AM Online

Parker's forecourt focus: Why buyers want 4x4s

While 4x4s hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons these days (Greenpeace protest at the Land Rover plant, anyone?) it has done little to dampen the consumers’ love affair with off-roaders.

Sales of new 4x4s have increased thanks to more choice and some good deals. At one end of the scale is the little Suzuki Jimny 1.3 JLX being offered with a £2,700 saving over its £10,006 list price. At the other the prestigious Mercedes ML270 CDI can be driven away with a staggering £7,366 discount.

This is having a knock-on affect on 4x4 used values. The popular Nissan X-Trail dips under £10k for a four-year-old, 2.0i version, while the best seller, Land Rover’s Freelander, sees the 1998 1.8-litre petrol version change hands for £4k and less.

Even prestige brands’ luxury off-roaders haven’t escaped, with the latest Range Rover offered at less than £30k for 02-plated 4.4 V8 and 3.0 Td6 SEs models. BMW isn’t immune, either – some early 3.0i X5s are fetching less than £20,000.

Generally, however, 4x4s hold their value better than most car types, especially prestige diesels. They don’t even guzzle that much gas – some are more efficient than family cars.

Throw in the fact that they are practical and that owners perceive them to be safe, and the appeal to buyers just gets stronger. While their consciences may say no, their hearts are still falling for 4x4s.

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