Four-wheel-drive is ‘essential and reassuring’, survey reveals

Written by Ellie

It sometimes feels like every new car arriving in UK showrooms is an SUV or off-roader of some description, but that’s very necessary in 2018, according to new research.

Results of a survey published by online motor retail specialist found that the majority of four-wheel-drive owners deem off-road capability to be ‘essential’ at times.

The current trend for SUVs has brought with it a conception that many drivers choose four-wheel drive for vanity reasons only.

However, more than 70 per cent of owners say they have driven their off-roader in conditions where a conventional two-wheel drive vehicle simply wouldn’t have coped.

When asked how many times a year they found four-wheel drive to be essential, a quarter of them admitted that they didn’t know, but felt reassured knowing they had it at their disposal if it was needed.

However, almost one in five said they call on it regularly, citing occasional snowy conditions, mud, flooding and even badly damaged road surfaces.

Age and gender split

The research, which quizzed 316 four-wheel-drive owners, suggested that older SUV drivers most appreciate the all-wheel stability of driving in snow.

Austin Collins, managing director of, said: “There is a long standing joke that the closest most four-wheel drive owners get to driving off-road is negotiating the humps in the supermarket car park, but our findings suggest otherwise.”

The research uncovered a gender split too, with male four-wheel drivers being more than twice as likely to say they need it for use in poor road conditions than their female counterparts.

“Among our sample, one in four women said they never need off-road capability but simply prefer the ruggedness and greater feeling of safety in general offered by a four-wheel drive car,” added Mr Collins.

Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, concluded by saying: “Problems like flooding are becoming increasingly common in Britain, so it probably shouldn’t be surprising how many people feel reassured by the better stability and clearance offered by a typical off-roader.”

Posted on 28th December 2017

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