You don’t have to buy a big chunky SUV to get a new car with impressive off-road abilities. We’ve rounded up a list of 10 compact 4x4s that won’t get left behind in the rough stuff.
If you’ve already picked the perfect small off-roader, check out our new car deals page to view the latest carwow offers or head over to our PCP calculator to get a better idea of how much it could cost per month.
- Suzuki Vitara
- Dacia Duster
- Range Rover Evoque
- Skoda Yeti Outdoor
- Suzuki Swift 4×4
- Mazda CX-3
- Jeep Renegade
- Fiat 500X
- Mitsubishi ASX
- Fiat Panda 4×4
1. Suzuki Vitara
The Suzuki Vitara is a great value small 4×4 with a practical 375-litre boot and a spacious interior that’ll comfortably seat four adults. It isn’t the most inspiring car to look at but it’s surprisingly fun to drive and comes with a selection of perky and efficient engines.
The Vitara also has impressive off-road capabilities, especially with optional four-wheel drive. Pick a high-spec S model and this system comes fitted as standard. As an added bonus, the Vitara is one of the cheapest SUVs on sale – entry-level versions will set you back less than £15,000.
2. Dacia Duster
The Dacia Duster takes things back to basics with its simple interior, chunky styling and, in entry-level form, attractive £9,495 price tag. Unfortunately, the Duster is let down by cheap-feeling materials and basic equipment levels – nevertheless it represents great value for money.
It boasts a tempting blend of a roomy cabin, fairly spacious 475-litre boot and impressive abilities both on and off-road. Choose a model with four-wheel drive and, although boot space is cut down to 408-litres, it’ll tackle muddy hills and tough terrain with ease.
3. Range Rover Evoque
The Range Rover Evoque offers the style and luxury of the standard Range Rover in a smaller, sportier package. Head and legroom are decent – tall passengers may find space in three-door models quite cramped, however – and it offers a practical 550-litre boot.
The Evoque features all the standard equipment you’d expect from a car costing at least £30,600. It drives well both on and off-road but you’ll have to choose one of the more expensive TD4 diesel or Si4 petrol models if you want four-wheel drive.
4. Skoda Yeti Outdoor
The Skoda Yeti Outdoor stands out from the standard car thanks to its raised ride height and the option of a four-wheel-drive system. Its boxy shape helps this small SUV offer plenty of head and legroom and an impressive 416-litre boot, too.
It’s not only accomplished off-road but it boasts a comfortable and reasonably refined ride. Its styling and interior design are a little dated but well-equipped entry-level cars will set you back as little as £17,200.
5. Suzuki Swift 4×4
The addition of four-wheel drive hasn’t altered the Suzuki Swift’s smart supermini looks or made it’s well-built interior any less practical. This more off-road focussed model is, however, a little more sluggish to drive and more expensive to run than the standard car.
Its raised suspension and four-wheel-drive system helps make this Swift fairly adept at tackling muddy lanes, dirt tracks and the occasional hill. If you’re confident you need a supermini that’s as home in the mud as it is in town, this could be the car for you.
6. Mazda CX-3
The Mazda CX-3 is one of the most eye-catching small SUVs in the market. Not only does it look great on the outside but its cabin is well-built, head and legroom are good and its roomy 350-litre boot has a wide opening that makes loading bulky items a doddle.
The CX-3’s impressive on-road handling and decent off-road abilities help set it apart from other SUVs. Its excellent chassis and punchy engines make it great fun on a twisty road while Sport Nav models, with four-wheel drive fitted as standard, will be more than happy to take an occasional off-road shortcut.
7. Jeep Renegade
The Jeep Renegade is one of the most rugged-looking small SUVs on the road. Despite its smaller dimensions, it’s surprisingly spacious inside thanks to its square body shape. It also offers a decent 351-litre boot, perfect for camping trips and off-road adventures.
Four-wheel drive is available on most Renegade models. If you’re looking for a more serious off-roader, the Trailhawk model – with a powerful 2.0-litre diesel engine, extra under-body protection and a nine-speed automatic gearbox – makes a great countryside companion.
8. Fiat 500X
The Fiat 500X shares many components with the Renegade but offers a cuter, less off-road focused alternative. Its spacious and well-built cabin mirrors the retro-styling of the exterior and comes generously equipped as standard.
It comes in two guises – the stylish ‘City look’ and the more rugged ‘Off-road look’. The latter adds chunkier bumpers, roof rails, underbody cladding and a selection of more powerful engines. Four-wheel drive is available as an optional extra to give the 500X improved off-road capabilities, too.
9. Mitsubishi ASX
The Mitsubishi ASX is a sensible, competitively priced small SUV with a practical and well-equipped cabin. Its bland looks and cheap interior plastics let it down a little but, inside there’s plenty of room for four people and their luggage.
The ASX performs well on the road but loses out to some rivals when it comes to more taxing off-roading activities – only top-spec diesel models come with four-wheel drive. Entry-level versions cost just £15,434, however, so the ASX does represent good value for money.
10. Fiat Panda 4×4
The Fiat Panda 4×4 combines the standard car’s cute looks with the off-road ability of a larger, more expensive SUV. It’s not only small and cheap to run but will set you back less than £15,000 in entry-level trim.
It’s surprisingly spacious for a supermini and offers a reasonable 225-litre boot, too. All models come well-equipped and, although the cabin feels a bit cheap in places, it boasts a funky design that stands out from the supermini crowd. All models come with four-wheel drive and, if you’re a little more serious about off-roading, Fiat offers a Panda Cross model with more rugged looks and dedicated off-road assistance systems.
Save money on your new 4×4
Visit our new car deals page to view the latest carwow deals on a range of small 4x4s. If you’re not sure what to buy, let our car chooser help you make a decision or, if you’ve already picked the perfect off-roader, use our PCP calculator to get a better idea of how much it could cost per month.