Price reductions on selected cars, from £250 - £1000 off

skip to main contentskip to footer

The best 4x4 SUVs you can buy in 2024

Live in the countryside or want to be well-protected in winter? Here are some of the best 4x4 SUVs you can buy

a toyota land cruiser driving quickly through water

No matter where you live, there’s always going to be a day when you wish you had one of the best 4x4 SUV models.

Whether it’s driving in thick snow or severe flooding, having a four-wheel-drive car can come in very handy.

So many SUVs look meaty, but in actual fact, they’re not great off-road at all, with some not even offering AWD or 4x4.

Here are 10 of the best 4x4 SUVs that won’t leave you stranded in the depths of winter.

Land Rover Defender

a black land rover defender 110 V8 driving through water next to a mountain

Farmers – and even the army – have used them for decades, so how could we not include the agricultural hero that is the Land Rover Defender?

Since 2015, it’s undergone a rather major overhaul. It’s now more stable on the road and is packed full of tech, while previous iterations had a very limited supply of modern features.

Newer models may be fancier and more suited to life as a Chelsea tractor than the original, but it can still demolish an off-road course.

This is thanks to the Land Rover's astonishing approach and departure angle of around 40 degrees and overall ground clearance of up to 291mm, thanks to its adjustable air suspension.

There really isn’t anywhere this British masterpiece can’t go, even when fitted with the standard tyres from the factory.


a light blue bmw x5 off-roading in a desert

If you want a touch more class to your off-road experience, getting behind the wheel of the BMW X5 may be best.

This used BMW SUV doesn’t need to prove itself on the road because it did that more than two decades ago, but off-road it isn’t always considered by buyers and owners.

But in actual fact, BMW’s xDrive system is one of the best in the game, offering different modes for various terrains including snow, rocks, gravel and sand.

So, if you need an all-rounder that can do the school run in the morning and then hit a gravel track in the afternoon, the X5 is the one – though you probably won’t want to get it too mucky.

Land Rover Discovery

a grey land rover discovery parked on sand

Throughout the years, the Land Rover Discovery has been one of the most desirable off-road vehicles and the best 4x4 SUV model for enthusiasts because it has bulletproof engines and cracking build quality.

Newer examples – which are much more luxurious – may look a tad delicate, but they can still hold their own when off the tarmac, mostly thanks to its capable Land Rover Terrain Response system that takes care of all the system settings for you.

If you drive from sand onto rocks, for example, the car will know and switch the drive settings to accommodate the change in terrain.

All very clever stuff, and one of the reasons the Discovery is on this list.

Suzuki Ignis

a dark green suzuki ignis off-roading through muddy water

If you’re after the best small SUV 4x4, look no further than the Suzuki Ignis. This is a car that may not look like an SUV, but it certainly has the characteristics of one.

From its wide wheelarches and off-road tyres to its goat-like off-roading abilities, this isn’t a Suzuki to ignore.

For a city car-sized vehicle, the Ignis is surprisingly good off-road as stated above, but another feature that helps it is that it weighs just 940kg, and has a peppy 1.2-litre mild hybrid petrol engine that helps it to trundle along up rocky terrain.

Volvo XC90

a white volvo xc90 parked on an off-road path

You may look at the luxurious Volvo XC90 and think you’d be mad to take it off-road – and you would, to a certain extent.

But don’t forget Volvo has a (short) rally heritage, which has somewhat trickled down to the XC90 SUV.

This Volvo’s all-wheel-drive system is so advanced that it’s hard to simplify its genius, but the best way to explain it is by saying it updates 100 times per second to make an informed decision on how to adjust itself using throttle response, engine torque and speed, braking and wheel rotation.

For this reason alone, it deserves a spot on this list.

Jeep Wrangler

a dark green jeep wrangler off-road driving down a rocky hill

We all know Jeeps are the kings of off-road driving, but why? Well, it’s simple – they’re rugged and reliable.

Aside from its obviously strong 4x4 system, the Wrangler is also made for spending its life off the beaten track.

This is thanks to its strong frame, incredible suspension and impressive approach angle of 41.4 degrees, making it ideal for rocky terrain.

Wranglers are less common here in the UK, but they can be found, and will definitely stand out against the Defenders of the world.

Suzuki Jimny

a muddy black suzuki jimny

Car brands rarely make proper small and lightweight off-roaders anymore, but Suzuki is still at it with the Ignis and now the revived Jimny, which is a barrel of laughs to drive.

Weighing just over 1,100kg, the Jimny is tiny and is therefore perfect for scurrying up small and narrow off-road paths.

Its 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine is great for this because it has just the right amount of grunt to get it where it needs to be.

What’s even better is that if you can get hold of one, you’ll own an automotive rarity because Suzuki UK stopped selling them new in 2020 due to tightening emissions rules.

Another win for the used car market.

Mercedes G-Class

a dark brown mercedes g-class off-roading through water

If you thought the XC90 was posh, then you better buckle up for this one.

The used Mercedes-Benz G-Class (also known as the G Wagen) is one of the most sought-after cars in the entire world.

Beloved by Arab royalty, wealthy business moguls and Londoners alike, the G-Class is at the top of the automotive food chain, which is why a new example can set you back as much as £200,000.

But aside from its historical importance and interior luxury, the G Wagen is also a great off-road vehicle – if you’re willing to get it muddy.

Mercedes engineers have spent almost half a century perfecting this formula, and the result is a car with three locking differentials, high ground clearance and immense off-road capabilities.

But if you don’t think that’s enough, we urge you to check out the G63 4x4 Squared and the AMG G63 6x6.

Toyota Land Cruiser

a black toyota land cruiser driving through water

It’s common knowledge that many farmers have turned away from the Defender in recent years as prices soar and Land Rovers become more luxurious – and therefore easy to get mucky.

Instead, they’ve turned towards Isuzu pickup trucks and this, the humble Toyota Land Cruiser.

There’s nothing this Toyota SUV can’t do. It’s one of those cars that’s virtually impossible to kill and can drive anywhere on Earth you need it to go – and get you back again.

The reason for its dominating nature is its large ground clearance, clever 4x4 system (with newer models coming with all sorts of handy tech), a solid rear axle and a brilliant automatic or manual gearbox.

It will come as no surprise to you then when we tell you that these have been used as camera vehicles on nature documentaries.

The Land Cruiser also holds the world record for the single longest-driven journey of 460,000 miles around the world, and they sell incredibly well in Australia, which says a lot.

Dacia Duster

an orange dacia duster driving on a path off-road

At face value, the Dacia Duster may look like a Pug in relation to the Land Cruiser’s Rottweiler, but let’s not discount it, because it has a trick up its sleeve.

Despite costing just £14,415, which is incredible for a new car (used models are cheaper still), this Dacia SUV is one of the most capable cars you can have on (and off) UK roads.

It’s like the Jimny in regards to its lightweight, rugged nature. If you’re wanting to drive off-road, then the Expression dCi 115 4x4 is the model we’d recommend because its four-wheel-drive system and diesel engine make for a great combo.

Aside from this, it wants to go on adventures, with its clever four-wheel-drive system allowing you to choose front-wheel drive for the road and Auto mode for when you’re not.

This engages the rear axle when it detects wheelspin, and it can also set the torque split at 50:50 for the best off-road traction.

It really is a wolf in sheep’s clothing if you’re partial to a bit of green laning.

Read more about 4x4s: