More and more small car manufacturers are producing special 4×4 versions of their cars; these are capable of handling off road terrain while still retaining their compact frames. Notable examples include the MINI Countryman, the Skoda Yeti, the Kia Sportage, the Fiat Panda 4×4, and the Audi Q3, which combine excellent multi road handling with a mix of CO2 emission rates and mileage costs. Why, then, are these some of the best small car 4×4 versions to look out for at the moment?
Available through official Cooper MINI dealerships with excellent servicing deals, the MINI Countryman is a larger version of the classic MINI. Available in a range of different trims, including Cooper D and John Cooper Works models, the Countryman is a larger, four to five seater hatchback capable of delivering 215 bhp. You can manage 129 g/km of CO2 emissions with the Countryman, which also has significant loading space.
There are several benefits to going with Skoda’s unusually named crossover vehicle: it has folding seats and plenty of boot space, a consistently high driver satisfaction rating, and options for petrol or diesel engines with front and four wheel drive. Higher level trims also come with dual zone climate control, while in terms of mileage and emissions, the Yeti is only slightly less efficient than a standard hatchback.
The Sportage is a four wheel drive vehicle that’s still fairly compact, and designed for off roading without being too aggressive; it comes with hill start assists, as well as extras such as Bluetooth, iPod docks, and a basic 1.6 litre CRDI engine, with options for a 2.0 litre diesel. You can get a lot of value out of the Kia Sportage, which also comes with a four while drive turbocharger and software mapping, placing it firmly within the mid range of 4×4 small cars.
Fiat Panda 4×4
Another small car that has been successfully converted into a 4×4 version, the Panda’s ability to get off the road makes it ideal for city and countryside driving; you can choose from a TwinAir petrol or a 1.3 litre MultiJet diesel engine, and can benefit from a reasonable CO2 emission rate of 114 g/km. The Panda won’t be able to handle very rough terrain, but it will hold up on most roads. Fiat also offer 18,000 mile service intervals.
The Q3, which has been modelled on Audi’s larger Q5 and Q7 models, comes with 2.0 litre petrol and diesel engine options, as well as six speed manual and seven speed dual clutch automatic S-tronic drive. The diesel is efficient enough to keep you going without having to spend a significant amount of money, while you can also upgrade from SE models to S Sport variants that have larger alloy wheels, a more robust suspension, and a slightly more powerful engine. Depreciation also tends to be low for the Audi Q3.
Author Bio: Ryan Holman is a poptart loving adrenaline junky writing for Cooper MINI when not taking on the challenges of extreme sports. His other blogger interests include travel and camping tips.