Sport utility vehicles, or SUVs, are a very fine option for a car to be used for regular driving as well as for long rides. Vehicles of this type are also notable for their excellent performance in any condition, ready to take any challenging obstacles on the road.

As SUVs keep on rolling out to cater to both new and experienced users, car manufacturers have been updating their SUVs with more innovative features and more enhanced builds. The top SUVs to date, as presented by some local listers of automobiles, have shown these improvements.

Toyota has vehicles that are regarded as reliable SUVs, namely the Toyota Rush and Toyota Fortuner. According to a list by price comparison site, the Rush is noted for its efficient engine, comfortable and luxurious interior, modern and sporty exterior, and competitive pricing. It is currently updated with the same engine that powers Toyota Avanza, a 1.5-liter Dual VVT-i gasoline engine, which can produce 102hp and 134Nm of torque. It also comes with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

The Fortuner, meanwhile, is considered as the best-selling mid-size SUV in the country. It now has two new diesel engine variants, 2.4-liter and 2.8-liter. It also has added safety features such as Stability Control, Active Traction Control, and Hill-Start Assist Control for the car’s V variants. Also, the model is now available in the following color variants: Silver Metallic, Freedom White, Gray Metallic, Attitude Black Mica, Phantom Brown Metallic, Avant-Garde Bronze Metallic, and White Pearl Crystal Shine.

Tough and reliable features characterize the refreshed Mitsubishi Montero Sport, which now displays a front redesigned with the carmaker’s Dynamic Shield grille. “It also features chrome linings which envelope the huge air intakes and goes all the way to its fog lamps, [and] its exterior is more complemented by its chic LED headlamp and accentuating taillights,” added.

Other updates to the Montero include leather contoured seats with multi-layer cushioning and a comprehensive Multimedia Entertainment System and Dual Zone Automatic Climate Control System.

Another top SUV is the Honda CR-V. The latest version of Honda CR-V is set to stand out amongst competitors with a turbocharged engine that delivers “a rare combination of thrift and zest, something that isn’t experienced yet from most of its contenders in its class”.

The 2019 Honda CR-V also highlights expanded spaces, with a roomy interior and plentiful storage areas. Driving this model is described as “both comfortable and athletic”, hence a very helpful vehicle for treading the metro’s challenging roads.

Noted for its “upscale interior, high safety scores, plenty of cargo space, and a smooth ride”, the Honda CR-V is the #1 compact SUV in the latest Best Cars rankings by the US News & World Report.

Indian automaker Mahindra also joins the roster with its Scorpio Floodbuster. While its aesthetic is seen as a throwback to classic types, its performance is nonetheless up-to-date. “Its 2.5-liter turbodiesel engine is more than enough to take you where you need to go,” reviewed local financial comparison website “This rugged ride has a ground clearance of 180 millimeters and can seat up to nine passengers.”

Nissan’s entry to the mid-sized SUV competition is the Terra. Sharing the same wide profile of the Patrol and Navara models, Nissan Terra has a modern rugged look that is “akin to its American competitors”. It is powered by a YD25 DDTi inline-4 diesel engine, accompanied by a turbo-charger and intercooler. Also, the engine can perform 187hp and 450Nm of torque.

Ford Everest, meanwhile, is popular for its durability that makes it fit to be taken through horrendous traffic as well as rainy-day floods. Updating this model is the new 2.0-liter Bi-turbo diesel engine matched with a 10-speed auto. It also features the Terrain Management System, a traction control support, and a rear diff locker “to aid the vehicle in controlling its stability”.

Suzuki Jimny is characterized by “a certain unbeatable charm that most modern SUVs cannot get correctly”. The four-seater subcompact vehicle, eCompareMo adds, is powered by a 1.5-liter K15B engine that makes it stable enough to “go through any punishing its driver wants.”

Isuzu MU-X is regarded by as a “perfect and practical” vehicle both for out-of-town and routinary drives. It is equipped with a Euro 4-compliant 3.0L Blue Power turbocharged engine that, together with the SUVs improved emission, is capable to produce 175hp and 380Nm of torque. Other notable features of the vehicle include a Terrain Command System (on 4×4 variants) and a premium touchscreen head unit.

Chevrolet Trailblazer is considered a top vehicle for outdoor driving “which requires a more-than-decent performance and drivability that never fails”, with a 2.5L or 2.8L engine powering the vehicle. Its 7- or 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system is equipped with the brand’s latest Chevrolet MyLink System, which allows for playing of radio stations, music files, or movies via its four- or seven-speaker setup. Its safety features, meanwhile, include the Traction Control System, the Anti-lock Braking System with EBD, and Panic Brake Assist.

An apparent newcomer to the country, SAIC Motor-owned MG has its ZS subcompact SUV, which “can go toe-to-toe with others” with a fuel-efficient 1.5-liter inline-four engine that can perform 114hp and 150Nm of torque.

Korean automaker Hyundai has refreshed its Santa Fe line with an added two-row design and high-quality interior materials. It is powered by a reliable 2.2L R CRDi e-VGT that fuels both its front wheels, coupled with a new 8-speed automatic.

The Mazda CX-9 features a distinct look from its signature KODO design, as shown by its prominent grille, longer hood, and sleeker headlights. The car’s “bespoke” exterior is highlighted by a prominent rear end, long hood, and well-constructed windshield.

Lastly, Foton Toplander is considered by eCompareMo as a “cheap alternative to more famous midsize SUVs”. Making it an affordable choice is its efficient 2.8-liter turbocharged Cummins ISF engine. “Not only that it can push out 161 horsepower from its core but it can also be a great hauler thanks to its three-ton towing capacity,” wrote the comparison portal. — Adrian Paul B. Conoza