Hands up if you thought summer 2021 in Britain went by in a flash. Yep, us too. Now we’re several days into October and those hot, sunny afternoons – the wee small handful we had – feel like a distant memory. But cold mornings and the ever-present risk of a sudden downpour needn’t make your time on the road any less pleasant. Especially when there are so many cars out there capable of beating the autumn chill and approaching winter northerlies, like – how convenient – the six cars we’ve compiled below for your viewing pleasure, while you crank up the heating.
Whether it’s single-digit temperatures, slippery roads or shorter days that have you missing the summer, these cars have what it takes to help you appreciate the leafy colours and meteorological variety of autumn 2021. So, grab yourself a hot cuppa, sit back and let us walk you through some of the finest cars for the season in cinch’s all-online stock, with each ready to brighten up the dullest of days.
We’ve kicked things off with Ford’s plucky Puma crossover because it comes with two party tricks to make it especially handy in the autumn. The first is a standard-fit heated windscreen, which – on those initial frosty mornings when the bite of morning cold feels particularly sharp – is a real godsend. Believe us. Those faced with routine early starts will understand the benefit, not just to comfort, but also in time saved before you can set off on the commute or school run.
The Puma’s other handy autumn-ready feature can be found under its boot floor, where you’ll find a hidden storage area that’s lined with rubber. That makes it perfect for storing muddy wellies, wet trainers or other weather-affected items that would otherwise stink out the cabin or dirty the carpets. Better still, the storage area has a plug that can be removed, so you can hose out the muck and let it trickle out under the car, before you reseal the floor with the plug. Simple. But genius.
In standard-trim, the Tiguan is already one of the most capable road-biased SUVs out there, but it’s made better still with the addition of all-wheel drive. Cars equipped with VW’s ‘4Motion’ system shrug off the challenges of sodden roads and wet grass, providing drivers with the capability and confidence to carry on through all weathers. Not only that, with a spacious interior and selection of muscular engines, in both petrol and diesel guises, you’ve the space and grunt to take the whole family along while you’re at it.
Find a car with optional features like heated seats, a heated steering wheel and dual-zone climate control, and you’re laughing. A specced-up Tiguan is one of the most practical ways to head out in autumn and winter. Find yourself a car with optional massage seats – like this one – and that very same Tiguan can also be one of the plushest, too, but thanks to its understated looks, you won’t look like a show-off while you’re being pampered on the move.
Truth is, you don’t have to buy an SUV to access all-wheel drive, as demonstrated by BMW and its highly-equipped 3 Series. Find a car fitted with xDrive – BMW’s all-wheel drive system – and you can mix brilliant traction and stability into a handsome saloon package. Typically, xDrive cars come with BMW’s sportier engines, too, so you can mix strong performance and a decent mechanical soundtrack into the equation as well. That ought to please the lovers of driving out there.
Find a car wearing M Sport trim – like this one here – and you’ll have yourself a bells and whistles 3 Series worthy not only of the autumn but all year and all settings. And thanks to the lower ride height and lighter setup of a saloon (versus an SUV), your all-wheel drive BMW will handle more sportily, too. All things considered, it means your autumn motor can be a source of entertainment as much as it is a practical, sensible solution. Oh, and a source of envy for your neighbours and friends.
If you’re not too bothered about badge snobbery, though, you needn’t spend very much to access dependable autumn private transport. Dacia, quite possibly the best value brand that sells cars in Britain, produces the surprisingly capable Duster. Despite costing from well under £15,000 on cinch, the Duster offers functionality and usability on par with much more expensive SUVs. Naturally, the ones best set for autumn duties are the 4x4 versions - there's one here - adding grip to the tall and versatile platform, with chunky tyres and tough bumpers.
Despite the low cost of Dusters online, you don’t lose out massively on equipment elsewhere. Cars can come with creature comforts like cruise control, infotainment systems and even heated seats. You really don’t lose out on much other than bragging rights when it comes to brand poshness, although we think there’s a certain coolness about a bargain option that’s as brilliant as this.
An autumn cars list wouldn’t be complete without a Land Rover, what with this brand being among the very best when it comes to creating talented all-terrain vehicles. When the rain falls hard and the trees drop a load of wet leaves onto the road, there’s nothing like the dependability of a Land Rover all-wheel drive system to keep you safe. Find yourself confronted with the knee-high floodwaters some overflowing rivers create, and a Land Rover like the Discovery Sport is one of the safest places you can be.
It’s also one of the most practical, what with this full-sized SUV having two additional seats in the boot, making it a seven-seater when needs be. And thanks to that in-built Land Rover engineering prowess, the Discovery Sport can take you and the whole family far away from the tarmac, should you find yourself needing to head out cross country over slippery surfaces, like wet mud and sodden grass. Urban buyers, too, will find much to like in the Disco Sport’s toughness, especially when big kerbs and speed humps are part of the daily route.
Forgive us for being a little on the youthful side with this last selection, which provides our six-car list with a high-performance option designed to thrill and entertain. Not long ago, sports cars were best kept garaged through the colder months, only to be let loose in the summer. But with powerful SUVs that think they’re a low-slung sports car like the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifolgio out there, that’s no longer the case. Mixing the dynamic handling and 510hp muscle of the Giulia Quadrifoglio into a taller, bigger platform, it’s the sports car for all seasons.
With its rear-biased all-wheel drive system, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio isn’t ever going to be a top choice for those routinely faced with ice in the morning or even torrential rain on the commute. But when it comes to chilly autumnal drives and those cool but still sunny Sunday afternoons, the fast, exciting and brilliant handling Stelvio Quadrifoglio is a real champ. One that, thanks to its SUV ride height and adjustable suspension (you can soften it right off with the press of a special damping button), delivers on the fun front even when the weather does its best to prevent it.
Our featured spec models, like all the cars we highlight here, are subject to availability.
- Click below to watch our Hyundai Ioniq 5 review