Best cheap 4x4s for sale

Four-wheel-drives aren't just for those with castles. Take a look at the best cheap 4x4s right now

Murray Scullion
Mar 8, 2019

Critics of 4x4s say that having the engine’s power sent to all four wheels is needless for most people. It also makes a car more expensive to buy, and run compared with a front, or rear-wheel drive car.

For instance, the little Suzuki Swift, with the 1.2-litre engine will do around 65.7mpg. When it’s fitted with a four-wheel-drive system, this reduces to 62.8mpg.

But, no matter what the critics say, it is reassuring to know that if things become snowy (winter) or very wet (summer), you’re less likely to hear tyres scrambling around for grip if your car has four-wheel-drive.

Mainstream cars like the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, and Volkswagen Polo use just the front wheels for propulsion - but 4x4s like the Land Rover Discovery, Mercedes G-Class, and the humble Suzuki Jimny, use all four. This aids traction on slippery surfaces, and is better for towing too.

One of the inherent problems with 4x4s is the price. For instance, top of the 4x4 field is the Range Rover. This starts at £83,655, and rises all the way to a heady £179,675 for a top spec car. But you don't need that kind of wonga to get your power sent to all four wheels. All the cars on this list cost less than £13,000, and will still get you up slippery village tracks in the winter.

Best cheap 4x4s

1. Dacia Duster

Best cheap 4x4 for value

Latest Dacia Duster deals from £6,344
Finance from £119 per month

The Dacia Duster offers SUV size and off-roading ability for the price of a family runaround. It’s big and comfortable, and has a loyal troop of followers who love the basicness of it all. It’s also handsome in a rugged way, a bit like Bear Grylls.

And you can have one easily for less than £8500. That kind of money will get you a 2014-registered car with around 30,000 miles. You’ll be getting a 1.6-litre petrol engine that isn’t the quietest or the most powerful, but, you’re also getting a four-wheel-drive system and a useful amount of suspension travel.
Dacia Duster buying guide

2. Skoda Yeti

Best cheap 4x4 for simplicity

Latest Skoda Yeti deals from £8,290
Finance from £141 per month

The Yeti is practical and popular crossover that has proved to be a hit with buyers (in 2016, its last full year of sales, 13,654 Yetis were sold, the best-selling year of all).

It was replaced by the similarly sized Skoda Karoq in early 2018. There are plenty on the market in two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive flavour.

For less than £10,000, an Adventure spec car with the 2.0-litre diesel is your best bet.
Skoda Yeti buying guide

3. Volkswagen Tiguan

Best cheap 4x4 for Golf-like interiors

Latest Volkswagen Tiguan deals from £9,999
Finance from £159 per month

If you’re taking your first steps into SUV ownership, the Tiguan is a good guide to help you get there. It’s essentially a Volkswagen Golf that’s taller, slightly larger, and better off-road.

The best bargains are on pre-2016 models. They may not look as sharp as the newer cars, but you can tell that they’re still a quality product on the inside. Both petrol and diesel models are available.

If you’re looking for off-roading prowess, we’d recommend the 2.0TDI diesel. It has more torque than the petrol, which is much more useful when scrabbling through mud. Diesel is generally better for towing heavy loads, too.

4. Jeep Cherokee

Best cheap 4x4 for American styling

Latest Jeep Cherokee deals from £10,995
Finance from £180 per month

As a new car, the Jeep Cherokee looks slightly outgunned by newer and more sophisticated models. But, as a used model, it’s a cunning buy.

It’s been on sale since 2013, which means even if you buy a six-year old car it looks relatively new. As befitting of anything with a Jeep badge, it’s more than pretty handy off-road too.

Go for the diesel engines. If you can afford it, go for the 2.2-litre versions. The petrols are best avoided as they’re pretty uneconomical.
Jeep Cherokee buying guide

5. Fiat Panda 4x4

Best cheap 4x4 for cute looks

Latest Fiat 500 4x4 deals from £8,197
Finance from £156 per month

Fiat’s plucky little Panda has a four-wheel-drive derivative, and it looks adorable. However, while it does look like Range Rover that’s been in the wash, it is pretty nimble off-road.

Its lack of mass means that it’s less likely to get stuck in the mud, while the raised suspension height makes it less likely to get stuck on rocks. Even if you won’t use it off-road, it’s unlikely to get stuck in a muddy field.

For below £7,000 you can pick up (almost literally) a 2004-registered Panda 4x4 with around 50,000 miles on it, and a 0.9-litre Twinair petrol engine that’s zippy and sounds nice.
Fiat Panda buying guide

6. Suzuki Jimny

Best cheap 4x4 for reliving your summer holiday 

Not it’s not a cricket. And yes, you may well have driven one on a holiday in Corfu in the Noughties. This era of Jimny has been going since 1998, and only stopped production some 20 years later.

They’re a hoot to drive, and are very capable off-road too. Inside there are big, chunky buttons allowing you to switch between two and four-wheel drive - and not a lot else.

2016 cars with around 5,000 miles on the clock generally cost £11,000.

7. Vauxhall Mokka

Best cheap 4x4 for families

Latest Vauxhall Mokka deals from £6,995
Finance from £119 per month

From new, the Mokka wasn’t the most brilliant car. But because of depreciation factors, it makes a compelling used buy. Your £10,000 will get you a four-wheel-drive version made in 2015, in popular Tech Line spec.

Inside it feels fairly well put together and it’s comfortable too, although some of the plastics used are very scratchy. The 1.7-litre diesel engine feels brawny and should return between 53 and 63mpg.
Vauxhall Mokka buying guide

8. Nissan Qashqai

Best cheap 4x4 for reliability

Nissan Qashqai Visia

Latest Nissan Qashqai deals from £6,577
Finance from £127 per month

The Qashqai is a crossover, which means it blends SUV looks with regular hatchback running costs. Not all models had four-wheel-drive (and most aren’t) but some new buyers did cough up the extra cash for the system.

It’s not built for tackling mountains, but is beneficial if football ground car park gets waterlogged during a game. Four-wheel-drive versions are only available with diesel engines, but can't be had with the automatic gearbox.


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