Whether it’s to head off the beaten track, or just to add greater security and traction in poor weather, 4×4 cars are ideal for a variety of lifestyles where practicality and flexibility are a must.
A 4×4 also lends itself perfectly to being an electric car, with the instant torque delivered by electric motors, and the ability to quickly send power to a certain axle, being hugely advantageous.
There’s a difference between an electric 4×4 and an electric SUV, however, and it’s something that can open your car buying choices up further. Let’s take a look at what an electric 4×4 is and what your best options are.
- How does an electric 4×4 differ from an electric SUV?
- Why should you buy a used electric 4×4?
- What should you consider before buying a used electric 4×4?
- The best electric 4x4s
- Tips for finding and buying a used electric 4×4
- Frequently asked questions
‘SUV’ has largely become an umbrella term for any high-riding vehicle, and though some of these may indeed by ‘4x4s’, not all are.
That’s because many SUVs, despite their rugged looks, are two-wheel-drive, either sending power to the front or the rear wheels, but not both at once.
That’s unlike a 4×4, which has the added bonus of being able to drive all wheels at the same time, helping out in bad weather, rough conditions and also being able to provide greater performance.
On an electric 4×4, these models generally have a front electric motor that powers those wheels, and then the rear wheels are driven by a second motor. It means a ‘4×4’ doesn’t just have to include SUVs, but also hatchbacks, saloons and estate cars.
The key advantage of choosing a used electric 4×4 is if you want the added bonus of greater traction in bad weather.
Currently, there aren’t any real ‘go-anywhere’ electric 4x4s for sale – such as a Jeep Wrangler, for example – but rather those that provide more stability in heavy rain and snow. If you live somewhere remote or have a rough drive, a 4×4 can make a lot of difference.
When it comes to electric 4x4s, however, many adopt four-wheel-drive because of performance benefits. With two electric motors working in tandem, there are significant acceleration benefits, particularly when it comes to the 0 to 60mph sprint.
Perhaps the main thing to think about first is whether you really need an electric 4×4. If you’re unlikely to reap the benefits of having that extra traction, you could opt for a front-wheel-drive car instead.
Though some EVs are only sold as a 4×4, when you have the choice, the front-wheel-drive model will always cost less to buy and be able to travel further on a charge.
But if you’ve settled on an electric 4×4, the next thing to think about is which bodystyle you would like. The ‘SUV’ look is the most popular, unsurprisingly, but if you want a 4×4 in a sleeker-looking passage, it’s worth taking a look at the various saloons, hatchbacks and even estate cars that are available.
If you’re on the lookout for an electric 4×4, we’ve rounded up the best used models, incorporating four key categories:
- Small electric 4×4 SUVs
- Medium electric 4×4 SUVs
- Large electric 4×4 SUVs
- Electric 4×4 saloons, estates and hatchbacks
Small 4×4 Electric SUVs
If you’re in the market for an electric car that offers 4×4 technology and good all-around capabilities, then a used small 4×4 electric SUV may be a great option. With big-car styling yet more compact dimensions than larger options, small electric 4×4 SUVs are a very popular choice.