Tag Archive | "four by four"

Frugal Four By Fours


Four wheel drive vehicles have taken a bit of a pasting in the reputation department historically. They have been pilloried for being ‘gas guzzlers’ and ‘huge’ and generally a scourge to the greening of our planet. Yet they are also very handy when the going gets rough which is why there is still a healthy demand for them and manufacturers have made great inroads into answering the complaints. That’s right – buyers can now purchase small but perfectly formed 4×4’s that also offer great fuel economy coupled with low emissions.

For most users, four wheel drive and a raised ride height are all that is needed as most of these vehicles will never do any serious mud-plugging. Agricultural users need not apply. Thanks to the wonders of modern automotive technology you can have your green cake and eat it too.

A case in point is the FIAT Panda 4×4. We’re quite keen on this car here at Motor Blogger and reviewed it a while back. It’s small certainly but is a handy choice for the rural school run or for just pottering in the countryside. The small size belies its ability off road. Not a huge amount of ground clearance obviously but otherwise this is a very competent vehicle indeed. It only coughs out 114g/km of CO² and should achieve nearly 60mpg from its TwinAir petrol engine.

MINI1 Frugal Four By FoursMINI’s largest car to date, the Countryman D-ALL4 (shown), offers five seats, comfortable seating for four and room for a small one, although boot space is slightly compromised for space. Really it is a crossover rather than a proper four by four but it is stylish and does have that extra on-road safety feature. Figures are similar to the FIAT but with a little more in the way of emissions from the bigger diesel engine.

The Vauxhall Mokka (pictured) might not seem to be the first choice when it comes to 4×4 but it does make for an interesting alternative. It is a surprisingly good drive and has a spacious interior. Again the figures are similar to the previous cars. Then of course there’s the new kid on the block, the Dacia Duster, which is winning plaudits at the least expensive end of the all-wheel drive consumer market. It’s emissions are a little higher as you’d expect from a more basic engine but it is still low compared to the 4×4’s of old. Fuel consumption is about the same though.MOKKA1 Frugal Four By Fours

With alternatives from Nissan, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Mazda the modern 4×4 market offers excellent choice of these versatile vehicles but they can’t be called ‘gas guzzlers’ any more. Maybe we should call them ‘fuel-sippers’.

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