Goodbye, sedan; hello, SUV!

Aug 11, 2010

Hi, Botchi!

I’m planning to get a bigger vehicle and I’m looking at SUVs. I currently have a 2009 1.5-liter Honda City AT and I’m planning to either sell or trade it in. I’d like to ask for your advice on the following:

1. Will I still get a good trade-in price for my City at the showroom?
2. These are my choices: Kia Carens, Hyundai Santa Fe and Mitsubishi Montero Sport. What are the pros and cons of my choices?
3. Do Korean cars still have quality issues?

My budget is between P1.2 million and P1.5 million and I prefer a diesel-fed vehicle for lower fuel cost.



Hi, Will!

Great to hear from you.

Korean cars are much better nowadays. I’m especially impressed with Hyundai’s growth. With the quality of their cars, the design and the performance, you can’t go wrong with a Hyundai.

If you want the Santa Fe, get the two-wheel drive R e-VGT 4x2 variant, which has the newer engine and transmission, as well as the facelifted 2010 look. At P1.558 million, it is just outside your budget but it’s well worth it. Its chassis is also based on a car platform, making it a smoother and more comfortable ride compared with the Montero Sport, which has a pickup truck ladder-frame chassis.


The Montero Sport is a great SUV and, considering your budget of P1.5 million, you can already get the 4x4 GLS which has the range-topping 3.2-liter diesel engine and the highly-adaptive four-speed automatic transmission. The only thing this lacks when compared with the top-model 4x4 GLS SE AT are power leather seats, multi-function trip computer and little else. In my experience and opinion, Mitsubishi have the best automatics because they are very responsive and adaptive to one’s driving style.

I’m also a fan of the stylish Kia Carens. My only concern with Kia is that they have limited dealerships in the Metro so servicing might be a pain if you are unhappy with the service you’re getting from the dealership where you bought your vehicle.

As for trading your Honda City, a trade-in deal will most likely yield a poor offer because buy-and-sell salesmen and dealerships will still need to turn a profit for your car. Your best bet is to sell it privately to an end-user so you can get a pretty good price for it.

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Good luck!

Botchi Santos
Consumer editor

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