Top five cars for all seasons
The British weather is notoriously fickle. All you have do is cast your mind back a couple of days to see first-hand just how extreme it can be, as we went from Storm Brian to crisp calm in mere hours.
When it comes to leasing a car, this extreme variety of weather can make a hard choice even harder. While you may want a nice soft-top, say the Fiat Spider 124, you’re quickly faced with the reality that you’ll probably only get to feel the air flowing through your hair 14 days out of 365 (if you’re lucky).
Similarly, you may think that a legit 4WD such as the Toyota Land Cruiser would be perfect for harsh, snow-bitten winters where the roads turn treacherously icy, but then when it comes to summer you’re left driving a beast around town.
With this conundrum in mind, we’ve picked five vehicles which, in our opinion, can handle any variety of weather thrown at them come rain or shine. Starting with…
Range Rover Evoque Convertible
Looks, drive, handling. For better or worse, when you think of an all-season vehicle this is probably what you’d picture – after all, what other vehicle comes primed for summer (soft-top) and winter (4x4) in one complete package? Only Land Rover have had the gall to design and build something so divisive.
The roof is a five-layer fabric fitting, and it leaves the Evoque gloriously refined once it’s up. What’s more, there’s no discernible difference in noise levels between a regular roof and the convertible roof, with raindrops being barely audible, wind noise low and no vibration from the fabric when cruising along.
If that cruise just so happens to take you off-road, then Land Rover’s four-wheel drive history comes to the fore. Despite the road tyres fitted to the test car, it made mincemeat of a forest track and grassy hill when we reviewed it. What’s more, the 4x4 system is standard.
We tried so hard to not make this list SUV-central but if anything it shows you what’s popular at the moment and there’s no denying this is what’s popular.
An affordable and modern looking seven-seater, with optional 4WD and excellent performance figures have all proved to be a big draw for many lessees.
The Skoda Kodiaq does everything you need it to competently and in style. The drive itself offers plenty of torque, control, and slick steering and in combination with strong performance and refinement it will tick a lot of boxes for a lot of people. Perhaps most impressively it’s very rare that you notice the extra weight or the size of the Kodiaq, with its handling and drive feeling more like a saloon than a stereotypical sluggish large SUV.
Add to that the Off Road option at the push of a button, bringing a level of surety in adverse conditions, and it’s clear there’s something for everyone behind the wheel of the Kodiaq.
Audi A4 Allroad
The Audi A4 Allroad is a great choice for people who don’t necessarily want the size and bulk of an SUV but do want to retain the advantages of a higher ride height and handling. As such it bridges the gap perfectly between estate and crossover.
As you’d expect, the A4 Allroad feels very much like your standard A4, meaning quality and refinement come in bucket loads. The Quattro four-wheel drive system also means that none of the power is wasted in the dry and makes for confident handling in the wet, what’s more the softer springs and higher-profile tyres mean that comfort is prioritised over agility.
Comfort, quality, Quattro. What more could you want?
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
Taking the basics of the outstanding Giulia saloon car, the Stelvio is the beefed-up stylish SUV equivalent.
With this type of pedigree in mind, it’s no surprise to find the Stelvio is quicker, thriftier, sportier and cheaper than many of its rivals, and includes a load of style that many others miss out on too.
Ideal whatever the weather, even with the four-wheel drive system in place all the power is sent to the rear wheels with up to 50% of the drive only going to the front wheels when things get sketchy.
For those that want the practicality and commanding driving position of an SUV without sacrificing too much in terms of driving, the Stelvio ticks a lot of boxes..
Practical, stylish, a little overwhelming, the Volvo XC60 is all these things and more. This all-new XC60 not only puts Volvo firmly back in the luxury-crossover game, but straight back into contention for class leader too.
Comfort and safety has always been a key value of the Volvo badge, and that shines through behind the wheel. For those looking for a five-seat SUV with tons of passenger room, as Volvo’s best-selling model the XC60 fits the bill perfectly.
While the XC60 isn’t designed with muddy fields in mind, the air suspension can be raised for extra ground clearance if you slip the car’s drive mode into the appropriate setting and it has the road manners of a normal-sized family car meaning its suitable for anyone to drive no matter the weather.