Buyer's Guide: All the bells and whistles
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What makes one SUV better than another?
John writes: “After reading the sales figures and various media commentaries for the past calendar year, it seems if it’s not a utility then it’s an SUV that buyers are currently attracted to.
“In the case of an SUV, my dilemma is trying to determine whether one make or model has any particular advantage over the other. To me, they all look the same so it’s more about features and value for money.”
You raise a very good point, John.
I do wonder how many modern features get used on some vehicles.
And are potential buyers at risk of paying more for some so-called benefits they will never use?
All new vehicle distributors will tell you they work hard to satisfy the wants and needs of potential buyers.
Self-parking is a good example. How many owners actually use it?
A recent customer survey by one distributor suggested not many, hence their decision to remove it from their model line-up.
Another feature I struggle with is voice recognition.
There is no denying it has huge potential, but until it is a lot more user-friendly, I could happily go without it.
Useable features in the 2.2 Diesel EX AWD and V6 3.3 Ltd Petrol 2WD include individual tyre pressure monitoring, park sensors front and rear, smart cruise control, reverse camera, 7-seats, smart cornering lights, and dual zone A/C and trailer stability assist.
Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium
Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium. Picture/ Damien O’Carroll.
Arguably not a true SUV, but this vehicle, fitted with the well-proven boxer engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive system, will match any SUV in its price range.
One of its standout features is the intelligent driving dynamics package and driver-assist technology. It is able to monitor the road ahead and recognise potential hazards. It will also apply automatic braking when necessary, to help avoid or reduce the severity of a frontal collision. Other useable features include navigation and reverse camera.
Mazda CX-5. Picture/ Stuart Munro.
The AWD 2.5L Limited petrol and 2.2L Limited Diesel offer a bundle of practical features, including forward obstructive warning, rear cross traffic alert, smart city brake support, lane assist, lane departure, tyre pressure monitoring, parking sensors, reverse camera and navigation.
Pick the features and benefits that appeal most to you. That may include voice recognition.