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Top Gear Philippines

Hi, Botchi!

I've been trying to check out if you have any write-ups comparing the Toyota Innova and the Mitsubishi Fuzion GLS. I've read your comparison between the Fuzion and the Suzuki APV; hands-down it was the Fuzion. The plusses are great. What if it is the Innova pitted against the Fuzion? I've heard the Fuzion is not fuel efficient. Are there actual tests to disprove this?

I'm actually looking to get a new vehicle by December 2011. We're six in the family. My kids are are between three and 16 years old. I look forward to long drives like going to Batangas or Lucena from Quezon City, and weekends with the family.

Our first vehicle is a Toyota Revo GL, which we bought 10 years ago. My wife is the one driving it now. Five years ago, we bought a Honda Civic 1.8 S, which is a super leap from the Revo in terms of performance, fuel efficiency, ride and handling. It's a great car but it can't fit six persons.

Due to budget constraints, I may be willing to compromise on the finer qualities of an SUV--something one would find in the new Mitsubishi Montero Sport or Grandis--as long as it's something that would fit all of us for the next five years. We're planning to shell out P1 million to P1.2 million. And of course, the vehicle shouldn't cost too much on the fuel and maintenance side.

My father has an Innova G with automatic transmission. I've driven it going to Vigan. It has some difficulty on the acceleration and I still find it lesser in fuel mileage, and the third-row seat is cumbersome. Will the Fuzion be better in terms of performance but worse on fuel mileage? Is the Innova's 2.5-liter diesel variant a better alternative? I want to get the top-of-the-line, be it the Innova or Fuzion for better amenities like automatic climate control for both, steering wheel controls for the Innova and leather seats for the Fuzion. Plusses for the Fusion are its HID lamps, driver's variable adjustable seat.  For the Innova, I heard of plusses in the reviews (except for the SR variant).

I also heard that the Innova will be coming out with a 2012 model but will it be made available to our local market? Does Mitsubishi have plans for a new model of the Fuzion with a better engine perhaps? Or will Mitsubishi sell the Grandis at the price of the Fuzion?  I'd definitely go for that but I doubt if they would do that.

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Anyway, I am hoping for your kind comments and further suggestions to these queries.

Thank you very much Sir Botchi  and more power to your column and your magazine, Top Gear!

Best regards,

Benjie  

Hi, Benjie!

Thanks for your email, we appreciate it a lot! Boy, you've got a lot of questions there. Let's go through them one by one.

1. Toyota Innova versus Mitsubishi Fuzion. I think the Innova V is the best multi-purpose vehicle you can get based on your budget and requirements because of its diesel engine. While I always say that the 2.5 D4-D is pitifully slow in the Fortuner, it is more than enough for the Innova. Should you get the V variant, however, it won't seat as many because of the middle-row captain seats. Nonetheless, it's very plush and luxurious for what is essentially a ladder-frame-based MPV. I've driven an Innova V with a full load from Santander in Cebu to Cebu City and it's as fun as MPVs go. You get a strong torque from the automatic transmission, and responsive steering and good body control from the suspension. I recommend the V-variant Innova for you.

2. Plus points for the Fuzion. The Fuzion does claw its way back to this competition because from what I remember, the ride is better without compromising body roll and chassis control due to the use of very thick and large anti-roll or anti-sway bars, which the guys at the Mitsubishi factory pointed out to me years ago. But it seems like the Fuzion won't be getting any CRDi diesel engine anytime soon as demand for that engine in other vehicles (Montero Sport and Strada) remain very strong throughout the ASEAN region.

3. 2012 Innova. Toyota has facelifted the other two IMV vehicles: the Hilux and Fortuner. It's safe to assume that the Innova might get a facelift sometime soon but there's no official word about it yet. Should there be one, watch out for it in the fourth quarter of the year, or even in early 2012.

A Mitsubishi Montero Sport somewhat fits your budget so check that one out as well. Hope this helps. Good luck!

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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