An ode to the 4X4

Nic Cackett

For fifty weeks a year the UK's sizeable contingent of four-wheel drive SUVs are stereotyped as the unloved, unwanted and comically pointless leviathans of the city centre; blamed for global warming and scorned by cyclists, they're crudely and falsely dismissed as an accessory for middle class mums or the desperate boast of a middle-aged man.

But then the other two weeks roll around – the wintery fortnight we find ourselves slap bang in the middle of right now, which deposits a foot of snow onto the ground and travel misery into the air. Overnight the 4X4 is transformed from a poser's plaything into a go-anywhere goliath with the muscular appeal of a Chinook helicopter.