Best value 4x4s

Want a 4x4 or SUV but aren’t convinced by the pricey premium models? We've rounded up some of the best value 4x4s around

Sam Naylor
Jun 29, 2021

SUVs, or 4x4s as some people call them, are incredibly popular at the moment. These large cars are liked for their practicality and high driving positions, but also because expensive upmarket - and super-desirable - models like the Range Rover set a trend that trickles down to more affordable cars.

But not everyone can afford a Range Rover, so here we’ve lined up a raft of alternative SUVs and 4x4s that are great value for money. Not only are these cars cheaper than the upmarket alternatives when new, they’re often even more of a bargain second-hand, and still very desirable in their own right.

Here we focus on SUVs with four-wheel drive. Some of these models have serious off-road ability, like our example Range Rover does, but others use the four-wheel drive system simply to provide a bit more security in bad weather.

This isn’t just something that lower-cost cars do, it’s common on expensive models as well. Very few owners take something like a Mercedes GLE off-roading, but it’s available with four-wheel drive nonetheless.

If you want an even better-value SUV then you could even go for a model that’s two-wheel drive as these are even better value - you save money on the purchase price but also on running costs, as there’s less weight to carry around and fewer complex mechanical parts to service and maintain.

For each of our choices in the list below, we’ve picked a version that offers the equipment, quality and driving experience you might expect from an upmarket model, but at a much more affordable price. Many of the cars below weren’t a top choice when new, but as a second-hand car they make a fantastic choice thanks to their low prices compared with the more obvious alternatives.

Best affordable 4x4s

1. Hyundai Santa Fe

Best value 4x4 for quality

Our pick Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium SE 4WD automatic
Used deals from £19,500
Monthly finance from £398*

The Range Rover is the ultimate luxury SUV for many people, with its spacious and high-quality interior and posh image. Yet it’s expensive to purchase and run; the opposite of the Hyundai Santa Fe.

The Santa Fe doesn’t have the smart image of the Range Rover but it’s still an imposing presence on the road and has loads of room inside as well. It’s incredibly well equipped, and some features that are options on the Range Rover are standard-fit on the Santa Fe.

It has a really high-quality interior with seven seats, four-wheel drive and even some off-road ability thanks to its four-wheel drive system. It’s a great value car if you need a really big family SUV, especially as it comes with a five-year factory warranty and is a bargain second-hand. The current version looks more striking than the previous generation car, but if you're after maximum value go for the older model, as it is still a very capable family car.

2018-PRESENT HYUNDAI SANTE FE BUYERS' GUIDE

2012-2018 HYUNDAI SANTA FE BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Ford Edge

Best value 4x4 for style and space

Our pick Ford Edge 2.0 TDCi 210 ST-Line automatic
Used deals from £22,827
Monthly finance from £370*

The Ford Edge was rather expensive when it was new, but as a second-hand car it’s a fantastic cut-price alternative to a large premium SUV. It doesn’t have the option of seven seats, but the boot is huge as a result and it makes a great large family SUV.

The Edge is comfortable, roomy and good to drive, and comes with all the equipment you're likely to need including sat-nav and smartphone connectivity. In ST-Line form it has the kind of imposing look you get on an expensive new SUV, too.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine is slightly gruff but it’s really strong even from low engine speeds, and the automatic gearbox is nice and smooth most of the time. Being a Ford, it’s much more affordable to service and run than any upmarket alternative, which is why we’ve picked it out in this list of the best value 4x4s.

FORD EDGE BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Best value 4x4 for plug-in hybrid power

Our pick Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GX4hs
Used deals from £18,600
Monthly finance from £310*

The Volvo XC90 T8 is a plug-in hybrid SUV with loads of room inside and a very upmarket image, but it’s pricey. Instead, you could go for a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which brings similar plug-in hybrid technology but at a much lower price.

The Outlander was one of the first plug-in hybrid SUVs to arrive in the UK and so there are many available second-hand and prices are a lot lower than you might expect. It’s reliable, spacious and you can drive on electricity alone if you plug in and charge up, so there are even more savings to be made on running costs.

Okay, the Outlander isn’t as comfortable, luxurious or high-tech as the XC90. It’s also noisier on the motorway and not as good to drive - but it brings all the same benefits when it comes to electrification at a fraction of the price.

MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER PHEV BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Skoda Karoq

Best value 4x4 for family life

Our pick Skoda Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4 SportLine
Used deals from £20,551
Monthly finance from £310*

The Skoda Karoq isn’t really a direct alternative to something more upmarket, but we couldn’t make a list of great value 4x4s without including it. It’s not just a great value second-hand car, it’s also good value when new, offering more space, comfort and cabin quality than other similarly priced SUVs.

It comes with a fantastic touchscreen media system with all the features you could want, plus a high-quality cabin with comfortable seats, lots of toys such as heated seats and plenty of room for passengers in the back. The boot is big too, so it’s a really practical family car.

If you opt for a SportLine model then you get the smart looks of a more expensive SUV, so that’s the one we’ve picked here, but lesser models such as the SE L are also very good value with a more subtle look. The 2.0-litre diesel is available with four-wheel drive but the 1.5-litre petrol model is nearly as economical and better for those who tend to do mostly local trips.

SKODA KAROQ BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Renault Koleos

Best value 4x4 for comfort

Our pick Renault Koleos 2.0 dCi Signature Nav X-Tronic
Used deals from £18,150
Monthly finance from £275*

The Renault Koleos is an example of a car that was good value when new, but wasn’t a hugely popular choice so you may not have thought of it. It makes an even better buy second-hand, as the Koleos is well-equipped, comfortable and spacious.

It doesn’t have seven seats, so it’s perhaps not as versatile as something like a Skoda Kodiaq, which would have been an alternative when new. Yet used prices mean the Koleos looks like extremely good value as it still has a huge boot and lots of room for passengers in the rear seats.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine and automatic gearbox are a strong combination and performance is good, plus it’s nice and smooth to drive. The cabin feels high quality for the money, and there’s plenty of equipment including sat-nav and smartphone connectivity. Higher specification models have a larger portrait-orientation screen that’s reminiscent of the ones on pricier Volvo models, too.

RENAULT KOLEOS BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Suzuki Vitara

Best value 4x4 for small families

Our pick Suzuki Vitara 1.4 BoosterJet S ALLGRIP
Used deals from £14,500
Monthly finance from £243*

The Suzuki Vitara is one of the smallest cars on this list, but it still brings SUV styling and four-wheel drive. It’s somewhat capable off-road though most drivers won’t use it for that, but what really stands out about the Suzuki is its value for money and great driving experience.

It’s more fun than most of the other cars on this list because it’s lighter, so it’s more agile in corners. It’s also comfortable and easy to drive, so it makes a good vehicle for those who do local trips around town, and it’s likely to be reliable as well, boosting its appeal as a second-hand car.

The Vitara isn’t the most plush car once you hop inside, but this doesn't negatively affect it in any practical way. This is a small price to pay for the high quality of the parts you don’t see - the bits that make it so good to drive and reliable. The 1.4-litre petrol engine is an excellent choice, as it’s quiet and punchy but also reasonably economical. There’s room in the back seats for kids and all but the tallest adults should be able to get comfortable, too, though the Vitara makes most sense for smaller families.

SUZUKI VITARA BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Seat Ateca

Best value 4x4 for sharp looks

Our pick Seat Ateca 2.0 TDI 4Drive Xcellence
Used deals from £16,985
Monthly finance from £248*

If you want a sharp-looking SUV that will impress all your friends but without having to shell out for an expensive upmarket model, the Seat Ateca could be a smart choice. It’s available with four-wheel drive, and while it’s not designed to be a great off-roader, it has some added ground clearance that could come in handy for grassy car parks and farm tracks.

The Ateca isn’t just a pretty face, though. It’s also a really good car in its own right, as it has a lot of room inside for passengers and luggage, plenty of equipment including useful toys like sat-nav, heated seats and smartphone connectivity, especially if you find a higher specification model like the Xcellence version we've picked out.

The engine range is good, with efficient and quiet petrol engines and punchy diesels. The latter is what you get on the four-wheel drive models, but the former will be better if you drive mostly locally rather than doing lots of motorway trips. The Ateca is one of the more enjoyable SUVs to drive too, which increases its value for money even more.

SEAT ATECA BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Volvo XC60

Best value 4x4 for an upmarket interior

Our pick Volvo XC60 D4 AWD R-Design
Used deals from £18,995
Monthly finance from £335*

If you want a good-value SUV that is actually made by an upmarket brand, then we reckon an older Volvo XC60 is the best option. These sold in huge numbers, so there are loads about - and prices are appealingly low - yet it offers the luxury and quality of a posh 4x4.

The XC60 is very comfortable, has a high-quality cabin and in R-Design form it looks the part as well. It’s practical for family life, with a big boot and lots of room in the back seats, which is why it was such a popular car in the first place. The smooth automatic gearbox and quiet engines mean it’s nice and relaxing on a long trip, too.

The four-wheel drive system and raised ride height means that it has more off-road ability than some of the other 4x4s on this list too, so it has some appeal for adventurous drivers. Look for a late model of the previous generation from 2017 if you want a newer car but with the value for money that going for a previous generation model brings.

2008-2017 VOLVO XC60 BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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