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Winter 4x4s

Winter 4x4s Published: 31st Jan 2020 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Winter 4x4s
Winter 4x4s
Winter 4x4s
Winter 4x4s
Winter 4x4s
Winter 4x4s
Winter 4x4s
Winter 4x4s
Winter 4x4s
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A classic off-roader or 4x4 to see you through the winter is money well spent. Here’s our pick of affordable mud pluggers

Will the Beast from the East make a return this winter? If you need to keep mobile – and et’s face it, who doesn’t – why not get yourself a cheap all-wheel drive classic for when it cuts up rough? Not only are they great for arduous conditions but are also real fun to take off -road or use in specialist sports. Here’s some affordable keep-you-going classics that will earn their keep on the driveway – from just £1000.

Daihatsu’s Sportrak and Fourtrak are rugged frippery-free off -roaders. The Sportrak is a petrol only SUV while the latter is as tough and as capable as a Land Rover and were very popular with farmers so hold their value well.

Ford’s American-derived Explorer is cheap and hugely capable off road but it is a thirsty beast and spares can be dear. An easier, less bulky alternative is the Maverick, which was really a Nissan Terrano under another name, made since the early 1990s in three and larger five-door forms but if you wamt something tougher the Patrol takes some beating.

Isuzu’s Trooper is much like the Fourtrak insofar it’s a no-nonsense hardy off -roader, small wonder Vauxhall rebadged it to become the Monterey in the 90s. Spares (and vehicles) are becoming pretty difficult to find on both however. The name Jeep became popular in the UK once it started to offer UK, right-hand drive Wranglers and the estate-like Cherokee. Made for serious off -roading, the petrols are very thirsty which is why it is not uncommon to see LPG conversions. A diesel, made since the 1990s and it’s the best choice; currently we’re running a modern Sport and it’s a great inexpensive buy (we only paid £1500) although be warned, old Jeeps can be dear to fix but at least there’s a good specialist base over here.

Kia’s Sportage was made in with Mazda’s help during the 1990s. It is a fair all rounder, that’s usually reliable, easy to drive and well made if hardly a classic. The same can be said of the equivalent Hyundais such as the Santa Fe but all are cheap and cheerful working vehicles.

Old Landies are now highly collectable classics and so values are high – ditto original Range Rovers. So for better value, look to a 1980’s/90’s Defender, Discovery or a good Freelander – it’s just a shame that all can be so darn unreliable (transmission oil leaks, electrics, engines, etc). By the same token many people gave Range Rover P38s their P45s, yet a good one, with its BMW diesel, is worth keeping faith with as is a five-door Freelander if the K-Series unit and 4x4 are okay.

The Suzuki SJ410, arguably started the SUV market. Small engined, uet cope remarkably well off -road plus tow better than they ought. The posher Vitara has a 1.6-litre engine as well as a diesel. Ignore the unfortunate Barbie doll image as these are effective and dependable.

If Suzuki invented the SUV, then Toyota instigated the 4x4 GTi with its RAV4 which is 25 years old now! Many have survived well and are car-like to drive. Honda’s rival CR-V and the softer alternative HR-V from the same vintage are also excellent, well made refined, easy driving off -roaders with the former even boasting an optional shower – yes really!

Need something bigger? Well they don’t come tougher than a Toyota Landcruiser and Amazon. Another tough option is an old Hilux pick-up – even Top Gear could not destroy one!

Vauxhalls worth vetting include the Frontera 4x4 if you can find one. Alas the design suffered terribly with many reliability issues and the old three-door Sports leaked badly, but again a good one will serve you through the winter in terms of grip and off -road ability. Specially imported Isuzu alternatives used a lusty 2.8TD taken from the Trooper which are much better while some versions were even badged Chevrolet. Talking of Chevy’s, don’t dismiss the Blazer that Vauxhall imported during the 1990s. Not a great 4x4 but it has a classical name and look.

All-wheel drive cars

If you don’t fancy a classic Chelsea Tractor there’s a good selection of cars worth looking at. Quattros are too dear and precious, but there are ‘quattro’ Audis in a variety of saloon, estate and coupé forms (and sizes), petrol and diesel powered that can be strong value. You may find similar ‘Syncro’ VW Passats. Citroën produced 4x4 BX and CXs and in estate guise and with that famous height adjustable pneumatic suspension, it’s hard to think of better all year round workhorses although the majority have rusted away. Renault produced the now ultra rare 21 during the 80s/90s plus a special off -road Scenic SUV during the early Millenium years – an excellent family buy.

How about an Alfa? It produced, albeit in tiny numbers, a 4x4 33, a development of the super Sud. In estate form it’s a handy holdall that’s definitely a classic.

You don’t need a big car to go 4x4! Fiat made its petite Panda all-wheel drive in the mid 80s and they are like gold dust, unlike the newer models. Ignoring the RS range of Escorts and Sierras, Ford made a good range of 4x4s in Sierra, Mondeo, Scorpio and even Galaxy MPV guises. Our pick is the XR4x4 Sierra estate.

Peugeot’s 405 4x4 used the same all-wheel drive set up as found in the Lancia Integrale – which says it all while during the 1990s Vauxhall produced 4x4 Cavaliers.

Volvos worth seeking out include the 4x4 V70, which is essentially a normal estate along with the chunkier looking XC70 which also features a higher ground clearance. Saab offered the 9-3X estate with a choice of engines. Finally, don’t overlook a pick-up from any manufacturer as the majority are 4x4. Go



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