Compare the best small 4x4s

High-quality small 4x4 cars from rated and reviewed dealers

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If you're looking for the security of all-weather grip, a 4x4 is a great option. It essentially means that the engine powers all four wheels, and although the type of tyres you have also plays an important role, this generally means cars feel more secure in poor conditions. It's why off-roaders are almost exclusively four-wheel drive.

However, you don't have to want to escape far off the beaten track to enjoy the benefits this provides. There are plenty of small four-wheel drive cars that are a great option for those who need something compact for the city, but also want to be able to tackle country roads in the midst of a bleak winter.

Below are 10 of the best small four-wheel drive cars you can buy right now, selected by our team of expert car reviewers.


1. BMW X1

BMW X1 review
Volvo XC40 Recharge

2. Volvo XC40 Recharge

Volvo XC40 Recharge review
Battery range up to 333 miles
Range Rover Evoque

3. Range Rover Evoque

Range Rover Evoque review

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Cupra Formentor

4. Cupra Formentor

Cupra Formentor review
Toyota Yaris Cross
Urban Living Award
Highly Commended

5. Toyota Yaris Cross

Toyota Yaris Cross review
MINI Countryman (2016-2023)

6. Mini Countryman

MINI Countryman (2016-2023) review
Battery range up to 28 miles
Alfa Romeo Tonale

7. Alfa Romeo Tonale

Alfa Romeo Tonale review
Suzuki Jimny

8. Suzuki Jimny

Suzuki Jimny review
Dacia Duster (2017-2024)

9. Dacia Duster

Dacia Duster (2017-2024) review
Jeep Renegade

10. Jeep Renegade

Jeep Renegade review

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Advice about small 4x4 cars

Small 4WD cars FAQs

This will depend on your specific needs, but the Range Rover Evoque and Volvo XC40 are some of the best small luxury 4x4s, while the Dacia Duster offers great capability and value at the lower end of the market. 

For something in-between, the stylish Toyota Yaris Cross is a great city-friendly 4x4.

There are a number of great small automatic 4x4s on sale. The Seat Arona, VW T-Cross and Mini Countryman are just a handful of self-shifting options out there. Higher up the price range, most luxury small 4x4s such as the Volvo XC40 come standard with automatic transmissions.

While having an automatic transmission can be a real boon in traffic, it’s worth noting that most autos use more fuel than their manual counterparts and can dampen performance levels - especially noticeable when paired with smaller engines.

The Suzuki Jimny is one of the smallest 4x4s you can buy, though new models are no longer available so you will have to get one used. If you really want a new car, your smallest options include the Suzuki Ignis and Jeep Renegade.