"New" doesn't always mean "better." The Japanese manufacturers probably sense that the Koreans are poised to move in on their territory, hence the vast improvements in their cars' build quality.
Here are snippets on our Big Test contenders:
Honda CR-V 2.4 SX 4WD. It is hard to find fault with an SUV that defined the crossover genre. Though this shape has been around since 2007, it is difficult to deny the CR-V's desirability.
Kia Sportage EX 2WD. The new kid in town has to stand up to the established players to even be considered a threat. Is there more to the Sportage than its futuristic looks?
Nissan X-Trail 4WD. A staple in the industry, the X-Trail is the no-nonsense choice. But what it lacks in the gadgets and gizmos, it makes up for with advanced hardware and ruggedness.
|Basic technical specifications||Honda CR-V 2.4 SX 4WD||Kia Sportage EX 2WD||Nissan X-Trail 4WD|
|Engine||2.4-liter DOHC 16V I4||2.0-liter DOHC 16V I4||2.5-liter DOHC 16V I4|
|Type||gasoline, naturally aspirated||gasoline, naturally aspirated||gasoline, naturally aspirated|
|Maximum output (hp @ rpm)||168 @ 5,800||164 @ 6,200||168 @ 6,000|
|Maximum torque (Nm @ rpm)||218 @ 4,200||197 @ 4,600||230 @ 4,000|
|Transmission||5-speed AT||6-speed AT||CVT|
|Brakes (front / rear)||vented disc / solid disc||vented disc / solid disc||vented disc / vented disc|
|Front suspension||independent MacPherson||independent MacPherson||independent MacPherson|
|Rear suspension||relative-link double-wishbone||multilink||multilink|
|Wheels||17in alloy||17in alloy||17in alloy|
|Tires||225/65 R17||225/60 R17||225/60 R17|
|Dimensions L/W/H (mm)||4,565 / 1,820 / 1,680||4,440 / 1,855 / 1,645||4,630 / 1,785 / 1,770|
|Curb weight (kg)||1,600||1,980||1,558|
|Power-to-weight ratio (hp / ton)||105||82.83||107.83|
|Fuel tank capacity||58||55||65|
Photos by Christian Halili