SUV treats: Hyundai Santa Fe vs Mitsubishi Montero Sport

Help our letter sender decide
by Botchi Santos | Jan 26, 2011
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Hi, Botchi!

I love Top Gear Philippines so much! I visit your website to read other articles and the latest news.

My tita and my tito are planning to buy a sport-utility vehicle but they can't decide whether they should get the 2.2-liter two-wheel drive Hyundai Santa Fe eVGT or the 2.5-liter Mitsubishi Montero Sport. These are two great SUVs but they just can’t decide.

They asked me what I’ll choose but I can't decide either. They are both good-looking SUVs. Hope you can shed some light here. We’d also appreciate if you could suggest other SUVs.

More power to you and Top Gear. Top Gear rocks! 

Sincerely yours,

Kenneth

Hi, Kenneth!

You're in luck. Rumors are flying around that Mitsubishi is introducing a revamped Montero Sport with a 5- or 6-speed automatic transmission, paddle shifters and a variable geometry turbine making anywhere between 170hp to 180hp--targeting the Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2l R-eVGT variant. If you can wait a bit more, then your options should be much more interesting.

As of now though, the Santa Fe is king of the highway-speed-demon SUV class as its powerful CRDi engine mated with the R-eVGT turbine and 6-speed automatic has no equal on the road despite having a displacement of only 2.2 liters. Its rivals all displace 3.0 liters or more yet they offer less peak torque and horsepower figures.

Thanks to the crossover unibody construction, the Santa Fe is far more refined, handles much better and rides much more comfortably than the Montero Sport, the Toyota Fortuner, the Isuzu D-Max and the Ford Everest--all of which utilize a ladder-on-frame chassis design.

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The Santa Fe also rides significantly lower, is easier to get in and out of and has a far roomier interior. Clearly, for the average FIlipino who wants decent flood-wading capability, the Santa Fe is nigh on unbeatable.

The Santa Fe though takes poorly to off-roading because its independent front and rear suspension give it too much independent wheel articulation, which lessens its dynamic ground clearance--something the other SUVs, with their solid-axle rear ends, do not have a problem with.

So there you have it, hope this helps you, your aunt and your uncle out. Take care, God bless and good luck!

Best Regards,

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!

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