You might have read our report this morning on the Highways Agency’s concerns about British motorists’ readiness for winter.
Well, winter certainly is on the minds of some road users – British Car Auctions has already said that 4×4 values are on the rise as people look to the extra traction they offer ahead of the winter months.
But don’t worry – even if you haven’t got a king’s ransom to spend, you can still find a sensible, solid 4×4 for a very reasonable price these days.
Just £2,000 is enough to buy some very highly-respected models – and we’ve compiled a list of five of our favourites for you.
Launched in response to Toyota’s vaunted RAV4, the CR-V brought Honda’s values of reliability, practicality and build quality to the small ‘soft-roader’ sector. And while £2,000 can buy you a high-mileage version of the second-generation model, we’d instead plump for a nice, tidy example of the first generation. The 2.0-litre petrol engine offers a great combination of dependability, fuel economy and performance, and a top-of-the-range Executive model like this one comes with plenty of equipment.
Nissan Terrano II
Of course, if you need the economy of a diesel combined with that famed Japanese reliability, the oft-overlooked Nissan Terrano II is a great bet. A facelifted example like this one will give years of reliable service, and while its on-road driving dynamics are certainly dated in 4×4 terms, it isn’t a bad thing to drive by any means. What’s more, an enormous boot and plenty of rear seat space make it a practical winter companion.
The Fourtrak was never the last word in on-road performance, with a sluggish diesel engine and crude driving dynamics. But if off-road ability is paramount, there isn’t much better out there for £2,000. It’s beloved of farmers across the country for a reason – it’s compact, light, nimble, and sturdy. Look for a tidy example like that hasn’t been abused – this one looks like it’d do the trick.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
America’s take on the luxury 4×4 wasn’t the most refined or, indeed, the best built. But it did come with several things that endear it to many owners: plenty of kit, a huge engine, and lantern-jawed looks. A 4.0-litre petrol like this one will offer plenty of grunt – but if you value your fuel economy, your best choice is probably to stick with the slower, if more frugal, 2.7-litre turbodiesel.
But if you really do need a proper, full-sized SUV with a diesel engine, may we recommend a look at the Isuzu Trooper? It’s a little utilitarian inside compared with the Jeep, but this one can still boast air conditioning and, according to the advert, heated seats. What’s more, you get a towbar and space for seven people – in other words, this really is a do-it-all winter machine. And the Trooper’s renowned as a rugged old bus – so as long as this one’s been well looked-after, it should get you through anything winter can throw at you!