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These are the best used 4 wheel drive cars to get you through the winter

These are the best used four-wheel-drive cars to help you through winter

While winters in the UK are generally not that harsh, the last thing you want to do is get stuck when the weather takes a turn for the worse.

That’s why a four-wheel drive car might be worth considering, especially if you live somewhere isolated and there’s snow. Even if you don’t live somewhere remote, you might just want the extra capabilities that a four-wheel drive brings.

A four-wheel drive does not necessarily mean a large SUV, because there are many types and sizes available. Let’s take a look at some great used options.

(Skoda)

Arriving as Skoda’s first SUV in 2009, the Yeti was an almost instant hit, with its relatively compact dimensions and incredibly practical interior, making it a great choice for families and those who do a lot of outdoor activities.

If you’re looking for a capable winter car, opt for the ‘4×4’ version, which accounts for less than half of the Yetis on the road. With used prices starting at around £3,500, this Skoda could be an ideal choice for the colder months.

(BMW)

BMWs have traditionally been rear-wheel drive, and while this makes them more fun in everyday driving, they can often be a bit of a nightmare when it comes to winter conditions.

That’s why the company has rolled out four-wheel drive ‘xDrive’ versions on many of its more regular cars, including the 1 Series. Making it much more secure in bad weather makes it worth opting for the regular model. Plus, when paired with the 120d diesel engine, BMW claims you could see close to 60mpg. Prices start from £6,000 for a 2013 model.

(Dacia)

Dacia’s Duster has built up a fantastic reputation as a great value crossover, and when it comes to a capable winter 4×4 on a budget, it’s hard to go wrong. Sure, the Duster might be pretty no-nonsense, but its utilitarian, no-nonsense looks and interior will appeal to those unconcerned about the hood decal.

Most Dusters you’ll see for sale are front-wheel drive, so you may have to look a little harder for the 4×4. But if that increased power is important, when the terrain and conditions get challenging, the Duster’s power isn’t likely to disappoint. For around £4,000 you can buy a 2013 registered Duster with 90,000 miles on it.

(Subaru)

Subaru is a manufacturer known for the four-wheel drive of its cars, with virtually every vehicle the brand has ever sold (whether hatchback, SUV or estate) is released as a ‘4×4’. You can take your pick, but our vote would go for the Outback.

Based on the Legacy station wagon, the Outback gets sleeker styling, improved suspension and underbody protection to increase its capabilities. The result is impressive too, with this Subaru being used more than many SUVs in many situations. Pre-owned Outback prices start from just £2,000, although you may want to spend more for a newer one with less mileage.

(Land Rover)

Land Rover has built an excellent reputation for the off-road capabilities of its cars, and almost all of its vehicles would be a huge helping hand in the winter or when conditions deteriorate. But our pick is the Discovery Sport – the replacement for the Freelander, introduced in 2014.

All but the entry-level diesel (D150) come with four-wheel drive, and with the company’s ‘Terrain Response’ system in place – including a dedicated snow setting – these Land Rover will prove to be fantastic winter wheels. It is also available with up to seven seats and also offers a high-quality interior. Used Discovery Sports starts from around £11,000 for a 2015 high mileage car.

(Audi)

A convertible to use as a winter car may sound like a recipe for disaster, but thanks to Audi’s quattro four-wheel drive, the TT Roadster is a drop-top that you can enjoy all months of the year.

Of course the TT won’t be used much in deep snow thanks to its low ground clearance, but in rainy and colder conditions it is very safe and capable. Offering plenty of performance and a quality interior, the TT Roadster is also fantastic value for money, with high mileage but serviceable examples starting at £2,500. Make sure that the Haldex four-wheel drive system is serviced regularly, otherwise it can be troublesome.

(Suzuki)

Suzuki’s beloved Jimny may be the obvious ‘winter car’ from this Japanese manufacturer, but with the high prices for that 4×4 it’s worth exploring some of Suzuki’s other models – not least the Ignis.

This dinky city car (it’s only 3.7 meters long) has a trick up its sleeve as it’s available with Suzuki’s lightweight ‘AllGrip’ four-wheel drive, which will come in very handy in winter. Fitted with a mild-hybrid petrol engine, it’s capable of returning up to a claimed 60mpg. As the second-generation Ignis wasn’t launched until 2017, you’ll pay around £11,000 for a car with 40,000 miles on it.