Entry-level SUVs

I am quite interested in buying one of the ‘entry-level’ SUVs available here in Taiwan. With ‘entry-level’ I refer to those priced at under NT 1 million, so the big names like BMW, Volco, Merc, and the likes are obviously excluded.

I did quite a bit of window shopping over the last few months and talked to a lot of sales people. They all, for obvious reasons, tell me how good their products are compared to the inferior ones of their competitors who, in most cases, are just across the road or even next-doors. I looked at the following vehicles and models: Hyundai (Tuscon and Santa Fe), Ford Escape (old and new shape), Honda CRV, Kia Sportage, and the Suzuki Grand Vittara (old and new shape).

To clarify: I have a million to spend (given to me by my company) and I want an SUV (one of the models above). I don’t want 4X4 capabilities. Which is the better choice? Any comments will be appreciated.

I drive Ford Escape and dont recommend it, too many problems beside the new model is butt-ugly and just a facelift (again) from my 2002 escape…

Get a new crv 2.4 4wd…the suspension is pretty stiff and steering a bit heavy, but handling is very good…quite powerfull and get pretty decent mileage too

There was a comparison of all the cheaper SUVs on 5th Gear and they thought that the Nissan X-Trail was better … they were older models though.

Forgot to mention Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4…good looking car IMO…

an SUV without 4wd? sort of like a pair of trousers without legs. you don’t really want an SUV then.

buy a toyota wish. similar or better luggage handling, more sedan like interior, and much better road manners than any of the others mentioned. the others have a 4wd frame that is heavier and higher than you need for taiwan 2wd conditions.

Get a Subaru Outback instead !!

The Outback goes for 1.78 mil…a bit over the budget stated in the OP…I bought a new Subaru Legacy 2.0R wagon just over a month ago…I got a good deal on it at a shade over 1 mil…Although the 2.0R is a small engine…it goes very well with 168ps, AWD and all the options …(Hid, sunroof, leather, Cruise control, 6 airbags, Prodrive Sportshift)…it’s an excellent car for the price and looks and feels like the more expensive European wagons on the market…The best is that it’s 100% made in Japan…quality is top notch…but it’s not an SUV…

I didnt realize the OUtback was so pricey. But yes Subaru is nice for Taiwan . And most SUV are not really SUV anyway !!!

I think 168ps is plenty for Taiwan and AWD is real nice. Plus it sits kinda highish doesnt it?

I wouldnt mind having one in Taiwan.

I know you are probably going to go and buy an SUV no matter what we say, but as someone who has owned one of these gas-guzzling bastards here I urge you to reconsider.

You can get just as much practical space with better safety features, ride quality, gas mileage, parkability and comfort in larger pseudo-sedans like the Toyota Wish or Subaru Whatsaname. I had always hated Subarus because I thought they were ugly and overpriced with a tai-ke image but a test drive with Cap’n Stag completely changed my mind. I still think they are ugly but the build quality for the price is really excellent.

Yes, the X-Trail is one of the better budget SUVs available but it still drives like a hunk of bricks on wheels and gets less than 20mpg on a good day. And to give you all that metal, leather seats, electronic gadgets and whatnot for $700k means they had to cut corners somewhere - guess where?

Please, don’t do it!! And if you are going to ignore this advice please at least go for a Honda CRV as they are the least sucky of the budget SUVs in Taiwan.

I think the Subaru Forester should be worthy of consideration as well.

The Forester is what I want. A lot more than a million though, I believe.

I reckon if you wait for a new model to come out you will get one for a million - http://tw.autos.yahoo.com/newcar_model/id/663.html

The Forrester 2.5XT goes in the 1.3 mil range in Taiwan (Subaru of Taiwan)…which is the same price as the new WRX…I’d go for the Forrester over the WRX if I had a bigger budget. But with the turbo motors, they get pretty thirsty around town…SOT do import the Forrester 2.0ex…a few hundred grand cheaper, and still quite decent performance.

On another price scale are the Legacy 3.0R Outback and the WRX STi at 1.79 mil. The new STi is only being imported in small numbers (30 or so Island wide for 2008)…

With the Legacy 2.0R, that’s all they have here…No Legacy GT, or Spec B or Forrester STi or Legacy STi…too bad.

The Forrester 2.5XT goes in the 1.3 mil range in Taiwan (Subaru of Taiwan)…which is the same price as the new WRX…I’d go for the Forrester over the WRX if I had a bigger budget. But with the turbo motors, they get pretty thirsty around town…SOT do import the Forrester 2.0ex…a few hundred grand cheaper, and still quite decent performance.

On another price scale are the Legacy 3.0R Outback and the WRX STi at 1.79 mil. The new STi is only being imported in small numbers (30 or so Island wide for 2008)…

With the Legacy 2.0R, that’s all they have here…No Legacy GT, or Spec B or Forrester STi or Legacy STi…too bad.[/quote]

LIke everyone else I was wowing and wooing over the STi. But when i finally got to drive one, I definitely DONT WANT IT. Its got a very heavy clutch. Sure it goes fast when you push the loud pedal but that clutch is hard to live with. NO Auto version on the STi. Course I like automatics anyway. I like the WRX automatic with the turbo for the 227hp (which puts you at 330i territory) but you could blow the turbo. For Taiwan , the regular RS with the 165hp is plenty good and comes in wagon and sedan versions (in the USA anyway). They even call the wagon version the IMpreza OUtback. That would be all the SUV you really need in TAiwan

The Forrester 2.5XT goes in the 1.3 mil range in Taiwan (Subaru of Taiwan)…which is the same price as the new WRX…I’d go for the Forrester over the WRX if I had a bigger budget. But with the turbo motors, they get pretty thirsty around town…SOT do import the Forrester 2.0ex…a few hundred grand cheaper, and still quite decent performance.

On another price scale are the Legacy 3.0R Outback and the WRX STi at 1.79 mil. The new STi is only being imported in small numbers (30 or so Island wide for 2008)…

With the Legacy 2.0R, that’s all they have here…No Legacy GT, or Spec B or Forrester STi or Legacy STi…too bad.[/quote]

LIke everyone else I was wowing and wooing over the STi. But when I finally got to drive one, I definitely DONT WANT IT. Its got a very heavy clutch. Sure it goes fast when you push the loud pedal but that clutch is hard to live with. NO Auto version on the STi. Course I like automatics anyway. I like the WRX automatic with the turbo for the 227hp (which puts you at 330i territory) but you could blow the turbo. For Taiwan , the regular RS with the 165hp is plenty good and comes in wagon and sedan versions (in the USA anyway). They even call the wagon version the IMpreza OUtback. That would be all the SUV you really need in TAiwan[/quote]

The RS versions of the Impreza were back in the GC8 GF8 days (late 90s)…now, the Impreza range is either a sedan or hatchback;

Impreza 2.5i : normally aspirated 2.5 liter engine (sedan or hatch)

Impreza Outback Sport: same engine as above but only avail in a hatch with more options

Impreza WRX: Sedan or Hatch with 2.5 Turbo charged engine

Impreza WRX STi: only in a hatch version…the 2008 STi has gotten pretty good reviews thus far and most criticism has come from the change in looks from previous editions…performance wise, it’s still a lot of bang for the buck!

[quote=“StreetSpec”]I drive Ford Escape and dont recommend it, too many problems beside the new model is butt-ugly and just a facelift (again) from my 2002 escape…

Get a new crv 2.4 4wd…the suspension is pretty stiff and steering a bit heavy, but handling is very good…quite powerfull and get pretty decent mileage too[/quote]

I drive a Ford Escape (2006) 4X4 and have had no problems whatsoever. I agree the new Honda CRV is a handsome vehicle, but it is outperformed by the Escape offroad. The ground-clearance simply doesn’t match the Ford’s. If you’re planning to do more 4X4 work, get the Ford. Oh yes, I agree that the new Taiwan Escape is godawful ugly!

[quote=“llary”]I know you are probably going to go and buy an SUV no matter what we say, but as someone who has owned one of these gas-guzzling bastards here I urge you to reconsider.

You can get just as much practical space with better safety features, ride quality, gas mileage, parkability and comfort in larger pseudo-sedans like the Toyota Wish or Subaru Whatsaname. I had always hated Subarus because I thought they were ugly and overpriced with a tai-ke image but a test drive with Cap’n Stag completely changed my mind. I still think they are ugly but the build quality for the price is really excellent.

Yes, the X-Trail is one of the better budget SUVs available but it still drives like a hunk of bricks on wheels and gets less than 20mpg on a good day. And to give you all that metal, leather seats, electronic gadgets and whatnot for $700k means they had to cut corners somewhere - guess where?

Please, don’t do it!! And if you are going to ignore this advice please at least go for a Honda CRV as they are the least sucky of the budget SUVs in Taiwan.[/quote]

Weren’t you the gentleman who had that Mitsubishi Pajero or something-or-other up for sale a few months ago, or was it an Isuzu?

I had an Isuzu Rodeo, loved it to bits but wouldn’t buy another in Taiwan. It was a real 4x4 unlike these farty X-Trails and it was a useful tool where I used to live. When I moved into the city it just got a bit silly.

I had an Isuzu Rodeo, loved it to bits but wouldn’t buy another in Taiwan. It was a real 4x4 unlike these farty X-Trails and it was a useful tool where I used to live. When I moved into the city it just got a bit silly.[/quote]

Ja, now I remember it was a Rodeo. Would have loved to have bought it but didn’t have the readies at the time.