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4x4 demand 'at an all-time high'

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There has been a significant rise in the number of British motorists planning to purchase 4x4 cars over the past year, with demand reaching an all-time high, according to a leading car research website. said there was a 35% rise in the number of drivers looking for new 4x4 vehicles over the period despite the steep rise in car insurance premiums, fuel costs and other motoring expenses.

At the same time, demand for new superminis fell 30%. New hatchbacks too showed a decline (12%) in popularity.

Experts attribute the rise in demand for 4x4s chiefly to manufacturers addressing customer concerns over fuel efficiency and emissions.

"As major manufacturers continue to invest in more fuel efficient, smaller engine 4x4s, we will we continue to see demand continue to grow as motorists favour their size, safety and road handling in bad weather conditions," said Chris Green, co-founder and sales director of the website.

© Press Association 2011