Best 4x4s by James Baggott, Car Dealer Magazine (CarDealerMag.co.uk)

With rugged looks, a commanding view of the road and the ability to get you out of some sticky situations, a 4×4 makes sense for lots of drivers. From mummies collecting at the school gates to business owners who need a reliable working vehicle, there’s plenty of choice in the off-road category.

What’s more the latest crop of pumped-up SUVs also offer clever technology, luxurious interiors and don’t have to cost the earth. Here we take a look at five of our favourites for you to put a new reg plate on.

Nissan Qashqai

Price: From £17,595

The Nissan Qashqai has recently been revamped – giving it fresh looks to keep it firmly placed in the top 10 best-selling cars in the UK chart. It’s a compact SUV that’s easy to live with every day, affordable and extremely comfortable. The new exterior design tweaks look superb, it’s wonderfully refined and the interior is packed with helpful new technology. With plenty of engine choice it’s hard to beat.

Dacia Duster

Price: From £9,495

The budget brand offers no-nonsense, affordable and practical cars – and the Duster is our pick of the range. With chunky off-road styling, genuine 4×4 capability and prices that wouldn’t look out of place in a cash and carry it’s certainly worth a look. Think more functional than luxury, with the base spec coming without a radio and air-con. We’d say for the top-of-the-range model that’ll still be less than most hatchbacks.

BMW X3

Price: From £30,990

The BMW X3 is the little brother to the Range Rover-rivaling X5, but don’t let that put you off. It’s got the cache of that blue and white propeller badge on the bonnet, is beautifully trimmed and is built for comfort. Some say the styling isn’t as sharp as it needs to be, but with plenty of spec and low running costs it’s well worth a look.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Price: From £37,705

With fresh new looks straight out of Stateside, the Jeep brings a slice of American Pie to a sometimes-bland car category. Beefy looks match its proportions and it’s certainly recognisable on the roads with an imposing stance. Packed with technology, a sumptuous interior and a surprisingly economic 2.0-litre engine choice, the Grand Cherokee is a leftfield choice that shouldn’t be ignored.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Price: From £23,984

With an innovative plug-in hybrid variant that can do 30 miles on pure electric, combined with a combustion engine for longer journeys, the Outlander is carving a niche in the SUV market. OK, so the looks won’t set the world on fire, but it’s well-made, extremely capable off road and is comfortable to drive. With very competitive pricing thrown into the mix, you really should try an Outlander.