Despite not really needing four-wheel drive, the British public really love big, chunky off-roaders. And don't go telling me about all the slippery leaves and ice in the winder. Everyone else manages just fine in their pokey Vauxhall Corsa.

The real reason we like 4x4s is that they're big, comfortable and commanding. From your sky-high driving position, you tower over other motorists, surfing over the deepest potholes like they're nothing at all. And, I  guess, when it does snow (for those two days every year) you can power off down the roads safe in the knowledge that your chunky off-road tyres and all-wheel-drive will carry you home safely.

Anyhow, this week we've been thinking about the best 4x4s you can lease for under £500 per month. Here's what we came up with!

The Land Rover Discovery is the best 4x4 on the market and has been for some time. Delivering a cushy on-road experience and an unstoppable ride off it, the Discovery sets the standard for excellence in the 4x4 market.

The main problem with the Discovery is the price. It ain’t cheap and leasing one for under £500 is a bit tricky.

(At the moment, the cheapest we can find a Discovery (the 2.0-litre SD4) is £510 per month, which is so close to our £500 limit that I threw it in anyhow.)

143 viewed this car Discovery SW View Gallery
7.2

Land Rover Discovery SW

19 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 3.0
  • Fuel: D, P
  • Body: 4x4
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 189 - 284g/km

From £489.63 Per Month

Initial Rental: £2,937.78 inc VAT

With a starting price tag a little under half that of the Land Rover, you get a lot more bang for your buck with the Skoda Kodiaq.

Available with both a five- and seven-seat configuration, the Kodiaq is super practical for day-to-day life. (Although you’ll be hard pushed to fit anyone older than about ten in the very back seats!)

The internal space is outstanding as is the boot space. With all seven seats raised, you still get 270 litres of space, which is more than most city cars! With every seat flattened down, you get an astonishing 2,065 litres, which is enough for a full bedroom suite out of Ikea, a couple Great Danes and a scattering of bikes. Maybe.

Surprisingly for a car this cheap, the Kodiaq’s interior is nice. Every surface you can touch uses plush, soft-touch materials and the design looks impressively premium.

There’s also some nice extra features like umbrella storage in the doors and a hidden torch in the boot, which are the kind of features that make a big difference in a packed market.

385 viewed this car Kodiaq Estate View Gallery
7.7

Skoda Kodiaq Estate

52 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Estate
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 131 - 170g/km

From £221.81 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,996.29 inc VAT

The F-Pace was Jaguar’s first foray into the 4x4 world and — ignoring one or two whiny naysayers — it was really well received.

A sporty take on an SUV body, the F-Pace looks the business and has the performance to back it up.

On the road, the F-Pace is an absolute dream. It’s sporty chassis means the body sits significantly a bit lower than, say, a Discovery and that wipes out the classic 4x4 roll.

As you whip round deserted B roads, the F-Pace actually feels more like a hot hatch than it does a big, bulky all-wheel drive monster.

The 2017 styling refresh hasn’t change much on the outside but you get three new engines to choose from — two 2.0-litre diesels and a 2.0-litre petrol. With 300hp on offer, the petrol engine is my clear favourite of the new options.

Petrol versions of the F-Paces tend to cost a fair bit more than diesel alternatives so your options under £500 are a bit limited.

104 viewed this car F-pace Estate View Gallery
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Jaguar F-pace Estate

21 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 2.0 - 5.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Estate
  • Drive: A, M
  • CO2: 129 - 272g/km

From £313.07 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,878.42 inc VAT

The Mercedes GLC isn’t as big as other 4x4s on our list, trading internal space for sleeker styling and sportier performance.

This isn’t a working car for the farm, rather a well-equipped car for icy Waitrose carparks.

From the outside, the Mercedes is a thing of beauty. Leaning slightly towards the crossover mould with big wheels and a low slung chassis. The big grille is impressive and its chunky vents down below are brilliantly menacing.

Inside, the design is outstanding.

Chrome, black leather and soft-touch plastics are everywhere and the design screams highly-engineered German luxury.

The only problem with the interior is the tech, which does let the GLC down. The low res infotainment screen is particularly disappointing and, if I'm being honest, I expected much better from Mercedes.

On the road, the GLC is smooth and comfortable. The soft suspension irons out all but the deepest potholes and the superb sound insulation wipes out virtually all wind, traffic and engine noise. Just plant for your foot and drift along in peaceful serenity.

There’s four engines on offer — one petrol and three diesels — and they’ll do the job wherever you are. On motorways, in cities and on B roads, it's difficult to fault the GLC. All models come with a nine-speed automatic gearbox that’s fast, smooth and efficient.

All in all, a super stylish, great-driving 4x4!

207 viewed this car GLC Coupe View Gallery
7.4

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe

31 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 2.0 - 4.0
  • Fuel: D, P
  • Body: Coupe
  • Drive: A
  • CO2: 159 - 268g/km

From £359.99 Per Month

Initial Rental: £3,239.91 inc VAT

The Edge is Ford’s flagship crossover, offering space, style and all-wheel drive. But with stiff competition from other crossovers and a hefty price tag, can it hope to stand out?

First things first, the Ford Edge is a good looking car with an angular, bulky body and trim rear. The front detailing is especially nice with sections slotting together like highly engineered girders.

Under the bonnet, UK motorists get a choice of two 2.0-litre engines, delivering either 178hp or 207hp. There's a petrol engine too but it's only on offer to the Americans for some reason.

The diesels are good enough though and have enough grunt to keep the two-tonne Edge feeling reasonably sprightly.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a sporty crossover like the Qashqai or the Kia Niro and it can feel a little laboured when you stamp on the accelerator — especially if you’ve opted for the smaller engine.

The good news is the handling is better and it more than makes up for the slightly lacklustre engines. The steering is nicely weighted and you get a fair bit of feedback through the wheel.

While you might not have considered it, the Ford Edge is a really solid all-wheel-drive crossover and is worth seriously considering. 

45 viewed this car Edge Diesel Estate (2016) View Gallery
6.7

Ford Edge Diesel Estate (2016)

8 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 2.0
  • Fuel: D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 149 - 152g/km

From £381.11 Per Month

Initial Rental: £2,286.66 inc VAT

The Dacia Duster is another budget 4x4 that punches way above its weight. With a price tag around one-quarter of the Land Rover, you can throw every single optional extra at the Duster and still have enough dough left over for a month-long holiday in the Maldives. Maybe.

Originally launched back in 2009, the older generation Dusters were starting to look a bit dated and last year's redesign was nice to see.

The 2017 refresh added new colours and a new grille but, if I’m being completely honest, could have gone further. The Dacia still looks a little uninspiring, especially up against good looking cars like the Discover, GLC and even the Edge.

However, get past the looks and the Duster is a really great car underneath.

Bags of space, a towering driving position, good engine choice, impressive fuel consumption and super affordable add-ons make this a serious contender at all price points.

48 viewed this car Duster Estate (2014)

Dacia Duster Estate (2014)

2 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 1.2 - 1.6
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: 4x4
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 115 - 185g/km

From £145.62 Per Month

Initial Rental: £873.72 inc VAT

Launched in 2010 and updated in 2014, the BMW X3 is Beemer's attempt to break into the 4x4 market. Like the Jag did with the F-Pace, BMW have gone for a sportier look, dropping the ride down and smoothing out the styling.

It’s still got four-wheel drive and a big boot but it doesn’t lean like older 4x4s and it’s way more fun to drive. The driving experience is actually one its biggest selling points. Make no mistake, this is a big ol’ car but it sure as hell doesn’t feel like one.

Under the bonnet, you’ve got a range of diesel engines and they’re all pretty good. Even the smallest has enough grunt to get a fully loaded X3 flying down motorways without breaking a sweat.

The interior is fantastic too with exceptional space in both the front and back seats. The design is nice and sporty and the build quality is exactly what you’d expect in a BMW.

All in all, the X3 is a superb 4x4 for those with a sporty streak.

133 viewed this car X3 Estate View Gallery
8.0

BMW X3 Estate

12 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 3.0
  • Fuel: D, P
  • Body: 4x4
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 135 - 229g/km

From £284.21 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,705.26 inc VAT