12 of our favorite off-road trim package names
For most of us, buying a vehicle is an emotional decision. If we were thinking with pure logic, we wouldn’t be car enthusiasts. Because we actually care about how our cars and trucks make us feel, their names can be important. When it comes to trucks, that’s especially true as plenty of them go by a number and not a name, like F-150 or 1500. Whether they’re named after desert races, desert creatures, or just plain deserts themselves, many of our favorite off-road trim packages lend a totally different personality in addition to their added capability. Lots of these trim names have a southwest flavor, but some are interesting for other reasons. Here are our top names for off-road trim packages.
Perhaps no brand knows its audience the way Jeep does. It has been providing Wrangler buyers with scores of opportunities to build their perfect off-roader for years. The first Wrangler Rubicon set a simple formula that all future models would follow: tall tires, front and rear selectable lockers, and a deep low range for an impressive crawl ratio. The challenging Rubicon Trail is this Jeep’s namesake, and the Sierra Nevada rock-crawling destination is still a proving ground for current off-roaders to test their mettle. It’s now available on the Gladiator as well, where the same hardware makes it a formidable trail rig.
Ram trucks had abandoned the Prospector trim for decades when American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) picked it back up. The ¾-and 1-ton off-roaders are upfitted with a winch, steel bumpers, and a lifted suspension and fender flares that help it clear 40-inch tires to get plenty of ground clearance. We’re glad this name was brought back, as its connotations of a solitary backcountry adventurer are so fitting for this brute.
It doesn’t have the wide fenders and bedsides of the Raptor, but the F-150 Tremor does pack 33-inch tires, skid plates, and tow hooks to go along with its “Tremor” graphics. For the Super Duty, the Tremor package also has skid plates and graphics but adds a locking rear axle, limited-slip front differential, and a taller suspension to fit 35-inch tires. As for the name, we think the burly Super Duty model is more fitting of an earth-shaking moniker. While it might not be our first choice to outrun graboids, it’s not a bad place to start if you’re after a pickup that can venture off-road with the family.
Take the ground clearance and beefy axles of a Gladiator Rubicon but add FOX 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks for soaking up high-speed whoops and you’ve got the Mojave. Introduced for the 2020 model year, it was the first Jeep to wear “Desert Rated” badges. Sure, it doesn’t have a front locker or a 4:1 low-range in the transfer case like the Rubicon, but this thing was made for the desert and its name reflects that. Aside from bringing up images of spiky cacti, rugged terrain, and resilient fauna, Mojave is just fun to say. There are larger deserts in North America, but could you imagine if this sand-slinger were named “Chihuahaun”?
You could be forgiven for thinking that Bison is an odd name for an off-road vehicle, but the beautiful bovines are known for thriving in a wide range of environments. That’s an attribute that definitely applies to the top trim of Chevrolet’s 4x4s. First used on the Chevrolet Colorado and now available in Silverado 1500 and Silverado 2500, Bison adds even more underbody armor, unique bumpers, and taller tires to the already capable ZR2 models.
With splashy graphics and the name of the most feared Jurassic Park denizen, we’re either talking about a ‘90s NBA expansion team or Ford’s full-size desert runner. Ford was the first manufacturer to kick off the resurgence in high-speed off-roar performance that we’re currently enjoying, with a 5.4-liter V-8 powering the initial models until the 6.2-liter SOHC Boss V-8 debuted in 2010. They’re brash, they’re almost cartoonish, and they are an absolute blast to drive. Two generations later and Raptor continues to be a strong performer for Ford, so much so that the trim level has spread to the mid-size Ranger and its SUV platform-mate, the Bronco.
When it comes to wild graphics and cartoony option packages, Mopar takes the cake. Ever since the heyday of the muscle car, Mopar brands have taken big swings and given enthusiasts what they want. TRX almost seems like a random alphanumeric name, but it’s a very unsubtle swipe at Ford’s Raptor, with an Easter Egg under the hood depicting a Tyrannosaurus Rex with a limp Velociraptor in its jaws. The Ram 1500 TRX comes with a desert-tuned suspension and flared fenders and bedsides that arguably make it the shapeliest full-size pickup currently on the market. Oh, and it has a 700-hp supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi. They’re absolutely bonkers and that’s why we love them.
Almost all truck brands have some sort of trim that’s got pioneer or wild west connotations, so Chevrolet’s mid-range off-road package isn’t terribly unique in that regard. The trail boss would be in charge of an overland expedition, like a wagon train. It’s a bit cheesy, we admit, but that’s part of its charm. Some of the best car and truck packages have had borderline hokey names: Beau James, Honcho, The Dude, Warlock, Lil’ Red Express, etc. And Chevrolet did give the Trail Boss some decent off-road equipment, with a factory-lifted suspension with additional wheel travel and taller tires, slotting it just below the ZR2 in its off-road hierarchy.
Ford’s entry-level F-150 off-road package is named for a rattlesnake, another desert critter. Even though it’s new in the F-150 lineup, Rattler already feels like it’s a proper off-road name, with skid plates, an electronic locking rear differential, hill descent control, and a uniquely tuned suspension to back it up. We’re not exactly sure why, but the name was instantly catchy and we were onboard immediately. Maybe it was the snake-inspired graphics.
We’re so used to a wagon being used to describe an enclosed vehicle with a long roof, but the original definition was a vehicle used for transporting goods. The original Dodge Power Wagon was a civilian version of the 4×4 trucks used by the US military in WWII. Today, the Ram Power Wagon is a heavy-duty trail rig with locking axles, huge tires, and a factory-mounted winch. The name is simple, but the rugged reputation of the trucks is what makes it such a great name today.
In the late 1980s, Chevrolet gave the S-10 an off-road suspension, a bunch of skid plates, wider fender molding, a grille guard, and a bed-mounted light bar to create the Baja package. Of course, there were also some sweet graphics and embroidered upholstery to show off. You could also opt for a bed-mounted spare tire or aluminum wheels, but the color choices were limited to red, black, or white. Its name reflects the kind of off-road racing the Baja California peninsula is known for, where Chevy was competing with successful drivers like Larry Ragland. When the second-generation S-10 added a capable off-road package, Chevrolet went with ZR2, and we’re kinda sorry they made that change. On the other hand, a Baja Bison wouldn’t make much sense. Are you also picturing a Bison, lounging on the beach, eating a fish taco?
No, it’s not a pickup, and it might not be up to the same kinds of punishing, rocky terrain that many of the aforementioned pickups can traverse, but the Porsche 911 Dakar does look to have what it takes for spirited rally adventures and it’s got one of the best off-road names in the biz. The Dakar uses a twin-turbo, 473-hp engine that sends power to all four wheels, and all four wheels get in on the steering too. Its suspension has an additional 1.96 inches of ground clearance compared to a normal 911, but when needed, it can raise an additional 1.18 inches. Naturally, the name comes from the famed and treacherous Dakar Rally, one of the most grueling races in the world. Porsche won the Dakar in 1984 with a 911, it’s just surprising that it took this long to get a rally-ready 911 on dealership floors.