The best 4x4s to get you through winter

The best 4x4s to get you through winter

Looking for a capable off-roader this year? Here are 10 great options

There’s no substitute for a true off-roader when it comes to snowy, icy and treacherous winter conditions, and it’s unsurprising why many look to buy a 4x4 at this time of year. 

From more basic utilitarian off-roaders through to luxury SUVs, there is a great range of 4x4s on the market. Though when it comes to all-out ability, there’s quite a lot of difference between the best and worst. 

So what off-roaders should you be looking at this winter?

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep is a manufacturer that’s never deviated from what it originally set out to do – make capable off-roaders. And while any of its models – even the compact Renegade – will be a great deal of help over winter, there really isn’t anything quite so capable as the brand’s Wrangler.

With styling still recognisable from the original Willys Jeep, the latest model is better to drive on the road for the rest of the year than ever, while having a far nicer interior too. All Wrangler models will be very useful, but the ultimate option is the Rubicon, which gets specialist tyres and a range of advanced off-road settings that make it truly unstoppable.

Enquire on a new Jeep Wrangler

Land Rover Defender

Land Rover revived its iconic Defender last year, and it’s now one of the British firm’s most popular models. It’s worlds apart from the outdated old model, with its high-tech interior, sublime on-road performance and great engines making it one of the best SUVs around, regardless of whether you care about off-roading ability. 

However, it’s quite frankly amazing when conditions get trickier, with Land Rover’s advanced off-road settings meaning very little will get in the way of the Defender in the winter.

Enquire on a new Land Rover Defender

Ford Ranger Raptor

The Ford Ranger is the best-selling pick-up in the UK by some margin, and for good reason as it’s great to drive, has a pleasant interior and is a seriously capable workhorse as well. 

But if you really don’t want to get stuck this winter, you want the Raptor version. With its wild and imposing styling, it certainly looks the business, but with an advanced Fox suspension system and a range of bespoke tweaks to maximise capability, it’s an ideal winter weapon. 

Enquire on a new Ford Ranger Raptor

Dacia Duster

But a new winter off-roader need not be accompanied by a high price, and if you’re not fussed about the badge and don’t want to spend too much money, you should take a look at the Dacia Duster. It’s recently been updated too, gaining a smarter look and far more pleasant interior. 

Yet it’s as confident off-road as ever. You’ll have to go with the 113bhp 1.5-litre diesel if you want a 4x4 model, but with its decent performance and claimed fuel economy of more than 50mpg, the Duster has plenty going for it.

Enquire on a new Dacia Duster

BMW X5

You might consider the BMW X5 as more of a ‘soft-roader’, and while it might not be quite as capable as other models on this list, you certainly shouldn’t dismiss its talents. Especially on versions equipped with the optional £2,500 ‘xOffroad package’, which gets a mechanical differential lock added on top of a raft of other rugged enhancements. 

Yet it still remains a hugely desirable premium SUV, with its tech-filled and spacious interior capable of seating seven, making it ideal if you want something a bit more luxurious. 

Enquire on a new BMW X5

Mercedes G-Class

And speaking of luxurious off-roaders, they don’t come much better than the Mercedes G-Class. In previous generations, the ‘G’ was a bit crude and unrefined, but the latest car is a massive step forward. It’s vastly better to drive and with an interior almost as luxurious as the firm’s S-Class. 

While it’s still based on a ladder-frame chassis that underpins most of the best off-roaders, it now has independent front suspension and locking differentials to maximise its ability even further.

Enquire on a new Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota might be better known for its range of hybrid models these days, but it still makes some of the toughest cars on the planet – notably the Land Cruiser. While quite old-school next to rivals, when it comes to sheer capability and ruggedness, it’s tough to beat. 

If you choose the seven-seat version, its interior is vast, while it gets all the bells and whistles if you’re happy to pay for top-spec versions. If you intend to keep your Land Cruiser a long time, Toyota also offers a 10-year warranty, just as long as you keep having it serviced at one of the brand’s main dealers.

Enquire on a new Toyota Land Cruiser

SsangYong Rexton

Like Jeep and Land Rover, SUVs and 4x4s are all South Korean manufacturer SsangYong sells. Though it might not have as much street cred as those brands, if you want something capable and relatively affordable, this is the brand for you. 

Its most capable model is the Rexton – its flagship, large seven-seater that dwarfs most other cars on the road. It remains very useful in challenging conditions, yet is surprisingly upmarket inside and very roomy too. Prices also usefully undercut rivals like the Land Rover Discovery.

Enquire on a new SsangYong Rexton

Audi A4 Allroad

Off-roaders come in all shapes and sizes, and if you don’t fancy a traditional ‘SUV’, it’s worth taking a look at a rugged estate car. These models aren’t quite as popular as they once were, but there are options still available – including the Audi A4 Allroad. 

Based on the A4 Avant, it features a more off-roady look and raised suspension, while quattro all-wheel-drive comes as standard. Though nowhere near as accomplished as ‘true’ 4x4s, the A4 Allroad will keep going further in winter than any other regular estate car.

Enquire on a new Audi A4 Allroad

Fiat Panda 4x4

In a day and age where 4x4s tend to be huge, you might not expect a little city car like the Fiat Panda to be all that useful in tricker conditions, but that’s quite a long way from the truth. In fact, the Italian marque has been producing capable versions of the Panda for years. 

It comes with an ‘on-demand’ off-road system that sends power to the wheels with the most grip, but is still very useful in the snow and ice. Though its £18,770 starting price might seem a lot for a Panda, it’s great value by 4x4 standards.

Enquire on a new Fiat Panda 4x4

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