Best small 4x4s

Fiat Panda 4x4
3 Sep, 2014 1:00pm

Our top 10 best small 4x4s and SUVs, for those looking for practicality without the high fuel economy

SUVs and 4x4s are becoming more and more popular, thanks to their fashionable looks, practical bodies and strong reputations for safety. They're great in winter too, providing plenty of traction when you find yourself on a more slippery surface. However, a large 4x4 can be expensive to run, thanks to the high weight reducing fuel economy and raising the taxable emissions.

That's where a small 4x4 comes in - there are many to choose from these days, offering a good mix of the practicality of a larger car with the lower running costs of a small family car. There are so many that it can be tough to work out which is best - and that's why we've put together this handy list.

Start off by narrowing down your options a bit. Do you need four-wheel drive, or is it the high driving position and practicality of a 4x4 that you require? Some of these models are available with front-wheel drive, which saves you money on running costs. If you're after the extra traction of a 4x4 without the bulky body shape, try something smaller like the Fiat Panda 4x4 or Suzuki Swift 4x4.

You'll need to make a decision on the engine you'll want in your small 4x4, too: most will go for a torquey and efficient diesel, which will be the most sensible choice for most. However some small 4x4 cars can be just as cost-effective with a petrol, especially thanks to the generally higher purchase price of diesel models and company car tax can be higher, too.

Higher running costs are a small price to pay if you live in isolated rural areas because when the snow arrives, four-wheel drive could be the difference between being housebound and business as usual. So while there are trade-offs, the benefits really come into their own when the weather turns sour.

A small 4x4 will be perfect for many, but you might find yourself needing something a bit bigger. Check out our list of the best 4x4s and SUVs on sale for our top picks overall.

For an alternative view on the best 4x4s on sale check out our sister site

Best small 4x4s

1. Skoda Yeti 2. Mazda CX-5 3. Nissan Qashqai 4. Dacia Duster 5. Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 6. Kia Sportage 7. Fiat Panda 4x4 8. Volkswagen Tiguan 9. Audi Q3 10. Suzuki Swift 4x4