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Saturday, May 25, 2024

SUVs: The everyday adventurer’s best friend

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And the four that have been best to me

Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) have been occupying a steady number of our road’s traffic – and it’s easy to see why.

These versatile and spacious vehicles have become the go-to-choice for families, adventure-seekers, and everyday commuters alike. With their commanding presence on the road, impressive capabilities, and the promise of a more comfortable and practical driving experience, SUVs have become the preferred vehicle of choice for a growing number of consumers.

While the temptation to opt for a spacious sports utility vehicle (SUV) may be strong, not all SUVs are created equally when it comes to accommodating the needs of a typical family of four with various luggage in tow – to state a scenario.

As a self-professed SUV enthusiast, I’ve carefully evaluated some of the top contenders in the market to help you make an informed decision on the ideal vehicle for your upcoming provincial trip.

Leading the pack is the Isuzu mu-X, a versatile and well-rounded SUV that seamlessly blends power, efficiency, and refinement. Powered by the reliable 4JJ3-TCX 3.0-liter Blue Power engine, the mu-X delivers an impressive 190PS of maximum power and 450Nm of torque, providing the confidence and muscle needed to tackle both urban streets and rugged terrain with ease.

The mu-X’s exceptional durability and fuel efficiency make it a compelling choice for both adventure-seekers and business professionals alike. Its more refined cabin design, inspired by the popular D-Max pickup, further enhances the overall driving experience. Depending on the variant, the mu-X offers an array of seating configurations, from 8-way power-adjustable front seats to a 60/40 split-folding second row and a 50/50 folding third-row bench, ensuring ample space and comfort for the entire family.

Another SUV that deserves consideration is the all-new Hyundai Santa Fe. Boasting a sleek and modern design, the latest Santa Fe has been meticulously engineered to better accommodate the needs of today’s consumers. The wide tailgate opens up a spacious, terrace-like area, allowing you to experience the great outdoors with ease and comfort. The fully foldable second and third-row seats further optimize the interior space, giving you the flexibility to maximize storage and fit more belongings for your trip.

One of the standout features of the Santa Fe is its innovative approach to the tailgate design.

“It provides a spacious terrace-like space that allows you to experience the outdoors lifestyle­—comfortably and effortlessly,” according to the brand’s promotion. This clever design not only enhances the vehicle’s functionality but also speaks to the evolving needs of modern families who seek versatile and multi-purpose solutions for their adventures.

The Nissan Terra is another SUV that stands out with its premium interior and impressive features. The quiet cabin, coupled with the sliding and reclining second-row seats, ensures a comfortable and luxurious journey for all occupants. With the effortless fold-and-tumble mechanism for the second row, loading and unloading your luggage becomes a breeze. The zero-gravity front seats, inspired by NASA technology, provide exceptional support and help reduce fatigue during long drives.

Powering the Terra is a robust 2.5-liter YD25 4-cylinder variable turbo and intercooled diesel engine that delivers 190PS and a powerful 450Nm of torque. The 7-speed automatic transmission and the on-the-fly 2WD to 4WD switching capability make the Terra a versatile companion, whether navigating city streets or traversing challenging provincial roads. This seamless integration of performance and adaptability ensures that the Terra is ready to tackle any terrain you encounter on your family adventure.

While the Toyota Fortuner is a well-established name in the SUV segment, the current models may fall slightly short in terms of interior space and comfort for a family of four with substantial luggage. However, with the full model change expected next year, the Fortuner could potentially emerge as a more compelling option in the future.

Ultimately, the choice of the perfect SUV for your provincial getaway depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the size of your family and cargo. By carefully evaluating these top-contending models, you can be sure to find the ideal companion that will elevate your vacation experience and make your journey a truly memorable one.

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