We’ve rounded up the five most comfortable 4x4s available from under £30,000, as judged by the people who know them best: their owners.
Off-roaders are popular with many drivers because of their elevated ride height and all-weather ability. However, thanks to long-travel suspension and large tyres that put lots of rubber between you and the road, they can also be supremely comfortable to live with. The best will take rough roads, potholes and large speed bumps in their stride.
All of our five suggestions give you the option of four-wheel drive, which will help you get through snowy roads and over slippery surfaces – perfect for the winter weather to come.
Range Rover Evoque: stylish, luxurious interior
The Range Rover Evoque is a head-turning blend of macho off-roader and sleek coupe on the outside. It’s also extremely comfortable on the inside, with supportive and well-shaped seats and a chic interior design.
Standard equipment includes plush leather upholstery, heated front seats and LED mood lighting, which all make the Evoque a very relaxing place to be. Helping to take the stress out of driving, many models have parking sensors all-round, a reversing camera and automatic headlights and wipers, so you can unwind and focus on driving.
Will the Evoque let you down? Find out in the Which? Car Survey 2013.
Volvo XC60: supremely comfortable seats
The XC60 treats passengers to beautifully comfortable, supportive seats that shrink even the longest of journeys. More than this, the interior is well designed and nicely finished with high quality materials. There is more than enough space for four passengers, and the car remains refined and quiet on the move.
Another plus point for the XC60 is an air conditioning system that caters for rear passengers just as well as those in the front. In our tests, the cabin warmed up quickly for a diesel model – useful on frosty mornings.
Does the XC60 cost a lot to run? See our realistic economy figures in our Volvo XC60 review.
Volvo XC90: large 4×4 with space for seven
The Volvo XC90 featured in our previous round-up of seven-seater 4x4s thanks to its huge interior space. And it’s comfortable and luxurious, too.
With seats every bit as supportive as the XC60 above, the larger XC90 offers passengers tons of headroom and legroom, and the cabin heats and cools quickly. The XC90’s price is attractive, as you can find discounts of more than £8,000 through several online brokers.
Will the XC90 leave you with large repair bills? Read our comprehensive Volvo XC90 review.
Land Rover Freelander: good on and off the road
If you want a comfortable car with real off-road ability, the Freelander is for you. With a sophisticated four-wheel drive system and large tyres, the Freelander should get through the worst of winter weather without breaking sweat.
Comfort is not forgotten either, as the Freelander has supportive seats with plenty of adjustment in the front, plus rear seats that are unusually comfortable for two adults.
How much will the Freelander cost at the pumps? Find out in our Land Rover Freelander full review.
BMW X3: comfortable interior, good handling
BMW may be famed for producing cars that are exciting to drive rather than comfortable, but owners were very impressed with comfort levels in the X3.
This model is easy to get into, with lowered door sills and lots of space inside. Buyers get a choice between standard seats and more heavily bolstered sports seats. The X3 doesn’t skimp on comfort in the rear either with more than enough space for two adults to ride in comfort.
Find out how the X3 performs on the road in our BMW X3 review.