One of the biggest reasons for the rising popularity of SUVs is that many of them come with four-wheel drive and, therefore, a big slice of confidence when winter weather comes around. But SUVs have their drawbacks, too: their loftier stature means they incur greater fuel consumption, and more often than not, the higher centre of gravity means they’re more likely to lean over when going around corners – which might make your passengers feel a little seasick.
Happily, if you want four-wheel drive without the added height and weight of a traditional SUV, there is an answer, and it comes in the oft-forgotten niche of the four-wheel-drive estate car. These models hide four-wheel-drive running gear beneath either a conventional estate body, or one that’s been raised up a couple of inches in order to give more ground clearance. The result is a car that marries the benefits of a big, spacious estate to the traction and all-weather ability of four-wheel drive.
What’s more, you don’t have to buy new to take advantage of cars like these. There’s a welter of options out there on the used market, too, and many are surprisingly good value, putting them within easy reach. To prove it, we’ve combed through the classifieds in order to bring your our favourites – as well as two we’d advise you to steer clear of.
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