As motorists look to save money on car insurance and opt for smaller vehicles, the 4x4 off-road market has "virtually collapsed", according to Which? Car magazine.
The magazine added the trend this year would be for more fuel-efficient cars and that people had "finally realised" an off-roader is not the ideal vehicle for taking the children to school.
It went on: "Expensive, gas-guzzling cars like 4x4s are becoming socially unacceptable - unless you're a farmer. Buyers have also been turned off by high taxes and some models' disappointing reliability."
Richard Headland, Which? Car editor, said: "Times are hard, so it's no surprise that people are downsizing to save money.
"It pays to think carefully about alternatives to the mainstream choices and if you go for a more fuel-efficient car you can cut costs for years to come. Luxury cars and 4x4s could be in for a rough ride."
The magazine recommended the Honda FR-V, which costs around £19,000, as the perfect car for a large family of six, instead of a 4x4, such as the Land Rover Discovery, which could cost around £39,000.
© Press Association 2009