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When it comes to sports enthusiasts, the best 4x4s have to offer more than a dusty off-road adventure. They have to offer space for equipment, room for friends to share in the experience, and extra space for their equipment too. The 4x4s we’ve chosen meet those demands, providing on and off-road journeys well-suited to sporting individuals.
When it comes to off-road capabilities and challenging terrain, no other car is more capable than a 4×4. Whether crossing over mud, through water, or tackling a steep incline, a 4×4 will have your back. But that’s not all. Typically, 4x4s also offer:
Another selling point for sports enthusiasts to consider is the fact that a good 4×4 looks the part as well. Furthermore, a 4×4 won’t just shuttle you to and from adventures, it will join you in them too, in addition to carrying your equipment. Whether that’s with a roof rack lined with two canoes or towing a bike trailer stacked with mountain bikes, a 4×4 emphasises and improves the enjoyment of an adventurous lifestyle. Read on to see what we’ve picked for our top 10 best 4x4s for sports enthusiasts.
The iconic Land Rover Defender, with its incredible 4×4 performance, is the perfect vehicle to take you on an endless variety of adventures, whether on road or off. And if you do take the car off-road, you can rest assured because the Defender is one of the most capable out there, with very few rivals to challenge its crown. It also has a traditional side-hinged tailgate, which makes it even easier to store bulky sporting equipment, and with over 1000-litres of boots space to play around with, you can carry a lot of gear. Get a roof rack and the Defender will comfortable carry a number of canoes or surfboards, and look the right part for the job too. If you want to go an exciting mountain bike trip with friends or family, you can also use the Defender to tow a bike trailer and carry everyone’s bikes with ease.
PRICES FROM £9,000
One of the few to challenge the Defender’s crown, the Jeep Wrangler is equally iconic with a rugged build fit for the most difficult off-road scenarios. Again, like the Defender, this is a 4×4 car that can take you anywhere, offering an adventurous lifestyle with little to get in its way. For carrying sporting equipment, it has 577 litres of boot space, increasing to over 1,000 with the rear seats down, enough to carry tents, mountain climbing gear, and a team’s worth of hockey equipment. It also has a removable roof, transforming the Wrangler into a snazzy 4×4 convertible, which only adds to the car’s sense of adventure.
PRICES FROM £7,500
Land Rover and Jeep certainly have a firm monopoly on people’s imaginations when it comes to 4x4s with genuine off-road capabilities, yet the Toyota Land Cruiser proves itself just as capable. The car is built like a tank and it has a bullet-proof reputation, ready to tackle whatever landscape or conditions are thrown at it. And that’s great news for adventurous types who want to explore hidden, off-road areas of beauty. Like the Defender, there is a seven-seat option too, which adds a third row best suited to children (perfect for holidaying with the family). Although it must be noted, as a seven-seater it reduces the Land Cruiser’s boot space to a mere 120-litres. As a five-seater, however, it can carry a whopping 640-litres of cargo and over 1,000 with the rear seats folded down. It’s the ideal size for a day out with friends. Whether mountain biking or rock climbing at the local crag, the Land Cruiser will easily carry all your gear for you.
PRICES FROM £5,000
One of the safest cars on the road, the Volvo XC90 is filled to the top with impressive technology and driver assist systems, proving to be a class leader in almost every way. All models feature permanent four-wheel drive for tackling tough weather conditions, and it’s a genuine 7-seater with the third row spacious enough for adults. And with those third row seats in place, the boot is still a generous 451 litres, meaning you can take friends and family on camping trips no problem at all. Fold all the rear seats down, however, and it opens up almost 2,000 litres of luggage space, which is perfect if you’re a coach of a rugby team and need to carry an entire squad’s worth of equipment.
PRICES FROM £35,500
Available as a 4×4, the Dacia Duster remains an SUV that is incredible value for money with an astonishingly low starting price for its class. It looks great and it is surprisingly capable off-road, proving such journeys needn’t break the bank. Also, with the cheaper starting price, you might be more inclined to actually go off-road compared to some of the more expensive models on this list with starting prices upward of £50k. Yet, the Duster has more going for it than just its affordability. It has a practical 475-litre boot (increasing to over 1,000 with the rear seats down) and it can be used to tow a trailer up to a tonne and a half in weight, which is perfect if you need extra space to carry sporting equipment such as bikes or kayaks. In short, it is an all-round top 4×4 for sports enthusiasts, one you won’t mind putting through the rigors and hardships of daily sporting life.
PRICES FROM £3,000
The Porsche Cayenne may seem like a surprising choice for this list to some. Yet if you want a 4×4 that has a premium standard and a luxury finish, then the Cayenne is the car that fits the bill. All versions get four-wheel drive and, as you’d expect from the renowned marque, all versions offer big performance and expert handling. The car is practical too, with a 670-litre boot that extends to a massive 1780 litres with the rear seats down. An off-road mode turns the Cayenne into a juggernaut for off the beaten track adventures as well, proving very capable for cross country journeys over tough and challenging terrain.
PRICES FROM £2,300
If you’re not looking for a large or mid-size SUV, but you’re in the market for something, say, more like a supermini, then check out the Fiat Panda 4×4. Blending city car looks and performance, with the traits of a small SUV, the boxy Panda enjoys an affordable starting price and a rugged exterior with a raised ride height. 4×4 variants are capable in all-weather and all-terrain too, allowing you to undertake adventures on the road and off the beaten track just as easily. The car’s square shape provides easy loading into the boot, which has 225 litres of storage space. With the rear seats down that extends to an excellent 870 litres. The Panda is also available with front folding seats for longer sporting equipment like skis and snowboards. Additionally, Fiat offers a great range of optional storage solutions as well, including a ski rack, a bike rack, and a roof box.
PRICES FROM £550
One of the most practical cars on the market, the Land Rover Discovery is a class leader when it comes to space. It is a genuine 7-seater with ample room for adults in all three rows, and it still manages a decent 228-litre boot. With just the five seats in place, that extends to 1,137 litres and if that wasn’t enough room for all your sporting wares, then with all rear seats folded down it jumps to a mega 2,406 litres. Yet the Discovery has more under its hood than just space, it is a genuine 4×4 off-roader with performance matching (our number one pick) the Defender. This is a premium 4×4 that can withstand the toughest conditions, opening a whole new world of adventures.
PRICES FROM £2,500
Designed to tackle the toughest terrain, the Suzuki Jimny thrives the moment it’s taken off the beaten track. It can endure intense conditions and climb steep mountains, putting its Allgrip Pro four-wheel drive system through its paces no trouble at all. In fact, the Jimny is up there with the best when it comes to off-road capability. What lets the car down somewhat is its practicality. It only has a mere 83-litre boot space for equipment, though if you fold the rear seats down that extends to 377 litres. However, in its favour, the Jimny has a gas strut-assisted, hinged tailgate, which provides a large opening for easily loading and unloading gear. Furthermore, it has a very affordable starting price, particularly for such a capable off-roader. It looks great too, with a boxy design and rough and ready looks. If you don’t mind a roof rack for your belongings or bikes, then consider the Jimny a forerunner.
PRICES FROM £1,700
For those who would rather an estate car over an SUV, then the Audi A4 Allroad makes this list for you. It is essentially an Audi A4, with all that makes that car brilliant, but with a raised ride height and all-wheel drive. The interior has that unmistakable Audi level of luxury and the cabin is comfortable and spacious, with plenty of room in the rear seats for three adults. The boot is practical too, at 505 litres, which is perfect for carrying golf clubs and other sporting equipment. What’s more, the A4 Allroad remains as smooth and comfortable on chipped and broken country roads thanks to the four-wheel drive system, although compared to others on this list, its off-road capabilities are light and best used for finding a spot to pitch the tent, rather than for tackling cross country terrain.
PRICES FROM £6,000
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