The 4x4 here is a Land Rover, and that is generally reflected in resale prices, the 'British' marque tending to hold value better than rivals'. Richard Binnersley, auctioneer at 4x4 specialist Russell, Baldwin and Bright, said: 'There is a huge amount of 4x4 supply and things are still on a downturn. Anything Japanese is very slow. It's got to be in top condition, be a diesel, have a full service history and have low mileage to stand a chance, and even then prices are about 10% lower than six months ago.
'But Land Rover, with the exception of new shape Range Rovers, is doing just as well as it was 12 months ago. Freelander has had some very good press, and that's helped talk the market up.' CAP auctions guru and Fleet News columnist Tim Ryan says 'non-serious' off-roaders like the Toyota RAC 4, Suzuki Vitara and Honda CR-V are doing reasonably well, but that heavier vehicles were finding it much more difficult to find buyers.
Used values aside, the 4x4 manufacturers say there remains strong user-chooser demand for 'lifestyle' off-roaders in everything from compact to luxury class. While a downturn in 4x4 residuals over the last two years may have helped Ford make the decision to delete the Terrano sister Maverick 4x4 from its portfolio, Land Rover's new Freelander has become an instant hit, and new sales of the likes of the Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4 and Jeep Cherokee variants are reportedly ticking over nicely.
Up to the end of October, Nissan had sold 3,079 examples of its Terrano II (relaunched in July 1996 with new looks and a more powerful turbodiesel, and expecting to plug any sales gap left vacant by the Maverick). That performance, says Nissan, shows that far from contracting, the 4x4 market is expanding, and further growth is expected next year.