The Road Ahead : February 2013
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU THE ROAD AHEAD FEB/MAR 2013 46 MOTORING | ROAD TEST TWO-WHEEL-DRIVE (2WD) MODELS now account for almost half of all SUV sales in Australia. And that number is set to grow. Little wonder, then, that most car makers have included, or are hurriedly including, them among their established four-wheel-drive (4WD) ranges. This is in response to discerning buyers who like the SUV packaging, but don't plan on going too far off track and don't need the additional purchase and servicing costs, weight and fuel consumption of a 4WD. The latest maker to join the throng is Honda, who launched a 2WD CR-V only days before our five-vehicle comparison. It became an 11th hour starter alongside Kia's Sportage, Mitsubishi's updated ASX, another 2WD newcomer in Suzuki's Grand Vitara, and Subaru's XV. Subaru? Yes, we know, they only make 4WDs (except for the new BRZ sports coupe), but as this is a comparison of entry-level models (petrol engine tuned for ULP; optional auto or CVT) within the popular, compact SUV segment, the XV warrants inclusion based on its relevance to this end of the market. Entry-level they may be, but our quintet comes well equipped. Standard equipment includes: dual front/side/ curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, electronic brakeforce STARTERS: Honda CR-V VTi, Kia Sportage Si, Mitsubishi ASX, Subaru XV 2.0-i, Suzuki Grand Vitara Luxury. TESTERS: Tim Pomroy, Barry Green, John Ewing, Greg Miszkowycz, Greg McManus.