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What's The Best Used 4x4 For Families?

By raccars Published

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Family cars work hard and have to meet a long list of requirements - space, comfort, safety, reliability. What's the best used 4x4 for a family with a budget?

Best used 4x4 for £5,000

The 4x4 sector isn't the cheapest either to buy or to run, and most family buyers need to be economy conscious. Nonetheless their practicality in other areas makes 4x4s the obvious choice for busy families. They work well on the school run, the supermarket and on more adventurous weekend outings. 4x4s are particularly popular during the winter months, when their extra grip provides peace of mind on treacherous roads. What will a budget of £5,000 buy to keep you safely on the road this winter?


One of the first serious challengers to the Range Rover in the luxury 4x4 sector, the huge BMW X5 has never been the cheapest buy. However it's extremely comfortable, good looking, reliable and drives well. That BMW build quality should see it survive in good condition to a distinguished old age but for this budget you will need to make a compromise between mileage and trim level. Go for a well cared-for diesel with a full service history.

Suzuki Jimny

This is the compact choice, great for those looking for the practicality of an off roader but who are worried about being able to park in cramped multi storeys. Its modest looks hide genuine off roading ability, and the Suzuki Jimny can easily carry a couple of kids in comfort. It has also scored well in reliability tests, while its diminutive size means fuel economy is less of an issue than you will find with larger 4x4s.

Hyundai Tucson

The Hyundai Tucson has never been the most glamorous choice in this sector but it is a solid performer both on and off road. Low mileage, well equipped models are relatively affordable and the Tucson is one of the most reliable 4x4s around.

Land Rover Discovery

The Land Rover badge is a guarantee of off road agility, but the best thing about the Discovery is how practical it is on the tarmac. There's plenty of room for five, plus the option of an extra two seats in the rear for larger families. Go for diesel models and watch out for damaged interior trim - some of these have worked hard.

Suzuki Grand Vitara

Like the Jimny, the Suzuki Grand Vitara is a very user friendly option - easy to drive and easy to park. It's fun to drive and reasonably economical but boasts an excellent reliability record. This is a good choice for those looking for a more urban 4x4 rather than a serious mudplugger.

Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 was the pioneer for compact, lightweight urban 4x4s, often known as soft roaders. Like the Suzuki Gran Vitara and Jimny, it's practical in urban settings and easy to live with. £5,000 should buy a third generation example, which offers a choice of petrol or diesel engines. Both are reasonably economical.

Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V is quietly competent in a demanding market sector. The usual Honda virtues are all present in the form of reliability, pleasant road manners and steadfast dependability. It's an undemanding and comfortable choice for families for whom practicality is the priority. Diesel models tend to have covered a lot of ground so consider a lower mileage petrol version.

Nissan X-Trail

The Nissan X-Trail is a great all-rounder in this sector. It's compact enough for easy parking but spacious inside; rugged enough for off road adventures but comfortable around town and offers great value for money. At this budget you should have no trouble finding a properly looked after and well equipped diesel model with plenty of life left in it.

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