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SUV

There's no other way around it, SUVs have boomed in popularity. If you combine all their sales, they have effectively outsold sedans in the country. Thanks to its perceived ruggedness and durability, more and more people are ditching the traditional sedan in favor of these higher-riding vehicles. But are they all that's cracked up to be? And is an SUV really right for you?

What are the kinds of SUVs?

Aside from the size classes, SUVs are generally split into two. You have the traditional SUVs that have a truck-based chassis and, if equipped with four-wheel drive, true off-road capability. Then you have the crossovers which are more oriented towards on-road use instead of off-road trails. Both types have their respective pros and cons, but we'll dive into more details later. That said, some SUVs blur the lines. Some crossovers or non-truck-based SUVs feature true off-road capabilities. Other truck-based SUVs on the other hand are being given more car-like ride and handling. They all come in different shapes and sizes, too, but there is a greater variety when it comes to crossovers. Most crossovers can be seen in the subcompact and compact size classes. The number of options are a little thinner in the mid-size class, and you can easily count the ones in the full-sized segment. As for the traditional SUVs, its the other way around. You won't find a lot of these truck-based models in the subcompact and compact class. Instead, most are in the hotly contested and popular ones are in the mid-size pick-up platform vehicles class. And if you want to go big on precense and luxuries, full-sized SUVs are the way to go.

Should you get an SUV?

If the only basis of buying an SUV is ground clearance, there are several things you must remember. In the case of crossovers, running costs are more expensive compared to their sedan counterparts. This is because of their extra weight and more kilograms mean more wear on tires and suspension parts. Handling is not as good as their lower-riding equivalents due to their taller and more upright design. However, crossovers are worth considering if you live in flood prone areas and don't really need a vehicle with off-road abilities. Plus, their shape makes them inheritly practical so sudden trips to the appliance center or furniture stores shouldn't be much of a problem. As for the truck-based models, they're more car-like than before but that doesn't mean they ride or handle exactly like a sedan. You have to remember tat these are still trucks underneath but they're not as heavy to drive as you think. That said, crossovers are still far more comfortable for the most part. You have to factor in the maintenance costs as well, which is more expensive than crossovers. So why get a truck-based SUV? It's all a matter of robustness. Given the “just in case” car buying habits in the country, these vehicles can shrug off more abuse than crossovers. That means most of these can take on rougher roads, carry heavier loads, and cross deeper floods. If you're looking for that peace of mind, truck-based SUVs are worth a look. Just remember there will be a few sacrifices and drawbacks in comfort, handling, and ownership experience.

What are the best-selling SUVs in the Philippines?

If you tally all SUV and crossover sales together, it's the Toyota Fortuner that leads the pack. In fact, it's the only SUV in the top-ten best-sellers back in 2020. The Mitsubishi Montero Sport and Nissan Terra ranked second and third, respectively. As for crossovers, the Geely Coolray is making waves in the subcompact class, while the Honda CR-V remains the top-seller in the compact crossover market. Other popular SUVs and crossovers in the country include the Suzuki Jimny, Toyota Corolla Cross, and Ford Territory.

What are the recommended SUVs in the Philippines?

The Toyota Fortuner remains a default choice, so it's bound to be recommended. However, consider the Nissan Terra, Mitsubishi Montero Sport, Ford Everest, and Isuzu Mu-X as well. There are things these models that can do better than the best-selling Toyota. For compact crossovers, the Honda CR-V's blend of practicality, efficiency, and performance is hard to fault. That said, the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 are very good alternatives. In the subcompact category, the Geely Coolray is worth checking out if you're willing to take a gamble on the young brand. But if it's absolute peace of mind you're looking for, the Toyota Corolla Cross might be the one for you. You can also consider the Suzuki Vitara as these present very good value in the used car market.

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