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Interest surges in 'flood-capable' cars - as experts reveal 10 of the best deep water waders

Interest surges in 'flood-capable' cars - as experts reveal 10 of the best deep water waders
CATASTROPHIC floods in parts of Britain have prompted a surge of interest among motorists in cars that can tackle deep water.

Searches for off-road capable cars on the motor retail marketplace BuyaCar.co.uk are surging faster than usual, as floods hit the headlines again. And the most viewed story on the site for the past month is 'Best cars for floods: cars that can drive through the deepest water'.

But, as BuyaCar.co.uk expert advice reveals, it's not just big SUVs that are best for handling rising water levels - one of the best flood water waders is a car based on the Ford Fiesta that can be bought for less than £7,000.

The pre-facelift Ford EcoSport wins a place in BuyaCar.co.uk's best deep water wading cars for its impressive ability to plough through a depth of 55cm - or nearly two feet. That's deeper than a Jeep Grand Cherokee, a VW Touareg - unless you pay an extra £1,685 for air suspension - and the enormous Mercedes GLS - all of which cost several times more than the smaller Ford crossover. 

BuyaCar.co.uk believes the relentlessly wet weather headlines of recent weeks are contributing to an overall rise in consumer interest for cars with off-road capabilities in general.

Analysis of website visits reveals that the first two weeks of November saw searches for 4x4s rise disproportionately fast. It means that 4x4s are now close to becoming the most popular cars for buyers to consider - in recent days pushing close to the number one position.

October saw searches for 4x4s 22% behind those for hatchbacks.  But in the first two weeks of November - as fresh flooding hit the headlines - they closed the gap to just 12.3%.

At the same time, more readers viewed BuyaCar.co.uk's guides to driving through floods and which cars perform best under flood conditions than any other advice articles on the site.

However, BuyaCar.co.uk's consumer advice experts point out that not all big, rugged-looking SUVs are necessarily the strongest performers in deep water.

Christofer Lloyd, editor of BuyaCar.co.uk, said: "As soon as the recent catastrophic floods in parts of the UK hit the headlines we saw website traffic to our articles about driving in flood water surge, along with searches for cars with off-road capabilities.

"But don’t think that all so-called off-roaders can deal with flooding. Some large models cope with deeper water little better than far cheaper and more economical hatchbacks. However, one surprisingly flood-capable small car is the 2014-2017 Fiesta-based Ford EcoSport, with a hugely impressive wading depth of 55cm. 

"That's better than some serious mud-pluggers like the Jeep Wrangler - famous for its off-road ability - and the far larger and more expensive Mercedes GLC. The latter could lull some owners into a false sense of security, leaving them stranded in relatively shallow water, as it’s only rated as being capable of dealing with up to 300mm.

"The lesson is that a rugged image isn't always the best indicator of a car's capabilities and that some tough-looking models can barely cope with water any deeper than an ordinary hatchback. So, if you want an SUV that offers true ability in flooding and off-road, make sure you do your homework to ensure you pick a suitable model."

BuyaCar.co.uk recommendations for the cars that manage floodwaters best

Model

Wading depth      

Priced on BuyaCar.co.uk from

Land Rover Defender (2019-)

900mm

£45,240 (currently only available new)

Ford Ranger

800mm

£13,990

Toyota Land Cruiser

700mm

£32,490

Mitsubishi Shogun Sport

700mm

£26,790

Toyota Hilux

700mm

£14,750

Land Rover Discovery Sport

600mm

£17,990

Ford EcoSport (2014-2017)

550mm

£6,784

Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

508mm

£20,000

Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

480mm

£14,296

Volvo XC40 (not T5 Twin Engine)      

450mm

£23,990

 

*Article Source http://buyacar.co.uk