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Old 29th July 2007, 21:54   #1
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Smile Test Drive & Comparo: Honda CR-V vs Ford Endeavour vs Suzuki Grand Vitara

Hey all,

I am looking to upgrade from my current ride and recently test drove the Honda CR-V M/T, Ford Endeavor 2.5 XLT 4x2 and the Suzuki Grand Vitara A/T in attempt to zero down on my new car. Since this forum has been a wealth of information for me, I thought I'd share my experiences in order to benefit others considering purchasing these SUVs:


1. Ford Endeavor 2.5 XLT 4x2

Pros:
- 7 seater and honestly the third row of seats is not all that bad (I'm 5'11" and could sit there comfortably for atleast half hour)
- Diesel economy and rather good mileage for a car its size
- Rear A/c vents and fan controls (u can increase the fan speed for the back seat while your chauffer can have lower fan speed)

Cons:
- Too big for city driving (almost 5 meters) and would require 1.5 parking spaces
- Acceleration s**ks (feels like I'm driving a tank, can't imagine how sluggish old Endy must have been before engine upgrade)
- Actually works out to be quite expensive as basic car is too basic (one needs to add atleast Hurricane package which costs Rs. 1 lakh)

Verdict:
- The only reason I would buy it is if I had an outhouse (few hours away from city) that I visit once or twice a month and needed to be chauffer-driven (else 5 seater may suffice)

2. Suzuki Grand Vitara
Pros:
- Looks good (like a mini version of range-rover)
- 5 lakhs cheaper than Honda CR-V

Cons:
- Interiors very dull (black interiors with silver trims) and similar to Swift
- Ride is very hard and quite uncomfortable for rear passengers
- No luxury features that you would expect even in a 10+ lakhs car (forget 15+ lakhs!) such as automatic side view mirrors, digital thermostat for a/c, audio controls on steering wheel etc.
- Under-powered engine (120 horses) for an SUV
- No rear a/c vents

Verdict
- Felt like its a poor man's CR-V. Not worth 15 lakhs given lack of luxury features and Suzuki badge. The ride control feature is quite useless for India unless you live in a village.

3. Honda CR-V
Pros:
- Looks great (very contempary and european styling)
- Aux-in for connecting IPod (this is huge since all the cars come with factory audio units which means u got to use cassette adapter or ITunes to plug in your IPod)
- Good acceleration (160 horses makes it quite thrilling to drive) and handling (not scary to turn a corner at 60 kmp/h)
- Feature laden: Power seats, telescopic steering wheel, auto retract side view mirrors, dual climate control

Cons:
- Rear seat is not super comfortable to accomodate 3 passengers since its 40:20:40 split, although more comfortable it its only 2 passengers at back
- Most expensive of the 3 SUVs tested
- No rear a/c vents

Verdict:
- Definitely the SUV I would buy given the option. Its good for self-driving and also has enough snob value to be driven around in.


Conclusion:
1. Honda CR-V
2. Suzuki Grand Vitara
3. Ford Endeavor

In the end, Honda CR-V emerged as the clear winner in my books. Its expensive but that depends on what you are comparing it to. If you're comparing it to an Accord, Corolla or Civic, its expensive (since they are quite feature laden) but if you're comparing to Grand Vitara and especially Ford Endeavor, its actually more bang for the buck (the endy doesn't even have an automatic radio antenna!)

The CR-V is the perfect mix between a city vehicle (80%) and an offroader (20%), which I think is the ratio in which most people will be using the vehicle.

The Grand Vitara can emerge as a competitor for the CR-V but not with the current list of standard features (no leather seats, auto side view mirrors, digital thermostat for a/c). Also the ride quality for back seat passengers is not ideal if majority of driving is going to be done on city roads or highway.

The Endy is too big for city driving and definitely to be driven-in rather than drive. Its 7 seat utility is negated by its driver un-friendliness and after visiting dealer I got the sense that I had been bait"ed" and switch"ed", meaning that basic car price makes it sound like a great deal but when you see what you are getting you have no option but to upgrade to one of their packages that cost between 1-2 lakhs extra. This makes the price difference between CR-V and Endy just 2-3 lakhs and tips the scale in the favor of the CR-V

Hope this helps.
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Old 29th July 2007, 22:11   #2
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Wonderful review there Sparton! Quite enjoyed reading your frank opinion. I recently TD'ed a CR-V A/T for a a friend & quite enjoyed the vehicle. The acceleration was good with a smooth engine & a very good auto 'box & the ride was quite comfortable.

Only negatives I found were creaking door plastics on the demo vehicle but that could be because of its rough usage. NVH was also pretty good & the interiors feel pretty comfortable.

Overall, I would rate it quite highly.
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Old 30th July 2007, 10:18   #3
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Would have been good if you could have TD'd Hyundai Tucson too. Not to forget Nissan XTrail (same price as CRV??)
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Old 30th July 2007, 10:28   #4
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sparton- we are sailing in the same boat. I too need to replace my endeavour and test drove the new one along with the CRV.
All though i prefer the CRV, i am not fully convinced. The fact that its not a diesel is setting me back and also i expected the suspension to be a little more soft and comfy on bad roads.
The X-Trails is gonna be sent to be for a test drive soon, hopefully that helps me decide.
Idealy i wish the Mitsu Outlander is released asap! That would be a no-brainer.
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Old 30th July 2007, 12:16   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thalavoy View Post
Would have been good if you could have TD'd Hyundai Tucson too. Not to forget Nissan XTrail (same price as CRV??)
In Delhi CR-V is 19L-odd on-road (manual) whereas X-trail is around 22-23L on road. Quite a difference.
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Old 30th July 2007, 13:41   #6
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Excellent review Spartan . yes even i test drove the Cr-V and was very impressed with it overall though i still feel the price a lil on the higher side .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
The fact that its not a diesel is setting me back Idealy i wish the Mitsu Outlander is released asap! That would be a no-brainer.
Sahil ,initially even i was looking to buy a SUV but the lack of choice made me decide the Laura . Why dont you give it a try its a beautiful vehicle and the only Diesel thats available in its segment .

I confirmed about the Outlander from the HM-Mitsu dealer and i was told that the car would be launched in Petrol only ,No diesel and it will be launched not before the first quarter of the next year . that put me off and i 've decided to go with the Laura .

The only Diesel(to my knowledge) under Rs. 20 lacs that s planned for a launch in the near future is the Chevy Captiva .and that being a korean IMO not worth waiting .
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Old 5th August 2007, 01:39   #7
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Nice review & comparison there sparton. And welcome to the forum!

We have a CRV in the family, and I am very impressed by it. I have test driven both the GV and the Endy (the older one though), and the Honda was head and shoulders above the rest.
The one con you didn't mention for the CRV is its drinking habits. FE is not something that should be on your mind when you buy this SUV!

The GV is an opportunity lost for MUL. If they had added some more value to the package (better interiors & creature comforts, better ride etc), they would have had a winner on their hands.

Btw, why wasn't the Mitsubishi Pajero on your list?
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Old 5th August 2007, 08:32   #8
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Team-bhp member Xinome had a TD of the Vitara, and he seems very much impressed.

This is starting to confuse now! Got to check out the car
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Old 5th August 2007, 11:17   #9
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excellent review spartan.
Quote:
Originally Posted by razor4077 View Post
Btw, why wasn't the Mitsubishi Pajero on your list?
Yes, Pajero is an excellent vehicle, why dont you check it out. Looking at your review, we will also get to read an another excellent review. Also do check out the Tucson. (its a diesel too, iff you have concern about FE) Since the Tucson is not of Lader type chassiss, it must be comfy in he city.
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Old 6th August 2007, 11:18   #10
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Sparton, your review is spot-on, and quite in line with what i have heard from others too.

Try out the Pajero, which is quite a reliable vehicle, although the interiors arent really all that great.

Among the three mentioned here, i would prefer the GRV, although the fact that it has a lot of borrowed parts from the SX4 and the Swift is not to my liking.

The Montero should be available in diesel avatar, as per Autocar India.
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Old 10th August 2007, 17:51   #11
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Default New SUVs

Any idea about the New SUVs in the line next? Toyota Fortuner etc?
I am waiting for an SUV to come below 13L, Though Scoripo and Safari is not my choice. I can afford to wait till mid 2008.
I beleive India lacks of SUVs in 12-15L segment. Let me know other team-BHPns thoughts. Thanks.
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Old 10th August 2007, 18:15   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agbenny View Post
Any idea about the New SUVs in the line next? Toyota Fortuner etc?
I am waiting for an SUV to come below 13L, Though Scoripo and Safari is not my choice. I can afford to wait till mid 2008.
I beleive India lacks of SUVs in 12-15L segment. Let me know other team-BHPns thoughts. Thanks.
I would love to see this too... but have my own doubts! Fortuner was to be positioned in the 12~14L range and is long overdue...
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Old 11th August 2007, 10:31   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirWind View Post
I would love to see this too... but have my own doubts! Fortuner was to be positioned in the 12~14L range and is long overdue...
I believe the Fortuner plans had be scrapped by Toyota a year back when they planned on a small car instead.

I highly doubt the fortuner to come in at that 14L price tag. Add another 5L to that.

Toyota should consider getting the car in as CBU, people have been eager to get their hand on the Fortuner. Even with a price-tag close to the new CRV it should eat up a sizeable market share.
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Old 11th August 2007, 18:20   #14
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Hey Sahil, given the number of people complaining about the value of the Grand Vitara so far I have my doubts how many people would go for the Fortuner at 19 lakhs, maybe a RAV4 would represent value at that price but not a Fortuner which is just a Hilux pickup in disguise. Here we have a true blue SUV by Suzuki that competes with RAV4, CRV, Outlander, and a fully imported unit at that priced at a segment breaking 13.8 lakhs and all we hear is bad value, bad interiors etc.

Others are waiting impatiently for Outlander at 20 lakhs plus. I don't know if its just me but it seems Maruti is getting a bad rap and some of us don't recognize a good deal even when it hits us in the face.
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Old 11th August 2007, 22:01   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raul View Post
Others are waiting impatiently for Outlander at 20 lakhs plus. I don't know if its just me but it seems Maruti is getting a bad rap and some of us don't recognize a good deal even when it hits us in the face.
Sales figure suggest otherwise.

Grand Vitara sells 238 units compared to 225 units of the CRV. Too early to tell, but its a good start for Maruti Suzuki.
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