In the van guard

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - CARSGUIDE - PETER BARN­WELL KICKS THE TYRES FOR A READER

THE QUES­TION

I want to up­grade my Peu­geot 4007 to a slightly larger tour­ing ve­hi­cle able to tow a 17ft-20ft car­a­van and with more cargo space for the fridge and golf sticks. I’m lean­ing to the Isuzu MU-X or Mit­subishi Pa­jero Sport. I don’t in­tend to do off-the-beaten-track driv­ing but I need 4WD to get my van out of the back­yard. My bud­get is $55,000-$60,000. Gary Cook Both ve­hi­cles have gen­uine of­froad ca­pa­bil­ity with high and low range. They are large, tough and ute-based — the MU-X’s diesel is a com­mer­cial rather than pas­sen­ger car engine. The Pa­jero Sport is the new kid on the block and has more up to date fea­tures. Look also at Kia’s Sorento (our Car of the Year 2015) even though it’s a “soft­roader’’ and Toy­ota’s For­tuner.

CHOICES

Isuzu MU-X 3.0 LS-T $46,700 The MU-X driv­e­line of 3.0-litre turbo diesel (130kW/380Nm) and five-speed auto claims econ­omy of 8.3L/100km. It has se­lectable 2WD and high and low-range 4WD. It has a ro­bust lad­der chas­sis and steel un­der­body pro­tec­tion. The LS-T tops the range with leather trim and other lux­u­ries but lit­tle driver as­sist tech. Tow­ing ca­pac­ity is 3000kg braked. Fives­tar crash rat­ing. Ser­vic­ing costs $2275 over three years. Mit­subishi Pa­jero Sport Ex­ceed $52,750 Pa­jero Sport is based on the new Tri­ton ute. Its ad­vanced 2.4-litre turbo diesel (133kW/430Nm) is backed by an eight-speed auto that aids econ­omy (claim­ing 8.0L/100km) and tow­ing — 3100kg braked. Driver as­sist tech in­cludes au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, blind spot warn­ing and sur­round view cam­era. It has a lux­u­ri­ous in­te­rior with An­droid Auto and Ap­ple Carplay. In­fo­tain­ment screen is dif­fi­cult to use and there’s no ded­i­cated sat­nav. Five-star safety, while ser­vic­ing costs $1510 over three years

Toy­ota For­tuner Cru­sade $59,990 It’s based on the HiLux ute and has the same pow­er­train and un­der­pin­nings (al­most) and can tow 2800kg. It has a pow­er­ful 2.8-litre diesel (130kW/450Nm), plenty of lux­ury and safety kit but no ad­vanced driver as­sist tech­nol­ogy. It’s as tough as they come off-road, the dealer net­work is un­sur­passed but the styling takes some get­ting used to. Ser­vic­ing costs $1080 for three years.

WILD­CARD

Kia Sorento AWD Plat­inum CRDi $55,990 At last year’s Cars­guide COTY, the good-look­ing Sorento caused a stir by rat­ing ahead of the Mercedes GLC. Sorento is built on a new plat­form and is pow­ered by a torquey 2.2-litre turbo diesel (147kW/441Nm) us­ing a com­bined 7.8L/100km. The Plat­inum scores all of Kia’s avail­able driver as­sist gear as stan­dard in­clud­ing adap­tive head­lights, blind spot de­tec­tion, lane change as­sist, rear cross traf­fic alert, lane de­par­ture warn­ing but it lacks au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing. There’s plenty of lux­ury kit as stan­dard. War­ranty is seven years/ un­lim­ited km. Tows 2000kg braked. Ser­vic­ing costs $1330 over three years

VER­DICT

The Pa­jero Sport has the edge be­cause of its driver as­sist tech­nol­ogy, econ­omy, tow­ing ca­pac­ity and eight-speed auto. Its four off-road modes are handy, too.

MIT­SUBISHI PA­JERO SPORT

TOYOTAFORTUNER KIASORENTO ISUZUMU-X

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