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Best 4x4s for fleets

  • Affordable 4x4s with go-anywhere ability
  • Load-lugging ability and towing capacity
  • Our list includes vehicles big and small

If you’re based in a rural location and need a company vehicle that’s capable enough to stray off the tarmac every now and then, what are the best options?

We’ve had a trawl through the stats to bring you a shortlist of off-roaders that offer value, practicality and a mix of on- and off-road ability. Although some models are also available in two-wheel drive form with lower CO2 emissions and therefore tax bills, we’ve kept our list all-wheel drive only so you know they won’t be defeated by a journey off the beaten track or by the worst of winter weather.

BIK rates for ultra-low emission vehicles are rising year-by-year, though more manufacturers are offering hybrid and plug-in hybrid models with all-wheel drive, making these the most appealing option for many company car drivers.

Our list below includes large and medium sized off-roaders plus a couple of pint-sized wild cards. BIK figures apply from April 2018 for the 2018/19 tax year.

MINI Countryman Cooper S E ALL4

MINI Countryman Cooper S E ALL4

We already rate the MINI Countryman as a low-cost 4x4; the highest emission models produce 169g/km and the all-wheel drive diesel a reasonable 127g/km. For the lowest costs, however, go for the plug-in hybrid Cooper S E ALL4.

Not only is the hybrid drivetrain ideally suited for easy low-speed progress, it keeps the MINI Countryman Cooper S E in the lowest bracket for BIK, and qualifies as an ultra-low emissions vehicle for salary sacrifice schemes.

Fuel economy: 134.5mpg
CO2 emissions: 49g/km
Benefit-in-Kind: 13%
P11D value: £31,520
Monthly BIK tax cost (20%): £68
Towing capacity: 1,500kg (braked)
Boot volume: 450 litres


 

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

A more focused model than many on the market, the Outlander has bridged the gap between the car-like ASX and the rather agricultural Shogun with a diesel powered, large off-road SUV. Capable off-road but with good road manners, it also has the option of seven seats.

The stand-out model in the Outlander range is the five-seat plug-in hybrid PHEV. One of the first plug-in hybrid off-road cars to hit an affordable mass-market price point, it's even offered with blanked rear windows and no rear seats in Outlander commercial van form; that has some impressive benefits for businesses too, such as 100% capital allowance in the first year due to the ultra-low emissions.

As a 4x4 company car, the Outlander PHEV is reasonably refined, with good equipment levels and decent seating. The latest models have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.

Fuel economy: 166mpg
CO2 emissions: 41g/km
Benefit-in-Kind: 13%
P11D value: £34,750
Monthly BIK tax cost (20%): £87
Towing capacity: 1,500kg (braked)
Boot volume: 591 litres


 

Fiat Fullback 180 LX or Mitsubishi L200 Warrior double cab

2017 Fiat Fullback 180 LX

Reflecting the beneficial arrangements for commercial vehicles, lifestyle pick ups are an appealing option for fleets that need all-terrain capability. Fiat's Fullback shares most of the technology and design with the Mitsubishi L200, and is available at very competitive rates; it's worth checking between both brands to see who has the best promotions.

Unlike many pick ups available in Britain, the Mitsubishi and Fiat come with an option for selectabe permanent four-wheel drive on the higher powered 181hp models. These are also available with an automatic gearbox, with no change in BIK.

Less practical for families unless you have an optional load cover or hard top, ride quality can also be inferior to many cars. It's less stressful tackling potholes and speed bumps than in cars with large wheels and low-profile tyres, though, and the ground clearance is a significant advantage when tackling rural tracks, deep snow and work sites.

Fuel economy: 39mpg
CO2 emissions: 186g/km
Benefit-in-Kind: £3,350 (fixed rate)
P11D value: £30,360 (Fiat, £29,388)
Monthly BIK tax cost (20%): £56
Towing capacity: 3,500kg (braked)
Load capacity: 1,055kg, 1,470mm x 1570mm


 

Ssangyong Rexton 2.2 ELX Auto

2018 Ssangyong Rexton

Old-school, body-on-frame off-roader chassis and old-school capabilities, the Rexton looks impressively up to date elsewhere with good equipment, a well designed interior and comfortable seats. The 2.2-litre engine isn't the most refined, but it's well matched to the automatic gearbox.

A low cost for the level of equipment and a feel much like an older Land Rover Discovery is the appeal here - a proper 4x4 SUV with massive interior space, high driving position and good motorway ride quality.

Fuel economy: 34mpg
CO2 emissions: 204g/km
Benefit-in-Kind: 37%
P11D value: £33,240
Monthly BIK tax cost (20%): £205
Towing capacity: 3,500kg (braked)
Boot volume: 820 litres


 

Dacia Duster 4x4

2018 Dacia Dusters

For a larger fleet of working 4x4s, the Dacia Duster is an affordable option with rugged looks, low-cost maintenance and a low price of entry. Unlike the Suzuki Jimny, the Duster's all-wheel drive system allows 4x4 benefits in mixed weather conditions, and it's a usable vehicle for five adults too.

It makes the most sense in Access form, where the low P11D cost offsets the relatively high BIK band - it is only available as a 1.6-litre petrol, and though the specification is basic, you get a fairly refined drivetrain.

Covering high mileages you may prefer the 1.5-litre 110 DCi diesel - which is only available in Ambience trim or above - so we've provided figures for both below.

Dacia Duster Access 115 SCe 4x4 costs

Fuel economy: 41mpg
CO2 emissions: 155g/km
Benefit-in-Kind: 32%
P11D value: £10,495
Monthly BIK tax cost (20%): £58
Towing capacity: 1,500kg (braked)
Boot volume: 408 litres

Dacia Duster Ambiance 110 DCi 4x4 costs

Fuel economy: 60mpg
CO2 emissions: 123g/km
Benefit-in-Kind: 29%
P11D value: £14,780
Monthly BIK tax cost (20%): £72


 

Suzuki Vitara 1.6 DDiS ALLGRIP

Suzuki Vitara

Suzuki's Vitara is extremely appealing for company car drivers and fleets, thanks to the efficient 1.6-litre DDiS diesel engine. This has astonishingly low emissions for a four-wheel drive car - just 111g/km in six-speed manual form, or 118g/km if you go for the automatic.

Practicality and build quality are also excellent, though trim quality may disappoint drivers used to executive saloons. Equipment levels make up for it, with an excellent infotainment system and proven Suzuki all-wheel drive ability.

Fuel economy: 67mpg
CO2 emissions: 111g/km
Benefit-in-Kind: 27%
P11D value: £23,584
Monthly BIK tax cost (20%): £106
Towing capacity: 1,500kg (braked)
Boot volume: 375 litres


 

Suzuki Jimny

Suzuki Jimny

One of the oldest designs you can buy new, the Jimny has been in production for 20 years. The appeal is in the rugged simplicity, but for farmers and workers in remote rural locations, nothing can come close to the compact dimensions and mountain-goat quality of off-road ability.

That longevity means that the Jimny is not the most efficient of vehicles, despite the frugal - for the class - 1.3-litre petrol engine.

Fuel economy: 39mpg
CO2 emissions: 162g/km
Benefit-in-Kind: 33%
P11D value: £12,444
Monthly BIK tax cost (20%): £68
Towing capacity: 1,300kg (braked)
Boot volume: 119 litres


 

Fiat Panda Cross 0.9 TwinAir 4x4

Fiat Panda Cross

There are two models of Panda 4x4 - the regular edition offers some extra traction and security, but for proper off-road use the Cross is the version to get. It features raised ground clearance, underbody protection and most importantly, sophisticated electronic locking to maximize traction and keep the wheels moving, rather than spinning on slippery surfaces.

You can have the £16,255 0.9-litre TwinAir petrol, or the £18,155 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel - the former has lower emissions and monthly BIK cost, more character and better performance on road.

Fuel economy: 57mpg
CO2 emissions: 114g/km
Benefit-in-Kind: 23%
P11D value: £16,040
Monthly BIK tax cost (20%): £61
Towing capacity: 800kg (braked)
Boot volume: 225 litres


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