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As we head into the colder months many of us make changes to stay warm and safe in the winter. These can be as small as putting on a jumper to as big as choosing a new car that can better handle UK roads in winter.

Although the UK doesn’t get as brutal weather as other parts of the world drivers still have frost, ice, snow and cold temperatures to deal with. We think it’s important to consider how your vehicle will handle the winter weather as much as how fun it will be to drive in the summer.

For those looking to upgrade their car this winter we’ve rounded up our top ten car picks below.

1. Dacia Duster


The Dacia Duster is an estate car that looks and drives like an SUV, and even comes with four-wheel drive depending on the option you go for. It offers drivers a high viewpoint, a secure grip of the road even in slippery conditions, and a spacious interior.

Now in its second generation, the Duster has been redesigned to make it slightly bigger and a little more comfortable for passengers. There’s Bluetooth connectivity so you can pair your phone to the car, the option of automatic 4x4 mode which switches between all-wheel and four-wheel drive seamlessly as needed.

It’s a great choice whether you are looking to lease or purchase, with starting prices at under £13,500 to buy.

To check out our great leasing deals on the Dacia Duster just click here.

2. Mini Countryman


Our next pick is something a little more compact but just as capable in adverse weather.

The Mini Countryman is the crossover version of the classic Mini Cooper that’s designed in and for British roads.

It’s available with either front or four-wheel drive, advance braking system which includes ABS, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and cornering brake control and a Euro NCAP five-star rating.

To see the best leasing deals we have to offer on the Countryman just head over to this page.

3. Fiat Panda 4 x 4


The Fiat Panda isn’t a car that’s known for its style, but with the Panda 4x4, also known as the Panda Cross, Fiat have given the Panda a new, stylish lease of life.

It’s still got the recognisable cube body shape, though it sits higher from the ground and comes in a selection of fashionable colours.

It also comes with several practical features as well like four-wheel drive that operates automatically to ensure you keep moving even if you’re off-road or travelling in the few snow flurries that hit UK shores each year. There’s a choice of petrol or diesel engines and four different trim levels.

The Panda is a great mid-sized and economical choice if you want something with SUV qualities.

4. BMW 3 Series Touring


The 3 Series is one of the best cars on the market if you’re looking for something that has great capability all year round no matter what kind of driving you’re doing.

The Touring Estate version of the 3 Series offers you a 500 litre boot, that’s big enough to fit the winter essentials and more, as well as a little more practicality in terms of BMW’s xDrive four-wheel-drive that can handle the harshest of weather on British roads.  There’s a range of trims and engines to choose from including the 330e PHEV.

It also comes with a host of active safety features that can detect other road users, automatically apply emergency brakes, and warn of speed limit changes.

We’ve got some of the best BMW3 Series Leasing deals here.

5. Range Rover 


We couldn’t write a post about winter driving in the UK without including a Land Rover model, and we’ve opted for the Range Rover.

It’s a luxury choice that has a high-quality finish to the spacious interior for all passengers. If you opt for a Range Rover Sport  you’ll get the option of an additional two seats as well as another range of spec options to choose from.

As it’s a Land Rover it also has great off-road and towing capability, can handle the rougher terrain of country tracks even in mud, sand or snow depending on the time of year.

Click here if you want to find out more about the Range Rover and amazing leasing deals we can offer you.

6. Mazda 3 


The Mazda 3 is a hatchback that’s been loved by UK drivers ever since it hit the market in 2003. It’s a sleek exterior and has a high-quality interior who’s design pairs ease of use with a sleek finish.

All spec levels have LED headlights, parking sensors and a sat nav as standard though you’ll need to upgrade to  GT Sport Tech or the SkyActiv-X level to get all-wheel drive for better handling in winter.

If you decide not to opt for all-wheel drive and instead stick to front-wheel drive you’ll get greater performance out of the vehicle but you wont have the same pairing of responsiveness and efficiency.

In 2019, when it was last tested, Mazda received a five-star Euro NCAP rating, and across the full range Mazda 3’s come with automatic braking systems, blind spot monitoring and driver alertness warnings.

Click here to see our great Mazda 3 leasing deals.


7. Citroen C3 Aircross

citroen-c3-aircross-for-top-10-winterThe Citroen C3 Aircross has recently been revamped to give drivers a better, more stylish driving experience.

It’s got good road control in winter thanks to its Grip Control technology, which provides sand, all-road, snow and ESP-off modes for better traction and grip stability no matter the road condition. The C3 Aircross also comes with Citroen’s hill-descent control, which helps you maintain control down steep slopes.

Based on the C3 model the Aircross shares several of the design features of the hatchback, but comes with a higher ride height, wide range of engines to choose from and additional features like the Grip Control mentioned before.

To see more about the Citroen C3 Aircross and the great deals we can offer check out this page

8. Volvo XC90


We couldn’t write a list on winter cars without including one of the safest brands on the market – Volvo.

We’ve chosen the XC90 as it’s an all-wheel-drive SUV with up to seven seats so there’s plenty of room for the entire family and all their belongings, even in winter with the extra layers.

It has a five-star Euro NCAP rating and has a number of high-tech features designed to keep people inside and outside of the car safe. These include a safe positioning system to help minimise passenger acceleration in the front sears if an imminent collision is detected, blind spot detection system, cross traffic alert with autobrake to reduce the risk of collision when reverse parking and much more.

The interior is also finished to a high quality with comfortable seats for all passengers, integrated smartphone and navigation technology and luxury touches like the panoramic sunroof.

For the best Volvo XC90 leasing deals just click here

9. Suzuki Ignis


The Suzuki Ignis is a great choice if you’re looking for a robust SUV that can handle adventures off the beaten track in the rain and snow of British winters. Its small size and optional Allgrip four-wheel drive make it nimble and quick across any uphill terrain that might be a problem for larger and heavier models.

There’s no longer a diesel option but instead you can get the Ignis with mild hybrid technology, which helps improve your fuel economy and is better for the environment.

If you’re looking for a compact SUV that can handle off-roading, is stylishly retro in design and complete with all the latest mod-cons then the Ignis could be the car for you. Take a look here to see how cheaply you could lease WhatCar?’s best value small SUV of 2021.

10. Subaru Outback


Our last pick is the Subaru Outback. Ever since they began in the 1970’s Subaru is a brand that’s been known for their estate vehicle that can handle poor weather and pot-holed roads.

The Outback is perhaps one of the brand’s best known crossover estate, and has been through several generations since it first appeared on the market over 25 years ago.

Though it might not be the most exciting of cars to look at the latest edition is a large and practical estate that can handle any weather the UK winters might throw at it even on the worst kept back roads.

It comes with Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive which directs power to the wheels with the most traction to ensure as stable a grip as possible, a low centre of gravity compared to traditional SUVs but an impressively high average ground clearance of 200mm.

If you think the Subaru Outback could be the next car for you just click here to see the best leasing deals.

For more of our top car picks head back to our blog homepage and set the filter to top 10s.

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