Northern Ireland is a country crisscrossed with uplands and low mountains. It can be relatively flat in places, but quickly scales upwards. Head toward Sperrin, Mourne or the north-eastern coast and you enter pick-up country. This is a place where 4×4 performance rules the roost – where dirt tracks cut through key routes and conditions change quickly. To get around here, you need something rugged.
Like a tractor. But that isn’t exactly family friendly. If you’re not a single farmer, what you want is a rugged SUV with 4×4 or a pick-up with 4×4.
Northern Ireland’s terrain is best-suited to vehicles with a short turning circle and the ability to return good fuel economy on a combined trip. With that in mind, here’s five of the best used and pre reg 4×4 and pickups to consider for NI.
The Mitsubishi L200 is what most people think of when they hear the word “pick up”. This rugged workhorse has a 2.4-litre diesel engine and a manual or 5-speed automatic transmission (the facelifted model for 2019 has an updated 6-speed automatic). The Super Select 4WD is incredibly robust with a rear differential lock, and the L200 has a Double Cab with room for five. A handsome look finishes it off. Coming with 3.5 class leading towing capacity on model year 2018 onwards.
Our choice: All versions of the L200 are excellent. Check out the Barbarian with its heated seats, keyless entry, rear camera and Bi-Xenon headlights.
Mitsubishi Shogun Sport
If the L200 is a bit too utilitarian for you, the Mitsubishi Shogun Sport is better suited to urban motorists. It has the same Super Select 4WD system with 4H, 4HLC and 4LLC modes and a 3.1-tonne tow capacity. It drives like a luxury SUV and looks like one, with angular bodywork and striking LED headlights. It comes with all the latest technology too, like Adaptive Cruise Control and a 360° camera.
Our choice: It’s got to be the top-spec Shogun Sport 4. It boasts heated front seats, Blind Spot Warning, ACC and that excellent 360° camera.
SsangYong Korando Sports
When it was launched in 2012, the SsangYong Korando Sport redefined the value proposition for pick-ups. This is much more a passenger car with utility as an add-on, rather than an outright pick-up multi-link rear suspension for a smooth car like ride. This can be felt in the ride, which is more comfortable and compliant than most pick-ups. The 2.0 diesel engine is strong, and the manual and autos offer a flexible drive. 2.7 tow capacity and 1 tonne payload.
Our choice: The EX has everything you need including cruise control, heated front seats, automatic air conditioning and Bluetooth.
New SsangYong Rexton
If you want an elegant SUV that’s as suited to hauling trailers as it is the kids to school the Rexton is what you want. It’ll tow a braked trailer up to 3.5-tonnes with serious 4×4 performance to boot. The driver-selectable 4-wheel drive system is reassuringly capable, and Hill Descent Control is a standard feature. You’ll find this SUV surprisingly luxurious inside and very well equipped. It’s a great used and pre reg buy.
Our choice: We’re bowled over by the Ultimate’s luxurious quilted Nappa leather upholstery, but ELX models are very well-equipped. Go for the ELX.
New SsangYong Musso
The SsangYong Musso is a stylish and robust pick-up with a sector-leading 7-year warranty and 3.5-tonne tow capacity. The load bed is large enough to carry a Euro pallet and over a 1-tonne payload capacity you can load up pretty much anything. The interior is equipped with a wide range of features that make life easier, like a heated steering wheel and seats and a 9.2” touchscreen infotainment system.
Our choice: The second-to-top Saracen model offers outstanding value, with premium Nappa leather seats which are heated in both the front and rear.
With these available options, it’s up to you to choose what suits your style and needs best. You will never go wrong with this selection! Good luck.