The safest cars to be driving in wintry weather
Road safety is a priority for any driver, especially in Britain.
Our roads are notoriously in poor repair and our weather is unpredictable at the best of times, so choosing a car that can cope with difficult road conditions is one way to protect yourself against the unpredictable.
Choosing a car with 4WD will ensure improved traction on slippery and ungritted roads, perfect if you regularly drive on country roads that can get muddy quickly.
In our current inventory of used cars, we have picked out a handful of models that are especially suited to wintry conditions. Not everyone wants or needs an SUV, so while all of these cars feature 4WD, not all of them share raised ride height.
Nobody buys a car just for winter of course, so our selection includes models that are great to drive and own all year round. And because everyone’s budget is different, we have pitched each one at a different price point.
This selection of used vehicles are all currently for sale, so if you are interested in a particular model and we have already found a new home for it, never fear - our stock list is updated regularly. Get in touch to let us know your requirements and we will assist you.
1. Skoda Yeti 1.8TSI SE 4x4 (2009/59), £7,700
The Yeti has been a popular choice with families since it was introduced. This early example includes the optional 4WD system (some Yetis are front-wheel drive), providing extra traction in difficult driving conditions.
It is packed with safety features too, ensuring it earned a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating when it was tested. These features include Electronic Stability Programme, traction control, Dynamic Steering Response and Electronic Differential Lock, which work together to make handling safe and predictable.
2. Nissan Qashqai 1.6dCi Tekna 4WD (2013/13), £13,400
Nissan’s Qashqai kick-started the trend for small SUVs and has proven hugely popular with drivers in Britain. Like the Yeti, it is sometimes offered with front-wheel drive to reduce emissions, so it pays to check the specs and make sure you are buying one with power too all four wheels.
It also has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, with front, side and curtain airbags, ABS, and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. There is also Brake Assist technology, which detects when you are braking in an emergency and applies additional stopping force to reduce braking distances by up to 15%. Traction control and an Electronic Stability Program are also included.
3. Audi S5 Quattro (2011/61), £22,000
The S5 is the performance version of Audi’s A5, and this version is the coupé (it also comes as a convertible and a four-door ‘Sportback’ model). Under the bonnet is a punchy 4.2-litre petrol engine that offers huge power, with Audi’s legendary Quattro all-wheel drive system helping to transmit torque to the road.
The S5 is generously equipped with luxurious features you can enjoy year-round, including satellite navigation, so you can focus on driving instead of directions. The all-wheel drive system and a plethora of driver aids will ensure it offers secure, predictable and grippy handling, whatever the road conditions.
4. Porsche Panamera 4S (2009/59), £28,000
The Panamera is Porsche’s first four-door coupé, blending the looks of the legendary 911 with saloon-rivalling interior space and practicality. The 4S model is enormously powerful, with a 395bhp naturally-aspirated 4.8-litre engine mated to Porsche’s double-clutch semi-automatic gearbox.
Myriad electronic safety systems abound to make driving it at speed on dry roads easy and secure when the trickier conditions demand. This early model represents a saving of almost £60,000 compared to the original purchase price, so it is terrific value – and with 4WD available as standard, you can’t put a price on your safety.
5. Range Rover Vogue TDV6 (2013/62), £52,000
No list like this could be complete without Britain’s finest. Wearing its Land Rover badge on the nose like a badge of price, the ultra-luxurious Range Rover is still peerlessly capable in difficult conditions. Stable, mature and refined, there is practically no stopping it.
Beautifully-appointed inside, the Vogue TDV6 is an easy choice for the luxury car shopper. It is a showcase for Range Rover’s latest technological innovations. These include the Terrain Response System that adapts its characteristics to the environment – including snow and mud.