Mountain cars: 4x4 or estate car?
Mountain roads can be challenging, and it is important to choose the best car to tackle them safely, whether that be a 4x4 or an estate car.
4x4 or estate car? The best cars for use in the mountains
Many Italians have decided to spend the summer holidays in the mountains, to enjoy some time in the great outdoors and nature. From the Alps to the Dolomites and the Apennines, the Italian mountains offer some of the most beautiful natural landscapes. More and more people are becoming passionate about the mountains and choose them for walking, Nordic walking and many other relaxing and invigorating activities.
However, in mountainous locations, the roads can be inaccessible and may not connect to each other, especially in more unspoilt areas, so it is important to drive a suitable car. Here is a short guide on how to choose the best mountain cars for your next summer holiday.
Cars for mountain roads: which to choose
There are several considerations to take into account when choosing a car for the mountains. Trips to the mountains are not all the same and certain cars will be more suitable for certain requirements, not to mention your tastes. A lot changes depending on the time of year you are travelling, on the type of roads and the activities you are doing, therefore these factors should be taken into account to choose the best car for you.
These days, cars are becoming more and more technologically advanced and comfortable, and they are also perfectly suitable for urban travel, so much so that many people choose SUVs and 4x4s despite not living in mountainous areas or in laces with challenging roads.
The main features of off-road vehicles
There are several types of cars that are suitable for the mountains, from more robust and basic off-road vehicles to modern SUVs with high-quality equipment, not to mention crossovers and some four-wheel drive estate cars.
Having a four-wheel drive is one of the main characteristics of cars designed for mountain roads: it guarantees better grip on the road and high levels of safety on more unusual and adventurous roads, where more traction is required, as well as better handling.
From this perspective, there are many models on sale: those who want a small off-road vehicle with this feature could opt for the Fiat 500L Cross, a compact and agile SUV, which adapts well to more challenging terrains, while those who love a bit of luxury might like the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Q4, a solid car with high-tech equipment. No 4x4 can be considered the absolute best as a lot depends on a person’s requirements in terms of comfort and budget, but other aspects to consider apart from the traction system are:
- Luggage compartment capacity;
- Optional extras;
- Seat comfort and handling;
- Consumption and emissions.
The best estate cars for the mountains
Despite needing a car that is suitable for the entire family, many people still want a vehicle that can handle any mountain road. One solution that meets both these requirements is a 4x4 estate car.
With a spacious luggage compartment, which is traditional for this type of car, and a highly comfortable interior, off-road estate cars have features that are typical of SUVs, particularly when it comes to the traction system.
Hiring a car for the mountains
Perhaps the best way to get a high-quality car but keep costs down is a short- or medium-term hire car. This means that you can choose the best car for a specific requirement.