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Research reveals favour for 4x4s - and safety features

New research reveals that most drivers view 4x4s favourably and that many consider safety features more important than car aesthetics.

The results of a survey by data company Wegener DM flies in the face of supposed popular opposition to SUVs. It shows a much more balanced split in viewpoints.

Just over 30% thought 4x4s a 'sensible' option for family motoring; virtually the same proportion that believed they were 'unacceptable on urban roads'. Women are more positive about the attractions of the 4x4 than men. Around 35% say they make sense for family motoring compared to 32% against.

Asked whether they would spend their money on airbags, anti-skid technology, alloy wheels or in-car DVD, nearly six in ten opted for the traction devices, followed by 20% who wanted airbags. Only 17% wanted DVD technology and fewer than four per cent were interested in alloys.

Meanwhile, most drivers would like the speed limit on motorways to be increased to at least 80mph. A total of 56% of those surveyed want the limit increased.

44% want it kept at 70mph or lowered.

Drivers of a variety of ages believe in faster speeds. The older the driver, the more they consider a higher limit to be acceptable. The research, which polled 25,000 people, shows that more than 45% of 45 to 54 year-olds want the limit raised to 80mph, with a further 12% happy to see limits even higher. That contrasts with just 40% and 10% of 18-24 year-olds.

Drivers also proved extremely safety conscious. More than 39% said they were prepared to sit a refresher driving course every five years to improve safety - compared with 33% who objected.

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