SUVs and 4x4s continue to be popular, with seemingly every manufacturer producing SUV models to fill niche market gaps. The road-oriented ‘crossover’ models have proven particularly popular for those who want a high seating position and plenty of space, but rarely go off-road.
The high seating position and easy access are the main factors that have drawn Motability riders to the SUV market and there is no doubt that the new type of crossovers make life on the road more pleasant. The higher seats in an SUV not only mean that you don’t have to lower yourself into the car, but also provide a better view behind the wheel.
Below are our top 3 affordable 4x4s for Motability buyers…
If the larger seven-seat Skoda Kodiaq is too much metal for you, the Czech manufacturer has the answer in the form of the mid-sized Karoq SUV.
Efficient engines and well-organized trim levels, together with a mature design, make for a solid, almost premium look. There is a five-door body style, and while it only offers five seats, most trim levels come with the VarioFlex adjustable rear seat that allows you to adjust the amount of leg or trunk space for the passenger to suit your needs.
There are sportier SUVs, but the Karoq strikes a pleasant balance between comfort and driving pleasure. Highlights include supportive seats, a spacious cabin, well laid out controls and a quality fit and finish, not to mention plenty of gadgets and toys on top-end versions – it’s an impressive effort.
But don’t just take our word for it. Customers voted the Karoq 18th out of 75 cars in our 2022 Driver Power survey, with good marks for comfort, connectivity and reliability.
Today there is no Karoq available without prepayment, but it doesn’t feel like a waste of money if you can afford it.
The Ford Puma is one of the sharpest SUVs on the market. It successfully combines driving pleasure with impressive practicality, making for a solid attempt at a family car.
The Puma’s standard equipment is also quite impressive. Specs start with the Puma Titanium, which comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen, automatic headlights and wipers, and a range of safety kits, including autonomous emergency braking, cruise control and lane-keeping assistant.
However, the ST-Line trim is likely to gain popularity as it adds a sportier look, digital instrument cluster and improved suspension.
Mild-hybrid technology is now also available across the Puma range, offering customers slightly better fuel economy and cleaner emissions, and no model in the mainstream Puma range will be expensive to run.
You have to make an initial payment of around £1,000, which still seems like exceptional value compared to a down payment on a traditional PCP deal. Buyers will be drawn in by the car’s overall sophistication, solid build quality, and decent range of engines and trim levels. We chose the Puma over the Kuga as the latter currently requires an initial payment of over £2,000, although it is roomier.
The Renault Captur is a good choice for drivers on the Motability scheme; it’s stylish, practical, easy to get in and out of and represents a decent price. It’s based on the Renault Clio, and many of the same positives apply.
The latest Captur is also much easier to recommend than its predecessor, as it’s bigger, better built and better to drive. Its larger dimensions make it one of the most practical small SUVs on the market, and the enhanced driving experience is welcome, even if a Ford Puma or Mazda CX-30 is even more fun on the road.
As with the Ford Puma, there is no Captur to lease without an initial payment, but the Evolution trim mated to the 138 hp petrol engine is a strong combination. It puts out over 40 mpg, offers decent performance and offers plenty of standard features. These include rear parking sensors, satellite navigation, LED headlights and lane departure warning. There is now also an economical hybrid version, which is usually not more expensive beforehand.
Have you ever owned one of our best SUVs and 4x4s for Motability? Give us your review in the comments below…