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THE BATTLE OF CROSSOVERS

THE BATTLE OF CROSSOVERS

Ricardo S. Lazo for Automart. PH

Crossovers vs. SUVs

The terms “crossover,” and “SUV,” and “crossover SUVs” are commonly used interchangeably by manufacturers. A crossover may even look like an SUV on the road, but they are inherently distinct based on their construction. SUVs are assembled on a truck platform. The chassis and body are built separately but are later connected during manufacturing. They come as bigger, heavier vehicles, capable of carrying larger loads, but at the expense of fuel economy.

Compared to traditional SUVs, crossovers are, in general, lighter vehicles which have increased fuel efficiency. This means that they are “lighter duty” vehicles, so do not expect ruggedness and factors such as towing capacity to be of great importance to most buyers compared to their body on frame counterparts.

With that said, popularity of crossovers over traditional SUVs have steadily increased in the past decade or so akin to their lesser price tags, similarly adequate ground clearance, as well as cargo space.

Now, manufacturers have been keen on dominating the multiple segments of crossovers, making every model a great bargain, leaving consumers confused over which one to buy. Automart.PH now guides you through some of the leading crossovers in the country to help you make a decision.

The Battle of Crossovers

Next up, let’s get a little more in depth at some of the best reviewed crossovers available right now.

  1. Honda HR-V (Sub-Compact) (1,250M - 1.74M)

Coming in three variants, the all new Honda HR-V is sleeker, more powerful and more tech-filled than ever. It is safer too having bagged a perfect 5-star rating at the ASEAN New Car Assessment Program.

The all-new HR-V with either a naturally-aspirated 1.5L engine making 121PS,and  145Nm torque, or a turbocharged 1.5L engine making 177PS, 240Nm of torque in the upper two variants. Despite these high outputs, the naturally aspirated HR-V still manages to be efficient, returning 29.66 Km/L. Honda Philippines claimed these results were based over 129 km of highway at 60-80kph and 1,500-2,000 rpm.

Standard tech is good too with Honda Sensing, an 8” infotainment screen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, six speakers, four airbags, and a reverse camera being available across the entire lineup.

2. Toyota Raize. (Mini) (748k-1.035M)

The best entry of this reputable brand into the world of budget-friendly mini crossovers is the Toyota Raize.…

The Toyota Raize features two choices of three cylinder gasoline engines: a 1.2L naturally aspirated engine making 88PS, and 113Nm torque, as well as a 1.0L turbocharged engine with 98PS, and 140Nm of torque; both of which are fuel efficient.

The naturally-aspirated 1.2L engine paired to an automatic transmission manages to do 18.9km/L, while its manual counterpart can do 19.2km/L. The top-spec 1.0 turbocharged engine, on the other hand, does around 17.9km/L. These figures showed the combined city and highway driving.

The infotainment system, depending on variant, comes with an 8” or 9” touchscreen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. It also comes in a multitude of youthful exterior colors for anyone’s tastes.

2. Subaru XV aka: Crosstrek for 2023 (1.908M-2,008M)

Subaru now uses the “Crosstrek” name globally after removing its “XV” name. It is best for daily driving and weekend getaways, with a premium cabin and good driving performance, the latter due to the inclusion of Subaru’s famous Symmetrical All Wheel Drive System.

The top variant XV GT Edition has a 2.0L flat 4 engine that produces 154 PS and 196 Nm torque and is mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission. As with most Subaru’s the XV, despite being a entry-level crossover offering, retains Subaru’s Symmetrical All Wheel Driving giving it good grip on the twisty roads, as well as all terrain capabilities.

Driving aids are also plentiful in the Subaru XV with Eyesight being available. This includes Forward Collision Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Driver Attention Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Hill Start Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control.

The fuel consumption of Subaru XV is around 7.2Km/L in moderate city traffic, which is good overall, considering it has full time all wheel drive.

3. Geeley Coolray (Sub-compact) (998k-1.26k).

The Coolray is a 5-seater sub-compact offering from the newcomer Chinese brand Geely. While Japanese brand loyalists may discount this crossover as being less desirable due to its country of origin, the Coolray provides value for money that is unparalleled in the segment.

For instance, the Geely Coolray comes standard with a three cylinder 1.5L turbocharged gasoline which pumps out 177PS, and 255 Nm torque, mated to a sport oriented wet-clutch dual clutch transmission.

The Coolray has received criticisms for lacking infotainment features such as Apple Carplay and Android Auto despite the large 10.25” screen real estate, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking, but more than makes up for it with features such as an almost fully autonomous self-park feature, and a clear and responsive 360 degree camera.

It also comes with a remote start function in some variants which allows you to start the car and turn on the AC system, thereby cooling the interior of your car long before you enter inside.

4. Nissan Kicks e-Power. (Sub-compact) (1,209M-1,509M)

The Nissan Kicks e-Power is a 5-seater subcompact crossover offering from Nissan. It features a series hybrid technology, branded as e-POWER, which is a first in the country. All variants of the Nissan Kicks e-POWER are powered by a 1.2L gasoline engine making 136PS, and 280Nm torque, but is unique in design as the engine’s sole purpose is to generate DC power and, via an inverter, transform it into AC, which in turn charges the 2.13kWh batteries located under the front floor. What this means is that the engine no longer powers the drive, and the vehicle is purely electric driven.

A setup such as Nissan’s e-POWER gives the Kicks class leading efficiencies due to the engine being independent of the electric component, and able to run at efficient engine speeds at almost all times. A pure electric drive also gives the Nissan Kicks instant torque upon acceleration, similar to purely electric vehicles.

Our tests show that the Nissan Kicks can achieve 15.4Km/L in heavy city traffic at an average speed of 17Km/h, and 20.8Km/L on the highway at an average speed of 73Km/h.

Fuel efficiency is not the only strong point of the Nissan Kicks, as its in-car tech is no slouch. The top two variants (VE and VL) come with an 8” touch screen with smartphone connectivity via Apple Carplay, and Android Auto, and all variants benefit from at least some form of Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility Suite.

Final Thoughts

Selecting a crossover from the list above may still be a tough choice, but depending on your budget and needs, the list above provides you a guide. A crossover might be the vehicle need if comfort, space, and fuel efficiency are your criteria. They drive like cars and are easy to maneuver during parkings and turns, while still performing versatile roles including protection from minor floods, and adequate amounts of cargo space for carrying items for weekend getaways, which sedans often lack.

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Content Editor Kyle Liong contributed to this story.