With temperature drops and the clocks going back, autumn/winter can be tough on drivers. Driving in the dark, snow, ice and heavy rain are just some of the challenging weather conditions that you might have to face on the road. And the last thing you want is to be stranded with a car that’s prone to breaking down or can’t cope in bad weather.
So, whether you’re looking to invest in an SUV that can take on almost any terrain or a versatile hybrid that won’t leave you at the mercy of fuel shortages, we’ve found 8 of the best used cars to buy for autumn/winter.
A compact SUV based on the iconic Fiesta; the Ford Puma is known for being practical but also fun to drive. It’s front-wheel drive only but still offers a solid grip on the road along with light, responsive steering, while the raised driving position provides good visibility. The five-door entry level model comes equipped with a host of features that are ideal for navigating autumn/winter weather including 17-inch alloy wheels, LED rear lights, and power-folding heated mirrors. The boot also comes with a hidden storage compartment with its own drain plug so you can hose it out – the perfect place to throw muddy trainers and wet waterproofs.
The Nissan Qashqai is one of the most popular family cars on the market and was one of the best to combine the qualities of a hatchback with the practicality of an SUV. Since 2007 there have been three generations of the Qashqai and Nissan offers a four-wheel drive option too. It’s so well-known that it’s easy to forget just how good this car is; it’s easy to drive, spacious, and has an impressive 504 litre boot. Its exterior is elegant and premium trim models feature quilted leather seats and a massage feature that will be the perfect salve after a long winter walk.
Range Rover Sport
If you’re looking for a car that can cope with anything the winter weather might throw at you, the Range Rover Sport could be the one for you. It packs a punch with its athletic and muscular design, but its aluminium frame means its still agile despite its size. A host of features make it perfect for this time of year, including front fog lights, heated windscreen and rear window, rain sensing windscreen wipers, and hill descent control. With panoramic visibility and responsive steering, it’s a pleasure to drive while the quietly luxurious interior means its comfortable for travelling long distances.
An SUV with space for the whole family, the Volkswagen Tiguan is a practical car that’s also easy to drive. Its exterior design is bold with a strong silhouette and powerful lines while the spacious interior features a leather multi-function steering wheel, 26cm colour display, and ambient lighting with 30 colours to choose from. Drivers will also benefit from good road grip and body control while the dynamic LED headlights have segments that can be switched on and off in response to changing road conditions.
Recent fuel shortages confirmed that hybrid and electric vehicles are the future. If the crisis prompted you to consider exploring the world of EVs, then the self-charging Hyundai Ioniq is a versatile hybrid with space for all the family. Inside, it’s touchscreen display makes navigating, parking, and choosing the perfect driving playlist easy, while the exterior is sleek and less divisive than some other models on the market.
The BMW X1 is a small premium SUV with all the practicality and refinement you’d expect from the German manufacturer. A four-wheel drive option is available, but all models feature powerful BMW TwinPower Turbo engines and a distinctive one-piece kidney grille. The interior feels luxurious with plenty of space, a central armrest, deep cupholders and an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with built-in sat nav, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, and USB socket. LED headlights and fog lights will come in handy during autumn/winter while the raised seating position enhances road visibility.
If you’re a fan of the classic Mini design but are looking for a model that’s made for exploring, the Countryman combines the best of both worlds. It’s a practical car that’s still fun to drive with responsive steering, plenty of grip and an agility that means it corners well. For families, there’s flexible boot space, rear-folding seats and Isofix points for child seats while drivers can choose between a three-cylinder or four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine or ALL4 all-wheel drive for tackling the trickiest terrains.
When it comes to autumn/winter driving, you need a car that offers good grip and a suspension that can smooth out even the worst bumps – and the Kia Sportage delivers both. This mid-size SUV is now in its fifth generation and available in two and four-wheel drive models. The entry-level model comes with a range of features such as 17-inch alloy wheels, heated leather seats, cruise control and dual zone air conditioning. With plenty of interior space and a strong build, it’s relaxing and reliable over long distances while the reversing camera fitted as standard makes parking in low light a breeze.