Q: My wife is looking for a new company car. She would prefer a 4x4, but needs a model that has low insurance costs and low emissions, so she pays less company car tax. Can you suggest any 4x4s for her to consider? Nigel Barker
A: The problem with 4x4s is that the components required to power all four wheels decrease the car’ fuel efficiency. The Toyota RAV4 is one of the better ones in the class due to its smaller size. With a carbon dioxide output of 207g/km, the three-door 2.0-litre petrol model falls into the 28% tax bracket and, with an output of 211g/km, the five-door version is in the 29% bracket. Both versions sit in insurance group 11.
By considering a front-wheel-drive off-roader, your wife could reduce her bills further. The Hyundai Tucson 2.0 2WD, for example, emits 190g/km and sits in the 25% tax band, and attracts a group 11 insurance rating; the Nissan X-Trail 2.2 dCi 2WD emits 189g/km, sits in the 27% tax band and has a group 10 insurance rating; and Honda’s CR-V 2.2 i-CTDi has a 25% tax rating thanks to emissions of 177g/km and is in group 11 for insurance. Beating them all is the Daihatsu Terios with 183g/km/23% tax and insurance group 7.
Toyota is due to bring out an all-new RAV4 early next year, which is believed to feature the new clean-running diesel engine found in the Avensis saloon so is likely to offer even lower bills for company drivers.