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Today here at Shortfall we are taking a look into five of the very best four wheel drive vehicles available on our streets here in the United Kingdom. The difference between a four wheel drive vehicle compared to that of a front wheel drive or rear wheel drive is that torque from the car is delivered to all four wheels from the engine that is used. This results in a much more agile and dynamic driving experience. If we go back in time, we see the first ever four wheel drive form of transportation come in 1893. An engineer from England Bramah Joseph Diplock invented the use of a four wheel drive platform for a traction engine. Two of the very first car manufacturers to introduce four wheel drive platforms to their vehicles were BMW and Mercedes in in 1926. As far as history can be traced back though, it is believed that the first ever four wheel drive vehicle for public use was designed in Russia in 1938. Now in this day and age the majority of vehicles we see use four wheel drive platforms are estate vehicles and 4x4's but brands from around the world have also incorporated four wheel drive technology into some of their other biggest selling vehicles. Today here at Shortfall we have constructed a list of five of the very best vehicles available on the market right now which used four wheel drive technology in their vehicles.


Five of the finest four wheel drive vehicles on the market



  1. The Suzuki Swift


Our first addition into our line up today comes to us courtesy of the Japanese car and motorbike manufacturer Suzuki and is one of their biggest selling 4x4 vehicles available on the market right now. The vehicle in question is the Suzuki Swift. We first seen the Swift arrive on our streets in 1983 and has since this time had three generations of the car go on sale around the world. One of the latest variants of the car officially came to us just last year and incorporated a brand new four wheel drive into the system. It has proven to be a key seller for the manufacturer and benefits from a lot of different features and power that have tempted customers into making a purchase. So with a look into the power and performance aspect of the vehicle, we see that this latest version of the Swift is equipped with a 1.6 litre engine and a 1.3 litre diesel unit is your alternative choice. The 1.6 petrol unit to come along with the car is also fitted with a five speed,manual transmission system which combined with the engine sees the car reach an overall top speed of 103 miles per hour with this top speed limitation being helped along the way by a 0 to 62 miles per hour sprint time being achieved in just 13.4 seconds. There are a number of great features that also come along with the car which have proven to be key selling points over the course of the past year. Some of these features include the likes of LED running lights,cruise control and a keyless start. Alloy wheels,front fog lights,Bluetooth connectivity and air conditioning also come along with the Swift as standard. Prices for this latest version of the Swift start of at a cost of £15,739 and the car is available to drive away from your local Suzuki showroom/dealership right now.


  1. The Skoda Yeti


Taking control of the fourth place position today is an SUV addition from the Czech car firm Skoda. We first seen this car arrive on our roads in 2009 and has since been one of the biggest selling SUV vehicles on the market. The Skoda Yeti is a car that has helped define the SUV sector of the car industry and has proven to be an ideal source of competition for other SUV vehicles on the market like the Nissan Qashqai and the Toyota Rav4. The Skoda brand has certainly been revived over the recent years with the Octavia and Fabia topping the charts. The Yeti has also had a key role to play in the success of the brand over the course of the past five years, so what is it that has been fitted to the Yeti to help give that added edge over anything else available in the SUV sector ?. One of the latest versions of the car to go on sale arrived just a number of months ago and comes to you in the manner of the high spec Laurin&Klement model. The main differences made to this version of the Yeti compared to that of other additions in the line up include some added power to the car and plenty more additional pieces of equipment. So if we take a look into the kind of power that the Laurin&Klement packs, we see that during this vehicles time on the production line the brand included the fitting of a 2.0 litre,four cylinder,turbo diesel engine which combined with the six speed,DSG automatic transmission system sees the car deliver on a total of 168 brake horse power. With that in mind we see an overall top speed reached of 122 mph which is helped to reach this limitation by the 8.6 seconds in which it takes the car to hit the 62mph speed area from a standing start.


Regarding some of those new added pieces of equipment for this Laurin&Klement version of the car, Skoda have included alloy wheels,dual zone air conditioning,a built in sat nav system and a fully leather upholstery setup for the interior. The price tag to come along with this version of the Yeti comes in at a cost of £27,840 and the Laurin&Klement Yeti is on sale now.


  1. The BMW 120d X Drive


Reaching our top three positions today is a vehicle addition from the German brand BMW which was launched onto our streets mid way through last year and has proven to be one of the finest four wheel drive models that BMW has to offer. The 120d X Drive since being launched has brought a lot of attention to the BMW brand and this is mainly down to the fact that this is the first time ever an entry level 1 series model has been offered with a four wheel drive platform. The 120d X Drive since its arrival last year has brought a lot of rivalry to other big selling manufacturers like Audi and Mercedes and all for good reason. So what features of the car help it to stand out and make an impact ?. Well firstly, we see that the car is well kitted out with the inclusion of a 2.0 litre,four cylinder,diesel engine which combined with the fitting of a standard six speed manual transmission system will see the car produce 181 bhp and reach a top speed of 140 miles per hour. This is all helped to reach this point by the time in which it takes the 120d X Drive to hit speed areas of 62 miles per hour from the get go. This is achieved in a total of just 7.2 seconds. Of course with making it into our list today, you can expect this BMW model to come as a four wheel drive variant. The car comes in the form of a hatchback and benefits from a good amount of interior space too. Prices for a brand new version of this car start of at the entry level range of £17,775 with prices rising up to £31,375 for the highest spec version of the 120d X Drive.


  1. Audi A3


Narrowly missing out on the number one position today is the addition of the A3 from German car company Audi. We first seen the Audi A3 make its presence felt in 1996 when the first generation model was produced. Since 1996 there have been two generations of the car go into production with many different variants and revised versions of the car arriving on the market over the years. Today though we are going to take a look into one of the latest versions of the car which takes a leap into the strong future of our car industry the hybrid sector. This vehicle is being marketed by Audi under the name of the Audi A3 e-tron. This version of the A3 officially went on sale back in July of this year and is one of the very first steps the brand have taken into leaving an impact on the EV market. With a look into some of the key components that Audi have included with the car during its time on the production line,  we see that the mass manufacturer have installed a 1.4 litre,four cylinder,turbo engine which is joined alongside by the fitting of an electric motor. A six speed,e-s tronic transmission system is also included which in total combined with both the engine and electric motor, sees an overall power deliverance of 201bhp.A 137mph top speed limit has been put in place for the e-tron and this is helped along by the 7.6 seconds in which it takes the e-tron to hit the 62 mph range from a start. From just the electric motor alone, this A3 variant can do a trip of around 31 miles before needing to use the engine and fuel and in just electric mode alone we see that the car can reach 80 miles per hour. The cabin of the e-tron is looking pretty also as we see that Audi have fitted a built in sat nav system and a flat bottomed steering wheel also. EV vehicles on the market benefit from a government grant of £5,000 off of the purchase price which before the grant comes in at £34,950. So with the government grant being taken into consideration we see a cost of £29,950.


  1. The BMW X5


Now the vehicle finding its way into our top spot position today is a model coming to us courtesy of the German company BMW who make it into our list one more time today. Production of the first X5 model was begun in 1999 and has since this time established itself as one of the best SUV models that the BMW brand has to offer. We are today focusing our attention on one of the latest versions of the car to go sale on European markets which arrived just last year. This version of the SUV is the X5M50d. Differences made to this version of the car compared to that of the standard model includes some new additional pieces of equipment and a focus on the power side of the car. So firstly for this variant of the car, we see that BMW have included the installation of a 3.0 litre,six cylinder,tri-turbo diesel unit. An eight speed automatic transmission system is also included with the four wheel drive vehicle which helps the X5 to see a total power deliverance of 375bhp. A top speed of 155 miles per hour can also be achieved from the vehicle. A sprint time of 5.3 seconds is also all that is needed for this version of the X5 to reach the 60 miles per hour area.


There is a good range of added equipment to come along with this car to which could help enhance your driving experience when it comes down to owning a BMW X5. BMW models have been well known in the past for adapting brand new technology into their vehicles which have proven to follow on to other manufacturers over the years and vice versa. As always you can expect big selling X5 models to be well equipped and we see this demonstrated by the inclusions of 19 inch alloy wheels,sports seating,parking sensors and a climate control system. Prices for this version of the X5 come in at £63,715 and you can drive away in this X5 right now from selected BMW showrooms around the country.


Are four wheel drive platforms the future of our car industry ?


Four wheel drive vehicles have certainly asserted themselves as some of the biggest selling vehicles in the automotive industry over the years and we believe that given the right push and new advancements they will continue to be big sellers well into the future for their respective manufacturers.