Why have a car that can go off-road if it struggles to reach the end of the street without breaking down? The CR-V's the king if you want a 4x4 you can rely on.

4x4 results table

1. Honda CR-V
Score Rating 81.6%
Overall ranking 32nd

The pillars of the CR-V's class-winning success were its low running costs, its engine quality and the dealer service.

Only Land Rover Discovery owners were more pleased with the performance of their cars' engines and gearboxes, but the Honda's items proved to be more reliable.

When it came to fuel economy, insurance and repair costs, no 4x4 owner was happier than the driver of the CR-V. Dealers also knew how to keep owners happy.

The 4x4s category didn't fare well overall, however, so the CR-V finished outside the top 30 in the whole survey.

Problems with suspension, steering and braking systems were the most common faults, but the seats also threw more wobblies than was usual for 4x4s. Comfort wasn't highly rated, and neither was the stereo.

2. Toyota RAV4
Score 81.0%
Overall ranking 38th

The RAV4 only narrowly missed out to the Honda. Owners had more problems with interior controls like the wipers, locks and windows, and were also less happy with the performance of the engine.

Both the Toyota and Honda dealers were closely matched, but RAV4 drivers weren't as pleased with running costs.

3. Land Rover Discovery
Score 80.1%
Overall ranking 49th

The enthusiasm of Discovery drivers has promoted the car from 10th last year to third this year.

Owners gave the Discovery top scores for vehicle appeal, with particular praise for the space inside and the styling outside.

Dealer service was okay, but reliability problems and high running costs hit the Discovery's overall result hard.

4=. BMW X3
Score 79.9%
Overall ranking 51st=

X3 owners liked the driving experience, styling, seats and the feel and layout of the cabin controls and instruments.

Engine performance didn't score highly, and this was the most problematic area for the car - nearly one in three owners reported a fault.

Dealer service could have been better.

4=. Nissan X-Trail
Score 79.9%
Overall ranking 51st=

Relatively low running costs helped the X-Trail to its joint-fourth position this year.

Insurance premiums and fuel costs were considered good, but dealers also won the X-Trail marks by making it easy to get the car booked in for work.

Owners appreciated this, because quite a few things went wrong. The engine went on the blink frequently and the interior controls were problematic.

6. Kia Sorento
Score 79.3%
Overall ranking 63rd

The spaciousness, comfort and styling of the Sorento won owners over, but the engine performance, driving experience and stereo let it down.

Mechanically the car was sound, but problems with interior controls annoyed owners. Grumbles over running costs also pulled it down the rankings.

Sorento owners were the most disgruntled of all with the cost of insurance.

7. Kia Sportage
Score 79.1%
Overall ranking 66th=

The Sportage's oily bits were less robust than the Sorento's, but there were fewer issues with the interior and bodywork.
Owners loved the styling - only Land Rover Discovery drivers fancied their cars more - while the Kia was also thought spacious. The engine, gearbox and stereo were not rated highly.

Sportage drivers weren't happy with the dealership service, but were happy with the bills dealers gave them.

8. Hyundai Tucson
Score 78.4%
Overall ranking 77th

Tucson drivers were the most unsatisfied of all 4x4s owners with fuel costs, second-most unhappy with insurance costs and fourth-most gloomy about service bills.

Dealers got it in the neck for their levels of service, and owners also didn't like how the Tucson felt to drive.

Reliability was rated as average, as was the styling and cabin space.

9. Land Rover Freelander
Score 75.5%
Overall ranking 98th

There were plenty of headaches caused by mechanical faults, as well as problems with the interior and bodywork.

However, owners complained even more about the shortage of space, the dashboard feel and the layout and quality of the seats.

Dealers and running costs were also rated below average. Land Rover must be desperate for the new model to get into the survey.

10. Suzuki Grand Vitara
Score 75.2%
Overall ranking 99th

Owners slammed the Grand Vitara with the lowest rating in half of the categories, while it could only scrape by with the second-worst score in the rest.

The kindest words these unhappy owners had were for the ease with which services could be arranged, but even that was below par.