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The cheapest 4x4s by far

2017-10-16 15:56

One of the most pronounced trends in the passenger car market over the past 10 to 15 years, has been the transition from estate cars to SUVs and 4x4s. Most of these vehicles do the work of family cars, with some perhaps also serving as weekend lifestyle accessories, and many of these SUVs and crossovers can be bought in cheaper 2x4 variants. However, some people really need – or really want – a proper 4x4, or at least all-wheel-drive.

Here is a list of the top ten cheapest passenger cars you can buy with all-wheel-drive or 4x4 functionality, for less cash.

1. The cheapest 4x4 passenger car money can buy is the Mahindra Thar (R 219 900 new), a notoriously rugged and utilitarian Willy’s Jeep lookalike, built in India. The Thar’s basic engineering and lack of features makes it the cheapest 4x4-option in SA, but it’s highly capable, thanks to its low-range gearbox.

2. A wholly different and decidedly more charming offering, is the R 229 900 Fiat Panda 4x4. Designed to manage Alpine snow and rural European conditions, the Panda is a great little supermini, now with added 4x4, for those who like to take the road less-travelled. The super-frugal two-cylinder 900cc motor, cheeky styling and fun-to-drive dynamics make for a pretty good value-package.

3. Third in line for the crown of the cheapest 4x4, is an actual SUV in the traditional sense. The R 258 400 Suzuki Jimny is regarded as a truly competent off-road vehicle, with excellent approach, breakover and departure angles, a good low-range gearbox and excellent clearance. Its diminutive size, frugal 1.3-litre motor and effortless curb-ramping skills make it a popular city-slicker too.

4. Another rugged and pragmatic European, the R 304 900 Renault Duster 1.5dCi Dynamique 4WD, is a proper five-seater SUV with a strong and frugal 1.5-litre diesel motor and plenty off-road competence. Badged Renault in SA, the Duster is better-known overseas as a Dacia – wholly owned by Renault – who build tough and basic cars for the European market.

5. The R 311 995 Mahindra Scorpio comes into this 4x4 line-up as the cheapest, larger SUV on the market. This Indian-made car’s driving dynamics and perceived safety performance make up for its large size, and has a punchy 2.2-litre turbo-diesel motor.

6. The stylish R 331 900 Suzuki Vitara 1.6 GL+ AllGrip is a compact but high-quality crossover SUV, coming with excellent safety kit and a reliable, naturally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol engine. With selectable front-wheel or four-wheel-drive, weekend getaways to remote places are always a possibility.

7. The affordable R 369 000 Subaru Impreza 2.0-litre is an all-wheel-drive family sedan with a strong engine and legendary road-holding capabilities, especially in wet and slippery conditions or on gravel roads. Not many sedans at this price can handle these situations as well as a Subaru. It’s no SUV, of course, but if it’s grip you’re after, this is a good place to look.

8. Another Suzuki sneaks in at number eight! The R 375 900 Suzuki Grand Vitara is a larger SUV known for its rugged build quality and bombproof reliability. It could do with a smidgen more ground clearance, though.

9. Next is the R 385 000 Subaru XV. A crossover SUV with all-wheel-drive, this is yet another rugged, family-focused car. And with safety spec such as seven airbags, you can rest assured that everyone is safe and sound.

10.   Last one on the list is another Mahindra, this time the R 386 995 XUV 500, a far more sophisticated vehicle than its Scorpio sibling. This car comes with much more safety kit and a quieter, more composed ride. It’s no Mercedes-Benz, but this is an SUV you can seriously consider test-driving if you want bang for your buck.


For those who can’t wait to take their car off-road and hit the dirt in a 4x4, AutoTrader South Africa has a multitude of new and used SUVs for every possible kind of adventure . AutoTrader South Africa has been the leading media marketplace for the past 25 years, for the buying and selling of vehicles. Whether you are looking to buy a brand new car or are in the market for a pre-loved model, AutoTrader has over 71 000 quality cars to choose from! Visit AutoTrader today to find your dream car.

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