Jan 302016






If you want a small 4 x 4 shaped car to get to shops, but off road ability is not essential, then there are two extremes to choose from.

Why Buy?

You will go for the Suzuki SX4 because it is great value for money and it is tough and practical rather than being stylish. It’s the sensible choice. The Freelander is the one that everyone wants because it is made by Land Rover, it looks the 4 x 4 part and if they needed to go off road it is brilliant.

Which models?

The SX4 was introduced in 2006. It is well equipped and the 1.6 petrol model is cheap to run and more than adequate for buyers who don’t do many miles. Although the Freelander has been around for some time this is a revised 2006 model. The diesel versions are the most sought after.

Are they reliable?

Suzuki has a reputation for reliability, rather than excitement, not only that they rarely break down and the Warranty Direct figures bear this out. By contrast, the Land Rover is expensive to fix and is well known for being more of a financial drain.

How much do they cost?

The Suzuki starts at £1700 for a 2006 model and it will be in mint condition. £5500 buys a 2012 example from a dealer, which is great value.

Freelander’s from 2006 start at around £2500 for a three door Td4 example. The best 5 door though will be £5500, so prices vary hugely.

Sum Up: It’s obvious, money to burn, but you want to make a statement: Freelander. Meanwhile, the realist will buy a Suzuki SX4.

Suzuki SX4 

Average Repair Cost: £192.90

Axle and Suspension: 57.69%*

Transmission: 11.54%*

Electrical: 11.54%*

Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average

* failure rate

Land Rover Freelander

Average Repair Cost: £403.14

Transmission: 22.14*

Electrical: 26.97%*

Engine: 12.47*

Warranty Direct Rating: Below Average

* failure rate

Dec 272015






The UK used car market continues to grow, with recent DVLA statistics showing that used car transactions have grown by three per cent year on year during late summer/autumn 2015. Year to date used car transactions have also increased, by 4.2% and 225,000 units year-on-year according to Autotrader.co.uk.

The 4×4 segment showed the strongest performance with used sales of large and small 4x4s growing by 9.1% year on year as the UK moved towards winter, and savvy shoppers prepare for weather warnings. So right now, and not surprisingly, it costs more to buy a 4 x 4.

Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace for buying and selling new and used vehicles, have revealed the Top 10 most searched for 4x4s.

  • BMW X5
  • Land Rover Range Rover
  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  • BMW X3
  • Mercedes-Benz M-Class
  • Honda CR-V
  • VW Touareg
  • Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Audi Q5

Auto Trader’s Retailer and Consumer Products Director Karolina Edwards-Smajda, said; “The current increasing levels of used car transactions are a bi-product of the strong new car registrations that have been experienced over the last few years, with these vehicles now re-entering the used car market. Transactions for nearly new cars less than one year old and cars between one and three years old are fueling the growth, showing an increase of 8% and 15% year-on-year respectively.

Oct 292015







Chevrolet Captiva vs Land Rover Discovery

So you want an off roader, but do you go for the prestige badge or the value 4 x 4 brand?

Why Buy?

The Captiva is the more obvious new buy, but it is still tremendous value as a secondhand buy for those who want 7 seat flexibility. The seats are also a feature of the Discovery, but many choose this by reputation for its off road ability and on road image.

Which models?

Captiva 2007 onward, however it was revised in 2011 with a new diesel engine. There was another facelift in 2013, making them more expensive. The revised Discovery 3 came out in 2004 and although there was a petrol, most models on sale are V6 diesels.

Are they reliable?

On the whole the Captiva has proved to be a dependable vehicle, however, Warranty Direct highlight the suspension as a major weak spot. Land Rover also has a problem in that area and overall they have a bit of a reputation for breaking down.

How much do they cost?

Prices for the Captiva start at £2500 for a high mileage example, it would be better to pay £7000 for a tidy vehicle. Values of the Discovery stay firm so the lowest you could pay is £5000. However, cheap ones are guaranteed trouble, so spend at least £10,000.

Sum Up: In realistic, practical and price terms you would go for the Captiva. If you want the badge then it is the Discovery.

Chevrolet Captiva

Average Repair Cost: £276.30

Axle and Suspension: 37.66%*

Electrical: 20.78%*

Engine: 14.29%*

Warranty Direct Rating: Below Average

* failure rate

Land Rover Discovery

Average Repair Cost: £368.95

Electrical: 18.82*

Axle/Suspension: 42.76%*

Engine: 13.33*

Warranty Direct Rating: Poor