4WD or 4-wheel drive cars, like the Suzuki Vitara ALLGRIP and Nissan X-Trail 4WD spend the majority of their time running as a 2WD car unless the need arises. With this type of system, the 4-wheel drive mode doesn't kick in until it detects slipping on one of the two wheels powering the car, thus allowing the car to grip and remain stable. Modern cars often have mode selectors which allow you to turn the 4WD on permanently, for such instances as driving in snow where slipping could occur frequently.
Cars which come under the AWD category like the Subaru Forester, Outback and XV, are in permanent 4-wheel drive mode. This means that all four wheels are powered 100% of the time. This is particularly useful if the driver is negotiating rugged, off-road terrain. Professions such as farming often require this capability, which is why you'll often see them in vehicles like Land Rovers which are permanently 4-wheel drive!
"The Suzuki Swift 4x4 brings all-weather ability to the buyer who wants a new car but doesn't need the bulk of an SUV."
Suzuki Ignis SZ5 ALLGRIP
The top spec model Ignis also comes in the ALLGRIP variety, meaning you get all the fantastic equipment and safety features from the standard Ignis, combined with the added security of 4x4 capability. Fuel economy is not sacrificed either at the expense of powering two additional wheels, with the new Ignis having an impressive 62.7 combined MPG.
Plus the Suzuki Ignis is currently available with 1 years FREE insurance and 3 years FREE servicing. [Find out more]
"No, this is not a car for serious off-road antics, but it’ll likely get further than most owners would dare to take it, plus it’ll be quite a lot of fun in the meantime."
Nissan Juke N-Connecta 4WD
Despite the Nissan Juke having Marmite appeal (you either love it or hate it), it's become a very popular model thanks to its spacious interior, on board technology and competitive price point. The 4-wheel drive option appears from the N-Connecta model which comes with Sat Nav, a reversing camera, automatic headlights and wipers just to name a few! [Find out more]
"It’s good fun. While weighing the best part of a ton and a half, the Juke feels light on its feet, and the light but darty steering gives it similar responses to some of the best warm hatchbacks."
Nissan X-Trail Acenta 4WD
The capable Nissan X-Trail has been a favourite of 4x4 car buyers for many years, thanks to its optional 7 seats, safety technology and exceptional ride. 4x4 models span the range with a choice of diesel engines and manual or automatic transmission, meaning that buyers have plenty to choose between. [Find out more]
"It’s an interesting car that drives better than you might think, and it’s also very comfortable for families – even on rough roads. We also like the roomy and adaptable interior."
The entire drive system, from the longitudinally-mounted horizontally-opposed engine to the rear differential, is mounted in a straight, symmetrical line. But that’s not the only difference. Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD technology is also permanently engaged: the power is continually and actively distributed to the individual wheel or wheels with the best traction.
Alongside Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, the slim, balanced Boxer engine sits centrally, deeper in the engine bay, lowering the car’s centre of gravity. This perfect combination of even weight distribution and traction limits chassis rolling and pitching in corners or when braking, improving handling and the ride.