High-selling brands including Fiat, Nissan and Vauxhall offer specific models which are considerably easier to manoeuvre and park then a standard SUV, but still offer off-road capabilities.
Small but tough is the name of the game here in our guide to best small 4×4 cars on sale now.
Fiat Panda 4×4 1.3 Multijet
Standard starting price – £14,995
The latest Fiat Panda 4×4 has won multiple awards in recent years, including Top Gear magazine’s SUV of the Year accolade. That such a car could defeat much bigger and more expensive SUV vehicles on the market is testament to how good the Fiat really is.
It shares the same styling and majority of components with the standard Panda city car. Key differences, however, include new tougher body panels and of course a four-wheel drive set-up.Engines for the Panda 4×4 include a 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel which returns 60.1mpg combined and CO2 emissions of just 125g/km.
With 74bhp the Panda 4×4 diesel may not sound particularly powerful, but this light and strong car has enough under the bonnet to get through a variety of terrain.
It’s also well equipped, featuring as standard air conditioning, a CD/radio player, heated and electric mirrors and partial leather seat trim.
Nissan Juke 1.6 DIG-T ‘Tekna’ 4WD
Standard starting price – £20,700
The Nissan Juke has proven a real sales hit for Nissan since it first arrived to markets back in 2010.While the majority of specifications utilise front-wheel drive, at the top of the Juke range is a four-wheel drive powertrain featuring a punchy 1.6-litre DIG-T turbocharged petrol engine. This unit produces 187bhp and it’s mated with a flexible six-speed automatic gearbox.
This specification certainly has the firepower to go with the Juke’s compact yet muscular appearance.The 4×4 version of the Juke comes in Nissan’s range-topping ‘Tekna’ trim. That means buyers get a lot of standard equipment including climate control, cruise control, parking sensors and full electric windows.
Chevrolet Trax 1.7 VCDi ‘LT’ AWD
Standard starting price – £20,495
In all specifications the Chevrolet Trax certainly has the bold, strong looks to befit a 4×4 vehicle.The car is a stylish entry in the subcompact crossover segment and its model line-up includes a couple of four-wheel drive powertrains.
The pick of these is the diesel version, using a 1.7-litre CDTi delivering 129bhp. Also featuring a six-speed manual gearbox, this Trax offers decent pace on the road and extra grip in trickier conditions.Also specified in the higher ‘LT’ trim level, this model also features parking sensors, air conditioning and a rear parking camera.
Vauxhall Mokka 1.7 CDTi ‘SE’ 4×4 S/S
Standard starting price – £23,949
The Vauxhall Mokka is closely related to the previously mentioned Chevrolet Trax, sharing various engines and other key components. There are some differences, however, including the styling, which bears resemblance to the Vauxhall Corsa, and the way the car drives.
The Mokka already has the styling and nimble driving characteristics to suit an urban environment. Even better though, there are a few four-wheel drive specifications available which are great for handling various low-grip conditions like wet roads or even off-road terrain.
Include is a four-wheel drive powertrain featuring a 128bhp 1.7-litre CDTi diesel mated with a six-speed manual gearbox. This set-up is available for the ‘SE’ trim Mokka that includes climate control, heated and leather seats, sports seats and parking sensors.