarest birds.

Get lost in the Pyrénées
Strike out into one of western Europe’s last remaining wildernesses. Mile after mile of ancient, unsurfaced, and rarely-traveled trails will take you through spectacular mountains, dense forests and picturesque villages. It’s easy to get lost. But with your SUV’s all-wheel drive capabilities and rugged build, you can be sure of always getting back on track. Look out for rare creatures once common across the continent, including wolves, bears, lynx and wild boar.

Perth to Ayers Rock
Your SUV is the best way to get intimate with Australia’s Ayers Rock, 8km round and famous for its red, mystical glow at dawn and sunset. Driving from Perth, on the Great Central Road you’ll tarmac it to the gold-rush town of Laverton. Then you’re off-road for the next 1100km through the Aussie outback. Set to cross your path are kangaroos and dingoes, 90km/h dust storms and even fire tornados – twisters that pick up grass fires and shoot them into the sky.

Of course you needn’t go to the ends of the earth in search of SUV thrills. Wherever your sporty, all-action styled drive goes, it probably gets heads turning. So even on city streets, you get a real kick out of driving it.

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