The Best 4X4 Wheelbase For Off-Roading In Utah

Utah is a genuinely stunning state for all kinds of reasons, and if you love off-road driving, it’s the ideal place to visit. Off-roading enthusiasts continue to flock to Utah for the state’s rugged landscape and historic mining routes, which provide thrilling adventures and fascinating anecdotes. Of course, just as you would when you off-road anywhere, you’re going to need to make sure you have the right vehicle for your needs. Although there are several different things to consider, it’s the wheelbase that will make all the difference. Read on to find out the best 4×4 wheelbase for off-roading in Utah, depending on exactly what trails you want to take. 

Wheelbase Range: 80-96 Inches 

If your first thought is that the 80-to-96-inch range is a pretty short wheelbase, you would be right; it’s actually one of the shortest you’ll find, at least on modern vehicles. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, you’ll see this kind of short wheelbase on older Jeeps and Suzukis – perhaps you’ve now got a better image in your mind. 

Whatever your thoughts on the aesthetics and potential usefulness of this kind of wheelbase, it might surprise you to find out that, when it comes to off-roading in Utah, it could be precisely what you need. Some would even call it perfect. That’s because, when you build your 4×4 in the right way, this kind of wheelbase offers power and speed and allows you to cross every obstacle that Utah’s beautiful scenery could throw at you. Of course, you do also have to be careful; the fact is that a short wheelbase can be problematic because it can give your 4×4 a high center of gravity, and that means there is more chance of rollover. However, make sure the build is right before you head off, and this shouldn’t be an issue. 

Wheelbase Range: 97-108 Inches

So what does a wheelbase of 97 to 108 inches do for you and your off-road vehicle, especially when you’re driving in Utah? Consider the fact that this is the length of the wheelbase you’ll find on most midsize SUVs and the like, so you can see that there is a greater distance between the wheels on each side. This means that you’ll have an excellent center of gravity, and the weight of the vehicle won’t make too much of a difference to how it can move, which is something a problem you might come across if you choose a wheelbase that’s too wide or too narrow; you lose stability, or you lose speed and maneuverability, depending on the way the vehicle is built.  

If you’re building your own off-road vehicle, you won’t have a problem choosing this kind of wheelbase range, although it’s a pretty rare thing to find it when you’re buying ‘off the rack’. That’s a shame because when you’re off-roading in Utah, this is perhaps the wheelbase that’s going to allow you to do more than any other. This is why building your own custom 4×4 is a better idea. 

Wheelbase Range: 108-117 Inches 

If you’re looking for a wheelbase that you’ll easily be able to find no matter what kind of off-roach truck you might be building, and no matter where you intend to take that truck (Utah or anywhere else), then the 108 to 117-inch wheelbase is the one for you. It’s the most common you’ll find, and you only have to look around you to see it for yourself; take most 4x4s out on the road right now, and you’ll see what we mean. 

There is a reason this size of wheelbase is a popular one; it works. It’s not so small that it will cause instability when you’re on the trails, and it’s not so big that it makes off-road driving a chore. It’s right there in the middle, giving you great control and stability. It makes sense to pick this kind of wheelbase for your truck, but if you want something specifically for the terrain you’ll find in Utah, including desserts, rocky paths, and more, then the slightly smaller version is still potentially a better option. 

Wheelbase Range: 118 Inches Plus 

It might be a little confusing when we say that a wheelbase of over 118 inches is large. After all, you’ll see this kind of size wheelbase all over the place – there are almost standard on most luxury cars. However, remember that a 4×4 truck ideal for off-roading is about as far removed from a luxury car as you can get, and although it might be common for such a car to have an ample wheelbase like this, it’s unusual for an off-road vehicle to go above 117 inches. That’s because the larger the wheelbase, the harder it is to drive the vehicle, and although that’s not something that’s going to come up when you’re cruising along well-built main roads, when you’re on Utah’s desert trails, it’s going to be an issue. There, you’ll want ultimate control, and a wheelbase like this isn’t going to offer you that. 

There is always a flip side, though, and the reason we’ve included this size of wheelbase in our list is that it will give you a challenge. That might be an understatement. But if you want to work for your off-roading experience, why not give the larger wheelbase a try?

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