What's the best economical 4x4? updated

  • 40mpg+ cars with four-wheel drive
  • Family-friendly SUVs
  • Every car averages more than 40mpg

If you're looking for an economical 4x4 that combines low emissions and high mpg, all wrapped up in a great overall package – then you've come to the right place.

These 4x4 diesel cars all average more than 40mpg, make tax-efficient company cars, and are great to own for private buyers.

We've listed them by the most economical first.

Fiat Panda 4x4 1.3 Multijet
MPG/CO2 60.1mpg/125g/km
The Fiat Panda 4x4 is the only supermini that offers genuine off-road ability and great economy. Although it's a niche car, it's vastly superior to small SUVs such as the Suzuki Jimny. Only the much bigger Dacia Duster offers comparable abilities for similar money, but you might be put off by its disappointing three-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
Read the full Fiat Panda Trekking review

Skoda Octavia Estate 2.0 TDI 4x4
MPG/CO2 57.6mpg/124g/km
The Skoda Octavia Estate is an affordable and spacious family car. While this version doesn't have a raised ride height like its Octavia Scout predecessor, it's still a practical four-wheel-drive car.
Read the full Skoda Octavia review

Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi 360 4WD
MPG/CO2 55.4mpg/135g/km
The Nissan Qashqai makes a brilliant family car because it's roomy, comfortable, refined and affordable to run. The king-of-the-road driving position is another plus, and this diesel engine is the best in the range.
Read the full Nissan Qashqai review

Mazda CX-5 2.2D Skyactiv-D SE-L AWD
MPG/CO2 54.3mpg/136g/km
Given its size and performance, the Mazda CX-5 has brilliant fuel economy and CO2 emissions, and the entry-level diesel engine is a real peach. It has lots of interior space and equipment for a reasonable price.
Read the full Mazda CX-5 review

BMW X3 xDrive20d SE
MPG/CO2 50.4mpg/149g/km
The BMW X3 is the best compact 4x4 you can buy, and our current SUV of the Year. It's classy, practical and good to drive. The engines are efficient, too, and standard kit is pretty generous.
Read the full BMW X3 review

Honda CR-V 4x4 2.2 i-DTEC SE
MPG/CO2 50.4mpg/149g/km
The Honda CR-V's off-road ability is limited and its diesel engine can be noisy, but it has impressive build quality and gives you masses of space inside.
Read the full Honda CR-V review

Audi Q3 2.0 TDI quattro
MPG/CO2 49.6mpg/149g/km
Underneath the Audi Q3's rather mundane styling lies a decent car. The engine is strong and refined, and reasonably economical. The ride is comfortable and the upmarket cabin is hard to fault.
Read the full Audi Q3 review

Range Rover Evoque 2.2 TD4 Pure
MPG/CO2 49.6mpg/149g/km
The Range Rover Evoque is stylish, good to drive and comes with desirability that its rivals simply can't match. This model strikes the best balance between performance, efficiency and affordability.
Read the full Range Rover Evoque review

VW Tiguan 2.0 TDI Bluemotion Tech 4Motion
MPG/CO2 48.7mpg/150g/km
The VW Tiguan has a responsive engine and a finely balanced chassis, so it's enjoyable to drive. It has a pleasingly smart image, too, with a classy, spacious and flexible cabin.
Read the full VW Tiguan review

Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDI SE 4x4
MPG/CO2 47.1mpg/157g/km
The Skoda Yeti is a stylish and practical alternative to traditional family hatchbacks. It handles brilliantly and this 4x4 model is a capable off-roader, too.
Read the full Skoda Yeti review

Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Style (7st)
MPG/CO2 46.3mpg/159g/km
The Hyundai Santa Fe is a practical, classy and well equipped 4x4. It's spacious and there's the reassurance of a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.
Read the full Santa Fe review

By Ed Callow

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