The 4x4 (also known as SUV) is a type of car that's gaining more and more fans in the UK, thanks to the great practicality, commanding driving position and all-weather ability. In the early 2000s it seemed like 4x4s and SUVs had gone out of fashion thanks to rising fuel costs, but with efficient modern engines equipped, the market for these cars is growing a lot.
Off-roading used to be the main reason for owning one, but these days they rarely leave the tarmac - but that's not so say some of these cars can't handle the rough stuff.
4x4 cars like the Range Rover offer incredible luxury and comfort, but they do come at a price - and because of the high weight the fuel economy suffers a lot as well. The engines used to power larger, more luxurious cars like the Range Rover and Land Rover Discovery tend to be on the large side, and will barely reach 30mpg in economy.
Of course, there's always the budget option - the Dacia Duster is a fine SUV and one of the cheapest cars in the UK, too.
The improved traction offered by four-wheel drive in many SUVs gives a lot of peace of mind for owners who plan to traverse muddy tracks or country lanes, too. Plus, the increased grip from a 4x4 drivetrain means you can be more confident in snowy and icy conditions - although winter tyres are the most important factor here. Some of the top 4x4s have technology that adjusts the suspension, engine and transmission settings to cope with the most extreme terrain, often automatically and at the touch of a button.
The large size of 4x4s and SUVs means there's plenty of interior space - either to transport large families or to carry lots of luggage. Many of the top 4x4s also have a third row of seats that folds away into the boot floor, so you can choose between seating and luggage space when you need it.
Thanks to the big diesel engines in these cars, they're a popular choice for those wanting to tow a caravan or trailer - the high torque of a large diesel engine is perfect for load-lugging. This does still hamper fuel economy quite a bit, though.
To help you choose which 4x4 is right for you, we've rounded up 10 of the best. Click the links on the left or the next page link below to find out more.