camping cars
Blog Car Guide

10 Best Camping Cars & SUVs for 2022

If you’ve ever driven a compact, front-wheel drive up a winding mountain road with your rear view completely obstructed by coolers and rolled-up sleeping mats you'll know that some cars are better than others when it comes to camping excursions.

So when you want to feel confident about navigating The Great Outdoors, the right vehicle is key. That's why we created a list of the 10 of the best camping-ready vehicles on the market. 

But first, what exactly makes a car great for camping? 

Here are a few factors to consider:

AWD and 4WD

A vehicle with all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive is optimal for camping getaways, as some roads leading to campsites will be unmaintained, gravely, and possibly steep. It’s especially helpful if you’re camping or glamping, out of season.

Towing power

If you’re thinking of hauling a camper or even a boat on your forested excursions, you’re going to need suitable towing capacity. The average camper can weigh around 5,000 pounds.

Cargo capacity

Depending on the size of your family, or equipment needs, you will want to consider the maximum cargo capacity available on the vehicle. For example, how much bigger does the cargo space get when the seats are folded down? It could be crucial for packing all your supplies. Vehicles with roof rails are also a great option for adding extra cargo capacity. 


Plenty of camp-ready vehicles now offer accessories like tents that integrate to the back of the truck, or atop the car. There are also vehicle-specific inflatable mattresses sized correctly to fit your truck bed or hatch back.

Now here’s 10 of our favourite camping cars and SUVs (and one truck for the pickup aficionados out there).

1. Subaru Outback

2022 Subaru Outback | Photo: Subaru 

Nothing screams outdoors-y quite like the Subaru Outback, the poster child for crossover SUVs catering to the weekend warrior. The Outback offers roof rails for your extra camping cargo, added ground clearance, and a rugged exterior for those unpaved roads, plus ample cargo space in the back. Most Subaru's come equipped with all-wheel drive, but the Wilderness trim also comes with all-terrain tires for extra confidence. It looks right at home in the urban jungle too, with modern safety features like driver assist technology, and a compact design that can get into those tight parking spots.

Wilderness specs

  • Engine & drivetrain: 2.4L direct-injection turbocharged SUBARU BOXER, all-wheel drive
  • Towing: Up to 3,500 pounds
  • Cargo space: 76 cu. ft. (with rear seats folded)
  • Fuel economy: 9.9L/100km (highway and city combined)

2. Toyota 4Runner

2022 Toyota 4Runner | Photo: Toyota 

When it comes to Toyota’s vaunted 4Runner and The Great Outdoors – there’s a lot of history there. In fact, the Japanese auto giant first introduced the wildly popular vehicle way back in 1984 as not much more than a pick-up truck with a canopy. Today’s it’s one of the best-selling mid-size SUVs in the market because it delivers on what most adventurers crave – durability and power. The 4Runner’s construction can take a beating on those off-road diversions, and its cargo capacity is enough for a family-size load of camping supplies.

Trail specs

  • Engine & drivetrain: 4.0L DOHC V6 w/VVT-i, four-wheel drive
  • Towing: Up to 5,000 pounds
  • Cargo space: Up to 90 cu. ft. (with rear seats folded)
  • Fuel economy: 13.8L/100km (highway and city combined)

3. Jeep Wrangler 

2022 Jeep Wrangler | Photo: Stellantis 

If there was a list of vehicles synonymous with an outdoor lifestyle, the Jeep Wrangler would inevitably be atop the list. For decades the Wrangler has represented backcountry escape and rugged performance. The 2-door Wrangler Rubicon is not a first choice for those in need of cargo space. It tops out around 32 cubic feet, meaning hauling a family of four to the campsite could be a challenge in terms of bringing all your gear. But if your campsite is high up on a mountain, this compact 4x4 will get you there confidently thanks in part to its heavy-duty suspension with gas shocks, tow hooks (rear and back), and cargo tie-down loops.

Rubicon specs

  • Engine & drivetrain: 3.6L Pentastar VVT V6, four-wheel drive 
  • Towing: Up to 2,000 pounds
  • Cargo space: Up to 31.7 cu. ft. (with rear seats folded)
  • Fuel economy: 11L/100km (highway and city combined)

4. Honda Ridgeline 

2022 Honda Ridgeline | Photo: Honda 

This mid-size crossover favourite in Honda’s truck portfolio threads that fine line between a truck with heavy-duty outdoor capabilities and being compact enough as a viable city-driving option. With four doors, a flatbed, Intelligent Variable Torque Management AWD system, and Traction Management System to navigate mud and sand (and snow), the Ridgeline is a great choice when it’s time to throw the bags in and head for the campground. When you arrive you can throw an available tent accessory on the trunk bed for an elevated camping experience. The dual-action tailgate makes it easy to access your gear, while the lockable in-bed storage trunk makes it easy to stay organized. You can also add a roof box accessory, or attachments for your kayak, bike, skis, or surfboard.

Sport specs

  • Engine & drivetrain: 3.5L direct-injection SOHC i-VTEC V6, all-wheel drive 
  • Towing: Up to 5,000 pounds
  • Cargo space: 5.3-ft. bed length (in-bed trunk: 7.3 cu. ft.)
  • Fuel economy: 11.5L/100km (highway and city combined)

5. Nissan Pathfinder

2022 Nissan Pathfinder | Photo: Nissan 

When it comes to family camping excursions, you won’t do better than the Nissan Pathfinder. Key to its camping compatibility is that all-important third row seating for large families. Of course, the third row can be removed for added cargo space, if needed. This 8-seater SUV boasts substantial towing capacity (up to 6,000 pounds!), meaning you could haul a large family AND a small boat to a lakeside cottage. Its seven Drive and Terrain Modes offer excellent traction on mud, gravel, and more.

SV specs

  • Engine & drivetrain: 3.5L V6, four-wheel drive
  • Towing: Up to 6,000 pounds
  • Cargo space: Up to 80.5 cu. ft. (with rear seats folded)
  • Fuel economy: 10.2L/100km (highway and city combined)

6. Ford Expedition

2022 Ford Expedition | Photo: Ford 

If roughing it isn’t your thing, and you plan to bring a wide variety of creature comforts, the Ford Expedition is basically a storage unit on wheels. This full-size SUV can tow up to 9,200 pounds (with the right tow package) so you can haul a camping trailer or boat behind you with little concern. Meanwhile, the three rows of seating can hold up to 8 passengers with lots of legroom to spare. The Expedition also has power to match its size, with four-wheel drive available on a 3.5-litre high-output V6 engine that will get you to the provincial or national park in no time. Its Terrain Management System makes it easy to adapt to various surfaces including grass and gravel. Although not the first choice when it comes to fuel economy, with the Ford Expedition you are paying for size, power, and comfort.

XLT specs

  • Engine & drivetrain: 3.5L EcoBoost V6, four-wheel drive 
  • Towing: Up to 9,200 pounds
  • Cargo space: Up to 104.6 cu. ft. (behind the 1st row)
  • Fuel economy: 12.9L/100km (highway and city combined)

7. Ford Bronco

2022 Ford Bronco | Photo: Ford 

Ever since Ford reintroduced its iconic Bronco in 2021, drivers have been flocking to this rugged SUV. It’s not hard to see why, it’s a standout-looking adventure vehicle, and Ford has upped its game by adding new tread-heavy trims like the Bronco Raptor and Bronco Everglade. Still, the 4x4 base model comes with two or four doors. The doors are removable, while the soft top (comes standard on the 4-door) folds back so you can soak in the scenery. The Bronco features a Terrain Management System with at least five G.O.A.T. Modes, so you can go off-road with confidence.

Base specs

  • Engine & drivetrain: 2.3L EcoBoost, four-wheel drive
  • Towing: Up to 3,500 pounds
  • Cargo space: Up to 83 cu. ft. (with rear seats folded)
  • Fuel economy: 11.2L/100km (highway and city combined)

8. Subaru Forester 

2022 Subaru Forester | Photo: Subaru 

If you’re going to the forest, you’re going to want a Subaru Forester! This compact SUV comes with standard all-wheel drive and sports up to 8.7 inches of ground clearance for those unmaintained roads. Both seating rows offer comfortable legroom and headroom for adults and kids alike, and the roof rails provide a second cargo option if the rear isn’t enough. The Wilderness is the only Forester trim that includes all-terrain tires and suspension tuned for off-road conditions, while the all-weather upholstery is made of an ultra-resilient material that’s easy to clean.

Wilderness specs

  • Engine & drivetrain: 2.5L direct-injection SUBARU BOXER, all-wheel drive
  • Towing: Up to 3,000 pounds
  • Cargo space: Up to 69.1 cu. ft. (with rear seats folded)
  • Fuel economy: 9L/100km (highway and city combined)

9. Toyota RAV4

2022 Toyota RAV4| Photo: Toyota 

Canadians love the Toyota RAV4 and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s one of the best-selling SUVs year-after-year because it offers versatility, fuel efficiency, and reliability – all for a typically economic price. For those looking to get to the campground in comfort, the RAV4 offers enough room for adults and kids alike to stretch out during those longer drives. Not all RAV4's offer all-wheel drive, so you’ll need to find trims like the LE, XLE, or Trail if you really want that outdoor-ready confidence. The Trail trim also offers bridge-type roof rails, a power rear door for when it’s time to unload quickly, and a multi-terrain driving system to optimize your behind-the-wheel experience. 

Trail specs

  • Engine & drivetrain: 2.5L 4-cylinder DOHC, all-wheel drive 
  • Towing: Up to 1,500 pounds
  • Cargo space: Up to 69.8 cu. ft. (with rear seats folded)
  • Fuel economy: 8.4L/100km (highway and city combined)

10. Chevy Trailblazer

2022 Chevy Trailblazer | Photo: General Motors

The Chevy Trailblazer offers practicality and purpose for a budget-friendly price. This SUV may be small but it has respectable cargo space, enough for coolers and tents, and the seating won’t leave anyone with cramps during those long-distance drives. Unfortunately, the base trim does not include all-wheel drive, so you will need to “trim up” if you want that feature (we suggest the ACTIV trim for light off-roading). Another plus for the Trailblazer is its sporty design, and a power liftgate that makes loading up (and out) camping gear not such a chore.

ACTIV specs

  • Engine & drivetrain: ECOTEC 1.3L Turbo, all-wheel drive
  • Towing: Up to 1,000 pounds
  • Cargo space: Up to 54.4 cu. ft.
  • Fuel economy: 8.4L/100km (highway and city combined)

Gear up for camping with Canada Drives

If you’re looking for a great deal on a weekend warrior escape vehicle, shop with Canada Drives and choose from hundreds of quality pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs available in our online showroom. Once you find that perfect camping car, we'll deliver it to your doorstep as soon as today and give you seven days to test-own it!

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