Tucson, Montero Sport or Fortuner?

Help our letter sender decide
by Botchi Santos | Sep 2, 2011
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Hi, Botchi!

First let me commend you for your column. It's very informative and I enjoy reading it very much.

My name is Jose and I'm from Cavite. I've been planning to buy a Hyundai Tucson 2.0 GLS Premium CRDi because I’m very amazed by its wonderful features like the cruise control, hill-start assist and downhill brake control, which you won't find in most of its competitors. But now I'm confused because my friends are discouraging me. They say it's not worth buying the Tucson because the spare parts are very expensive and they are made of plastic.

They're telling me to buy the Toyota Fortuner instead. In terms of power, however, the 2.5-liter engine is underrated. Even with the 3.0-liter engine, there's just a slight difference.

Now that Mitsubishi has released the Montero Sport GTV, which is also amazing, I'm even more confused in choosing between the Tucson GLS Premium (2.0), the Montero Sport GTV (2.5) and the Fortuner (3.0).

Can you please tell me which car is better in terms of features, performance, safety, reliability, dependability and after-sales service? I'm afraid I have only been misinformed.

Budget-wise, I'm also considering the Tucson 2.0 GL CRDi and the Montero Sport 2.5 GLS-V as other options. Please tell me also which is better between the two.

I hope to receive a suggestion from you soon. This would really help me choose the right vehicle.

Regards,

Jose

Hi, Jose!

Thank you for your email. We really appreciate hearing from our readers!

You are correct in concluding that the Hyundai Tucson iX CRDi is a great sport-utility vehicle. It offers a great value for money, it has lovely lines and even lovelier features included as standard in the car. If you're not buying a gas-powered compact SUV (for which I would highly recommend a Subaru Forester 2.5 XT Turbo), the Tucson is a great choice. It's the best especially if you're looking at getting a diesel CRDi compact SUV.

Continue reading below ↓

Your friends are also correct in saying that a lot of interior parts are very plasticky, but then so are all other SUVs, be it compact or ladder-frame-based, and whether they are made by Toyota, Mitsubishi or Ford. So, where's the concern there?

The Tucson iX has had great reviews from owners, and great feedback from journalists and other testers. Sure it won't run rings around the competition on the race track, but you're buying a true, comfort-oriented, stylish and highly efficient diesel compact SUV.

If you don't need the size and seven-seater capacity afforded by the Montero Sport and the Fortuner, the Tucson is a great choice--the right one for you. It's also far more comfortable, and will be far more fuel efficient simply because it has a more powerful and efficient engine by design. The weight of the Tucson is significantly less than the Fortuner and Montero Sport, which is what will impact fuel economy and consumption especially when the cars you're considering are all brand new. Plus, the 2.5 D4-D Fortuner is as slow as the government's bureaucracy so I highly and strongly recommend against that variant. The Montero Sport, especially in VGT turbo trim, is a better alternative but then again only if you need seven-seater capacity AND full-on, hardcore off-road ability.

My one concern though is to make sure you gas up at a very clean and new gas station. I'm familiar with Bacoor, as I have friends there and spent a good amount of time there in the past. A lot of gas stations there, even the big three brands (Petron, Shell and Caltex) have questionable fuel quality and cleanliness so make sure you gas up at a new-ish gas station always, and always fill up with premium diesel fuel such as Petron's Turbo Diesel or Shell's V-Power Diesel to ensure that your CRDi system will be pumping fuel happily and efficiently for the entire life of the vehicle.

Continue reading below ↓

Good luck, hope this email helps out and keep it safe driving out there! 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!

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