A Top Gear PH reader asks: What\'s a good and fast SUV?

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by Botchi Santos | Dec 13, 2012

I am currently hunting for a new SUV, which I plan to buy within the next two months. My choices are:

1. Mitsubishi Montero Sport GLS-V 4x2;

2. New Hyundai Santa Fe; and

3. Subaru XV

I want a fast SUV, with a nice ride and which yields lots of kilometers per liter (fuel is not getting any cheaper).

Regarding the quality of Korean cars, are they now as reliable as their Japanese counterparts? Kindly enlighten me on which SUV to choose.

Michael San Jose


Hi, Michael. Thank you for your e-mail, and our apologies for the delayed response as we have a bit of a backlog. Here\'s what I think about the cars you listed:

1. Mitsubishi Montero Sport GLS-V 4x2 - It\'s an excellent SUV, with very good dirt-road and on-road performance. It is hard to beat and has a very good and powerful engine, very good and powerful brakes to match, and a very good price. It\'s hard to beat when you consider everything already. But do you really need a seven-seat SUV? Nonetheless, this is the best seven-seater SUV in its class in terms of price, performance and resale value. No wonder it\'s the best-selling SUV right now, and has always been one of the best-selling vehicles (always in the top three) since it was introduced in late 2008.

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2. New Hyundai Santa Fe - This one is more expensive than its outgoing predecessor, and for good reason: More power, refinement and an impressive spec sheet with better build quality are things we should all pay a premium for. Plus, since it is built like a car on a crossover platform, it has better refinement and comfort compared to the truck-based (pickup ladder frame-suspended) chassis of the Montero Sport. It\'s available now but expect a very long line and limited colors and variants for this favorite.

3. Subaru XV - This is not exactly in the same class, but is admittedly a good pick on your short list. It drives like a car, handles almost like a car, is surprisingly fuel-efficient (I got close to 10km/L) and with peerless build quality you\'d expect from a Japan-built vehicle. It only seats five people with more than decent cargo space and surprisingly good interior room, but again, the argument is: Do you really need a seven-seater SUV? If you don\'t need a seven-seater SUV, this is my top pick. And once you buy a Subaru, you\'ll be hard-pressed to let it go. Unless you\'re upgrading to a newer, bigger Subaru model, that is.

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Hope this helps. Good luck and God bless!

Botchi Santos
Consumer Editor



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