Top 10 Best 4×4 Cars
When it comes to looking for the best 4×4, there’s a lot to consider – both in terms of style and substance. If you’re planning to invest in an SUV this year, take a look at eight of the best 4x4s to buy in 2020.
Before you embark on your quest for the ideal car, bear in mind your priorities. Size, space, towing requirements, initial and ongoing outlay, performance, Euro 6 compliance – they’re are all factors that could – and probably should – influence your decision.
A family of six, for example, will need something totally different from a singleton and is likely to push for 7 seats. Where one driver might be looking for a stylish, practical cruiser, another could be in the market for a pure off-roader that gets pulse racing over rough terrain.
Some like their 4×4 to be big and luxurious; others want something compact and efficient. Then there’s the matter of budget. While 4x4s can offer excellent value for money, they can also come with quite a hefty price tag.
We’ve put together a list of the eight best 4x4s to buy this year, catering for diversely broad budgets, so there really is something for everyone to consider.
The best 4×4 cars to buy on the UK market:
- Dacia Duster
- Suzuki Jimny
- Jaguar F Pace
- Volvo XC90
- Jeep Wrangler
- Land Rover Discovery
- BMW X7
- Range Rover
- Fiat Panda 4×4
- Mercedes G-Wagen
1. Dacia Duster
Dacia’s Duster is a spacious, budget-conscious family SUV with prices that start below £11,000. It’s customisable, available in a range of trim levels and offers added gadgets to suit every buyer.
The Duster also comes highly recommended by What Car?, scooping the prestigious low-price family SUV award at their annual awards in 2019.
There’s a choice of three petrol engines, a diesel and optional two or four-wheel drive. Likewise, there are four trim levels to choose from, ranging from bargain-priced ‘Access’ up to the ‘Techroad’ model for £16,955.
The cheapest Duster comes with a 100 bhp three cylinder turbo charged petrol engine, so don’t expect sporty performance – however, the Duster SUV is perfect for cruising around town. There’s also the option of a 1.6L non turbo petrol engine, which comes in 115bhp as well as a TCe 130 and two diesel options – though this will cost you extra and are only available on mid range trim and up.
The entry-level petrol and diesel engines are available with two or four-wheel drive, while the turbocharged petrol engines are two-wheel drive only. Four-wheel-drive versions provide extra traction in slippery conditions and are great for off-road use but again, expect to pay a premium.
Super easy to understand, the dashboard features simple rotary heater dials and stereo buttons.
The cruise control buttons are also easy to use and since there’s no radio in the entry level ‘Access’ model, there isn’t much to get your head round when it comes to operating the controls. Although, you might want to invest in a radio.
When it comes to added extras, the entry-level trim is pretty minimal. But for just £2,500 more you can get the ‘Comfort’ trim, which includes adjustable heated door mirrors, rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera.
Also included is an easy-to-use touchscreen infotainment system with big buttons, satnav and smartphone mirroring.
Go for the Prestige trim level, meanwhile, and you’ll enjoy the added benefits of a multi-view parking camera that lets you choose between rear, front or side views – perfect for navigating tricky parking spots.
It has a spacious interior, large boot space and can manage 48 miles to the gallon, as well as being available as a four-wheel drive. Yes, it’s a little pricier, but it’s worth paying for that extra safety, which is why the Dacia Duster SUV is one of the best 4x4s to buy in 2020.
Prices start from: £10,995
- Excellent value for money
- Spacious interior
- A hard worker
- Extra features can soon bump up the price
- Interior isn’t as luxurious as some competitors’
2. Suzuki Jimny
With its classic cube shape and durable interior the Suzuki Jimny bursts with retro charm, having remained largely unchanged since it entered the market in 1998.
Boasting ALLGRIP Pro all-wheel drive – designed to tackle the toughest terrain – the Jimny has a rudimentary ladder-frame chassis and comes with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic gearbox.
With an 85bhp petrol engine, the Jimny’s official fuel consumption ranges from 32.1 to 35.8 mpg on average, depending on whether you’re using it on or off-road.
Most of the kit you’d want comes as standard on the SZ5, and there are even some customisation options including mud-flaps and a body decal set.
The SZ5 comes with a simple yet functional infotainment system and includes a satnav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Despite its diminutive dimensions, the Suzuki Jimny is surprisingly accommodating with an interior that’s built to last. It offers enough room for taller adults up front and adequate room in the back, too.
However, in exchange for this roomy rear, Suzuki has sacrificed a bit of boot space in the Jimny.
With just 85 litres on offer with the rear seats in place, you might be better off putting your baggage in the back rather than the boot. And if you want to bring along your bike or outdoor adventure gear, it’s probably worth investing in a roof rack.
Every new Suzuki, including the Jimny, comes with a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty that’s easy and cost-effective to extend with a choice of Basic, Select and Comprehensive cover.
Unlike many other 4x4s, the Suzuki Jimny is a true off roader. It’s made to climb mountains, cross difficult terrain and endure intense conditions.
Off the beaten track is where this model really shines, so if you’re after a bit of action and adventure, look no further.
Prices start from: £18,749
- Excellent offroader
- Good value for money
- Fun and exciting
- Less able on city roads
- Limited boot space
- Not great on road
3. Jaguar F-Pace
Jaguar’s F-Pace lives up to its description: a luxury performance SUV that covers the practicalities of life. Sleek, yet sporty with exciting handling, the F-Pace is available with a selection of engines to suit the needs of every SUV driver.
In fact, some of the engines on offer are so impressive that they add a cool £9,000 to the initial price tag – although top-performance powertrains are only available with certain models.
The all-wheel drive Jaguar F-Pace comes with a choice of three petrol and five diesel engines. The three petrol powertrains achieve 0-62mph in 7.0,, 6.1, and 4.3 seconds respectively; the diesels will make the same sprint in 10.2, 8.6, 9.0, 7.2, and 6.4 seconds respectively.
Typically, the petrol engines produce the best performance but the diesel options offer higher MPG. Models achieve between 37.9 to 41.9 MPG on the whole – pretty impressive taking into account the model’s pacey performance and size.
Inside the F-Pace is everything you’d expect from Jaguar: luxury materials, an interface that’s intuitive and easy to use, with plenty of places to store odds and ends. There’s loads of room along with a 650 litre boot capacity.
Centrally positioned on the dashboard is Jaguar’s InControl infotainment system, complete with an eight-inch touchscreen display and tech functionality including a DAB radio, satnav, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone integration and a wi-fi hotspot feature.
Price: From £41,530
- Highly customisable
- Great performance
- Luxurious, intuitive interior
- Diesel engines not as quiet as competitors
- Higher performance means higher cost
4. Volvo XC90
The Volvo XC90 is a class-leading 4×4 that offers great value for money, so it’s no wonder the model was named Auto Express’s Car of the Year in 2015.
Every version of the XC90 features a permanent four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox with manual mode. Striking a neat balance between comfort and agility, the XC90 has great body control, offering a composed ride even when pushed.
The B5 mild hybrid system generates 232bhp, the T5 petrol 247bhp and the T6 a whopping 306bhp via a turbocharged and supercharged petrol unit.
Don’t be fooled by the impressive performance, though – Volvo’s XC90 scores well on safety too. Euro NCAP tested the XC90 in 2015 and gave it a full five-star rating, as well a 97 per cent score for occupant protection and 100 per cent for safety tech.
A vast interior has always been one of the Volvo XC90’s strengths, and the current model is roomier than ever. The seats are large and comfortable, and even the third row is reasonably generous for adults.
With the seats up, the XC90 offers 451 litres of boot space. Fold the third row down and you get 1,102 litres. Fold all the rows and you get a voluminous 1,951 litres.
Standard kit across all models includes adaptive cruise control, keyless start, auto LED headlights and wipers, a reversing camera, park assist, a hands-free power tailgate, two-zone climate control and electrically adjustable heated leather seats.
There’s also Volvo’s excellent portrait-mounted touchscreen infotainment system with bluetooth, navigation and connected services.
And if that’s not enough, all Volvos also come with a three-year/60,000 mile warranty.
Price: Starts at: £53,085
- Safe and secure
- Spacious interior and boot
- Infotainment system could be easier to use
- Speedier than buyers might require
5. Jeep Wrangler
Jeep’s Wrangler is synonymous with adventure. Broad and beast-like, the Wrangler is ready to take on the open road, on or off track.
Available in three variants – the entry-level Sahara, the luxurious Overland and the Rubicon – a trim specifically designed for hardcore off-roaders – the Jeep Wrangler comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox (but no manual option).
With its high-performance automatic transmission, the model makes for an excellent “lifestyle” 4×4. And thanks to the Wrangler’s low departure angles and high ground clearance, offroading is what it does best regardless of the trim level.
Engine options are limited to a 272hp 2.0L four-cylinder turbocharged petrol, or a 197hp 2.2L four-cylinder diesel engine. With a 99mph max speed, the diesel engine does 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds, while the petrol engine does it in 7.0.
Efficiency isn’t a strong point but the 2.2L diesel gives the best value at 30.4mpg
Inside is welcoming, well-equipped and user friendly, and while it’s softer and more ambient than before, the model’s dashboard is as functional as ever.
The latest Wrangler benefits from the addition of three touchscreen size options, ranging from five to 8.4 inches – the larger two including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
There’s plenty of front seat legroom with adequate space in the rear, too. With the seats up, the four door Wrangler boasts a 577 litre boot space. Fold them all down and there’s more than 1,000 litres on offer.
Unlike other contenders in our list of best 4x4s to buy in 2020, the Jeep Wrangler also has an iconic feature in the form of a removable roof.
The roof is nothing new, granted, but it can now be customised to your tastes. So, which will you choose – a manual roof with lift-out panels, an electric sliding option or a removable full hard-top?
And if that wasn’t impressive enough, there’s also the Wrangler’s five year/ 75,000 mile warranty, which leaves guarantees from the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes in the dust. The warranty includes three years’ servicing and five years’ breakdown cover as standard.
Price: Starting from: £39,955
- Excellent offroader
- Looks amazing
- Doors and roof are removable
- Not as luxurious as some competitors
- Not as safe as some competitors
- Not as fuel-efficient, either
6. Land Rover Discovery
The true beauty of the Land Rover Discovery is its ability to go anywhere. Sure it’s more expensive to buy than its rivals, but the Discovery’s practicality is worth the premium.
When it comes to space, the Discovery is a tough act to follow. And while you could argue that competitors offer better room up front, beyond the front seats the Land Rover is head and shoulders more spacious than its rivals.
With the rear seats down, the Land Rover Discovery boasts a 922-litre boot space. Bring the seats up and there’s enough space to seat seven people in comfort.
Several safety features also come as standard, including front and side impact airbags, hazard lights under heavy braking, a perimetric alarm, rollover deployment of restraints and front, rear and 360-degree parking assistance.
It’s little wonder, really, that the Discovery was awarded a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP.
Optional extras include built-in massage chairs, climate-controlled ‘Windsor’ leather seats, four-zone climate control and a chilled drinks compartment.
In-car tech features include rear-seat entertainment screens, wi-fi, surround-view cameras and head-up display.
Land Rover’s eight-inch InControl Touch infotainment system includes navigation and music streaming features as standard at entry level.
Upgrade to the HSE and HSE Luxury trim and you’ll receive a more sophisticated set-up that includes a high-definition display, 10GB of solid-state memory storage, smartphone mirroring and a wi-fi hotspot.
In terms of performance the Discovery will hit 62mph in 9.3 seconds – admittedly not as fast as many competitors, but few cars have the same control when towing caravans or driving across difficult terrain. And this is just one of many features that give the Discovery an incredible edge over numerous rivals.
Price: Start from: £47,745
- Excellent workhorse
- Seats up to seven people
- Impressive boot space
- Could be quicker
- Not as budget-friendly as some competitors
7. BMW X7
BMW’s X7 is their largest and most luxurious 4×4 offering to date. It’s a quiet, plush ride with cavernous interior space.
Weighing in a 2.3 tonnes the X7 disguises its weight issue in the corners with ease, there’s surprisingly little roll, especially when attacking at speed. Planting your foot gives a surge of acceleration rather than a sharp thump in the back.
Whether you’re going across smooth tarmac or hilly terrain, the BMW X7 offers a reliably comfortable ride.
The 40i engine generates 340bhp and revs like it’s going out of fashion, achieving 0-62mph in just 5.4 seconds, while the smoothness of the eight-speed automatic gearbox is unmatched. If it’s fuel economy you’re after, however, the xdrive30d engine is a better choice, achieving 33.6 mpg.
Inside, the X7 is comfortable and luxurious, roomy both at the front and in the back, and dotted with handy features like adjustable climate and reading lights, cupholders and power sockets.
The infotainment system is sleek and intuitive and the seats are both electric and adjustable.
Air suspension comes as standard, 21-inch wheels, a fully connected cockpit and LED active headlights. It’s also amply proportioned to deal with a lot of luggage – human or otherwise.
When all three rows of seats are up, the boot capacity is 326 litres. Choose the two-row setup, however, and you can expect a whopping 750 litres of luggage space.
In addition, BMW offers a whole host of optional extras to complete the package. You could add the tech pack for £3,150, for example, which offers a superb HUD, Harman Kardon speakers and extra driving assistance. A six-seat arrangement is also available for an additional £595.
Price: Starts at: £72,315
- Smooth, consistent ride
- Well equipped
- Excellent infotainment system as standard
- Expensive to buy
- High running costs
- Incredibly heavy for off-roading
8. Range Rover
There’s a reason why the Range Rover has stood the test of time. Hint: it’s not the price point.
The Range Rover has been designed to cope with pretty much all and any type of terrain.
Every model has air suspension as standard, which means a very supple ride that can also be raised and lowered. ‘Access’ mode lowers the car for ease of entry and exit, while ‘Off Road’ mode increases ground clearance when tackling difficult terrain.
Of these, the 4.4L V8 diesel engine strikes the perfect balance of power and affordability, offering 338 bhp and 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds while coming in at £6,000 above lesser performers.
Every model offers a commanding seating position that can be adjusted 20 ways and a rear-view camera is standard on every offering, as are front and rear parking sensors.
All Range Rovers also have a pair of ten-inch touchscreens – one towards the top of the dashboard and the other below.
The lower screen alters the air conditioning and off road modes but also doubles as a multimedia system, while the main screen displays navigation info.
Entry-level Vogue models also include a DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and a digital TV receiver.
As far as interiors go, you don’t get much better than this. But just in case you want to really push the boat out, you can also buy a long-wheelbase version of the car that offers rear legroom on a par with an executive jet.
The same can be said for boot space, which – when the seats are up – is a whopping 909 litres, or triple that of a Volkswagen Golf.
Price: Starting from: £83,655
- Excellent all-round 4×4
- Not as budget-friendly as other cars
- Large size may put some motorists off
9. Fiat Panda 4×4
Now you may think this is an odd choice, but as Top Gear proved not too long ago the mighty Fiat Panda isn’t to be overlooked.
If you need a competent, mud plugging 4×4 in a diminutive package look no further than the Panda 4×4. In fact, it has a history that dates back to 1983 and is renowned the world over for its abilities.
Fiat still sell it today, prices start at £14,980 for the entry level 4×4 model, but if you want those chunky, go-anywhere looks you’re best off opting for the ‘4×4 Cross’ version.
This adds bright red front tow hooks, a skid plate, hill descent control, and two unique driving modes for both on and off-road use. Prices for this version start at £16,580.
Nowadays there’s just a 0.9 litre turbo-charged petrol engine to choose from in either model. This gives you a maximum of, wait for it, 85 HP.
There used to be a diesel option in years gone by that gave you nearly 100 HP and bucketloads more torque, ideal for off-roading. But sadly due to the whole dieselgate thing Fiat killed it off.
You do still get a locking rear diff and raised ride height, couple that with some all-weather tyres and you’re good to attack most of Britains green lanes.
The Panda makes for an ideal second car for country living, it will get you almost anywhere and on a budget. What’s not to love?
Price: Starts at £15,155
- Small, easy to park
- Lack of engine choice
- No automatic option
10. Mercedes G-Wagen
From one extreme to the other now, and as we often like to do finishing our top 10 lists with an ultimate, money no object option. This time it’s in the form of the Mercedes G-Wagen.
Mercedes G-Class or Geländewagen has been in production longer than any other Mercedes passenger vehicle, four decades in fact. So it’s got some history to it.
Prices start at £96,000 for the entry level G350d, it’s a 3.0 litre six-cylinder turbocharged diesel with 286 HP and 600 Nm of torque. It can hit 62 in just 7.4 seconds and has a top speed of 124 MPH.
Now there’s only one other engine available here in the UK, and that’s the fire-breathing Mercedes-AMG G63. This model is powered by a 4.0 litre V8 twin-turbo which pumps out 577 HP and an even greater 850 Nm of torque.
This means the rather heavy, incredibly boxy G63 can hit 62 from stationary in 3.8 seconds, supercar levels of performance in an SUV. You’ll be paying £140,000 for the privilege though.
As for it’s off-road abilities all that torque means you can throw it at a muddy, clay baked hill and it will get you up there without battering an eyelid. Even on road tyres.
From it’s old school push button door handle, hauling yourself up into the drivers seat, then slamming the door behind you with force to get it to close, everything about the G-Class screams old-school.
A fairly upright windscreen is surrounded by thick pillars, it will make you feel invincible, like you’re driving a concrete bunker.
In fact the sensation behind the wheel of a G-Wagen is akin to diving a small truck, you sit so high and the wheel is so big you’d be fooled for thinking you’re commanding an 18 wheeler.
Inside you’ll find luxury matched with tactility, the old school charm of the G-Wagen is still here by the bucket load. Still, there is the passenger grab handle, and the 4×4 controls sit front and centre with large click buttons in the middle of the dash.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, insulate yourself from the world and go anywhere the G-Class is the ultimate 4×4.
Price: From £96,000
- Unique looks
- 40 years of heritage
- You might not want to take it off-road due to its cost
4×4 not for you? Prefer your cars on the smaller side?
While each car on our list of the best 4x4s to buy in 2020 has its own unique personality, even small SUVs can take up a lot of space. And while 4x4s may be renowned for being safe, secure and luxurious, sometimes all you’re after is a cheap and cheerful runabout to get you from A to B.
What about something eco-friendly? Or a quirky yet stylish city car to get to work in? Whatever you’re looking for, we can help – our guides have something for everyone.
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