Off-road vehicles do not hold a great spot in GTA Online as most of them are simply outclassed by other vehicles in the game.
While it is nice to specialize in mobility in the barren countryside, it's too small of a niche compared to what other vehicles can offer to a GTA Online player. For example, a helicopter or a plane can travel through Blaine County a lot faster than an off-road vehicle.
Are off-road vehicles worth the investment in GTA Online?
Most players focus on heists and businesses in GTA Online. Unfortunately, most off-road vehicles won't help a player in either category. They're often too slow, sluggish, and lack endurance for serious gunfights. Before diving into the relevant off-road vehicles, it is important to note that this article focuses solely on vehicles classified as off-road vehicles.
Something like the APC is a great vehicle off the road, but it's technically classified as a military vehicle, not an off-road one. Off-road vehicles are the ones that tend to lack the utility most other vehicles have. In a game with flying bikes and amphibious vehicles, it's hard to justify purchasing an off-road vehicle that can't compete with either.
However, there are some exceptions. As previously alluded to, the Nightshark and Insurgent do have a small niche as durable weaponized vehicles that can help low-level players in heists. Aside from that, some vehicles like the Sasquatch are viable in Arena Wars, but they're not the best in that category. Hence, players looking to succeed there will likely purchase other vehicles like the Apocalypse ZR380.
Off-road vehicle benefits
Off-road vehicles tend to be more durable than other vehicles from other classes. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are armored vehicles, but compared to non-armored vehicles, they are above average. Some off-road vehicles will crumble to a single explosion, which means only a select few are worth considering.
As the name implies, off-road vehicles excel off the road. Players won't be slowed down driving in the desert or on grass like they would with other vehicle types. Considering the off-road vehicle archetype is a diverse one and includes a few motorcycles, it is quite easy to get from one point to another.
Their diversity is also relevant to their price. Price is the single most important roadblock most players have when they have to consider purchasing a new vehicle. There are a few off-road vehicles that cost a few million dollars, but most of the available options are quite affordable.
Why players shouldn't invest in an off-road vehicle
Off-road vehicles aren't necessary to own. Some of them excel in certain niches, but they're never the definitive vehicle to own. Hence, owning an off-road vehicle is a low priority for most players. After all, most vehicles do well off-road and that's not even mentioning how every mission does not require players going off-road in the first place.
It's not so much that off-road vehicles are bad in GTA Online; they're simply outclassed. Owning an off-road vehicle in GTA Online isn't something a player should prioritize. It provides a solid alternative to more meta options, but it's not objectively a must-have item.
Off-road vehicle disadvantages
As previously mentioned, there are several vehicles that excel going off-road in GTA Online today. Other than the ubiquitous flying vehicles, several military vehicles and even sports cars are capable of maneuvering through GTA Online's various terrains without much of a hitch.
Moreover, the player won't always be off the road to take advantage of an off-road vehicle's supposed advantages. If they're in the large city of Los Santos, then practically any other vehicle will serve the player just fine in GTA Online. There are so many vehicles in GTA Online that some of them are bound to be obsolete from an efficiency standpoint.
Finally, no off-road vehicle is the king of its current niche. Some do well in Arena Wars and others do well in missions, but neither is a "must-own" purchase. Unless the player genuinely wants an off-road vehicle for whatever reason, there is often a better option for them to consider for a similar price in GTA Online.