Nowadays, 4x4s are no longer expected just to be good off-road, instead they have to be practical, stylish and good to drive on the road, too. All their practicality and size often means 4x4s return worse fuel economy than their road-biased competitors. Some, however, use highly advanced powertrains to avoid sky-high fuel bills.
We’ve put together a list of the most fuel efficient 4x4s on sale – vehicles that only a few years ago would’ve cost a small fortune to run. Many make use of plug-in hybrid systems or carefully tuned diesel engines to keep the impact on your wallet as soft as possible.
Put any of these 4x4s in our new car deals page to see how much carwow could help you save.
1. Audi Q7 e-tron (166mpg)
Audi’s latest Q7 impresses in a number of areas – it’s stylish, practical and offers a comfortable, luxurious interior, complete with the brand’s virtual cockpit and MMI infotainment system. As a family car, it’s simply vast so will easily accommodate anything you throw at it.
Impressive fuel economy might not spring to mind for a car this size but thanks to the Q7 e-tron’s plug-in hybrid system, it can return a scarcely believable 166mpg. It’s not quite available to order yet so Q7 fans will have to settle for the – already respectably efficient – TDI diesel until it arrives.
Check out our Audi Q7 deals page to save money on your new car.
2. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (156mpg)
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is among the smallest vehicles on our list, but that doesn’t mean its 156mpg fuel efficiency is any less impressive. This plug-in hybrid has an all-electric range of 30 miles too, meaning well planned town jaunts use no fuel at all. A recent update also made it two seconds faster from 0-30mph making it feel more sprightly around town.
It’s good value too, and surprisingly plush inside – even in base GX3h trim. Some buyers may mourn the lack of the third row offered on the standard Outlander – the battery takes its place – but the Mitsubishi is more than big enough for five plus their luggage.
3. Volvo XC90 (134.5mpg)
Volvo’s new XC90 has been very well received by the press. It’s arguably the most stylish car the brand has ever produced with an interior using the very finest leathers and woods. There’s a range of conventional efficient diesel and petrol engines, but the powerful T8 hybrid has been getting most of the attention.
It’s both the most powerful engine option and posts the best fuel economy at 134.5mpg. The 2.0-litre petrol engine is both turbocharged and supercharged, then combined with an electric plug-in motor for a combined output of 395hp, and a 0-60mph time of 5.9 seconds. It may be pricey, but customers will be able to reap the rewards at the pumps.
Our Volvo XC90 deals page has all the latest offers.
4. BMW X5 xDrive40e (85.6mpg)
The BMW X5 has always been one of the more economical large 4x4s, but BMW has recently added a plug-in hybrid variant able to return more than 80mpg. The X5 xDrive40e has a 2.0-litre petrol engine combined with an electric motor, giving a total output of 272hp.
Diesel variants are pretty economical too – the sDrive 25d eschews its four-wheel-drive system to return more than 50mpg. Like many cars from the Bavarian brand, it promises to be one of the most engaging cars in its class to drive, too.
5. Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid (83.1mpg)
Porsche’s Cayenne is arguably one of the best large 4x4s to drive but just because it’s fun on the open road doesn’t mean that it can’t be economical, too. There’s been a popular diesel model for several years, but Porsche recently launched a plug-in hybrid version capable of returning 83.1mpg.
It uses a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, combined with an electric motor to give an impressive total output of 410hp. There’s a 22-mile all-electric range too so short city drives needn’t use up your fuel tank. This isn’t a cheap car to buy and Porsche’s famously costly options can seriously inflate the final price.
6. Mercedes GLE (76.4mpg)
The Mercedes GLE is another large 4×4 that offers economically-minded buyers the choice of several diesel engines, or a plug-in hybrid. Diesels can return well over 50mpg, but it’s the GLE500e that really impresses in terms of fuel consumption, returning 76.4mpg – a figure that would’ve been impressive for a tiny city car just a decade ago.
The GLE500e uses a 3.0-litre V6 engine and electric motor that together produce 434hp – enough that 0-62mph takes just 5.3 seconds while still offering an all-electric range of 18 miles. Like other upmarket hybrids, it’s a little pricey but, for those who want the greenest Mercedes SUV on sale, this is the choice for them.
Use our Mercedes GLE deals page to discover how much you could save.
7. Land Rover Discovery Sport (57.7mpg)
The Land Rover Discovery Sport is the first conventionally powered car on this list – it simply makes use of a modern, well-tuned diesel engine to reduce your fuel bills. It’s on the smaller side compared to some models mentioned here, but the Land Rover is still a large car, with plenty of room for five and just enough for seven on short journeys.
The basic 150hp 2.0-litre diesel engine is the most economical choice returning 57.7mpg but even the more powerful 187hp version can return 53.3mpg. This remains the same even with the optional 9-speed automatic – something not common with older auto ‘boxes.
Check out our Land Rover Discovery Sport deals page to save money on your new car.
8. Lexus RX (54.3mpg)
Lexus has long promoted the benefits of hybrid power, and its RX has been available as a hybrid for nearly 10 years now. The 3.5-litre V6 is still combined with an electric motor, but unlike other hybrids in this list, it isn’t a plug-in and is charged either by the engine or when braking.
Despite its less sophisticated hybrid system, it has an all-electric range of 20 miles work at to speeds of 25mph – more than sufficient for most congested cities. The new RX is a striking machine with the kind of angular styling only usually found on Japanese cars. As a premium alternative to the usual German options, the RX makes a good case for itself.
Our Lexus RX deals page has all the latest offers.
9. Jaguar F-Pace (53.3mpg)
The new Jaguar F-Pace shares many of its engines with the Land Rover Discovery Sport, so it’s not surprising that the fuel consumption figures are very similar. The 2.0-litre diesel is the most economical version and, even with four-wheel drive, returns 53.3mpg. Rear-wheel drive versions can manage 57.7mpg.
There’s plenty of room for five, and the Jaguar has the company’s new infotainment system to keep drivers (and passengers) entertained. Looks are subjective but, to our eyes, it’s one of the best looking 4x4s currently out there.
Use our Jaguar F-Pace deals page and save today.
10. Kia Sorento (49.6mpg)
The Kia Sorento is a handsome and good value 4×4 that offers room for seven and decent levels of standard equipment. The 2.2-litre diesel engine just falls short of the 50mpg barrier, but that’s still not bad for a car that offers seven seats and a big boot.
Disappointingly, only the base KX-1 version achieves 49.6mpg thanks of its smaller alloy wheels. KX-2 and KX-3 versions still manage over 45mpg, but choosing the optional six-speed automatic lowers it even further to 42mpg.
Our Kia Sorento deals page has all the latest offers.
Save money on your next 4×4
Our new car deals page will find you the best discounts on any of the 4x4s featured here. Alternatively, if you’re struggling to decide what your next car will be, our car chooser is here to help narrow your search.