winter driving

The best cars for winter driving

Sam Richards
Authored by Sam Richards
Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 2:19pm

With British winters ranging from mild and wet, to freezing and covered in snow for three months, you need a car that will get you through the winter months. The best type of car for tackling the British winter is a Sports Utility Vehicle (or SUV as it’s more commonly known) with four-wheel drive, and the advantages of this type of vehicle include:

  • A high seating position
  • High ground clearance
  • Lots of grip in slippery conditions
  • Plenty of passenger space

Think of SUVs 4x4s and you’ll probably think of large SUVs or tough but basic workhorses, but you’ll be surprised at just how many make great all-year-round family cars thanks.

They needn’t be gas-guzzling monsters either, as our range of economical 4x4s shows. There’s something for every budget too - we've chosen a mix of new and used cars.

Search “value my car” on a website like Parkers, and not only will you find what your current car is worth, but you’re sure to find your next one too. There are some great SUV 4x4s on the market, new and used. Read on as we highlight five of our favourites.

1 Skoda Kodiaq

For less than the price of a well-specified Volkswagen Golf you can buy an all-wheel drive equipped Skoda Kodiaq and a set of winter tyres. This is a seven-seater which offers a combination of excellent ground clearance and a clever traction control system that will give you an all-conquering winter warrior. They handle all that winter can throw at them, including the mightiest of snow drifts.

2 Range Rover Sport

Range Rover takes luxury and driveability to the max second with the generation Sport. It uses aluminium to make it lighter and that makes it better to drive. It’s a superb 4x4 to pilot on-road and off it, with strong engines ranging from decently frugal plug-in hybrids to the glorious but thirsty supercharged V8 petrol. The Sport is just as sassy on the inside and we’d choose the 3.0 SDV6 HSE with optional Dynamic package.

3 Nissan X-Trail

The second-generation X-Trail has been around for a while now, but still proves to be one of the better SUV 4x4s for the money. It offers plenty of cabin space, all the safety features you need and great towing capability. It’s quite sharp to drive and the four-wheel drive model has plenty of grip and traction is treacherous conditions. The top Tekna version is fully-equipped, which means part-leather upholstery, Around View parking camera and optional Park Assist.

4 Audi Q5

The reassuring four rings on the nose mean the Audi Q5 is one of the most popular SUVs out there, and for good reason. It’s immaculately built, spacious and the raised driving position affords good vision without feeling too lofty. All Q5s have quattro four-wheel drive, which works seamlessly to deliver traction when others might falter. It also holds its value well and the 2.0-litre TDI with seven-speed auto is a pleasure to drive.

5 Dacia Duster

Nothing does value for money quite like a Dacia Duster, especially the surprisingly competent 4x4 model which should stand up easily to the worst of the UK’s winter weather conditions. It’s a bit rough and ready at the bottom of the range but upgrade to the Ambiance trim and you’ll find comfort and convenience features which will make a real difference day-to-day. There’s an impressive amount of space for all passengers plus a big boot to fill with warm weather clothing too.

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