The 4x4 is one of the most popular types of car at the moment - they offer practicality for families and improved winter drivng capabilities. Large four-wheel-drive cars and SUVs went out of fashion in the early 2000s but they're back - thanks to much more efficient diesel engines and clever green technology. Plus, 4x4s have a lot of presence and visibility on the roads, as well as the ability to go anywhere they need to off-road.
Some drivers, probably those with deep pockets, will buy a 4x4 to travel in comfort - but models like the Range Rover don't offer anything close to cheap motoring. Most models in this market weigh more than two tonnes, and need large engines. They’re not as thirsty as they used to be, but owners will still be lucky to see 30mpg in many models.
If you often drive on muddy farm tracks or are worried about snow and ice in winter, a 4x4 or SUV will offer a lot of peace of mind thanks to the improved traction. The most capable models have clever 4x4 technology that adjusts the suspension, engine and transmission settings to cope with the most extreme terrain, often at the touch of a button.
Thanks to an elevated seating position and the huge size of the cars, many of these 4x4s will never even leave the tarmac. The huge dimensions usually mean plenty of interior space, too, and some models make the most of their boot size with extra rear seats that fold up from the boot floor. The vast majority of cars sold in this class run on diesel and have considerable pulling power, so 4x4s are popular with caravan owners due to their huge towing capacity. Just bear in mind that towing will hamper fuel efficiency further.
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.