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Best 4x4 and off-road vehicles arriving in 2022

The all-new Ineos Grenadier (pictured) channels the old Land Rover Defender in more ways than one.

After more than 18 months battling against a worldwide virus, international flights have remained off the table to Australia, so where is a family to turn for their annual holiday?

The answer is the humble road trip, and no better vehicle is suited to a long, dust-filled journey through Australia's most remote and picturesque areas than a 4x4 large SUV.

Not all large SUVs with all-wheel-drive traction will get the job done, though, as some are only designed to navigate the urban sprawl and occasional unsealed road, so here we will focus on the models that will happily tow a caravan or navigate a craggily path on their way to a secluded campsite or beach.

If you are in the market for a 4x4 or off-roader for your next trip off the beaten path, here is what you should keep an eye on in 2022 - so long as the ongoing global semiconductor shortage doesn't affect timing.

Ford Everest - Late 2022

The second-generation Ford Everest SUV is based on the new Ranger ute, which means a rugged ladder-frame chassis, a trusty four-wheel-drive system and punchy diesel engines are on the cards from 2022.

It adopts the F-150's front fascia, like the new Ranger, while a potent turbo-diesel V6 features in the flagship grade.

Officially, the new Everest will be a refinement of what came before, and also sports the latest in in-cabin technologies and advanced safety systems.

Read more: 2023 Ford Everest revealed! So different you'll rethink that Toyota Prado, Isuzu MU-X, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and even Land Rover Discovery order, as the only Australian SUV steps up

Ineos Grenadier - Fourth quarter

Due touch down on Australian soil in the fourth quarter of 2022, the Ineos Grenadier has the likes of the Jeep Wrangler, Land Rover Defender and even Toyota LandCruiser in its sights.

With a starting price of $84,500 before on-road costs, the large SUV will offer both petrol and diesel powertrains - the former outputting around 212kW/450Nm from a 3.0-litre inline six, and the latter around 185kW/550Nm.

Paired to both will be an eight-speed automatic transmission, while a permanent four-wheel-drive system and three locking differentials are on hand for when the terrain gets rough.

Read more: 2023 Ineos Grenadier price and specs detailed: Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series rival opens order books for rugged SUV

Jeep Grand Cherokee - May

Launching in the middle of 2022, the new-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee will do battle against the likes of the Ford Everest, Isuzu MU-X and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

However, Jeep will make more of an upmarket play thanks to the Grand Cherokee's unibody construction, six-seat option with second-row captain's chairs, and a 3.6-litre petrol V6 powertrain, compared to its diesel-engined rivals.

V8 fans might be heartbroken to hear the punchy powertrain won't be carrying over to the new-gen Grand Cherokee, but a locally developed suspension tune should make the new Jeep flagship a better drive on Australian roads.

Read more: Is Jeep a premium brand now? 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L pricing and features revealed as seven-seat SUV heads into Volvo XC90, Lexus RX and Genesis GV80 territory

Lexus LX - April

Want to get off the beaten path in something a bit more comfortable and refined than a Jeep Grand Cherokee or Nissan Patrol?

Lexus has the answer for you in its Toyota LandCruiser-related LX large off-roading SUV that will retain the capability of its cousin but up the levels of luxury, befitting a premium model.

Four-, five- and seven-seat options have been confirmed for the LX due sometime in April, while the Lexus off-roader also retains the option for a petrol powertrain.

Read more: More than a dressed-up Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series! 2022 Lexus LX up in price but also features as new model arrives with luxury four-seat option

Nissan Pathfinder - Second half

Nissan Australia is remaining quiet on firm details on the new-generation Pathfinder for now, but it is understood it should arrive in local showrooms in the second half of 2022.

Headlining the changes to the Pathfinder is the removal of the controversial continuously variable transmission in favour of a new nine-speed torque-convertor automatic, which is paired to a slightly more potent 212kW/351Nm 3.5-litre petrol V6.

Inside, the cabin is also elevated by a 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen, while all the latest safety technologies such as autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control will feature in Nissan's latest Pathfinder.

Read more: Nissan Pathfinder 2022: Australian launch approaching for new Toyota Kluger, Mazda CX-9 and Hyundai Palisade rival

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - January

With the new-generation Isuzu MU-X having launched in 2021, and the updated Ford Everest rumoured to break cover in 2022, Mitsubishi's Pajero Sport is facing stiffer competition than ever before.

But the Japanese brand isn't just going to lie down and let competitors walk away with all the headlines, so in comes the updated Pajero Sport line-up from January 2022, headlined by a new GSR flagship grade.

Budget-conscious buyers are also catered for with new 4x2 options, while the rest of the line-up score minor tweaks to equipment and specification levels.

Read more: 2022 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport adds GSR grade and 4x2 variants: New price and features confirmed for Isuzu MU-X, Ford Everest and Toyota Fortuner rival

    Haval Big Dog - 2022

    Haval's Big Dog is all but officially confirmed for an Australian arrival later this year, having landed in 2021 for market testing and been trademarked in early 2022.

    Though the Big Dog might look as tough as a Jeep Wrangler, it actually makes use of a unibody chassis - the same one as the H6 - but still sports hardcore off-road components like a BorgWarner 4WD system.

    Powering the Big Dog is a 155kW/325Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, which comes mated with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

    Read more: Here comes the Big Dog! Haval Dargo trademarked for Australia as China takes on everything from the Toyota LandCruiser Prado to the Jeep Wrangler

    Hyundai Palisade – August

    After two years on the market, Hyundai will introduce a new Palisade in August that will (hopefully) address the car’s shortcomings in the eyes of ANCAP.

    To that end, there will be more safety tech and standard features, but also expect prices to come up as a result.

    Of note, there is no more entry-level grade, and the new Palisade will be offered exclusively in Elite and Highlander guise that are both expected to start north of $60,000.

    Read more: 2023 Hyundai Palisade shapes up for a three-row family SUV rumble with Ford Everest, Mazda CX-9, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Prado