07 February 2013 by Keith WR Jones, Staff Writer Last Updated: 07 Feb 2014

  • Mitsubishi's ASX offers good economy in an attractive package
  • Mercedes-Benz's new GLA-Class is based on the A-Class hatchback
  • Few cars offer as much metal for money as the Dacia Duster
  • Vauxhall's Mokka is the sister car to the Chevrolet Trax
  • Mazda's CX-5 offers fine fuel economy due to lightweight engineering
  • Chevrolet's Trax offers good value 4x4 motoring
  • Fiat's rugged Panda 4x4 retains city car virtues
  • Suzuki SX4 S-Cross offers tremendous 4x4 economy
  • MINI's large Countryman offers some ability over rugged terrain
  • Nissan's new Qashqai offers less off-road ability than the X-Trail but 4x4 is available
  • We pick the most economical 4x4s currently on sale
  • All the cars in the top 10 can achieve at least 50mpg
  • Dispel the myth that all off-roaders are high-polluters

As fuel prices continue to creep upwards, more and more 4x4 customers are switching to smaller, more fuel efficiency and less costly to tax alternatives.

To help you minimise the amount of trudging you would have to do to seek out these more frugal mud-pluggers, we've identified the ten most fuel efficient 4x4s available.

Here's our guide to 4x4s that you might even consider to be 'green' - could one of these be your next car?

 

1. Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (13 on) 1.6 DDiS SZ-T ALLGRIP

Suzuki's SX4 S-Cross might be a crossover rather than a fully-fledged 4x4 but it's an attractive package that's both inexpensive to buy and run. The additional security of four-wheel drive gives it increased surefootedness over more challenging road conditions but be wary venturing too far off road. Front-wheel drive versions offering even better fuel economy are also available.

Fuel consumption: 64.2mpg

CO2 emissions: 114g/km - VED band C

Price: £21,549

2. Fiat Panda (12 on) 4x4 1.3 MultiJet

Four-wheel drive versions of the diminutive Panda have been sold for almost three decades, the latest one marrying the car's square shape with rugged body mouldings and a choice of this diesel or Fiat's popular TwinAir petrol engine. Being a city car it's easy to park in urban environments but is also surprisingly capable off-road too. Fiat also offers the Panda Trekking which looks similar but with front-wheel drive. 

Fuel consumption: 60.1mpg

CO2 emissions: 125g/km - VED band D

Price: £14,995

3. Chevrolet Trax (13 on) 1.7 VCDi AWD LT

Chevrolet's newest and last car to be launched before the brand withdraws from the UK at the end of 2015 is the small and chunky Trax. It offers a decent amount of off-roading ability with economy but that 1.7-litre diesel engine does sound agricultural. For even better economy the Trax is also available with front-wheel drive.

Fuel consumption: 57.6mpg

CO2 emissions: 129g/km - VED band D

Price: £20,495

4. MINI Countryman (10 on) Cooper D ALL4

The maxi-MINI might not please purists but the Countryman has been a sales success for BMW. Think of it more as a tall hatchback rather than a 4x4 but the raised ride height and ALL4 four-wheel drive gives it fine traction. Popular with a strong brand image and good resale values - front-wheel drive versions are also available.

Fuel consumption: 57.6mpg

CO2 emissions: 129g/km - VED band D

Price: £20,570

5. Vauxhall Mokka (12 on) 1.7 CDTi Exclusiv 4x4

Sister car to the Chevrolet Trax is Vauxhall's Mokka. Essentially the same car underneath, including the clattery diesel engine, but with unique exterior bodywork and a more upmarket interior. The Mokka has proved popular for Vauxhall so there are plenty about on the used market too.

Fuel consumption: 57.6mpg

CO2 emissions: 129g/km - VED band D

Price: £21,449

6. Nissan Qashqai (14 on) 1.6 dCi Acenta Premium 4WD

Nissan's new Qashqai has won many plaudits since its launch at the start of 2014 and, like the model before it four-wheel drive is available. Mated with the 1.6-litre diesel economy remains good at 57.6mpg, while remaining a fine-driving family car. Despite all-wheel traction it's not going to be tremendous off-road though - you might want to wait for Nissan's forthcoming X-Trail.

Fuel consumption: 57.6mpg

CO2 emissions: 129g/km - VED band D

Price: £25,695

7. Mercedes-Benz (14 on) GLA220 CDI SE 4MATIC

Newest kid on the green 4x4 block is Mercedes-Benz's new GLA-Class, a crossover based upon the A-Class hatchback. It looks very similar although the GLA's bodywork is unique but being a Mercedes it's not cheap when you've fitted the 4MATIC four-wheel drive system. It is likely to retain a lot of its value though when you come to re-selling.

Fuel consumption: 55.4mpg

CO2 emissions: 132g/km - VED band E

Price: £30,030

8. Mitsubishi ASX (10 on) 1.8 Diesel '4' 4WD

Another family-focused crossover rather than a true 4x4, Mitsubishi's ASX is often over-looked but offers spacious, economical motoring. It's also well-built and in '4' specification, well-equipped too.

Fuel consumption: 54.3mpg

CO2 emissions: 136g/km - VED band E

Price: £22,499

9. Mazda CX-5 (12 on) 2.2 Diesel SE-L AWD

Using Mazda's SkyActiv technology to reduce weight and increase engine efficiency, the CX-5 is a very appealing and economical package although it's not particularly cheap to buy. Flamboyant styling helps it stand out as do its generous levels of standard equipment.

Fuel consumption: 54.3mpg

CO2 emissions: 136g/km - VED band E

Price: £24,995

10. Dacia Duster 1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

If metal for your money is your primary goal then the Dacia Duster is hard to beat. No-frills interior has a few more toys in Ambiance trim but it remains rugged and simple rather than luxurious. Build quality is a bit patchy but for a family friendly 4x4 nothing comes close to it in this price bracket.

Fuel consumption: 53.3mpg

CO2 emissions: 135g/km - VED band E

Price: £13,995