Top five small 4x4s

  • Five small cars capable of off-roading
  • Each costs less than £250 per month to tax
  • All return more than 40mpg on combined cycle

Although we’ve had a relatively warm winter so far, there's always the chance that we could suffer a random spell of snow or bad weather.

Even if we don't, a 4x4 offers you a multitude of advantages over your common saloon or estate. The high driving position means you feel in command of the road, the extra traction from having power going to all four wheels means difficult conditions are easily overcome, and these days ordering a 4x4 doesn’t mean sacrificing refinement either.

We’ve picked our top five favourite small 4x4s and laid out exactly how much you’ll have to pay in company car tax each month.

1. Land Rover Evoque TD4 Pure

Why buy?

Easily the most fashionable of this group of 4x4s, the Evoque is more than just a pretty face. Thanks to Land Rover’s Terrain Response system it’s as capable off road as it is on it. Based on the acclaimed LRX concept, the Evoque is bound to appeal to city slickers, the middle-aged mothers crowd and pretty much every demographic in between. It’s no coincidence you’re already seeing so many on the roads – looks like Land Rover has pulled off a bit of a masterstroke.

Fuel economy: 49.6mpg

CO2 emissions: 149g/km

BIK band: 23%

Cost per month in company car tax*: £226

2. Nissan X-Trail 2.0 dCi 173 Acenta

Why buy?

The X-Trail is widely regarded as one of the best family 4x4s around. It’s a hard-wearing, efficient and comfortable machine. The refined diesel engine in the model we’ve chosen is more than up to the task no matter what you throw at it, and the interior is stylish yet hard-wearing and functional. It’ll cope with snow, sand and inner-city sight-seeing, achieving all three without breaking a sweat.

Fuel economy: 44.1mpg

CO2 emissions: 168g/km

BIK band: 27%

Cost per month in company car tax*: £229

3. Skoda Yeti S 2.0 TDI CD 4x4

Why buy?

It’s all too easy to wax lyrical about the Yeti. Its combination of fantastic dynamic ability, low running costs and hard-wearing, functional interior mean it doesn’t have many genuine competitors in its class. The efficient and refined diesel engine in this model is a great match to the four-wheel-drive powertrain and helps the Yeti navigate surprisingly extreme terrain.

Fuel economy: 46.3mpg

CO2 emissions: 159g/km

BIK band: 25%

Cost per month in company car tax*: £189

4. Mitsubishi ASX 3 ClearTec 4WD

Why buy?

The ASX is a robust and comfortable car which is practical and comes with a plenty of kit as standard. The derivative we've chosen has a torquey 1.8-litre diesel engine which combines 147bhp with a 0-60 time of 9.7 seconds. It may not be the first choice on the ever-growing list of crossovers/small off-roaders, but it is a left-field choice well worth considering.

Fuel economy: 49mpg

CO2 emissions: 150g/km

BIK band: 22%

Cost per month in company car tax*: £167

5. Jeep Compass 2.2 CRD Limited 4x4

Why buy?

The smallest of the Jeep products, the Compass is an excellent road car with refined and civilised manners, yet can navigate extreme terrain thanks to its capable chassis. Fitted with the 2.2-litre diesel engine – which is the best of the bunch – it also has the power required to pull the car out of any sticky situations.

Fuel economy: 42.8mpg

CO2 emissions: 172g/km

BIK band: 28%

Cost per month in company car tax*: £217


*Company car tax is worked out on the 40% pay scale with no optional extras