The Decision

AUV hunt: Adventure, Crosswind or Innova?

Help our letter sender decide

Hi, Botchi!

Please help us. Can you suggest a good Asian-utility vehicle? We're planning to buy one that we can use for family road trips and for business.

Right now, the obvious choices are the Isuzu Crosswind XT and the Mitsubishi Adventure GLS.

I've been talking to car agents but the information overload just ends up confusing me.

I hope you can help us.



Hi, Chie!

If you're looking at buying an AUV or a multipurpose vehicle, the top pick would be the Toyota Innova G with automatic transmission and a CRDi turbocharged diesel engine. It's powerful, smooth and refined. It's also highly-sought-after in its segment so it has a tremendously high re-sale value. Not that you would ever consider selling it if you ever got one as the Innova's reliability, versatility and performance are unparalleled in this segment. It's clearly the hands-down champ--no ifs and buts about it!

Going to the more traditional AUV segment, I highly recommend the Mitsubishi Adventure. It's actually decently stylish as AUVsgo, with a minimum of fuss. More importantly, the engine is decently strong and gearing is excellently matched to the output of the modest engine.It is surprisingly roomy inside despite the aging interior and it is easy to drive.

The Isuzu Crosswind is my least favorite because it isn't as roomy as the Adventure. It is also more expensive and, crucially, the seats are tight and lack support for your legs if you're a tall person. This makes long drives inside the Crosswind tiring for your legs, particularly your thighs.

A wildcard entry would be the Kia Carens. It is a very stylish, Euro-inspired MPV. Unfortunately it is only a five-seater. But if you don't need the space, the Carens is a great deal--a lovely ride and even lovelier to drive. It is, in fact, better than the Innova, thanks to the unibody chassis that endows the Carens with even more car-like manners on the road.

Good luck with your car shopping and God bless!

Botchi Santos
Consumer editor

Lost in a sea of cars and not quite sure which one to get? Click here to email your car query so Botchi can help you pick the right vehicle!

UPDATE as of June 11, 2018: During a nostalgic road trip to the northern tip of Luzon to celebrate the final run of the Isuzu Crosswind, we got to chat with Joseph Bautista, Isuzu Philippines division manager for marketing and sales, about the impending shift to the Euro 4 standard in 2018, and what it means for the local automotive manufacturing industry. Plus, he also shared some interesting facts about one of the enduring nameplates in the local automotive scene. Joseph was heavily involved during the introduction of the Crosswind many years ago, and it is very close to his heart. "After 2018, there will no longer be any vehicles like the Crosswind, Adventure, and L300," he says. "These three vehicles are everyday workhorses. These are relatively cheap, and everyone can afford them. These are the vehicles used for hauling laundry, food for catering, and school buses. There will be no more 10-seater AUVs or L300s that you can use for daily chores or for your small businesses. Will you use your MU-X for hauling goods from the market? It's the end of the era of the multipurpose vehicle."

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