Crossovers? I'm sticking to my trusty all-terrain steed
Published 03/08/2016 | 02:30
For the majority of farmers, choosing the right car can be challenging as it is difficult to justify owning a comfortable and reliable family car and also a jeep-type vehicle for towing.
These days an increasing number of people purchase what's called a crossover that will hopefully do both jobs. Unfortunately, many such vehicles couldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding and struggle when it comes to off road driving.
There are numerous options but it has always been hard to find sound, sensible reviews of cars that are suitable for those of us who live and work in rural areas and frequently need to travel on rough terrain.
More practical advice would help when choosing a new model rather than articles about the latest super wagon that can cost up to €100k. Sporting magazines occasionally do reviews of hugely expensive Sports Utility Vehicles for the hunting and shooting fraternity.
Most of these cater for wealthy city people who like to show off and maybe enjoy the odd day on a driven pheasant shoot or towing a child's pony to a show. There are tales of some who spray mud on their spotless SUVs to try and give the impression that they occasionally use them for other than shopping and dropping the kids to school.
The rest of us however, want a solid, affordable and reliable workhorse that can tow a trailer -load of lambs to the factory, cross a mucky field and also carry us comfortably and economically on long journeys.
I have little knowledge of what is under the bonnet of any car or 4WD these days but then all mechanics need laptops with specialised programmes to service them so I won't bother with technical data. If you are a petrol head and want to know, then Google it.
This article is for people who like a car to do "what it says on the tin" day in and day out and keep doing so for decades. For those reasons my car of choice is a Subaru Forester because the marque is famously reliable, has great ground clearance for driving down forest roadways, can tow trailers on wet ground better than most so-called 4WDs and yet are a joy to sit in when navigating through cities or on a long journey and have all the safety features one could ask for.