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Which is Britain’s top 4×4?

Find out who’s been crowned the king of the road in the annual “4×4 of the Year Awards”

Four-wheel drive vehicles have always been popular with equestrian enthusiasts but choosing the ideal vehicle for your needs can be difficult with so many different models on the market.

However, 4×4 magazine has just published its special 40-page 4×4 of the year issue, in which it puts 44 cars from 22 manufacturers to the test.

According to its panel of judges, the superstar of the four-wheel drive world is the all-new Range Rover. Winner of the “large” category, it’s described as full of incredibletechnological advances, which make driving it a breeze whether you’re on tarmac or knee-deep in mud. And it looks amazing – undeniably modern and smart.

4×4 Editor John Carroll says: “The new Range Rover has simply moved the goalposts of 4×4 design. Land Rover’s engineers have overcome all previous difficulties to release the best 4×4 ever.”

4×4 of the Year award winners

BUDGET: “Vehicles under £15,000”
Winner: Kia Sportage XSE
Judge’s opinion: It may not be the most stunning looking vehicle but it proved to be the motoring equivalent of an ugly duckling, quickly blossoming into a swan thanks to its impressive off-road ability, space and practicality

COMPACT: “Hot-hatches of the 4WD world”
Winner: Jeep Cherokee 3.7 V6 Limited
Judge’s opinion: The Cherokee offers the all American dream at a very affordable price. And you’re not just getting a piece of the States for your cash either, you’re also getting air conditioning and a CD player to go along with the Cherokee’s off-road ability and on road charm

SOFT ROADERS: “Lifestyle cars with off-road capabilities”
Winner: Nissan X-Trail 2.2Di SE+
Judge’s opinion: The Nissan X-Trail has blasted into this sector and taken it by storm for two years running. It’s smooth-driving and superbly practical, offering not only an excellent load space and comfortable seating for five, but also a central flap in the backrests to cope with the unusually long loads, like skis or snowboards.

CROSSOVERS: “Cars with 4×4 capabilities”
Winner: Audi Allroad 2.7T Quattro
Judge’s opinion: Quite simply the very best on-road performer of all the vehicles we tested, the allroad is scorchingly fast on the highway, beating off all but the most determined boy racer from a standing start

MID-SIZE: “Sporting family 4x4s”
Winner: Land Rover Discovery TD5 GS
Judge’s opinion: Although the Discovery doesn’t look hugely different in its new guise, it does feel a whole bunch different. On the road it’s far more progressive than before, offering positive steering and superb braking, while off-road it’s better than ever

LARGE : “Family sized 4x4s”and OVERALL WINNER
Winner: Range Rover 4.4 HSE
Judge’s opinion: Rarely does a car get the kind of response the new Range Rover does. It’s that good it’s simply moved the goalposts in terms of the alliance between on-road manners and smoothness, and off road excellence – and we really do mean excellence

HARDCORE: “No holes barred off-roader”
Winner: Land Rover Defender 90
Judge’s opinion: If ever there was any doubt that the Defender is an outrageously capable off-road tool, it was soon dispelled when the Land Rover product simply waltzed over our tough off-road course like it was taking a spin along a forestry track

To find out more visit www.4x4i.com

For expert advice on choosing a 4×4 don’t miss the November issue of 4×4 magazine, OUT NOW

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