Best Car Models For Mountain Driving

Issue 98

Different kinds of roads present different challenges to the vehicles that travel them. If you're looking to travel up and down mountains, then you might even find that you need to get around where no roads exist.

Whether it’s the rugged peaks of the Lake District, the Highlands, or the Alps, your choice of vehicle can make a huge difference to your travelling experience. But exactly which cars are best suited to these conditions?

Subaru Outback

The Outback has established itself as a go-to option for mountain driving. It offers plenty of ground clearance, as well as all-wheel drive, which means that it can capably deal with even the most hostile environments and weather conditions.

Jeep Wrangler

This vehicle qualifies as iconic, with a look that ties it closely to the first Jeeps to roll off the production line back in the 1940s. With a two-litre turbocharged petrol engine and an eight-speed gearbox, it’s a truly fantastic off-road vehicle. On the other hand, all of this motoring prestige comes with a price tag – and the driving experience is a noisy one, wherever you’re motoring. You can think of the Jeep as a vehicle that’s precisely tailored to mountain driving, but which might not be so pleasant to handle when you’re driving through town. Think about how you’re spending your time behind the wheel before you make this investment.


In the X5, BMW provides an excellent choice for those looking for an SUV with a little more luxury on offer, as well as off-road capability. It’s just as comfortable dealing with the school run as it is with rugged mountain passes. These vehicles have a reputation for durability and reliability, which means that you can often find acceptable options on the second-hand market. Look for a used BMW, and you won’t be compromising on performance or style.

Land Rover Discovery

The Discovery is the flagship off-road vehicle from a company that specialises in them. It’s a seven-seater SUV, smaller than the Range Rovers, but larger than the Discovery Sport and the Defender. The latest model comes with an impressive array of features, but the older ones have plenty to admire about them, too.

One thing to bear in mind here is that the Discovery’s reliability leaves much to be desired. Of thirty-two manufacturers tested by What Car, Land Rover came in twenty-eighth. So, if you’re concerned about keeping the vehicle on the road, you might think twice.

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