Best and worst used 4x4s 2021

Tempted by the idea of a used 4x4? Then these are the models you should be considering – and the ones that are best avoided...

Used Seat Arona 18-present

4. Seat Arona

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Small SUVs are becoming a big part of the motoring landscape, and while there are ever greater numbers available on the used market, the best one to go for is the Seat Arona. 

Being from a more sporting marque, it's no wonder to find that the little Arona handles with aplomb, with minimal body lean in corners and well-weighted, direct steering. The ride can be a touch firm on some of the bigger wheel options, but stick with a well equipped SE Technology version and the 17in alloys it comes with and you won't be jostled around too much.

What you might not be expecting to find in an Arona is a sizeable boot, but it does in fact have luggage capacity that might embarrass some larger family cars. Fuel economy will decent, too, because the even 95bhp 1.0-litre has plenty of performance on tap while offering the sort of economy you'd hope for with a small three-cylinder engine.

Used Volvo XC60 long-term test review

Beneath the classy looks of the Volvo XC60 lies a thoroughly spacious, practical and comfortable car. There’s enough room for five adults and the rear is even just about wide enough for three.

What’s more, the XC60 has a great reputation for safety, especially if you find one with the optional Intellisafe Pro Pack, which features lots of semi-autonomous driving tech.

Petrol models can be pretty thirsty, but a mid-range diesel is much more affordable to run. The XC60 is great to drive, too, especially in four-wheel-drive mode, and exceptionally classy. All in all, the XC60 is an easygoing and hassle-free car to own.

We found: 2018 Volvo XC60 2.0 D4 R-Design AWD, 29,324 miles, £24,999

Read the used Volvo XC60 review >>

2. Seat Ateca

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Seat Ateca

The Seat Ateca is a great family SUV and one of the best-handling 4x4s on the market. A clan of five would have no practicality concerns, because it’s got a really big boot, wide-opening rear doors and lots of head and leg room for all. Even the interior, while not built of the plushest materials, is suitably well made and fairly classy.

There have been a few issues with electric parking brakes disengaging when they shouldn’t, a small number of rear wheel-bearing faults, some examples of poor headlight adjustment and problems with the centre rear head restraint, but on the whole reliability is pretty good.

Both the 1.0 and 1.4-litre petrol engines are fine choices, but four-wheel-drive models are mostly found paired with a torquey 2.0-litre diesel engine that is economical and quite refined at a motorway cruise.