Which of the following SUVs should I go for?
* Chevrolet Trailblazer 2.5 4x2 MT
* Toyota Fortuner 2.5 G 4x2 MT
* Mitsubishi Montero Sport 2.5 GLX 4x2 MT
My priorities (in descending order of importance) are reliability, maintenance costs, and fuel economy.
Hi, John! Thanks for the e-mail. It's a great time to be in the market for an SUV because the industry is at an all-time high and is trying to sustain the strong bullish market with promos. Let's take a quick look at your choices:
* Chevrolet Trailblazer. I've never driven the 4x2 variant. I got the chance to drive only the 4x4. The ride was smooth; firm, yes, but not harsh nor bouncy. Power seems to be okay, and the price is good. This SUV has a really roomy interior. I just hate the plastic used inside.
Chevrolet's dealerships are always trying their darn best to sell you one so you just might get a good deal. After-sales service has improved immensely, thanks to the efforts of the new importer, The Covenant Car Company Inc. Buy with confidence with Chevrolet.
* Mitsubishi Montero Sport. As SUVs go, it's a tough act to beat the Montero Sport: wide array of variants, excellent pricing, good after-sales service. Complaints? Well, the roof is low, something I only noticed recently after driving my brother's Toyota Fortuner back-to-back with my mom's Montero Sport. The seats aren't as supportive, and driving position isn't as good as in the Fortuner.
The variant you're looking at has the older 4D56 engine that doesn't have VGT. You might be better off getting a VGT-equipped variant. It is worth it!
* Toyota Fortuner. Don't get a gasoline variant. It's probably Toyota's thirstiest vehicle! That's because the 2.7-liter gas engine is grossly underpowered. Top choice is the 3.0V D-4D, but the 2.5 4x2 isn't bad either. It is the oldest in this group though, and rumors say a replacement will be out in 12-18 months.
A wild card has to be the Kia Sorento LX 4x2 MT. It's only a five-seater variant, but comes with an impressive 2.2-liter CRDi VGT-equipped diesel engine that pumps out 194hp and over 400Nm of torque for less than P1.4 million. That's got to be a steal. I know that's what I'd pick in this segment!
I hope this helps! Good luck with your car-shopping!
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