What’s new: SUVs and crossovers you can expect in the coming weeks
SINGAPORE — Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs), or crossovers as they are also known, have gone from being niche models in their early days to firm favourites among local drivers — both as family cars or simply big beauties for those who like a roomy ride.
Over the next few months, buyers will be spoilt for choice with exciting new models from Honda, Kia, Mazda and Toyota, among others.
To be officially launched today, the all-new Mazda CX-5 is poised to build on the success of its predecessors, which previously introduced the brand’s SkyActiv concept — it uses high compression ratios to achieve fuel-efficient performance without needing to resort to turbocharging to deliver power.
Taking the technology forward is the introduction of the SkyActiv-Drive gearbox. This six-speed automatic transmission not only promises fast and smooth gear changes, but also a connected feel and precision that used to only be offered with manual gearboxes.
The Mazda CX-5 comes in four engine configurations: Two versions are powered by a 165hp 2.0-litre petrol engine, while the third offers more power with a 192hp 2.5-litre petrol unit. Those looking for an all-wheel drive CX-5 will find it in the 2.2-litre diesel-powered version, which is also fuel-efficient.
Outside, the new CX-5 has smooth lines that give it a sleek, stylish demeanour.
Inside, expect to find some delightfully practical features such as the world’s first remote-controlled fold-down 4:2:4 rear seats, which allow you to configure the luggage bay and rear seats in numerous ways to suit your load-carrying requirements — think of it as modular car space for your every need. That said, even with the rear seats in place, the CX-5 is spacious enough to accommodate four full-sized suitcases in its luggage compartment.
For the first time, the Toyota Harrier is available from official dealer Borneo Motors Singapore. Uniquely, this is the only market where this stylish SUV is sold with a 227hp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that is, quite literally, made for Singapore.
Other useful features to be found in the local version of the Harrier are the infotainment controls and displays that are fully translated into English.
Also specially made for the Singapore market is the Toyota Safety Sense P Package. It promises top-notch safety attributes, such as a pre-crash safety system that anticipates collisions and triggers a range of features to minimise the possibility of an accident.
If an accident does take place, the Harrier’s occupants will be protected by no fewer than seven airbags.
As this car is built on the same platform as the pricier Lexus RX SUV, you can expect similar levels of spaciousness and refinement at a more accessible price point.
Other highlights include the optional powered tailgate, and the twin sunroof.
KIA SORENTO GT
The Kia Sorento GT is a spacious seven-seat SUV that has recently been given some fresh updates in the looks department (check out the deep red leather seats), and is also equipped with the latest Euro 6-compliant 2.2-litre diesel-powered CRDI engine to help you maximise your fuel economy.
Exclusively available as a GT variant, this Kia is distinguished by some sporty and stylish features such as red brake callipers and LED fog lamps.
As expected, space is not a problem, and loading and unloading is a breeze thanks to the powered tailgate and easy-access levers that can lower the seat rows.
The cabin features a 10-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat (so you can get your position just right), paddle-shifters on the steering wheel, and a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay connectivity.
If you are the kind of driver who likes to read the specs sheet, you might be interested to know that the all-new Honda CR-V keeps with the engine downsizing trend: It will be powered by a turbocharged 193hp 1.5-litre unit and is fitted with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which offers smooth gear changes as the car accelerates.
But what is perhaps more interesting is the fact that the CR-V will be available in five- and seven-seat configurations, which is great if you are looking for an SUV that is “compact” — as compact as an SUV can be. Or if you need a people carrier, than this can accommodate your squad.
On the exterior, expect highlights such as full LED head and tail-lamps on a stylised body, while a powered tail gate promises to be a nice practical touch.
In the cabin, the driver enjoys an 8-way electrically adjustable seat, while the passengers can be entertained by an infotainment system that offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity (so popping in your favourite Spotify playlist is not a problem).
The other gadget-hungry occupants on board should be satisfied with a plethora of USB ports throughout the cabin, so everyone can be entertained or occupied.