4×4’s that you might not have considered for your shoot day
Attend any shoot in the country and you will see a dealerships worth of the green oval examples. Defenders, Discoveries and Range Rovers of all ilks varying from pre war to delivery mile examples you will see it all. However, with such a cult following some or most of these 4×4’s are out of reach to everyone. With this in mind, there has to be something else available to the shooting community.
For the purpose of this, we will exclude compact 4×4’s like the Jimny on the basis that this is a do it all vehicle like a modern Range Rover. The car needs to be a jack of all trades, just as comfortable traversing a narrow track as it is on the school run. Whether it’s packing the car for a weekend away or a weekend on the hills our 4×4’s need versatility more than anything. All show and no go won’t save you when you need it.
Toyota Land Cruiser
Much like the Defender, the Land Cruiser has evolved from a utilitarian vehicle to a more modern alternative. Both started life as a boxy 2 seater with a versatile rear bed and generationally added more seats and more space. They even share similarities in their use as fire engines and other government vehicles.
In reality, these two vehicles are separated at birth and have grown up to be rather similar. While one’s vastly popular the other is a rare sight on British roads but we don’t think it should be. Auto Express put the two cars head to head they state, “In every measurable way, the Defender 110 is outperformed by the Land Cruiser”.
At this point, it seems like a slam dunk for the Land Cruiser. It absolutely would be if the Interior shared the same quality as the Range Rover. As it stands the Land Cruiser sits above the Defender in off road capability but below the Range Rover in terms of interior quality. This isn’t a bad thing, while the Defender is relatively bare the interior of a Range Rover isn’t accommodating to muddy dogs.
You really do have the pick of the bunch when it comes to Land Cruisers. Everything from the classic J20, the FJ70 pickup to the latest model. Prices range from 4,000 to 60,000 pounds depending on whether you’re shopping new or used. However, you certainly get more for your money here compared to a Defender.
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Audi A6 Allroad
Potentially not your standard 4×4 but it might just surprise you. The permanent Quattro 4×4 system is an evolution of the world-beating 80’s Group B rally tech. However, it’s now so refined you may not realise it’s there until you need it.
The A6 offers a normal driving experience when you need it and can extend its legs by an additional 10cm over the standard A6. This may not sound like much but unless you plan to go through some truly treacherous terrain then this is plenty.
There are massive pro’s to opt for a utility saloon over a conventional 4×4. You have all the functionality of a saloon without the top heavy and sluggish nature of large 4×4’s. Later models also use a hybrid system to utilise instant torque to get over small obstacles.
What you lose in outright space you makeup with everyday functionality. The car we’d advise is capable for offroad use but not purpose built for the Yorkshire Moors. However, unless you’re a gamekeeper your car doesn’t need to be an out and out off roader. The A6 allroad might just be the best kept fieldsports secret yet. Prices range from 5,000£ to 80,000£ depending on age and model.
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Hailing from the United States, the wrangler has always been colourful character of the offroad world. Roof down and doors off is a typical look for the wrangler that was designed with fun in mind. However, underneath this fun exterior is a serious off road chassis.
While this is no cruiser this car will offer a fieldsports enthusiast everything they could have wished for. This may be the only car on this list that lamping or shooting from is possible. With three roof options and a flat folding windshield this is a mobile blind should you need it.
The on road performance is somewhat behind what you’d expect from a German alternative. However, with the state of some of the smaller roads in the UK off road ability is almost a necessity. With so many cars trying to offer a 4×4’s functionality, this may be one of the only ones where this comes first.
Off road is where this car would ideally spend its time, its standard features include centre locking differential, detachable sway bars and a low range gearbox. The ground clearance is half an inch shorter than the new defender at full extension. Considering this is shocks vs air ride you know that shocks are considerably more dependable. To find this elsewhere you’ll be looking at bespoke builds on top of the dealership price.
Prices for the Rubicon start at 51,000£ however dealerships have these pre spec’d at 45,000£. 3 year old models are available at 35,000£.
Isuzu D-Max Utah Huntsman Pack
Isuzu is renowned for their reliability with their New Cars offering 5 years or 125,000 mile guarantee on their vehicles. With the range solely being 4×4’s they know those probably won’t be easy miles. The Utah is the most complete car in the Isuzu range with Keyless entry and heated seats coming as standard.
The Huntsman pack is the perfect addition to this vehicle. The pack comes with a dog box and gun draws as standard which is totally unique to any mass produced car. You also get rubber floor mats, uprated suspension and under body plates to protect the running gear. As far as a shooting vehicle goes this has all bases covered.
With combined MPG of 40 mpg and complying with Euro 6 emissions the Utah can spend the morning in London (free of charge) and back to the country in the evening. In terms of versatility, this truck does it all from MPG to off road performance.
Admittedly, the car is down on luxury fittings and it won’t feel as luxurious as some of the other 4×4’s on the road. Depending on your work and lifestyle this might not be such a bad thing. If you’re an active member of a syndicate you might find that this is a small trade off in return for the practicality.
There’s something on this list for everyone, whether you want to be incognito or on show, it’s up to you. Some people may suit the XL Wrangler in a bright colour while others opt for the more refined Audi A6. As we mentioned before a car has to suit a lifestyle and some cars cant do that. Living in London and venturing to the countryside the A6 is sensible, while the other way round it is not the best choice.
Which one you’d choose is a personal preference. I’d pick the Jeep while others might choose something more sensible like the Dmax. Either way, there’s not a car on this list that couldn’t get you through a muddy field. We suspect that most people will choose the out and out 4×4’s but we wouldn’t forget about the A6. If you’re looking for a budget friendly alternative, look at our blog Here.