4x4s, off-roaders, whatever you want to call them – undeniably they make up a relatively large proportion of the vehicles on today’s UK roads. They come in all shapes and sizes, and with different purposes. From the small Audi Q3 to the mighty Range Rover Sport, and from luxury models to true dirt riders in the Land Rover Defender – there is a 4×4 for almost everybody.
However, many people are against the idea of them and many who could easily afford one opt for smaller, less extravagant vehicles. So why do 4x4s only seem to attract motorists with an acquired taste?
Well as with all types of vehicle there are advantages and disadvantages. Here are our top five reasons not to get a 4×4.
Fuel economy tends to be a lot worse in 4x4s – they guzzle it. With the current economic climate of the UK in a state of recession, saving money on fuel becomes important to more and more people – especially considering high insurance and MOT and servicing costs.
Safety Of Others
Because 4x4s are generally very large and their car parts aren’t exactly made of carbon fibre, they are very heavy and should you be unfortunate enough to have a collision in one you will probably be fine. The Nissan Micra you crash into however will probably be a write off.
Because 4x4s need a lot of fuel, they also produce a lot of CO2. This is bad for the environment, and what’s more it means higher road tax for you to pay every year.
If you are planning on buying a Land Rover Defender then you’ll be fine trekking through the jungle, passing through mountain ranges or travelling over pretty much any terrain you need to. This cannot be said for most 4x4s however, particularly the more luxurious ones, which are only a little better than any other vehicle when taken off the tarmac.
Because of their large size, off-roaders can often make parking a difficult task. Many UK car parks supply spaces which are barely big enough to ease a small family car into, let alone a Range Rover.
For well over a century now, people have been using automobiles which are powered by a combustion engine – one which runs off some form of petrol or diesel. Unfortunately this won’t be able to continue forever, because at the current rate of consumption it is very likely that the global supply will run out during many of our lifetimes.
For this reason we must find an alternative method of powering our vehicles, and it looks as though electric motors will be the way forward.
All-electric vehicles have come a long way in terms of development over the past decade or so, but just how well do they compare to their petrol and diesel counterparts? Of course, they are cheaper to run which is a great benefit when you consider how expensive other costs are such as insurance, road tax, MOT and servicing. However there are some drawbacks. Here are our top five reasons to make you think twice before purchasing an electric car.
Planning a trip from Portsmouth up to Newcastle? Well you won’t be completing the route in one journey in an electric car. The average model only has a range of about 100 miles, and then needs to be charged up again. Any petrol fuelled automobile will have a much larger range than this, even something small like a Ford Ka.
Electric vehicles are actually a lot more expensive to buy than petrol powered ones. You could pay around £30,000 for say a Mitsubishi iMiev whereas something similar like a Nissan Micra would cost a fraction of the price. Car parts could be more expensive too.
Lack of Power
Generally there is a lack of power in electric motors compared to combustion engines. This is shown particularly in faster models – you wouldn’t have much of a chance in an electric vehicle up against a Lamborghini or Ferrari.
Batteries in electric cars make them very heavy, which can put pressure on them on cause them to drain out quickly. It also impacts upon speed and acceleration.
Because of the lack of electric vehicles on the road, there is currently a shortage of charging stations. This means that long journeys are extremely difficult – you would have to stop off at somebody’s house to charge your car.