The old image of the urban 4×4 as a gas guzzling ride that’s reserved for those with an abundance of cash to splash is being replaced with a kinder reputation. As new, environmentally improved and more affordable models take to the road, it’s beginning to look like the 4×4 could become the urban family car of choice.
The 4×4 is the consummate family vehicle. Not only do the dimensions afford passengers with an incredibly spacious interior, but some models, like the Hyundai Santa Fe, capitalise on the opportunity to make the interior even bigger with seats that fold away for a 5, or 7-seater option.
So, whether it’s a matter of doing the weekly shop, collecting supplies from the DIY store or giving the teammates of a child’s sporting team a lift to a tournament, when it comes to family practicality and pleasure, the 4×4 is unrivalled.
And so is their pulling power. Unlike a conventional city car, the 4×4 has outstanding towing capacity which means that escaping the urban landscape in favour of a caravanning holiday in the countryside is easy. And although the driver of an urban 4×4 will clock up the majority of their miles in the city, the freedom to go off road and into the country, in any weather condition, at any time, is immensely satisfying.
And isn’t that what driving should be about – satisfaction? If you really must get from A to B, even if the journey is short, why not enjoy it? The comfortable interiors and elevated seated position mean that the view of the road and general all-round vision make manoeuvring easy and driving a pleasure.
Nay-sayers will argue that the 4×4 is more expensive and damaging to the environment than a conventional car, but SUV’s like the Vauxhall Mokka 1.7 CDTi and Chevrolet Trax 1.7 VCDi have just received green approval from Next Green Car, and when it comes to the purchase price, more models are beginning to compete with the most popular family cars.
Take the latest offering from Skoda. With a price tag of £18,830, the 2.0 litre Yeti comes in at just £1300 more than a top-spec Ford Fiesta, and although the running and insurance costs of a 4×4 in comparison to a conventional city car may increase that price gap, when taking into account the benefits and sheer thrill of driving one, those costs are negligible.
All that remains is insurance, and it’s worth paying especially close attention to the level of cover you guard it with; the 4×4 is an eye-catching investment that you’ll want to protect properly. By using an insurance broker, you can be sure to receive not only a range of competitive quotes, but a policy which is tailor-made to your individual family’s needs.