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  1. #1
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    Default Softroader off-road comparison

    How do these softroaders compare in off-road capability?:
    - Honda CRV 2.2 DTEC (MT/AT)
    - Hyundai ix35 (2.4 GLS 4x4 AT or 2.0 CRDi GLS 4x4 AT)
    - Jeep Cherokee 2.8 CRD AT (Sport/Ltd)
    - Nissan Qashqai 2.0 dCi Acenta 4x4
    - Subaru Forester 2.5 X/XS (MT/AT)
    - Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4i
    - Toyota RAV4 2.2 D-4D GX/VX
    I'm looking to buy a new car and mostly interested in a softroader/crossover type vehicle. Will be used in city as 2nd car and for weekends away/holidays as main car. I've arrived at this list through a long set of criteria which I'm not going to go into here (mostly nothing to do with off-roading), but would like to know how these compare in off-road capability. This is not something I know much about and of course every manufacturer claims they're awesome, so I need help from you folks.
    My main purpose is not to do heavy off-roading, but the more it can do, the better. At worst, I need something that will handle potholes, bumpy dirt roads etc. better than your average sedan and most of the above should do that. At best, I would like to have something that I can take through Moremi/Chobe (not sure if any of the above would qualify on that front?).
    My gut feel based on what I have read so far is that they rank more or less as follows:
    - Jeeps/Suzuki
    - Subarus
    - The rest
    Any advice would be appreciated.

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    On the Forester launch at Land Rover experience, we had the following cars - I will list them and then say how they did.

    IX 35 - Unable to get through the first test and abandoned.

    Kia Sportage - Unable to get through the first test and abandoned.

    RAV 4 - Not bad apart from occasional bottoming out.

    Honda CRV - Stuck on most obstacles due to ride height and finally bogged down in the sand when the 4x4 refused to kick in.

    X Trail - No problem apart from occasional scraping.

    Forester - No problem, no touching underneath - best of the bunch.
    1967 Wolseley 6/110
    2011 Forester Diesel

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    The GV has low range, and probably the Jeep too.
    Then the rest.
    SWAMBO
    2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara 3.2i V6 Auto
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedLineR View Post
    The GV has low range, and probably the Jeep too.
    Then the rest.
    So does the manual Forester.
    1967 Wolseley 6/110
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    Default Shortening the list

    Hi nscd,

    The Honda, Hyundai and Nissan don't belong on the list.

    My brother-in-law had a CRV, and I could hear his car bonking away in front of me on the stones, on a typical west-coast sea-side sand track - Quinn Point to be exact.

    The trouble with the RAV - from a friend of mine whose wife drives one - is that if you're loaded for a camping holiday, the the rear end sags too much.

    They did the Richtersveld with it, and bought a standard Toyota bakkie soon after for this type of trip.

    I swear by a Forester, but it is quite a basic car compared to the others.

    No mention of a Freelander 2, perhaps due to budget constraints? If you can stretch it, get an Auto.

    If you choose a car without low range, Auto is your best bet regardless of vehicle choice, as the torque converter helps a lot getting the car moving from standstill against steep inclines without horrible smells. The more ratios, the better.
    Last edited by JJJ; 2013/11/12 at 01:57 PM.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJJ View Post
    If you choose a car without low range, Auto is your best bet regardless of vehicle choice, as the torque converter helps a lot getting the car moving from standstill against steep inclines without horrible smells. The more ratios, the better.
    I just want to emphasize this.
    Though the average car/suv/bakkie torque converter has a stall torque ratio of around 1.6, which is still less than a 1.9 low range ratio. It does still help.
    SWAMBO
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    Thanks for the input so far guys, really great to hear from real-world experiences rather than theoretical mumbo-jumbo that manufacturers dish up.

    @JJJ - I'm considering both 2nd hand and new, so budget isn't the reason I ditched the Freelander. It fell out because (1) I have had really bad past experience with land rover service and quality (I suspect someone in my family will do the decent thing and kill me if I ever buy a land rover) and (2) boot is very small compared to others when seats are up (I initially set a minimum limit of 350l going by car mag's stats, but later moved this down to 288l because the list got too short too quickly. The FL unfortunately sits at 264l and I have to draw the line somewhere).

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    Rather get a proper ofroader with.low range and diff lock SUV demo instead of a new soft roader. I owned a X Trail and it was great in sand, but it will irritate you if you get it for offroading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nscd View Post

    The FL unfortunately sits at 264l and I have to draw the line somewhere).
    Hi nscd,

    Are we talking Freelander TWO here?

    I've just looked in the glossy, and this states with the seats up, you have 755l. Admittedly, this will be with luggage stacked to the ceiling, but 264l sounds a bit low.

    If your bad experience was with a Freelander ONE, please regard this as completely not-applicable.

    The original Freelander was a Rover, the LR2 is a Ford/Volvo. I have an article on the origins of the car and the commonality to other Ford/Volvo vehicles. At work though, but If you like I could post tomorrow.

    But if you hang 5, mine is going for the 72000km service later this month and I'll report what happened.

    Let me put it this way, it does not go INTO the service, broken ....
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
    Volvo XC60 T5
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    There is nothing more dissappointing when you sit there on the uphill obstacle in the game reserve with the throttle floored and the car not going up the hill. And that was in a soft roader sporting a peppy 3-liter V6 petrol! At the time that I bought that car I have thought that that strong engine with the torgue multiplied by the torgue converter would be unstoppable. But, there is absolutely no replacement for a low range gearbox.


    Grand Cherokee 5.7L V8
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    @JJJ:

    Thanks, maybe something I should look at. I just looked at the stats in car mag (apr 2011) and it says 264l. I assume this is up to the window or something, because I've picked up that there is a huge discrepancy between what they say and what most of the manufacturers claim (I'm pretty sure they all fill it up to the roof). Best is probably to go check one out and see if the space is reasonable. On the rest of my criteria, the FL would indeed do very well, so maybe it is something I should consider. I'll plead amnesia when the family complains. If you can post that article, I would be interested, thanks!

    As for my past experience it was my parents' Disco TD5, not sure what year model, but somewhere around 2000. Awesome car, but started falling apart around 150000km (gearbox and suspension being the chief and most expensive culprits) and local service was appalling and unable to fix anything properly when it broke. My dad eventually gave up on it and gave it to me. I tried trading it in on something much smaller, but nobody would take it. Some actually made the effort of giving me a ridiculous trade-in price, but many dealers just plain said no. Then I tried selling it and couldn't get that right either, so I gave it back. BTW, my dad now drives a Prado (circa 2003 model) with more than 250000km on the clock and still going like new, so he's never looked back. I've tried convincing him to sell it to me, but it ain't happening.

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    I was in your shoes about two years ago and stated the same reasons for buying a soft-roader as you do. I bought the Honda CRV on your list; as a car it is the best new vehicle I ever bought. It is very solid and have excellent ride comfort. It also has one of the largest rear legroom of the cars in you list.

    The CRV is not that bad off the tar as many claim, believe me as I went with mine to a place in the Western Cape called "Die Hell" and also drove right through the Baviaans with it. The problem with the CRV is clearly ground clearance and this adds to the problem of selecting the correct line as you constantly have to negotiate a line where you might go over a rock with a wheel to keep the ground clearance high.

    Problem is that the CRV "opened the door" for me in what a true off-road experience can be like i.e. visiting places where not many can go and enjoying the beauty and peace nature offers. A couple of times I had to turn around with the CRV as the road became too rough, muddy or difficult and I felt sorry for the car as it was not really made for off-road.

    So, to make a long story short - Beginning of this year I bought a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited CRD and this is exactly the car for me. I do not turn around anymore when venturing off-road and the car is still perfectly fine to drive to work and back in the week

    Make absolutely sure that you will not get bitten by the off-road bug and be sorry you bought a soft-roader in a couple of months. In my opinion - Soft-roaders are mostly meant for gravel roads.

    I changed the order of your list as to what I would consider the best, and yes, apologies I am a bit Jeep biased!

    1. Jeep Cherokee 2.8 CRD AT (Sport/Ltd)
    2. Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4i
    3. Toyota RAV4 2.2 D-4D GX/VX
    4. Subaru Forester 2.5 X/XS (MT/AT)
    5. Honda CRV 2.2 DTEC (MT/AT)
    6. Nissan Qashqai 2.0 dCi Acenta 4x4
    7. Hyundai ix35 (2.4 GLS 4x4 AT or 2.0 CRDi GLS 4x4 AT)
    Regards

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    I think Heinrich touched on an important point here...

    I too bought a soft roader (The GV), also from a similar list. I had a Freelander HSE on there, a Captiva LTZ and a Maxda CX-7.
    Bought the GV.
    And there are already plans in place to replace it with the new Jeep Grand Cherokee.
    The softroader is just not offroad enough. And once you've been offroad with your softroader, you see a whole new world open up for you. Going to "exclusive" places, seeing "exclusive" sights, and the softroader gave you a peek. Then you want more.
    SWAMBO
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    I have a x-trail and it is a great softroader. Better than the rest on your list.

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    Default mmmm

    Damn it is difficult to remain unbiased. I wonder how many people are just sitting on their hands here.

    Keith
    Cheers

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    Uphill 4x4 by PaulO Classic., on Flickr

    1967 Wolseley 6/110
    2011 Forester Diesel

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    Chimes & Gorge
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    Last edited by RedLineR; 2011/04/03 at 08:17 PM.
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    Default Freelander 2 Origins

    Quote Originally Posted by nscd View Post
    @JJJ:

    If you can post that article, I would be interested, thanks!

    UK: ANALYSIS: Freelander 2's Volvo connection
    By: just-auto.com editorial team | 23 June 2006

    Land Rover's new unibody Freelander 2 is based on body-engineering designs borrowed from Volvo, the first time the Brit 4x4-maker has shared technology to such an extent with a fellow Ford company, writes Julian Rendell.

    The new Freelander, into production later this year, was engineered as part of a new joint Ford/Volvo platform, the EU CD, also the basis for the new S80/V70, Galaxy, S-Max and Mondeo replacement.

    "This is the first time on a Land Rover that we've shared design like this with Volvo," says Mark Burnston, Land Rover's chief body engineer.

    At the centre of the engineering design is a crash structure of two beams that feed loads into the A-pillars and side sills — standard Volvo practice. The previous generation Freelander was a modified Rover car platform that concentrated loads into the front bulkhead and floorpan.

    "The crash forces are swept outboard which come from the platform engineering concept. Before you can share parts you have share concepts," says Burnston.

    At 28,000 Nm/degree, Freelander's new unibody is stiffer than the Discovery and Range Rover Sport, which are based on the new integrated body-frame T5 platform, although the Range Rover, which has a unique BMW-developed unibody, is stiffer again at 32,000 Nm/deg.

    "Over 50 per cent of the structure are high-strength steels, we have tailor-welded blanks in the A-pillar and dual-phase steels elsewhere," say Burnston.

    The larger dimensions and stronger structure mean that the body-in-white is 75kg heavier than the old Freelander 1. "But given the greater cabin volume and performance, it's a much more efficient structure according to our internal measures," says Burnston.

    Land Rover believes that apart from the Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover, the Freelander has the stiffest body of any SUV.

    Overall around 40 per cent of the Freelander is common with other EU-CD- models, that's 20 per cent less than the 60 per cent figure typical for volume-produced models.

    Shared parts in the body include the two front crash beams which are the same pressings as the Ford Galaxy, albeit beefed-up for the Freelander with a stiffening panel between the two pressings and the pressings from tailored-blanks that link the crash beams, front bulkhead and A-pillars. Unusually, the floorpan pressings are common, too, as are most of the lower structure that supports the 'top hat' — Ford-speak for the outer panels.

    But at the rear, the structure is unique to Land Rover. "That's because we have a different rear suspension," says Burnston.

    Instead of the road-biased 'control blade' suspension used on Ford and Volvo cars, the Freelander retains a strut suspension at the rear.
    Apart from ground clearance disadvantages, the control blade isn't rugged enough off-road, because its key part, a pressed arm, can't resist reversing backwards into an off-road obstacle.


    At the front the Freelander's suspension also has some shared parts, like the rear part of the hydroformed subframe and suspension arms.

    Julian Rendell
    Last edited by JJJ; 2011/04/04 at 07:23 AM.
    If my post insulted you, wonder where the smiley went .

    Johnie
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    You are here: Home / Headline / Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4 vs Nissan X-Trail
    Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4 vs Nissan X-Trail

    Posted by Alborz Fallah on January 20, 2011 Leave a Comment

    Nissan X-Trail vs Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4

    Models reviewed:
    • Subaru Forester – $30,990 to $46,990
    • Nissan X-Trail – $28,490 (2WD) to $45,240
    • Toyota RAV4 – $28,990 (2WD) to $49,990
    Last year saw 114,761 Compact SUVs sold in Australia. That’s an increase of more than 30,000 units since 2009 and represents the fastest growing segment in the Australia car market.
    As a result, the segment has become a huge battleground for manufacturers trying to outdo the other for your hard earned cash.

    The top three best sellers in the category are the Subaru Forester (12.8% market share), Toyota RAV4 (12.7% market share) and Nissan X-Trail (8.5% market share).

    All three represent a great package for those looking for something that is capable off-road but also practical in the city.

    Having properly road tested and reviewed all these cars in the past, it’s still rather hard to pick a winner. Mainly because all three are great vehicles for different people.

    In saying that, about a week ago while Brisbane was mostly underwater, I spent one long and rather hot Saturday test driving all the top selling cars in this segment with a potential buyer.

    So then, if you’ve been looking at getting behind the wheel of a compact SUV, keep reading.
    All models tested were 44 variants with basic off-roading ability.
    Engines, Performance & Off-road ability
    Subaru Forester (2.5)Toyota RAV4 (2.4)Nissan X-Trail (2.5)Engine TypeMULTI POINT F/INJMULTI POINT F/INJMULTI POINT F/INJEngine Size2.5L2.4L2.5LCylindersFlat 4INLINE 4INLINE 4Max. Torque229Nm @ 4400rpm224Nm @ 4000rpm226Nm @ 4400rpmMax. Power126kW @ 6000rpm125kW @ 6000rpm125kW @ 6000rpmBore & Stroke99.5x79mm88.5x96mm89x100mmCompression Ratio9.89.69.6Valve GearVSOCVSOCDOHCThe Subaru Forester has been the best selling compact SUV for some time, you only have to look out on the street to see the popularity of this Japanese-built vehicle. Part of its appeal has been its engine line-up, offering everything from practical motoring, efficient diesel engines and even sporty petrol turbos.

    There are three engine choices in the range. At the bottom of the pack is the naturally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxer engine (126kW @ 6000rpm – 229Nm @ 4400rpm) which powers the X and XS variants. Diesel lovers will be pleased to know the Subaru 2.0-litre diesel engine is now available in the Forester range and offers 108kW @ 3600rpm and a massive 350Nm @ 1800rpm.
    If you want that little more power, the famous 2.5-litre boxer turbo (borrowed from the previous generation Impreza WRX) is also available and delivers 169kW @ 5200rpm and 320Nm @ 2800rpm.
    Wait until late February and you’ll also find a new variant called the Forester S-Edition which will make use of the new WRX engine and deliver 24 kW and 27 Nm of torque more than the current XT and hence better performance.

    You can see that with the wide variety of engine choices on offer, most buyers are likely to find what they are after. The only downside to the Forester range is the lack of an automatic for the diesel. This may come in the future but for now it’s not on the cards.
    The naturally aspirated 2.5-litre is relatively sufficient to meet most buyers’ needs. If you’re happy to drive a manual SUV then you can achieve 0-100km/h times of around 10.4 seconds. Unfortunately for Subaru fans, the Japanese company has continued to use a now dated four-speed automatic in the Forester range which not only hurts the car’s fuel economy but gives a relatively lacklustre 0-100km/h time of 11 seconds.

    The 2.0-litre diesel variants are only available with a six-speed manual and do the 0-100km/h dash in 10.4 seconds. The plus side here is the enormous 350 Nm of torque, great for towing (1600kg towing braked capacity).
    Of course if performance figures mean anything to you then you’ll find yourself behind the wheel of the Forester XT. Using a five-speed manual transmission, the XT can catapult you from 0-100km/h in just 7.1 seconds, which is rather quick for a car its size. If you must pick the four-speed auto version, you’ll achieve that figure in 7.9 seconds.

    From a ride and handling perspective the Subaru Forester has always been the pack leader. Thanks to Subaru’s involvement in motorsports and its STI division, the sporty dynamics of its performance cars are applied in principle to all variants.
    Even the base model Forester feels more nimble than the other two competitors and the XT variant makes use of sporty suspension to deliver a well balanced and dynamic vehicle. If you’re after a sporty compact SUV, it’s very hard to argue against the Forester XT or Forester S-edition.

    Basic off-roading ability is built into every Subaru thanks to the company’s all-wheel-drive system. The Forester’s ground clearance of 225 mm (highest in this comparison) means it’s capable of getting around some tough terrain but it’s not ideally suited to anything more than dirt roads and minor inclines.
    Toyota’s RAV4 has long been the consistent performer in this segment. It has grown up considerably in the past decade and now comes with either a 2.4-litre four cylinder engine with 125 kW and 225 Nm of torque or a 3.5-litre V6 engine that blasts the competition away with 201 kW and 333 Nm of torque. There is no diesel variant.

    The RAV4 V6 gets from a standstill to 100km/h in 7.4 seconds via a five-speed automatic. The four-cylinder variants are very similar in performance to the Forester and also make use of a four-speed automatic (five-speed manual available).
    The RAV4 V6 can be a bit of a handful to drive, the big V6 engine punches out a lot of power and can lead to some serious understeer if driven inappropriately. On the contrary, the Forester XT delivers a significantly better vehicle for the enthusiastic driver.

    Nonetheless, the four-cylinder version of the popular Toyota is a very comfortable drive and delivers its power and torque much better through the four-speed auto than its equivalent Forester. It easily absorbs the poorly maintained roads of Brisbane and gets up hills without too many complaints.
    Steering feel is a little soft but then again if you’re after a practical SUV and have no desire for any spirited driving, this is how you’d want it to feel.

    If you intend to take your RAV4 off-road beware that it’s a soft-roader at heart. With a ground clearance of just 195 mm, this Toyota is best suited to the city. The active-4WD system will make sure you won’t get stuck in all that many ditches but it’s not the sort of system you can rely on when the hills start to look a little scary. For that you’ll need a vehicle will low-range gears.
    If you can’t find something that works in the Forester or RAV4 range, the X-trail is always a good choice. Despite its rather peculiar looks the X-Trail is by and large the car to pick if semi-serious off-roading means anything to you.

    Just like the RAV4 and Forester, the X-Trail range starts with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. In Nissan’s case, it delivers 125kW @ 6000rpm and 226Nm @ 4400rpm. Unlike the other two, Nissan offers the X-Trail with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) which, although to most people is simply just an automatic with a different name, is a significant improvement over the four-speed automatic transmissions available in the other two.

    The diesel X-Trail is also a worthy competitor with the 2.0-litre engine managing an impressive 127 kW and 360 Nm of torque (for manual), making it more powerful than the Forester. Better yet, it’s also available with a six-speed automatic, however power drops down to 110 kW and torque comes in at 320 Nm (lower than manual to preserve the automatic gearbox).

    Driving wise the X-Trail is a genuinely easy car to get around in. The diesel engine is a tad noisy at times but you can get used to it rather quickly. Around town it’s a simple piece of machinery to operate and around twisty roads it does tend to behave itself most of the time. It falls short of the Forester’s impressive handling dynamics.
    Even-though the X-Trail has a 212 mm ground clearance, Nissan’s four-wheel drive system is by far the best in its class. If you can physically fit the X-Trail over tough terrain, it will more than likely climb it without too many hassles.

    Overall, all three cars offer similar packages when it comes to engine and performance. The Forester stays out on top for ride and handling, the RAV4 tops the three for comfort, and the X-Trail’s powerful diesel, plus the option for an automatic diesel, makes its a unique catch.
    Fuel consumption and emissions
    Subaru Forester 2.5Toyota RAV4 (2.4)Nissan X-Trail (2.5)Fuel TypeULPULPULPFuel Tank Capacity60L60L65LFuel Consumption9.3 L / 100km9.1 L / 100km9.1L / 100kmCO2 Emission200 grams/km213grams/km228 grams/kmThe most fuel efficient car in this comparison is the Subaru Forester diesel manual which uses just 6.4 litres per 100km. The Nissan X-Trail diesel manual is second best with 7.2L/100km (7.4 for auto). Of course the diesels attract a premium price and do their best mileage on the highway.

    The petrol variants are equal best with the X-Trail and RAV4 both coming in at 9.1L/100km (manual). The Forester 2.5-litre manual is 9.3L/100km. Interestingly enough, the X-Trail CVT uses exactly the same amount of fuel as its manual brother. Meanwhile the RAV4 and Forester four-speed autos both result in 9.6 L/100km.
    The sporty Forester XT uses 10.5L/100km for both manual and auto.
    Exterior and dimensions
    Subaru Forester 2.5Toyota RAV4 (2.4-3.5)Nissan X-Trail (2.5)Length (mm)45604600-46254635Width (mm)17951815-18551790Height (mm)17001695-17301700Weight (kg)14751550-16551525All three cars are a lot bigger inside than you’d think. The Forester and RAV4 have both certainly done some serious growing in the past few years and the X-Trail provides a very practical package. As far as sheer size goes, the X-Trail measures the longest at 4635 mm, the Forester comes in at 4560 mm and the RAV4 at 4625 mm.

    Looks are entirely subjective but it’s hard to argue the X-trail is a better looker than the other two. The Forester is the most masculine in design and the RAV4 is traditional Toyota in that it offends no one yet fails to inspire any feelings whatsoever.

    Nissan has well and truly gone for function over form in the X-Trail’s case and that can be assessed from the way the rear is designed for maximum practicality. This is a good thing if you’re also a creature that puts practicality ahead of looks. Not many are.

    Overall, all three measure about equal size, on the road the RAV 4 and X-Trail tend to look a little bit bigger than the Forester but the Subaru looks the most sporty and easily exudes more sophistication.
    Interior and equipement
    The Japanese are not generally known for creating world-class interiors. It’s always been a case of keeping it simple and effective. While the Europeans tend to fill their cars with gadgets and goodies, you’ll be lucky to find something to amuse yourself in any of the three cars here.
    Nonetheless, this is partially why Japanese cars tend to be so reliable. Given the simplicity of the technology, little can go wrong. Better yet, if something does happen to go wrong, it won’t require a team of engineers from Munich to work out why.

    The Forester’s interior ranges from Spartan plastics in the base model to leather trim with the whole shebang in the XT and premium diesel. Subaru still commands a rather high $4500 to fit a sat nav system in place of the six-stack in-dash CD player. The Japanese company is also yet to catch on to the iPod/iPhone craze, offering only a basic Auxiliary jack and no native support for anything Apple. There is 450L of cargo space if the rear seats are being used or 1660L if the rear seats are folded down.

    Given Toyota’s attitude to cars (volume is key), the RAV4′s interior is not all that much different to other Toyota models.

    The audio system is not integrated into the dash (which is great if you intend to upgrade it). The V6 ZR6 variant gains a sat nav system but the rest of the range makes do with a reasonable system capable of playing MP3 and connecting to your phone via bluetooth. Cargo space is 540L with the seats up (no official data as to cargo space with seats folded flat).

    The Nissan X-Trail also offers a rather utilitarian interior, three simple dials in the middle for airconditioning, a stereo (or sat nav depending on variant) and a storage compartment right in the top of the dashboard. As opposed to the other two, the X-Trail makes use of soft-touch plastics throughout the cabin which makes it far better to touch. Although most will not notice the subtle differences, the X-Trail’s interior has been built with a slightly higher budget in mind. Interior cargo space is 603 L with the seats upright and 1773 L with the seats flat.
    All three SUV’s equipment levels are relatively on-par with each other and if you need something fitted that isn’t standard (e.g. Bluetooth in the Forester), there are kits that can make that happen. Best yet, argue with the dealer that it should be standard and get it included as part of the deal.
    Safety
    Toyota’s base model RAV4 CV doesn’t come with anything more than two front airbags, which is a shame for such a large car in 2011. I’d strongly urge any potential RAV4 customers to upgrade to a Cruiser or higher variants if they value their life in the unlikely event of an accident. The current generation RAV4 has a four-star ANCAP safety rating.

    The Subaru Forester is a five-star rated car and like every Subaru in the range, safety is not compromised. All variants come with a full set of front, side and curtain airbags. The X-Trail is the same with even the base model equipped with a full compliment of safety gear and airbags.
    Warranty & Servicing
    Subaru ForesterNissan X-TrailToyota RAV4Service Interval6 months / 10,000 kms12 months / 15,000 kms12 months / 15,000 kmsWarranty36 months / Unlimited kms36 months / 100,000 kms36 months / 100,000 kmsConclusion:
    As I said at the beginning of this comparison, all three of these cars offer excellent choices for different people. For me, the Forester is the most ideal thanks to its masculine looks, ride and handling, build quality and safety features. For some the X-Trail’s more practical boot space or the availability of a diesel automatic will be the clincher. Others still may pick the RAV4 simply because it does everything so easily and is a breeze to drive around town.

    Count yourself lucky as there are so many choices in the market today. You must go out there and drive at least three different makes and models to make a decision. Even if you still end up buying the car you wanted in the first place, at least you’ll do it without regret. More importantly, remember that all cars reviewed here are AWD (4WD). The X-trail and RAV4 both come in 2WD versions as well, which are good enough for most.

    Don’t limit yourself to these three either, there are many other choices out there. Check out the Suzuki Grand Vitara if you want proper off-roading ability, or the Mitsubishi Outlander if you want the best warranty in the business. There are literally 23 choices in the Compact SUV segment, so there is a vehicle there for everyone.

    The Subaru Forester is the car for you if:
    • You want a sporty compact SUV
    • A five-star ANCAP rating makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside
    • You’re after a diesel and can drive a manual
    • You want a fast sports car but the missus wants practicality – Forester XT
    • You don’t mind a four-speed automatic
    • You want the best ride and handling package in its class
    The Nissan X-Trail is the car for you if:
    • You want a diesel automatic
    • You love the idea that your car is purpose built with not all that much attention to styling
    • You prefer soft-touch interior plastics
    • You want the best automatic (CVT or six-speed for the diesel)
    • You want the most powerful diesel engine
    • You’ll actually make use of all that boot space
    The Toyota RAV4 is the car for you if:
    • You want a petrol engine
    • You like Toyota’s practical interiors
    • You want a car that will get you from A to B without a single complaint
    • You like fixed price servicing – knowing exactly how much each service will be in advance
    • You don’t mind a four-speed automatic
    • You can afford to upgrade from the base model to gain the additional airbags
    • You don’t mind a four-star ANCAP safety rated car
    Further reading:


    2011 Car Advice | News | Reviewshttp://www.caradvice.com.au – All Rights Reserved.
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  20. #20
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    Jake1, I would have liked to see a 2010/11 Suzi GV 2.4 in amongst that lot As Redliner says there are only a few Suv's with low range and lock up T/C's.

    I read somewhere that the "low" range on the Subaru wasn't a proper low range - whatever they meant by that I don't know, I've been looking at specs but can't see what they were talking about - don't know about the Jeep crd.

    Unfortunately I haven't seen any head to head "shoot outs" with the GV either - I beginning to wonder why .

    '98 Patrol GL 4500 fully kitted SWB 3.8 V6 Mitsu & Toyota Prado 120 VX with a couple of mods.
    Platcar BMW Z3 2.8i / '81 Motor Guzzi LeMans Mk 3
    Swambo: '11 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2CRDI
    Eurard on FAC : Beach driving is NOT driving dunes like those mad hatters of the southern tip side. They take a dune pick it up and put it down in another place.

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