Meet The Unrivalled Power Of The Electric 4×4: Our Best Picks
Pure unrivalled power, that’s what you’re getting should you choose to buy an electric 4×4.
The kind of power to take you places, and have much better traction in harsh conditions like snow or heavy rain.
Most electric vehicles come with four wheel drive for the simple fact that there are fewer parts under the hood. Also, EVs tend to be far less complicated than combustion types. This allows manufacturers to prioritise other areas.
And why acceleration can feel like it’s on steroids.
It’s as easy as attaching more electric motors to the wheels. That being said, most car brands tend to focus on a dual-motor build, unless the buyer wants to roll with an electric 4×4, which tends to cost a little more, unfortunately.
Is it worth it?
We’d say so, and you’ll know why once you’ve read our breakdown in full.
Consider this essential reading if you’re looking at investing in 4 wheel drive cars.
Let’s jump in.
Which Is The Best Electric 4×4 UK?
We’ll begin right off the bat by covering what we believe to be the best four wheel drive vehicle on the market.
Understand that buyers are almost spoilt for choice in this lane.
Of course, price, performance and make will differ from vehicle to vehicle. Still, having multiple options to pick and choose from is beneficial for a number of reasons.
The most obvious being you don’t have to settle for the one vehicle.
So, which, in our opinion, is the best electric 4×4 in the UK?
Well, our answer is kind of a cop-out, as we’ve chosen multiple.
Spoiler Alert: The majority of electric 4×4’s shown will fit the eco-friendly SUV archetype.
Dominate open spaces with the Land Rover Defender © Credit to Land Rover
Land Rover Defender 110: 4 Wheel Drive Cars Look Up To This One
Price: £38,000 – £104,000
The first 4×4 we want to cover is the Land Rover Defender 110, a powerhouse in every sense of the word.
Land Rover’s Defender line has always served as a Swiss Army knife of sorts, but its latest offering is a cut above the rest.
It comes with multiple configurations, including a PHEV option on the Defender XS Edition, Defender X-Dynamic and Defender X.
The latter is nearly double the price of the standard Defender (starting from £82,120) so choose wisely.
“Land Rover Defender Plug-in Hybrid can cross exactly the same terrains as a petrol or diesel variant and matches their wading depth of 900 mm4.”
— Land Rover
We’d recommend the Defender X-Dynamic if you care about releasing less emissions. According to Land Rover, this particular electric 4×4 emits 75g/km CO2.
Every version of the Land Rover Defender 110 comes with all wheel drive. In other words, it has universal power, despite its high price point (depending on the version you opt for).
The versions mentioned fall into one or two categories: PHEV or MHEV.
You’ve more than likely heard of a PHEV (plug-in hybrid) before, but not a lot of people have heard of a MHEV.
MHEV stands for mild-hybrid vehicle, meaning it uses a battery alongside a standard combustion engine. It helps with acceleration and cutting a few emissions.
If we had the choice, we’d probably choose a PHEV. Then again, choosing a MHEV is cheaper if you’re building your Defender 110.
Like £9,000 cheaper, to be specific.
A Model X carrying a bike © Credit to Tesla
Tesla Model X: An Electric 4×4 Powerhouse From An Icon
Price: £98,000 – £110,000
If we’re looking at “what’s great” in the electric all wheel drive space, then we need to talk about the Tesla Model X.
Yes, we know. It’s an expensive EV, but no one said you had to buy a new one.
You can find a decent second hand (sometimes referred to as used) Model X on sites like AutoTrader and AA.
Some sell for around £53,000. Sure they’re an older version, but you’d still get to enjoy the pure power that a full electric 4×4 can provide.
Be sure to refer to our guide on buying the best used/second-hand electric vehicles to learn how you can navigate this market effectively to find the right deal.
Expect to pay a decent amount if you choose to buy this EV new. The Model X comes in two configurations:
- Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive (Long Range)
- Tri Motor All-Wheel Drive (Plaid)
Choosing the Long Range version of the Model X will net you an additional 20 miles per charge (compared to the plaid version), with total range covered sitting at the 360 miles mark.
That’s not to say that the Plaid version is worth avoiding either.
Going with the Tri Motor (Plaid) option yields better speed. Top speed of the Plaid (163mph) is slightly higher than its Dual Motor counterpart (155mph).
Moreover, acceleration is slightly higher with this version (0-60mph in 2.5 seconds).
The ID.4 GTX is power personified © Credit to Volkswagen
Volkswagen ID.4:The Daily Electric 4×4 Fit For Every Occasion
Price: £35,000 – £50,000
Navigate your nearest urban jungle with the Volkswagen ID.4.
We’ve chosen this all wheel drive electric SUV for its durability and for its price.
The ID.4 is a hell of a lot cheaper when you compare it to any of the other electric 4×4’s we’ve mentioned.
With a range of up to 324 miles, the ID.4 is practical as it is efficient. Buyers have multiple options as far as powertrains go.
We should also mention that the Volkswagen ID.4 is a full electric 4×4, like the Model X, just cheaper.
Unless you go with the standard ‘Life’ version, that is, as this vehicle sports rear wheel drive.
It’s worth stating as some of you reading this might want to prioritise all-electric vehicles over, say, hybrids.
If you’re looking for something sporty, going with the Volkswagen ID.4 GTX is easily the best pick of the bunch here.
And then there’s the GTX Max if you’re looking for something with complete equipment.
A rear view camera system, dynamic chassis control (DCC) and heat pump are amongst some of the bonuses you get if you choose to head in this direction.
This is a brand new vehicle for 2021 and a glimpse at the future of Volkswagen vehicles in real-time.
It will set you back around £55,000 but is 100% worth it if you have the funds.
Seeing is believing: it’s the BMW X5 xDrive45e © Credit to BMW
BMW X5 xDrive45e xLine: The Luxury Four Wheel Drive Car
Type: Plug-In Hybrid
In the market for something more luxurious?
Look no further than the BMW X5 xDrive45e xLine. And before you ask, no, this name isn’t inspired by an Xbox Live Gamertag.
This iteration of the X5 picks up where the previous version left off, mainly in the electric range department.
Previous versions of the X5 were limited to less than 20 miles of electric range through a 9 kWh battery. Compare that to this version, and the differences stand out almost instantly.
You see, the German automaker has installed a 24 kWh battery in this one, giving drivers a whopping 52 miles of range.
Boot space is slightly smaller (50 litres smaller, to be specific), but you’re still getting 500 litres of space with the seats up.
Sprinting-wise, the X5 will leave a lot of its competition in the dust.
The X5 can go from 0 to 62mph in around 1.2 seconds, complete with a top speed of 150mph.
Not only does it push beyond most cars in the electric 4×4 market, it looks the part too.
But what did you really expect from a luxury plug-in from a company with years of experience in the field?
According to buyers, the X5 feels more like any standard BMW, meaning it doesn’t detract from the driving experience if you’re new to hybrids.
Seamless hybrid integration and performance are easily the strongest points of owning the X5.
Other 4 wheel drive cars, take notice.
All wheel drive and robust as hell © Credit to Porsche
Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid: The Robust Hybrid Packing A Lot Of Style/Power
Type: Plug-In Hybrid
Luxury jumps up another level courtesy of Porsche and its Cayenne E-Hybrid.
That’s right, Porsche dipped its toe in the electric SUV market with this one and actually surprised quite a few naysayers in the process.
Range is about what you’d expect with this hybrid EV (between 25-27 miles of electric range). When it’s fully charged, you can run up to 83mph.
Just don’t go too crazy, as the more you push it, the less range you’re left with.
It won’t take you between countries, but it can be used for eco-friendly drives in and out of urban areas.
And then you can always rely on the 3-litre V6 engine to carry the rest of the slack. Total output (including the electric motor) gives drivers 456 bhp.
The Cayenne E-Hybrid features an 8-speed Tiptronic S gearbox which provides power to all four wheels.
Price-wise, the Cayenne E-Hybrid will cost you the same as most of its standard engine types. The only difference is you’ll pay less tax due to less emissions if you go with this one.
Owning a Porsche might trump the need to purchase any of the other electric 4x4s we’ve mentioned already.
Any brand with a stellar reputation is bound to make headway in the minds of potential buyers.
Only this one actually lives up to the hype and is a worthy entry in a list titled: “Which Is The Best Electric 4×4 UK?”
The Audi E-Tron is easily one of the most popular electric 4x4s
Audi E-Tron: Simple, Yet Effective As One Of These 4 Wheel Drive Cars
Price: £60,000 – £71,000
Believe us when we tell you that simplicity is often key.
How else could you explain the popularity tied to four wheel drive cars like the Audi E-Tron?
Like most quality electric transport vehicles, the E-Tron comes in multiple configurations fitting of your wants/needs.
Our personal favourite is the S Line 50 Quattro version of the E-Tron, given its improved regenerative braking system and cooling system.
It’s priced like a luxury electric SUV, but we’d say it’s more of a family-orientated vehicle. It actually shares a resemblance to the Audi Q7 — another all wheel drive SUV that packs a pretty hefty punch.
If you’re someone who hauls goods/luggage often, you’ll almost definitely find the E-Tron’s 605-litre boot more than helpful.
Cars that don’t look like electric cars tend to be slightly more popular at this moment in time.
Perhaps due to the familiarity, they bring to those who are slightly hesitant in making any sort of decision that strays too far.
Manufacturers like Audi understand this line of thought, and it’s why its E-Tron electric 4×4 is considered one of the very best in terms of all-electric/all wheel drive vehicles.
We’ve spent enough time around EVs to know.
There aren’t many 4 wheel drive vehicles that can match the I-Pace
Jaguar I-Pace: A Roadrunner Secretly In Disguise
Price: £65,000 – £73,000
Hailed as the first all-electric car from the British brand, we can’t think of a better full electric 4×4 to cover than the Jaguar I-Pace.
Why is that?
Simple. It’s an award-winning EV that continues to amaze us with every new update.
We’ll be talking about the 2022 version of the I-Pace, for reference — easily the more superior of the pack.
Granted, not a lot was changed compared to the 2021 version, but it does build on its foundations slightly.
The 2022 I-Pace is new and improved in many ways, most of which can be found within the electric 4×4 itself.
A complimentary 4G data plan, a 360-degree camera system and wireless charging are amongst these changes.
We should also mention the fact that this new version comes with a better onboard charger (11kW). With this charger, it should only take around 8.6 hours to top up your EV fully.
Our advice would be to leave it charging overnight for maximum results.
Power-wise, the Jaguar I-Pace could easily be mistaken for the Roadrunner, given how fast it can pull from a starting position.
If you were wondering how it does this, simply look at its spec, specifically the bit where it says: 394 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque.
Plug-in or all-electric? Which XC40 will you choose? © Credit to Volvo
Volvo XC40 Recharge: A Compact Four Wheel Drive Type Made For The Commuter
Price: £38,000 – £56,000
Type: All-Electric/Plug-In Hybrid
Owning a compact SUV — electric or otherwise — can have various onset benefits. Hence why we’re finishing our list here with the Volvo XC40 Recharge.
This electric 4×4 gives you the option of choosing an all-electric or a cheaper plug-in hybrid build.
The price difference is in the thousands, so it might be worth weighing up the benefits of both before making any big decisions.
If you go with the hybrid, you’re getting around 28 miles of electric range, compared to the all electric’s 259 miles of nothing but pure electric range.
According to Volvo, you can fill the all-electric XC40 up to 80% in around 40 minutes tops with a fast charger.
Both have been designed with urban living in mind. It’s an obvious statement if you’ve seen images/videos of this SUV in action.
Just because it’s smaller than most doesn’t mean it is lacking in the compartment department.
In fact, there are various little cubby holes located in this EV; you’ll continue to find new spaces long after you’ve started driving this one.
There’s actually a small boot compartment located in the bonnet, where the engine would usually sit. Again, the benefits of having fewer moving parts under the hood pays dividends.
Choosing to buy the Volvo XC40 Recharge new comes with perks. Like how does a complimentary wallbox charger (complete with free installation) sound?
Not a lot of car brands are doing this, so you might want to hop on this while you can.
The Benefits Of Owning A Four Wheel Drive EV
As you can imagine, having unbelievable electric power at your fingertips is advantageous for many reasons.
For starters, it means drivers behind the wheel of four wheel drive cars receive instant acceleration. It’s scary how fast some of these vehicles can move from a starting position, especially if you purchase a vehicle from a company named Tesla.
The above mentioned Model X can go from 0-60 mph in around 2.5 seconds. And it’s not even the best Tesla for accelerating, either. The Model S Plaid can do it in 2 seconds flat.
Full electric 4×4 cars tend to offer much better acceleration if we were to compare the two. The only downside to this is you’d be expected to pay more vs a four wheel drive plug-in hybrid.
The benefits of owning an electric 4×4 are almost the same as owning a standard combustion-engined 4×4, in all honesty.
These vehicles are durable as hell, made with plenty of space inside, and are typically outfitted with better wheels/suspension for off-roading.
Although, the majority of all wheel drive vehicles we’ve touched on do fall into the electric SUV type. So we wouldn’t advise you drive most off into the wild. Unless you go with an optimised ride like the Land Rover Defender 110.
The Best 4 Wheel Drive Cars For Towing
We know what you’re thinking.
You’re thinking: “those are all pretty handy benefits, but what is the best electric 4×4 for towing?”
Here’s the answer: Land Rover Defender.
Outside of being one of the best electric SUV’s in the market right now, it comes with the power to rival even the strongest diesel-powered trucks, if you can believe it.
If you want maximum towing power, you need a vehicle that has acceleration that is balanced well with pulling capacity.
Well, the Defender has all of the above in spades.
This full electric 4×4 has a towing capacity of 3,500kg, or 7,700 pounds. In other words, this vehicle can tow an elephant if it wanted to.
What’s even more impressive is you can choose between multiple unique towing systems when you build your own Land Rover.
Your options are as follows:
- Electrically Deployable Tow Bar
- Detachable Tow Bar
- Multi-Height Tow Bar
All options are viable and will do the trick.
Nose weight will differ from bar to bar depending on which you choose. The heaviest of the group is the Multi-Height Tow Bar, with a nose weight of 350kg.
On the lighter side, you have the Detachable Tow Bar (195kg).
If convenience is more your speed, go with the Electrically Deployable Tow Bar. It takes 12 seconds to deploy with no loss in towing capacity.
Meet The Unrivalled Power Of Electric 4x4s: What’s Great, What Isn’t
Make no mistake about it, 4 wheel drive cars make up some of the most powerful electric vehicles there is.
Some are far stronger than the diesel/petrol types EVs will soon replace.
Especially if we’re talking about max towing capacity.
We hope our list of the best electric 4x4s in the UK gives you a rough idea of what’s out there and how beneficial they can be in a day-to-day setting.
It doesn’t matter if you have a large family or need a durable EV for work. An electric 4×4 will keep you right.
So, which will you choose?
Leave us a comment down below.
Electric 4×4 FAQs
Can you convert an electric 4×4 to manual?
Logistically, taking any electric car and making it manual is a near-impossible task. After all, the reason why electric 4x4s are so viable is the fact that they offer unreal acceleration/torque, which in turn is a byproduct of being an automatic car.
Which is the best electric 4×4 in the UK?
If you have no budget requirements, then there’s no better four wheel drive car than the Land Rover Defender 110. It’s a towing machine for starters and has all the tools required to be a market-defining 4×4.
Can you get a 4×4 electric car?
Short answer: you can indeed. Electric cars are simple in nature, meaning there are fewer moving parts under the hood. This encourages manufacturers to add to the performance of said vehicles. Having a motor on each axle is easier when you don’t have a combustion engine sitting in there.
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