If winter means slippery roads and getting stuck if even one snowflake falls from the sky to you, swapping your car for one with four-wheel drive could be a wise move. But don’t think that a need for four-wheel drive means you have to splash out on an expensive off-roader.
We’ve rounded up five of the most economical new estates with four-wheel drive for extra traction on slippery surfaces. These five models also all have large boots for all the family paraphernalia you could ever throw at them and are available from under £25,000.
Seat Leon X-Perience 2.0 TDI SE – £24,385
The Leon X-Perience is not only the most affordable estate car in our line up, but it’s the most economical alongside the BMW, returning strong fuel economy of 57.6mpg, meaning that opting for four-wheel drive shouldn’t leave you out of pocket at the pumps.
The Leon is also one of the most striking estates you can buy, with sharp lines, a comfortable interior and a punchy engine, along with a few bold off-road styling details in X-Perience form. Car tax bills aren’t too bad either, at £110 per year. In four-wheel drive form this Leon can also accelerate to 62mph in a brisk 8.7 seconds.
BMW 320d xDrive SE Touring – £31,700
This BMW estate matches the Leon in the fuel economy and car tax stakes but offers even stronger performance, powering from a standstill to 62mph in just 7.8 seconds.
Unlike the Leon, the 3 Series doesn’t have any tell-tale signs to give away the fact that it’s four-wheel drive and so should appeal to those who want a standard-looking car, which offers the benefit of four-wheel drive grip. If you’re not sure about whether you need four-wheel drive, you can save £1,625 and benefit from higher fuel economy by opting for the standard BMW 320d Touring.
Skoda Octavia Scout 2.0 TDI 150 4×4 – £25,315
The Octavia Scout shares its engine and four-wheel drive hardware with the Seat, but offers even more room in its cabin and boot. Thanks to its extra size and weight the Scout takes longer than the Seat to hit 62mph at 9.1 seconds.
With raised ride height over the standard car the Scout gains a little off-road ability, though the fuel economy penalty for having a heavy four-wheel drive system isn’t too bad; fuel consumption stands at 55.4mpg, with car tax weighing in at £110 per year.
Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TDI 177 SE Technik Quattro – £31,705
As with the BMW the A4 doesn’t do much to give away the fact it’s got four-wheel drive underneath the skin. This upmarket machine offers a chic, high quality interior, sleek exterior styling and a big enough boot for most occasions.
Though it offers nearly identical acceleration and a very similar price to the BMW, the A4 can’t quite compete on economy, with the Audi only able to cover an average of 53.3 miles for every gallon of fuel. Despite that, its stylish interior and upmarket image will win it many fans.
Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0 BiTDI 4MOTION GT DSG – £36,040
If you’ve got a little more to spend, the brand new VW Passat Estate offers more of everything, with a colossal boot, Volkswagen’s slick DSG automatic gearbox as standard – and a very powerful, but still economical, motor.
Though fuel economy for the Passat Estate stands at 52.3mpg, just a hair behind its rivals, this model can launch from a standstill to 62mph in a rapid 6.3 seconds. Not only will the power on tap keep the attention of keener drivers, but this muscle should mean the car can cope with even the heaviest of loads including a trailer weighing up to 2,200kg – the other four estates here can only lug between 1,600 and 2,000kg in comparison.