Best upcoming affordable off-roaders

March 20, 2015 | By | In Buying Guides
Best upcoming affordable off-roaders

Off-roaders have gone from being hardy cars bought for their off-road ability to machines bought as much as a fashion statement as for their family-friendly credentials. As off-roaders have become ever more civilised, many conventional cars have gained four-wheel drive.

This new breed of 4×4 gives families all the off-road ability that they are ever likely to need, along with high comfort levels and often price tags that undercut traditional off-roaders. Here we’ve rounded up five of the most appealing new machines with four-wheel drive and raised ground clearance that do without the dimensions and boxy styling normally associated with 4x4s.

Subaru Outback

Subaru has a long history of making tough off-road machines and the Outback is no different. This four-wheel drive estate has a raised driving position and a comfortable interior. Despite its car-like shape, the Outback boasts healthy ground clearance of 200mm and a sophisticated all-wheel drive system.

As a result, this is an extremely capable car off-road, taking rough surfaces, bumpy terrain and even deep water in its stride. More importantly, though, the Outback provides a very smooth ride on the motorway and high refinement levels, meaning that there’s no day-to-day penalty for its added off-road ability.

VW Passat Alltrack

Taking a leaf out of Audi’s book, Volkswagen has fitted its four-wheel drive system to this new large estate car, to create a spacious family hold-all that should be able to cope with mild off-roading duties and gains a chunky SUV style of its own.

With its punchy, economical turbocharged engines the Alltrack offers a strong combination of acceleration and low fuel consumption, though an added 28mm ground clearance over the standard Passat makes the Alltrack a little more capable off the Tarmac.

Volvo S60 Cross Country

Where most junior off-roaders have an estate body, the S60 Cross Country has created a new niche as a saloon car with added off-road ability. Replicating the qualities of the V60 Cross Country off-road estate in saloon form, this upmarket machine offers all the comfort of the standard S60 plus a substantial 65mm extra ground clearance.

With its sleek silhouette and raised profile, this unusual-looking car should prove just as capable over rough terrain as the Outback above. Add into the mix several powerful turbocharged motors and the S60 should prove a fast and comfortable on-road machine too.

Suzuki Vitara

Suzuki may have introduced the compact off-roader several decades ago, but the company has been quite quiet on the 4×4 front for a few years. It has, however, just replaced its long-in-the-tooth Vitara with a brand new model that looks much sharper than its predecessor, while retaining some off-road ability.

With a striking colour-coded dashboard, smoothed-off styling and what should be competitive prices, the Vitara should make a convincing alternative to the extremely popular Nissan Qashqai.

Seat Leon X-Perience

Where the Vitara looks like a scaled down off-roader, the sharply-styled Leon X-Perience looks very much like a sleek, sporty estate that has been pumped up to gain a little off-road ability. With plastic body cladding, silver metal trim and raised suspension, this Leon stands taller than its estate car sibling with four-wheel drive for added traction on slippery surfaces.

This Seat is available with two strong turbocharged diesel engines, which can fire the X-Perience to 62mph in as little as 7.1 seconds, while claimed fuel economy for both models is equally impressive at 57.6mpg.

Pictures: Manufacturers

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close