Best 4x4 cars for 2013
Those who live in the country, need to head off road or simply want a large SUV capable of coping with snow and ice, will enjoy our latest best cars guide - the best large 4x4s on sale for 2013.
The Chevrolet Captiva was the US car maker's first foray into the UK market and the muscular SUV has been an ever-present since.
Updated in 2011, the Captiva is one of the more practical SUVs. It comes with five seat or a seven-seat option split into three rows and all-wheel drive is offered on every model.
Chevrolet has embraced the bold, bulky design theme first displayed on the Orlando MPV for the new Captiva and even added a host of exciting equipment as standard including alloy wheels, a tinted windscreen and a 12v power socket.
Roof rails boost practicality, while Chevrolet Captiva prices of just £21,995 for an entry-level model make it one of the more affordable SUVs out there - it even comes with a brilliant five-year warranty.
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The Vauxhall Antara is very much the Captiva's sister car. Built on the same platform as each other, the Antara was also updated in 2011 to improve ride comfort, design and equipment.
Buyers can choose from two- or four-wheel drive and the Antara particularly excels on-road, where sharp handling, plenty of grip and two impressive diesel engines (a 2.2-litre in 161- or 181bhp) offer plenty of power.
Practical inside, the Antara comes with folding seats to increase boot space, roof rails and plenty of space for five people in its roomy interior.
The Vauxhall Antara is affordable to buy - Vauxhall Antara prices from around £20,000 - although running costs are slightly higher than the likes of the Mazda CX-5, while not breaking the bank.
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Land Rover Freelander
The Captiva and Antara are very good cars but for real off-road ability there is only one brand to turn to; Land Rover.
Built in the UK, Land Rover has been building rugged 4x4 SUVs for over 60 years and counts the Queen as one of its customers.
The new Land Rover Freelander is a big five-seat off-roader that makes excellent use of the brand's vaunted off-road system that can adapt the four-wheel drive system to cope with any conditions and terrain while on the move.
This gives the Freelander a major advantage off-road, while two-wheel drive versions offer a green alternative. The 2.2-litre diesel engine delivers best running costs of 158g/km of CO2 emissions and 47.2mpg.
Land Rover Freelander prices start from a little over £20,000 - and it's no surprise this is the most popular Land Rover car in the UK today.
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Range Rover Evoque
If you like the Land Rover Freelander but want a dose of luxury to go with it, an extra £10,000 will get you one of the UK's favourite cars.
Drivers are still clamouring for the multi award-winning Evoque a year after its launch. Matching concept-car styling to a luxury interior (designed with the help of Victoria Beckham) the Evoque is a brilliant SUV.
Small, stylish and available in three- or five-door variation, the Evoque comes with a host of equipment including leather interior, Bluetooth, a top sound system, satellite navigation and alloy wheels.
It also comes with the Freelander's 2.2-litre engine and the option of two-wheel drive. This is the greenest ever Range Rover, emitting just 129g/km of CO2.
However, it still uses Land Rover's off-road systems in 4x4 variation to deliver a superb off-road experience in all conditions. This really is a luxury car that can do everything.
Range Rover Evoque prices start from £30,000.
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A new 2013 Ford Kuga will go on sale next year and it promises to be the most family-friendly 4x4 yet, according to the brand.
A styling revamp means the Kuga looks sporty but under its sleek body the five-seat SUV is incredibly practical with an increase of 82-litres of boot space and more head- and legroom for passengers.
It comes with exciting new features such as Ford SYNC voice activation technology, emergency assist and a clever boot opening system that operates by moving a foot under the car - perfect for when your hands are full.
The car also comes with frugal engines including a two-wheel drive 140PS 2.0-litre diesel delivering 139g/km of CO2 emissions.
Meanwhile, all-wheel drive versions are available for those who want to venture off-road, or simply get extra traction in poorer weather.
New Ford Kuga prices start from £20,895, £1,000 less than the current generation.
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The Kia Sorento has been named Total 4x4's best SUV for two years in a row and the relatively new large 4x4 has now received an upgrade to make it even better.
The seven-seat, all-wheel drive SUV is the perfect large family SUV and is the most rugged, practical car in the Korean car maker's range.
Fitted with a 2.2-litre engine, the Sorento delivers up to 47.9mpg and 115g/km of CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, tweaks to suspension, steering and brakes ensure the ride and handling is better than ever before.
Available in four specifications, the Kia Sorento includes a leather-trimmed steering wheel as standard, LED daytime running lamps, cruise control and reversing sensors.
New 2013 Kia Sorento prices start from £26,495 and all models come with Kia's industry-leading seven-year warranty up to 100,000 miles.
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