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4X4 off-road market struggling

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As motorists look to save money on car insurance and opt for smaller vehicles, the 4x4 off-road market has "virtually collapsed", according to Which? Car magazine.

The magazine added the trend this year would be for more fuel-efficient cars and that people had "finally realised" an off-roader is not the ideal vehicle for taking the children to school.

It went on: "Expensive, gas-guzzling cars like 4x4s are becoming socially unacceptable - unless you're a farmer. Buyers have also been turned off by high taxes and some models' disappointing reliability."

Richard Headland, Which? Car editor, said: "Times are hard, so it's no surprise that people are downsizing to save money.

"It pays to think carefully about alternatives to the mainstream choices and if you go for a more fuel-efficient car you can cut costs for years to come. Luxury cars and 4x4s could be in for a rough ride."

The magazine recommended the Honda FR-V, which costs around £19,000, as the perfect car for a large family of six, instead of a 4x4, such as the Land Rover Discovery, which could cost around £39,000.

© Press Association 2009