In the van guard
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.
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.
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
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