Author: Jack Evans

Off roaders give drivers a commanding view over the road, along with a smooth ride and, of course, the ability to go nearly anywhere in many cases. But what sort of off roader can you get for £20k?

When released, large 4x4s can command fearsome prices due to their premium image and high build quality. However, many lose value quickly, making them a savvy used buy. Whilst the premium image never fades, the premium price tag does drop quickly once they’re driven off the forecourt, which makes them a good option if you’re after something with plenty of space and all terrain ability.

Land Rover Discovery 3: True off-road ability

When it comes to off-road ability, few machines can match Land Rover. Opt for the Discovery 3 and you also get the flexibility of seven seats and plenty of interior space, making it the perfect car to transport family and friends in both style and comfort.

The 3.0-litre diesel version offers the best compromise between economy and acceleration, with many well looked models to be found for under £20,000. They are also peerless off-road, with hill descent control one of a host of features designed to make sure you can go anywhere.

Lexus RX450h: Off-roader style with hybrid economy

If you fancy a different style of four-wheel drive, then the Lexus RX450H may be for you. With an electric motor mated to a 3.5-litre petrol engine, the RX is a hybrid that looks different to the norm and can be found well under the £20,000.

With the ability to run on battery power alone for speeds up to 25mph, the RX also makes a relaxing machine to drive around town. With the electric motor helping to keep fuel costs down, the Lexus is a larger vehicle that should prove cheaper to run than a typical off-roader.

BMW X5: Stylish, sharp handing 4×4

Similar to the Land Rover, the BMW X5 is a premium product that offers a lot of presence on the road. The 3.0-litre diesel is the model to go for, as it offers a blend of economy and performance that the larger petrol engines cannot. That said, the rapid 4.8-litre petrol models can also be chosen for well under £20k.

All models come well equipped and the M Sport versions come with aerodynamic tweaks and larger alloy wheels. For added style. You’ll be hard pressed to find an off-roader with a more involving on-road driving style than the X5 too, with its suspension tuned to cope with a little bit of rough stuff but without sacrificing any of the on road handling characteristics.

Mercedes ML: Comfort-oriented luxury off-roader

Keeping with the German car makers, Mercedes also offer its own luxury off roader in the form of the ML.

Though not the most frugal of engines, the range-topping ML63 AMG can be found for under the £20k mark and offers true supercar speed. However, for everyday use, the ML350 CDI diesel is a much wiser bet.

With an automatic gearbox and high levels of equipment, the ML is similar in feel to the X5. The model was given a facelift in 2008 and these are available for well inside the £20,000 budget.

Pictures: Manufacturers

Chris Lloyd


July 10, 2015