Buying a SUV?

Driving and riding in Hua Hin and Thailand, all topics on cars, pickups, bikes, boats, licenses, roads, and motoring in general.
SPONSORS: : Car Rental Hua Hin : Bike Rental Hua Hin : Club Moto
Post Reply
User avatar
Dannie Boy
Rock Star
Rock Star
Posts: 4572
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:12 pm
Location: Closer to Cha Am than Hua Hin

Buying a SUV?

Post by Dannie Boy » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:25 am

I will be moving to Hua Hin in a couple of months time and need to buy some form of vehicle and am thinking of buying a SUV. From my previous visits, the Toyota Fortuner seems to be very popular and to a lessor extent, the Honda CRV (which I quite like). I am interested in forum members views on the pro's and cons of both models, especially in respect to ride comfort on the less than perfect roads and whether or not there are any alternatives to consider. I like the look of the new Kia Sportage, but cannot seem to find whether it is availabale in Thailand or not?

Not sure whether this should be in the Motoring section or not.

User avatar
PeteC
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 20711
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 7:58 am
Location: All Blacks training camp

Re: Buying a SUV?

Post by PeteC » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:55 am

The Fortuner and CRV are apples and oranges. By definition the CRV means 'compact recreational vehicle', or in some quarters 'crossover recreational vehicle', and the Fortuner is not.

The Fortuner is a good vehicle although I personally don't like the way the rear seats fold up against the back windows and block vision, and there are so many of them on the roads you really need to remember where you park at the mall. :laugh: Rumours are that the mid or late 2012 models will be completely different.

We have a CRV and it is more like a sedan than an SUV. Significantly less room inside than a Fortuner or similar, especially cargo space. Being front wheel drive like all Hondas, you get the odd steering quirk especially at low speeds. It's a very comfortable vehicle and if you like electronics and gadgets, it's loaded. No diesel so you'll pay dearly at the pump, especially with the 2.4 engine. You get a higher ride and better visibility with a CRV, but not as high or as good visibility as with the larger SUV types. Concerning service, Honda can't be beat in this country IMO. The CRV here has more or less the reputation of being a ladies ride.

As an alternative to the CRV look at the Chevy Captiva. Similar style but a bit larger at less cost. People I know who have them rave about them.

As an alternative to the Fortuner, look at the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. We have one of those also and I really like it. The Isuzu MU7 is another good alternative if you want a very safe and heavy vehicle, about 1,000 kilos more than a Fortuner or Pajero S, with more interior room than any of the others.

Mitsubishi service is still in the dark ages, at least outside of Bangkok. They haven't kept pace with the popularity and growing sales of their vehicles, and can't even be compared to Honda or Toyota service. I can't comment on Isuzu service. Pete :cheers:
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Source

User avatar
PeteC
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 20711
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 7:58 am
Location: All Blacks training camp

Re: Buying a SUV?

Post by PeteC » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:22 am

...more about the CRV for clarification. a 2.0 gasoline engine is also available, and a non-4WD model used to be available but not sure if it still is.

The 4WD is automatic. You can't engage it as it comes on automatically when the sensors detect that it's needed. Honda Thailand has seen fit not to let drivers know when it is engaged. There is no light, BLOODY NOTHING, to let the driver know when it is on or off. This also prevents you from knowing if the system is even working as there is no warning light if it malfunctions.

The same vehicle built at the same Thai factories for export indeed have a 4WD indicator light. When I asked the dealer here why the difference, I got a smile and the answer. "...Thai drivers really don't want to know...." The real answer is that Honda is pinching pennies and taking advantage of Thai consumer ignorance. Pete :cheers:
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Source

VincentD
Guru
Guru
Posts: 955
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 4:04 pm
Location: Bangkok

Re: Buying a SUV?

Post by VincentD » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:23 am

Was looking for something similar not too long ago, but didn't want one the size of the Fortuner. Did look at the Honda CRV, but ended up getting a Nissan X-Trail instead.
วินเชนท์


User avatar
margaretcarnes
Rock Star
Rock Star
Posts: 4204
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:28 am
Location: The Rhubarb Triangle

Re: Buying a SUV?

Post by margaretcarnes » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:41 am

Might be a problem to get one in Thailand (not to mention the availabilty of service centres) but there's a Renault SUV which seems to do what it says on the box pretty well in terms of space, handling and easy configuration of the seats.
A sprout is for life - not just for Christmas.

User avatar
hhfarang
Hero
Hero
Posts: 10848
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:27 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Buying a SUV?

Post by hhfarang » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:29 am

When we first came here I looked at the Toyota SUV (I don't think it was called "Fortuner" back then) and the Honda CRV. Even though the Toyota was bigger they were very close in price so I was leaning towards it until the Pranburi Honda dealer offered some attractive options for free.

I bought the CRV and have been very happy that I did. Not only is it a great and reliable vehicle (I expect it to outlast me) the Honda service is the best in Thailand (as Pete mentioned). I've been to both Honda Pranburi and Honda Hua Hin and their service policies and pricing are consistent. As for the size difference in the two vehicles, after living here for a while I was very happy that I got the CRV as it is quite a bit narrower and even with it I have had to close the mirrors to get through some small sois or tight traffic situations. I guess the larger vehicles just don't go in these places. It's also much easier to parallel park, especially if you get the rear camera option (one of the freebies I got).
My brain is like an Internet browser; 12 tabs are open and 5 of them are not responding, there's a GIF playing in an endless loop,... and where is that annoying music coming from?

User avatar
Dannie Boy
Rock Star
Rock Star
Posts: 4572
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:12 pm
Location: Closer to Cha Am than Hua Hin

Re: Buying a SUV?

Post by Dannie Boy » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:45 am

Thanks to all, especially "prcscct" for the very comprehensive feedback on most of the available models. The reviews on the new Kia Sportage look good, however I have not been able to find whether it is available in LOS and therefore suggest that it isnt, but as an alternative to the CRV, I will definitely give the Chevy Captiva a look as well as the Pajero Sport. One of the earlier criticisms of the Fortuner was the rear leaf spring suspension, but I believe this has now been replaced with coil springs?

Thanks all

User avatar
PeteC
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 20711
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 7:58 am
Location: All Blacks training camp

Re: Buying a SUV?

Post by PeteC » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:10 pm

The Kia Thailand site only shows a few very small compacts, and a flat bed truck like vehicle. So, probably right that the Sportage is not made/imported here. Yes, the Fortuner now has rear coil springs, not leaf any longer. Happy shopping! :thumb: Pete :cheers:
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Source

VincentD
Guru
Guru
Posts: 955
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 4:04 pm
Location: Bangkok

Re: Buying a SUV?

Post by VincentD » Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:05 pm

One or two things to keep in mind as well, especially with the pickup-based SUVs.

Look to see how your spare tyre is stored. If it is pickup-style (i.e. under the car, secured with a lockable chain) do be aware that spare tyre theft is very, very common.
If it is mounted on the back at least it is visible.
Some manufacturers have a 'space-saver' spare, especially the European makes. It is impossible to buy replacement rubber for these.

Some models attract a certain breed of buyer whose driving habits tend to annoy practically everyone else on the road. The Fortuner seems to attract more than its fair share of these.

Many SUVs are not 4X4s. Thailand spec and international spec are not the same.

Diesel is heavily subsidised and also easily available, so it makes more sense to get a SUV with a diesel engine. I almost went with a Nissan Navara 4 door 4X4 diesel pickup as it has a similar electronic 4wd mode as the X-trail. The heart won (I still wanted the SUV. But the X-trail has a 2.5 L petrol engine).
วินเชนท์

User avatar
PeteC
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 20711
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 7:58 am
Location: All Blacks training camp

Re: Buying a SUV?

Post by PeteC » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:23 pm

The CRV has a full size spare in a well under the rear cargo deck accessible only from the inside. The Pajero S. has an exterior full size spare but secured with a bolt/lock mechanism, again only accessible from the inside. The Fortuner I'm not sure. Pete :cheers:
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Source

cozza
Professional
Professional
Posts: 354
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:16 pm

Re: Buying a SUV?

Post by cozza » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:39 pm

How about the Isuzu SUV (MU-7)?

I believe there is a new model coming for D Max too?

User avatar
PeteC
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 20711
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 7:58 am
Location: All Blacks training camp

Re: Buying a SUV?

Post by PeteC » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:44 pm

cozza wrote:How about the Isuzu SUV (MU-7)? I believe there is a new model coming for D Max too?
D-Max is their pick up tuck. The SUV is the MU-7, link above. If you hunt around the Isuzu site there is a what seems a new, very fancy model of the MU-7 I haven't seen before. Here's their main site index again. Pete :cheers:

http://www.isuzu-tis.com/2011/index.html
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Source

cozza
Professional
Professional
Posts: 354
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:16 pm

Re: Buying a SUV?

Post by cozza » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:47 pm

Anyone own one? Are they any good?

User avatar
PeteC
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 20711
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 7:58 am
Location: All Blacks training camp

Re: Buying a SUV?

Post by PeteC » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:00 pm

cozza wrote:Anyone own one? Are they any good?
All I know about the MU-7 is from a Filipino guy we see at breakfast near my daughter's school several times a week. He loves his due to it's larger interior space, but admits its heavier than average weight is obvious during acceleration. I parked my Pajero S next to it once and I think the MU-7 is 10-12" longer and just a bit wider? It's definitely not something that will do well in Bangkok or any city/town here with narrow streets. Pete :cheers:
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Source

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: benmo and 4 guests