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What's the best economical 4x4 in 2016?

These four-wheel drive family SUVs all return over 40mpg

Words ByDarren Moss

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BMW X3

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 cars all average more than 40mpg, make tax-efficient company cars, and are great to own for private buyers. As well as the traditional pure diesel engine choices here, we've also included couple of plug-in hybrid models on our list.

The cars are listed in alphabetical order, along with our True MPG results where we have tested the precise model in question.

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, refined and reasonably economical. The ride is comfortable and the upmarket cabin is hard to fault.

Read the full Audi Q3 review

BMW X3 xDrive20d SE

MPG/CO2 50.4mpg/149g/km True MPG 42.2mpg

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

Fiat Panda 4x4 1.3 Multijet

MPG/CO2 60.1mpg/125g/km True MPG 53.7mpg

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 review

Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi 140 Zetec

MPG/CO2 47.9mpg/154g/km True MPG 41.0mpg

The Ford Kuga has a decent amount of passenger space, both for those up front and in the rear seats. The gutsy and economical diesel engines are also pluses, but the amount of boot space on offer is a disappointment. While the 4x4 versions are economical enough to make it on to this list, the 2WD versions are capable enough off road to warrant consideration as well.

Read the full Ford Kuga review

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