We’ve scrutinised the latest set of Which? Car Survey results and can now reveal the best and worst 4x4s, as rated by thousands of owners.
More than 47,000 cars were reported on in the latest Which? Car Survey, making it the largest of its kind in the UK. This data enables us to evaluate how well new and used cars perform on a day-to-day basis.
SUVs and 4x4s are becoming increasingly popular, and the introduction of crossover vehicles like the Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Yeti means there is more choice than ever before. Here we reveal the best and worst 4x4s for owner satisfaction – so that you don’t get stuck with a car you regret buying for years to come.
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The best 4x4s for owner satisfaction
Skoda Yeti (2009-) – 94%
The Skoda Yeti crossover is a solid and robust family car with heaps of practicality – the rear seats fold, flip or can be removed entirely. This versatility has clearly had an impact on owners, who rated it the most satisfying 4×4 of 2012.
Kia Sportage (2010-) – 93%
The Kia Sportage is a ‘crossover’, or what some call a ‘soft-roader’ – with the rugged looks of a 4×4, but little of the out-and-out off-road capability. Although this isn’t a problem for owners, who were very satisfied indeed.
Subaru Legacy Outback (2003-2009) – 92%
With a loftier ride height than the Legacy Sports Tourer on which it’s based, the Outback appeals more to the 4×4-driving country set.With permanent four-wheel drive and good ground clearance, it’s even usable for light off-roading duties.
The worst 4x4s for owner satisfaction
Land Rover Discovery 2 (1999-2004) – 65%
If you want an off-road workhorse, the Discovery 2 is better value and more practical than a Defender. However it’s way behind more modern SUV rivals for road use and reliability is dire. Owners rated it the least satisfying 4×4 on UK roads.
Land Rover Freelander (1997-2005) – 66%
The Freelander doesn’t offer the off-road ability of other cars in the Land Rover range; it’s more at home on the road. Engines on offer with the original Freelander were not particularly economical and running costs are high.
BMW X3 (2004-2010) – 74%
The X3 is a compact SUV based on the ever-popular BMW 3 Series. It’s got plenty of safety gear, powerful brakes, and it handles well on the road. However, it is fairly expensive compared with some rivals. The sticking point is reliability. Owners report faults with the suspension, washers and wipers, electrics and the engine.