The Road Ahead : February 2013
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB FEB/MAR 2013 THE ROAD AHEAD 49 and most power (122 kW) and torque (225 Nm) helps its 'motor-vation', but there's the biggest bulk (1620 kg) to haul, so the Suzuki probably does well to claim quickest 0-60 km/h time. Mule work is more to the Grand Vitara's liking. With auto transmission, it is rated to tow 1700 kg and with the standard five-speed manual gearbox, 1850 kg. Even at the former figure, this is between 100 and 400 kg more than its test rivals. A check with the tape measure surprises by showing the Suzuki to be best on driver room; surprising because, once behind the wheel, you feel perched on the seat rather than in it. Other likes: Full-size alloy spare, climate-control airconditioning, satellite navigation, rear park sensors, equal best service intervals. Other dislikes: Four star ANCAP crash rating (others are five), no steering reach adjustment, costliest to insure ($849). CONCLUSION Our test and subsequent number crunching shows there is very, very little between four of our five contenders. We made it: Subaru XV, Honda CR-V and Kia Sportage (equal second) then Mitsubishi ASX, with the Suzuki Grand Vitara some distance in arrears. That said, each would suit a buyer with a particular need or want a little better than the others. For the best overall drive, go the XV. If space is all- important, make it the CR-V. If value for money rules, then choose the ASX. If you want a genuine all-rounder, the Sportage ticks plenty of boxes. Even the Grand Vitara, while outdated and outclassed in this company, is an honest offering with proven durability. It's true -- buyers have never had it better. HONDA KIA MITSUBISHI SUBARU SUZUKI CR-V SPORTAGE ASX XV GRAND VITARA Price^ $29,790 $28,990 $28,240 $30,990 $30,490 Environmental rating ANCAP safety rating Est. servicing costs 5 yrs/75,000 km $3963.86 $2752.37 $2071.47 $4957.93 $3361.38 Annual insurance costs^^ $769.09 $832.50 $769.09 $800.17 $849.15 ^^Insurance cost is based on an RACQ Insurance comprehensive policy for a 35 year-old male, maximum no claim bonus, vehicle financially unencumbered, and $500 excess. Postcode 4066, Multi policy and RACQ member loyalty discounts may apply. Discounts of 2.5-15 percent may be available to RACQ members, depending on length of membership. COSTS & RATINGS each would suit a buyer with a particular need or want a little better than the others ... IMAGES: SUZUKI GRAND VITARA, SUBARU XV.