With snow and ice covered roads causing problems for UK motorists, many are turning to the 4×4 to beat the winter conditions.
But you don’t have to pay over the odds for a capable four-wheel-drive car that’ll cope whatever the weather.
We’ve picked out our top five used 4x4s, all with prices below £10,000.
Our top five used 4x4s have been decided using the Which? Car reviews, results from the Which? Car tests and the results from the 2010 Which? Car Survey.
The 2011 Which? Car Survey went live this week – if you haven’t already filled it in, click here take part and you could win £5,000.
Honda CR-V, December 2001 – October 2006
Used price: £3,200 – £15,000
The Honda CR-V is a favourite with Which? members. In fact, it scored an impressive 91% for customer satisfaction. It also scored well for reliability, with the diesel slightly outperforming the petrol. We like the fact the interior is roomy, although a bit plasticky, and sliding rear seats make it a versatile option for those who need more boot space one day and more room for passengers the next. The CR-V is also well-equipped, even in the most basic spec. Its only shortcoming? It’s not the most capable off-roader.
Lexus RX, May 2003 – July 2009
Used price: £8,500 – £37,000
Like the Honda CR-V, the Lexus RX isn’t the most hardcore off-roader, but it still scores highly with customers – gaining a 91% satisfaction rating in our 2010 survey. There are petrol and hybrid options, but we’d go for the older petrol, as it offers the most value for your money. four-wheel-drive will get you out of winter situations a family hatchback might not, and the petrol model is ultra quiet. It’s not the biggest 4×4 and doesn’t offer a seven-seat option.
Subaru Forester, October 2002 – April 2008
Used price: £4,000 – £19,000
The Forester isn’t your conventional 4×4 – it has an estate body, meaning it is easier to park and should be cheaper to run. The size difference means it does give up the extra room you get from a normal 4×4. Reliability is proven according to owners with the Forester receiving five stars for breakdowns. While there many not be enough ground clearance for proper off-roading, the four-wheel-drive will be a huge benefit over the customary family estates, and the Forester has always received glowing references for a combination of driving sensation and characterful engines.
Nissan X-Trail, October 2001 – August 2007
Used price: £3,000 – £16,000
Reliability is a real strong point for the Nissan X-Trail. The petrol scored well for breakdown, faults and niggles ratings, with the petrol version slightly out-scoring the diesel. However, the diesel model is surprisingly economical, and could be a winner if you’re covering lots of miles. It’s a capable off-roader, but only in four-wheel-drive – avoid the two-wheel-drive option if you’re facing difficult winter roads. Customer satisfaction is high, at 81%, but be aware the 2.5 petrol version will be high on road tax and equipment in lower spec models is poor.
Kia Sorento, February 2003 – December 2009
Used price: £4,500 – £22,000
The Sorento is a popular budget choice with relatively low used prices and insurance and servicing costs low for a vehicle of this size. Plenty of room in the interior, a popular caravan-puller and reliability means an 84% customer satisfaction rating for the Sorento. The low-ratio gearbox and four-wheel-drive makes it an ideal off-roader, but high car tax and vague steering loses it points. The diesel engine is a bit rough, too.
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