RAC Cars News


Economical SUVs

By raccars Published

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While their size, comfort and practicality have helped to make SUVs one of the fastest growing automotive market segments, one argument often levelled against them is their high running costs compared to, say, a compact hatchback. However, if you really want or need an SUV, there's no need to be put off by accusations of poor economy, as the following all average at least 40mpg.

Audi Q3 2.0 TDI quattro

The rather conservative styling is less impressive than the badge in this case but the Q3 is a practical option. The engine range is impressive, the ride is smooth and the fit and finish is indicative of the premium brand name. It also offers a real world 49.6mpg with 149g/km in CO2 emissions.

BMW X3 xDrive20d SE

This one wins plaudits everywhere by dint of its high quality fixtures and fittings, driving experience, generous trim levels and rewarding but efficient engines. It claims a rather optimistic 50.4mpg but in the real world is certainly good for about 42mpg with 149g/km CO2.

Fiat Panda 4x4 1.3 Multijet

This is a very different class of car from the previous options, as it is more of a jacked up supermini but, nonetheless, it is very capable off road. Its fans are devoted thanks to a combination of a low purchase price and running costs and its no frills, back to basics practicality. It's certainly worth considering if you're looking for a more compact SUV, with more to offer than the Suzuki Jimny, for example. The Dacia Duster is the only thing coming close to the Panda 4x4's abilities within the same price range, but scores poorly on safety in comparison. The Panda 4x4 will give you real world mpg of 53-54 and CO2 emissions of 125g/km.

Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi 140 Zetec

The Kuga is not outstanding in any one area but is a generally competent all rounder. There's a spacious interior, a good diesel engine range with perky performance and good fuel economy and a fair amount of off roading capability. Arguably, the comparatively meagre amount of boot space lets it down a little. Real world fuel consumption is about 41mpg with 154g/km in CO2 emissions.

Hyundai ix35 2.0 CRDi SE 136 4WD

The ix35 is a lot of car for the money compared to the competition and the 2.0 litre diesel engine has plenty of strength. However, be careful of the mounting costs if opting for higher trim levels. 49.6mpg and 149g/km of CO2.

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