We list the five cleanest compact and large 4x4s and recommend three from each class that we think you should consider.
Compact 4x4s: What Car? Recommends
1 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI S 2WD
The likelihood is that you won't be taking your SUV off-road, and that's where this version of the Tiguan comes in. Without the weight and drag of a four-wheel drive system, it returns a very decent 45.6mpg and emits less than 160g/km CO2. Plus, it's as good to drive, spacious and classy as any Tiguan.
2 Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CTDi ES
Honda's engines are as clean as they are smooth and powerful. A cracking 2.2-litre diesel unit is the secret of the CR-V's success. Despite being significantly bigger and heavier than the SX4 below, it is not much heavier on CO2 emissions.
3 Suzuki SX4 1.6 VVT GLX 4Grip
Here's proof that if you want low emissions, you have to keep things compact. The Suzuki SX4 is no bigger than a Ford Focus, but this 4Grip model is a proper off-roader. It's the SX4's weight and aerodynamic advantage over its large, bluff, lolloping rivals that gives it the edge on emissions.
Greenest compact 4x4s
Large 4x4s: What Car? Recommends
1. Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Style 7st
The beauty of the Hyundai Santa Fe is that it’s such a superb all-rounder. The diesel engine is stronger than most rivals’, giving it a useful 2500kg towing limit, and this seven-seat version is as practical as some MPVs. It drives well, too, but the real attraction is the price. You’ll struggle to find a better-value 4x4.
2. Lexus RX450h SE-L
A few years ago, a ‘green’ 4x4 was a contradiction in terms, but the Lexus RX changes all that. Incredibly, it has the kind of emissions you’d expect from a small family car, which means it costs much less to run than many rivals – and all without any sacrifice in build quality, space, or desirability.
3. Audi Q5 2.0 TDI 143 SE
The Q7’s not-so-little brother has a lot to recommend it: fine car-like handling, supreme build quality, and a practical and spacious cabin. It also has plenty of equipment and good refinement, and the only thing that might put you off is the firm ride.
The greenest 4x4s