Land Rover Defender
When it comes to off-road driving, most minds will think of Land Rover - and what better model to take off the beaten path than the tough-as-nails Land Rover Defender.
Priced from £23,100, the Land Rover Defender is available in numerous body styles, including the standard Hard Top, Pick-Up, station wagon, chassis cab, double-cab pick-up and more. Two trim levels are also available: base and XS.
With the main focus on off-road driving capabilities, the Defender does not come packed with equipment. However, standard kit includes power steering, tinted glass and heated rear screen glass.
Moving up to the XS trim brings additional equipment such as front part leather premium seats, part leather trim, air conditioning, CD and radio with MP3/Aux and Bluetooth, Cold Climate Pack and Roof Appointment Pack 2 .
All versions of the Land Rover Defender are powered by a 120bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine, generating 360Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission and features permanent four-wheel-drive.
The Land Rover Defender will emit between 226g/km and 295g/km of CO2, while returning average fuel economy of between 25.5mpg and 28.3mpg – depending on which wheelbase is chosen. In addition, the Defender offers a benchmark sprint time of 14.7 seconds and a top speed of 90mph.
Deciding on which Defender model to choose depends on what length wheelbase and body style you want. For a bit more kit and lower CO2 emissions, go for the Land Rover Defender 90 2.2D Hard Top.
Fiat Panda 4x4
The Fiat Panda 4x4 blends the styling of its city car sibling with genuine off-road ability and an all-round better ride.
Opting for a Fiat Panda 4x4 would cost from £14,145, with a special edition Panda 4x4 Antarctica also available, priced from £14,845.
The list of standard kit is extensive, with models receiving daytime running lights, front fog lights, Blue&Me multimedia system, air conditioning, 15-inch alloy wheels, radio with CD/MP3 player and numerous airbags.
In order to celebrate the Panda 4x4’s 30th anniversary, Fiat released the Panda 4x4 Antarctica, which comes with additional equipment such as white paintwork, black roof, orange detailing, grey and orange upholstery and tinted rear windows.
Two engines are available to power the Fiat Panda 4x4: the 74bhp 1.3-litre MultiJet II 16v diesel, offering 190Nm of torque, and the 84bhp 0.9-litre Turbocharged TwinAir petrol, generating 145Nm of torque.
Depending which version of the Panda 4x4 is chosen, the model will return average fuel economy of between 57.6mpg and 60.1mpg, with CO2 emissions between 114g/km and 125g/km.
For a quieter cabin and more sprightly performance, go for the Fiat Panda 4x4 0.9 TwinAir 85 4x4 and enjoy the ride.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
One of the best models to take off the beaten path, the Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a host of equipment and a powerful look.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee, the most awarded SUV of all-time, is priced from £37,705 and is available in five trim levels: Laredo, Limited, Limited Plus, Overland and Summit.
Standard kit is offered in abundance, with all models receiving 18-inch alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon HID headlamps with LED daytime running lights, keyless enter-n-go, rear view auto-dimming mirror, and UConnect 8.4-inch touchscreen DAB radio with Bluetooth and voice command.
Moving up the trim range brings additional equipment such as leather-trimmed seats, heated seats, front and rear park sense, ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid, power tailgate, sport suspension, sat-nav, larger alloys, panoramic sunroof and Harman Kardon sound system.
All versions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee come fitted with a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, pumping out 188bhp when in a Grand Cherokee Laredo version and an improved 247bhp in the other models. The diesel unit comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee will return average fuel economy of 37.7mpg, while emitting 198g/km of CO2. This places the 4x4 in VED tax band ‘J’.
We recommend going for the Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 V6 CRD Limited model, as this has a higher power output and more equipment than the entry-level but without adding too much on the price tag.
Audi A6 Allroad
Sleek and non-compromising; the Audi A6 Allroad is one of the sleekest 4x4s available in the UK market today.
Priced from £45,255, the Audi A6 Allroad is available in one version, which offers quattro all-wheel-drive as standard.
Standard equipment is plentiful with models featuring 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive air suspension, Audi Music Interface, MMI Navigation, Bluetooth, DAB digital radio, leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel, four-zone automatic air conditioning, Bi-Xenon headlights, cruise control, Audi Parking System Plus, and Keyless go.
Options include larger alloys, numerous equipment packages, BOSE surround sound system, Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, head-up display, and a heated leather-trimmed multi-function Sports steering wheel.
Three 3.0-litre diesel engines are available to power the Audi A6 Allroad, mated to either a seven-speed S tronic or eight-speed tiptronic transmission and offering between 215bhp and 316bhp.
Depending on the version chosen, the Audi A6 Allroad will return average fuel economy of between 43.5mpg and 54.3mpg, while emitting between 149g/km and 172g/km of CO2.
This places the Audi A6 Allroad in a VED tax band between ‘F’ and ‘H’, while the model will carry a BiK tax rating of between 25% and 30%.
Our pick of the range is the Audi A6 Allroad 3.0 TDI quattro 268bhp, as it offers the best combination of power and running costs.
The Vauxhall Antara is a reliable and well-equipped 4x4 that sits above the likes of the Mokka in the popular British manufacturer’s range.
Prices for the Antara start from £19,800, with three trim levels available: Exclusiv FWD, Diamond FWD and SE Nav. Depending on the version chosen, the model will offer either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive.
Models come packed with equipment as standard, with features including 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, leather-covered steering wheel, front fog lights, dark-tinted glass, and Bluetooth connectivity.
The all-wheel-drive version of the entry-level model adds larger 18-inch alloys, cruise control, front and rear parking distance sensors, and trip computer and graphic information display.
Moving up the trim levels brings additional kit such as climate control, automatic lighting control, Xenon headlights, 19-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensitive wipers, heat-reflective windscreen, and tyre pressure monitoring system.
Three engines are available to power the Vauxhall Antara: 165bhp 2.4-litre petrol, 161bhp 2.2-litre CDTi diesel and the 182bhp 2.2-litre CDTi diesel.
CO2 emissions will range from 167g/km to 225g/km, depending on the version of the Antara chosen by the customer, while average fuel economy varies from 32.1mpg to 44.1mpg.
If you’re looking at an Antara, you’ll want to take it off-road, so go for an all-wheel-drive version. As even entry-level models come packed with more than enough equipment for the average driver, we recommend the Vauxhall Antara 2.2 CDTi 163 Exclusiv AWD S-S.