Whether you’re cruising past flower-filled meadows, snaking your way along winding lanes or going completely off the grid, the British countryside is one of the most enjoyable places to drive. Sure, you can enjoy the scenery in any car. But certain models elevate your experience to the next level. So, what are the best rural cars for countryside driving? Read on for our roundup.

1. Range Rover SUV

While the iconic Range Rover SUV is eternally popular with urbanites, its true home is the great outdoors. From rocks and potholes to unexpected river crossings, there’s nothing this car can’t handle. Driver visibility is fantastic, making it easy to keep tabs on your surroundings. This is important in the countryside, where you’ll encounter a unique set of hazards.

The Range Rover SUV is built for muddy boots, but it doesn’t scrimp on luxury. Off-road capabilities are best-in-class thanks to the advanced Pivi Pro system. All-wheel drive improves traction on slippery terrain, while the rear-wheel steering system helps you maintain total control in the most challenging conditions.

2. Ford Fiesta

You don’t need a rugged SUV to head to the countryside. Compact vehicles like the Ford Fiesta are more than capable of navigating country roads. The budget-friendly supermini isn’t just affordable. It’s surprisingly comfortable for longer rides. Think you might want to venture off the beaten track? Upgrade to the Fiesta Active to unlock extra clearance and a suite of offroad-friendly features.

3. Mazda MX-5

If you’re more into high teas at country estates than wild camping, you’ll love the Mazda MX-5. Sporty by nature, this sleek and streamlined model is one of the best rural cars for style-conscious motorists. It’s got plenty of class but is tough enough to get you down muddy country roads with ease. The driver’s seat is low to the ground, giving it a sporty feel. Choose the fabric-roof convertible version to make the most of the summer sunshine.

4. Porsche 718 Cayman

Now we’ve dabbled in sports cars, let’s take things one step further with the Porsche 718 Cayman. If budget is no obstacle, this is the ultimate set of wheels for country driving. The supercharged four-cylinder engine delivers almost 300bhp and can take you from zero to 62mph in just over five seconds. Needless to say, this makes getting from A to B an absolute pleasure. Quiet country roads are the perfect place to let the car flex its muscles.

5. MINI Countryman

The name says it all really. This nifty SUV is one of the best rural cars on the market. It builds on the much-loved MINI design with a spacious interior, excellent ground clearance and fantastic handling. There’s a big improvement in traction, making this model ideal for tough driving conditions. Clever features like Dynamic Stability Control provide intuitive braking when things get hairy. At the rear is a cavernous 450-litre boot that can be extended to 1390 litres with the back seats folded flat. There’s more than enough space for camping gear, suitcases, furry friends and more.

6. BMW X3 

Luxury meets capability in the BMW X3. Smooth suspension and excellent traction make this ultra-capable SUV well suited to countryside driving. Even better, it can tow up to 2600kg. Perfect for if you have a trailer or small caravan. Twists, turns and hairpin bends are a cinch thanks to the xDrive all-wheel-drive system. And of course, as it’s a BMW, there’s luxury everywhere you look.

7. Audi Q7

Powerful yet luxurious, the Audi Q7 is one of the best rural cars for adventurous drivers. With up to seven seats, it’s well-suited to families looking for a good balance of space and comfort. The 865-litre boot is enormous so there’s no need to stress about overpacking. Engage all wheels using the quattro four-wheel drive system and tow up to 3500kg with ease. With a stellar NCAP rating of five stars, safety is front and centre.

8. RAV4 

Capable and reliable, the RAV4 has been winning over British motorists for years. If you want to keep your emissions as low as possible, the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid is an eco-conscious choice. The combination of a 2.5 litre petrol engine and hybrid powertrain technology offers total peace of mind when it comes to range. With rural cars like this, you won’t need to think twice about setting off on an adventure to remote destinations like the Isle of Skye or Snowdonia National Park.

9. Suzuki Ignis

If you’re looking for an SUV that’s compact and affordable, the Suzuki Ignis is a savvy choice. It may not be as sleek as models like the Range Rover, but it gets the job done. Throw in a few upgrades and you can enjoy features like wheel arch extensions, roof racks and 4WD functionality. You’ll be flying over potholes with ease. As for space… The boxy silhouette makes the most of every inch. There’s plenty of room for four adults, plus all your outdoor gear.

10. Dacia Duster

The tough as nails Dacia Duster is right at home on country roads. It offers an impressive 210mm of ground clearance, as well as four-wheel drive functionality for when terrain gets tough. It may not be the most luxurious SUV on the market but when it comes to performance, the Dacia Duster punches above its weight. This makes it one of our top picks for rural cars.

Car financing for rural cars

Got John Denver stuck in your head? We don’t blame you! With so much to see, do and experience, why not head to the British countryside for your next getaway? If you’re thinking about upgrading your wheels, our car loan APR estimator is a great place to start.

Use our custom-built car finance calculator to crunch your numbers and figure out how much you can borrow when shopping for rural cars. It’s a clever way to stretch your down deposit further and ensure your country getaway is as comfortable, safe and luxurious as possible. 

Rates from 9.9% APR. Representative APR 12.4%

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Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 12.4%, annual interest rate (fixed) 12.36%, 47 monthly payments of £196.44 followed by 1 payment of £206.44 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £1,939.12, total amount payable is £9,439.12.

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