Summer: The best time to buy a 4x4Low demand for 4x4s in summer means bargain prices
27 June 2014
Summer sees many car buyers queuing up to buy convertibles. Off-roaders, however, are in little demand, so now is a great time to nab a bargain 4x4.
Temperatures are up and we're fast approaching the height of summer. While most buyers are hunting for cabriolets, if you go against the grain and look for a large 4x4, you can find real bargains in summer.
With everything from compact two-wheel drive 'crossovers' to full size SUVs available, you should be able to find a car to suit your needs. Here are some models worth considering, whether you want a comfortable family car or a hardy 4x4 for tackling serious off-roading.
Nissan Qashqai - car-like 'crossover'
The most popular off-roader on the Which? website is the Nissan Qashqai. Though this was the UK's sixth best-selling car in May, you can still save up to £4,013 on this compact 4x4 if you shop around online.
The Qashqai blends car-like on road handling with chunky off-roader styling and the option of four-wheel drive for handling slippery roads.
With a more upmarket interior than its predecessor, lots of high-tech kit and punchy engines, the Qashqai makes an appealing family car.
Audi Q5 - upmarket off-roader
Another popular model on our website is the luxurious and beautifully built Audi Q5.
Thanks to its comfortable seats and refined cabin, the Q5 takes long motorway journeys in its stride and buyers can choose from a range of powerful petrol and diesel engines.
Prices and running costs for the Q5 are steep, however, and even in summer discounts are smaller than other models - typically amounting to less than 10% of the price. The car does retain its value well though, so you should get back a large proportion of the price when you sell it on.
Land Rover Defender - tough but crude 4x4
For those who are after a tough 4x4 for serious off-roading, the Land Rover Defender is a safe bet.
This car hasn't changed too much in 60 years and it is incredibly crude and noisy to drive by modern standards. However, the flipside is that the Defender has enormous off-roading ability.
If you want a car that can deal with deep snow, muddy tracks, big ruts and rocks, the Defender is hard to beat. If you're hoping for a refined and comfortable machine, this is not it.
Buying a used car online
If you're in the market for a used car, we've looked into the best place to buy online.
A quick web search will reveal several classifieds websites and used car supermarkets, but we think AA Cars offers a good choice of cars from reputable dealers, plus useful extras that give you extra peace of mind; all cars listed are sold by dealers which have been visited by AA Cars.
Advertised cars have all undergone a 26-point history check, which should reveal whether they have ever been written off, stolen or are subject to outstanding finance.
Each car also comes with 12 months' free breakdown cover from the AA, which is a long-standing Which? Recommended Provider for breakdown services. AA members who buy through AA Cars are entitled to a free upgrade to their existing cover.