4x4 spe­cial

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page -

THE choice of 4x4s these days is quite amaz­ing. From the lum­ber­ing big beasts of the jun­gle, to smaller com­pact SUVS not much big­ger than a fam­ily hatch­back, new or used, there’ s some­thing for ev­ery taste.

You even get de­cent off-road abil­ity in most ranges nowa­days—although some mar­ques are much more so­phis­ti­cated and gen­uine mud-plug­gers.

Oth­ers are less ro­bust, but will still get you off a snowy back road in sub-zero tem­per­a­tures.

Iron­i­cally enough, it is of­ten the very fea­tures that 4x4s evolved to help them out of muddy tracks that have en­deared them to fam­ily buy­ers in our towns and cities.

Par­tic­u­larly ap­peal­ing is the high driv­ing po­si­tion, loads of in­te­rior space and in­ge­nious cub­by­holes and other de­sign fea­tures that make them very us­able.

There is ba­si­cally a 4x4 to suit ev­ery­one these days: whether that be new, ap­proved or used. The choice is vast, but our favourites in­clude a range of brands and of spe­cific models. Land rover of course, par­tic­u­larly the sport, the dis­cov­ery and smaller but very tidy Evoque.

If you fancy some­thing tough on the in­side and the out­side, Isuzu and mit­subishi have a suite of ca­pa­ble do-any­thing, go-any­where models — the for­mer’s D-maxis a real force in the pick-up busi­ness and the lat­ter’ s mighty shogun needs no in­tro­duc­tion.

And don’t for­get Subaru with its sym­met­ri­cal all-wheel drive (the new Forester is great) and the multi-pur­pose Ford Ranger.

The lat­est mem­ber of this sec­tor is the sports util­ity ve­hi­cle or as they have come to be known as — SUV’S.

These ve­hi­cles, as their name would sug­gest, of­fer a more sport­ing flavour in their de­sign and per­for­mance than the st and ard 4x 4 and are epit­o­mised by models like the Ford Kuga, Nissan Juke, Nissan Qashqai, Suzuki SX4 and the up mar­ket Range Rover Evoque. SEVEN OF THE BEST LAND ROVER DIS­COV­ERY: All Land Rovers are bril­liant off-road­ers, but the new Dis­cov­ery has been mak­ing head­lines for both its use­abil­ity and its lux­ury. There’s a 5 + 2 seats op­tion as well. The fifth gen­er­a­tion Dis­cov­ery model will be on sale soon. VOLK­SWA­GEN TIGUAN: The tiguan­has been a hardly foot-sol­dier for VW for some years now, but it lacked a lit­tle bit of pizazz. All that has changed with the in­tro­duc­tion of a new model that looks great, is packed with ex­tras and drives fan­tas­ti­cally on the road. MIT­SUBISHI SHOGUN: The Shogun is loaded with rugged, re­li­able tech­nol­ogy, an en­vi­able tow­ing ca­pac­ity and a diehard work ethic. Avail­able with ei­ther a short or a long wheel­base, it is great for load­ing, lug­ging and pulling heavy ob­jects—and ab­so­lutely un­stop­pable in the wild. FORD RANGER: Ford says its Ranger pick-up 4x4 has been ruth­lessly tested in some of the most hos­tile en­vi­ron­ments and across the harsh est terrain on earth. A new line-up of ad­vanced Du­ra­torq diesel en­gines, offers a pay­load of up to 1,340 kg and tow up to 3,500 kg. SUBARU FORESTER: Subaru’s doughty Forester has been around for a while, and is un­doubt­edly a proper off-roader. If you need some­thing roomy, rugged, re­li­able and for use as a good tower, look no fur­ther. The Forester has had a loyal band of fol­low­ers for many years now. ISUZU D-MAX: If a mod­ern, life­style pick-up is your requirement, the Isuzu D-max, in­tro­duced in 2013, is a great choice. If comes in a range of choices, in­clud­ing a util­ity truck and lux­u­ri­ous dou­ble-cab ver­sions that will suit the fam­ily at the week­end. There’s a fiveyear war­ranty. KIA SPORTAGE: The Sportage is one of those all-rounder com­pact SUVS that looks great, has bags of tech­nol­ogy and drives re­ally well on tar mac. At the top of the range, there’s a tasty all-wheel drive model that gets our vote and should see you and your fam­ily home in all but the most chal­leng­ing of North­ern Ire­land con­di­tions.

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