9 real SUVs ready for your next outdoor adventure

Updated Oct 04, 2021

This list only includes those with a ladder frame chassis.

Introduction

SUV is something of a cliché for any high-riding vehicle with five doors these days. One might say that it’s a marketing strategy. Another term that should be used more often is crossover, but since it’s a relatively recent moniker and doesn’t quite carry the same cachet as SUV, the latter is used more often.

Isuzu mu-X old vs new

More than just high riding vehicles

However, there is a huge difference between the two. True SUVs are designed with a ladder frame chassis that offers better off-roading capabilities thanks to its strength, rigidity, and flexibility. Meanwhile, crossovers are finished with a lighter unibody platform which provides a smoother driving experience.

With that being said, SUVs are the better choice if you want to go for outdoor adventures. To know more about vehicles that fall in this category, we have listed down nine of them.

1. Suzuki Jimny

Don’t be surprised if the Suzuki Jimny makes it as an entry on this list. Sure, it does come with small dimensions as compared to other SUVs. But it is still an off-road capable vehicle, thanks to features such as the ladder-frame chassis, AllGrip Pro 4x4 terrain management system, and brake LSD (limited-slip differential) control.

Suzuki Jimny front view

Small yet capable

The interior is equipped with off-road features that allows this relatively small package to conquer any road. These include a clinometer, compass, altimeter, and barometer which are exclusive for the top-of-the-line GLX variant. All these functions are displayed on the vehicle’s 9-inch touchscreen multimedia audio unit.

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Suzuki Jimny

The Jimny 2021 - 2022 is one of Japanese small-car specialist Suzuki Philippines Incorporated (SPH)'s most sought-after models. Competing in a unique mini SUV segment, the Suzuki Jimny Philippines is available locally in three variants including a two-tone option. These variants Suzuki Jimny Philippine price that ranges from PHP 1,095,000 to PHP 1,205,000, while the two-tone option gets an additional Php 10,000 exclusive for the top-of-the-line GLX trim. Across the range, a 1-5-liter K15B gasoline engine is standard which generates 101 hp and 130 Nm of torque. A 5-speed manual and a 4-speed automatic are the available transmission options. Dimensions-wise, this vehicle is 3,650 mm long (including the spare tire), 1,645 mm wide, and 1,725 mm high. One can say that the Suzuki Jimny is currently in its class of its own and has no direct rivals.

This Japanese mini SUV proved so popular that customers placed pre-orders even before its launch in 2018. The Jimny brought out different emotions from its Filipino fans, ranging from nostalgia to obsession as this fourth-generation model brings rugged good looks and superb off-road performance in a small package. Completely redesigned from the ground up, the Jimny still lingers in the hearts of Filipino car buyers.

₱ 1,170,000 - ₱ 1,285,000

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2. Nissan Terra

When Nissan Philippines launched the facelifted Terra in the country, it looked like one tough midsize SUV that can drive through off-roads with ease. It sported design changes highlighted by the larger V-Motion grille finish, new quad-LED headlights with auto-leveling function, and a new set of 18-inch wheels.

Nissan Terra front view

Nissan is going all out with its lineup including the Terra

With its 2.5-liter turbodiesel engine capable of generating 450 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm, the Nissan Terra can take you to your outdoor adventures even with a full load of passengers. For increased crawling capability on unpredictable terrain, the top-spec VL trim is equipped with a part-time 4WD (2H/4H/4L) system and an electronic locking rear differential.

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Nissan Terra

The Nissan Terra is a midsize, seven-seater SUV. In the Philippines, this model has a total of four variants, the Terra EL, VE, VL 4x2, and VL 4x4. Currently, their prices range from Php 1,649,000 to Php 2,339,000. 

The Philippine-spec Terra exclusively uses a 2.5-liter inline-4 turbodiesel engine for all of its trims. At maximum, this engine can churn out 187 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque. Only the VL has a 4x4 version, while the rest are rear-wheel-drive. In turn, only the entry-level Terra EL can come with a six-speed manual gearbox. The rest of the Terran trims then utilizes a seven-speed automatic transmission. 

Size-wise, the Nissan Terra has a length of 4,900mm, a width of 1,865mm, and a height of 1,865mm. It also has a wheelbase length of 2,850mm, as well as a ground clearance of 225mm. 

Locally, the 2022 Nissan Terra competes against the likes of the Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Montero Sport, Isuzu mu-X, Ford Everest, Maxus D90 among others. 

₱ 1,649,000 - ₱ 2,339,000

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3. Ford Everest

American automaker Ford is known for its capable off-road vehicles, and the Ford Everest is no exception. It features one of the most powerful engines in its class numbers-wise thanks to its 2.0-liter TDCi Bi-turbo diesel engine. This range-topping powertrain is capable of producing 210 hp and 500 Nm of torque.

Ford Everest front view

The Blue Oval company delivers

The said engine is paired with a full-time 4x4 system and an electronic locking rear differential. Meanwhile, the lower Everest variants use a 2.0-liter TDCi single turbo diesel mill that’s good for 178 hp and 420 Nm of torque. It is complemented by an electronic locking rear differential which should be more than enough for most outdoor adventures.

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Ford Everest

The Everest is the leading SUV within the market because of its matchless outstanding comfort, performance, and bold and rugged style. It is a midsize SUV from American automaker Ford that acquired a new level of refinement and rugged capability for its mid-cycle alteration. At present, it offers modern technology, stylish design combinations, touted premium interior refinement, and balanced on-road and off-road capability. Thus, the American SUV maintains its place as one of the best sellers for Blue Oval.

Since it is an SUV, it is assembled on a true body-on-frame chassis paired with a wading capacity of 800 mm. It allows the vehicle to take on different terrains without difficulty and a ground clearance of 225 mm. As a result, it is known as one of the toughest SUVs in the segment. In the Philippines, the second-generation Ford Everest model competes with the sorts of Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Montero Sport, and Isuzu mu-X. The 7-seater midsize SUV is suitable for uneven or rough mountainous region driving like the Cavite and Quezon province areas.

₱ 1,738,000 - ₱ 2,299,000

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4. Jeep Wrangler

If we’re talking about off-roading, there’s no way we can’t forget about the Jeep Wrangler. Tracing its lineage to the original military vehicle that helped the U.S. win the Second World War, the Wrangler is thoroughly designed to storm even the toughest of roads unchallenged. Features such as its Tru-lok front and rear locking axles and a full-time 4WD system helped bolster the Wrangler’s terrain-conquering reputation.

Jeep Wrangler front view

It is born for the off-roads

Under the hood, Jeep Philippines offers the SUV with a 2.0-liter inline-4 DOHC turbodiesel engine that makes 268 hp and 400 Nm of torque. Power is sent to all four-wheel via an 8-speed automatic transmission.

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Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler 2021- 2022 is an off-roader SUV that is considered one of the most iconic in its market, with the 2-door as a compact SUV and the 4-door as a midsize. Jeep Philippines is offering this model with two variants, namely the Unlimited Sport and Rubicon. For Php 3,690,000, you can get the base Unlimited Sport, while the top-of-the-line Rubicon starts at Php 4,190,000 for the 2-door trim and Php 4,590,000 for the 4-door Unlimited Rubicon. Powering the Wrangler is a 2.0-liter inline-4 DOHC DI Turbo Engine with an Electronic Start Stop (ESS) function, making 268 hp and 400 Nm of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission is connected to the engine as standard.

Dimensions-wise, the Wrangler is 4,785 mm long, 1,874.52 mm wide, and 1,869 mm high. This American SUV is competing against the likes of the Land Rover Defender and Toyota FJ Cruiser in the local market.

₱ 3,690,000 - ₱ 4,190,000

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5. Isuzu mu-X

Isuzu Philippines recently debuted the new mu-X in the country following the launch of the new D-Max pickup truck in early 2021. This midsize SUV is available with a pair of powerful engines that make it capable enough for off-road adventures. It can come with either a 1.9-liter turbodiesel rated at 150 hp and 350 Nm of torque, or a larger 3.0-liter turbodiesel that makes 187 hp and 450 Nm of torque.

Isuzu mu-X front view

A rugged SUV with Isuzu engineering

However, the lack of a rear locking differential is seen as a liability by some. The mu-X somewhat compensates for this handicap with a Terrain Command Select Dial with Rough Terrain Mode switch (4WD system) for the top-of-the-line LS-E variant.

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Isuzu mu-X

The Isuzu mu-X is the Japanese marque's entry to the 7-seater midsize SUV, which is based on its pickup truck sibling, the Isuzu D-Max. It is offered in five variants with a price that ranges from Php 1,590,000 to Php 2,450,000. For the Philippine market, the Isuzu-made SUV has two available engine options. The smaller one is a 1.9-liter RZ4E Bluepower turbodiesel capable of making up to 148 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque. It can either come with a six-speed manual transmission, or a six-speed automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the larger engine option for the mu-X is a 3.0-liter inline-4 turbodiesel. At most, this mill can produce up to 187 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque. Only a six-speed automatic transmission is available with this engine.

Dimensions-wise, the mu-X is 4,850 mm long, 1,870 mm wide, and 1,825 mm high, with a wheelbase and ground clearance rated at 2,855 mm and 235 mm, respectively. Locally, this midsize SUV is competing against the likes of the Toyota Fortuner, Nissan Terra, and Mitsubishi Montero Sport.

₱ 1,590,000 - ₱ 2,450,000

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6. Mitsubishi Montero Sport

Much like its pickup platform vehicle (PPV) contemporaries, ruggedness is par for the course where the Mitsubishi Montero Sport is concerned. This Japanese midsize SUV is one of the most popular choices in the market for an outdoor-ready vehicle. The Montero Sport is powered by a 2.4-liter (4N15) turbodiesel MIVEC engine across the range, producing 179 hp and 430 Nm of torque.

Mitsubishi Montero Sport front view

Flaunts a robust look thanks to its Dynamic Shield fascia

However, only the top-spec GT variant gets the upper hand when it comes to off-road capabilities. It is equipped with a Super Select 4WD-II with Off-Road Mode that supplies grip depending on the road condition. Also, it uses an 8-speed automatic transmission, manually actuated with paddle shifters in Sport Mode for a more spirited driving experience.

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Mitsubishi Montero Sport

One of the popular midsize SUVs in the Philippines is the Montero Sport by Japanese auto giant Mitsubishi. It continually hits the list of best-selling cars in the country every year. Mitsubishi Montero Sport 2021 price in the Philippines is quite good, ranging from PHP 1,568,000 to PHP 2,298,000 with four variants. Powering this midsize SUV is a 2.4-liter 4N15 inline-4 Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) that makes 179 hp and 430 Nm of torque. It can send power to all four wheels via either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic with Sports Mode. The Montero Sport spans 4,825 mm in length, 1,815 mm in width, and 1,835 mm in height. Currently, this Mitsubishi vehicle is competing against the Toyota Fortuner, Isuzu mu-X, and Ford Everest.

The Mitsubishi Montero Sport, as a third-generation model, displays its benchmark for the brand's contemporary lineup, which is the 'Dynamic Shield' grille that shows a completely redesigned front. Similar to the model it replaced, the Mitsubishi Montero Sport is L200 or Strada pickup based. The chassis and half of its front body structure are the same as its pickup sibling. It still uses the three-link live axle coil spring for the rear suspension and the independent double-wishbone front suspension from the model it supersedes. The full list of Mitsubishi Montero Sport for sale of car dealers on Philkotse.com gets 82 results, you can take a look to make a wise choice yourself.

₱ 1,568,000 - ₱ 2,298,000

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7. Toyota Fortuner

The Toyota Fortuner is one tested and proven midsize SUV that managed to belong to the top 10 best-selling cars in 2020. That said, going on any type of road adventure is child’s play for this vehicle, with an IMV platform shared with the Hilux pickup and Innova MPV. It joins the 500 Club thanks to its 2.8-liter turbodiesel that makes 500 Nm of torque starting at 1,600 rpm only.

Toyota Fortuner LTD front view

The Fortuner LTD offers a unique styling

As for its off-road capabilities, the top-of-the-line Toyota Fortuner LTD variant features a 4x4 drivetrain with auto disconnect locking differential. It also boasts ventilated discs on all four wheels for powerful braking performance.

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Toyota Fortuner

The Toyota Fortuner 2021 - 2022 sold in our market spans six five trim levels and 11 variants. Toyota Fortuner prices in the Philippines range from PHP 1,633,000 for the Fortuner G 2.4 M/T to PHP 2,509,000 for the flagship GR Sport 2.8 A/T. This midsize SUV spans two turbodiesel options, with most of the range equipped with a 6-speed automatic gearbox (6-speed manual for the base variant) as well as a 4x2 drivetrain (4x4 is available on the LTD trim and is standard on the GR Sport). The Fortuner brings a length of 4,795mm, a width of 1,855mm, and a height of 1,835mm on a 2,745mm wheelbase. 

The lowest monthly installment starts at Php 19,683 for the G 2.4 4x2, with 60-month payment terms on a 50 percent downpayment. As a contender in the midsize SUV segment, the Toyota Fortuner faces off against a slew of rivals including the Mitsubishi Montero Sport, Nissan Terra, Ford Everest, Isuzu mu-X, and Foton Toplander
 

₱ 1,633,000 - ₱ 2,509,000

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8. Toyota FJ Cruiser

Despite being discontinued in other markets, the Toyota FJ Cruiser continues to be sold in the Philippines. As such, it joins this list as a noteworthy entry at number eight. Among the models in this list, the FJ Cruiser features the largest engine, a 4.0-liter gasoline V6 mill that is capable of generating 268 hp and 380 Nm of torque.

Toyota FJ Cruiser front view

A familiar sight of the nameplate

Design-wise, the Toyota FJ Cruiser is undeniably an off-roader highlighted by its boxy body, 17-inch alloy wheels, and round headlamp design. It sends power to all four wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission only.

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Toyota FJ Cruiser

After recognizing its demand, the country's leading carmaker Toyota Motor Philippines brought the FJ Cruiser in the country in 2013. The 2021 - 2022 Toyota FJ Cruiser maintained its predecessor’s aesthetic principles – tough, intimidating, and boxy with rounded corners. At the same time, it received modern technological updates. Locally, the FJ Cruise only has one variant, and it is priced at Php 2,098,000.

Under the hood of the Toyota FJ Cruiser Philippines is a 4.0-liter 24-valve DOCH Dual VVT-I V6 power plant that produces 268 hp and 380 Nm of torque. It is paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission. It then uses a 4x4 drivetrain. Size-wise, the FJ Cruiser measures 4,670mm long, 1,905mm wide, and 1830mm in height. It also has a wheelbase length of 2,690mm, and a aground clearance of 244mm. 

In the local market, the FJ Cruiser competes against the likes of the Jeep Wrangler and the Land Rover Defender. And technically, it also belongs in the same niche as the Suzuki Jimny.

 

₱ 2,098,000

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9. Foton Toplander

Last on the list is the Foton Toplander. This vehicle may not be the flashiest among its rivals in terms of design, but it has the engine to get the job done. Under the hood, the Toplander is powered by a 2.8-liter Cummins diesel engine as standard which is capable of generating 174 hp and 365 Nm of torque.

Foton Toplander front view

This gets the job done

The only downside to this model is the lack of a 4x4 drivetrain, although it does come with a limited-slip rear differential. Regardless, it sits on a body-on-frame chassis, making it a true SUV. The engine is paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission as standard, while cruise control is available for the top-spec EX variant, useful on long highway drives.

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Know more about Foton Toplander 2022

Foton Toplander
The Toplander, known as Sauvana in the global market, is Foton Motor Philippines’ entry into the highly competitive midsize SUV segment. It is the Chinese brand’s first attempt in engineering a vehicle that falls into this category. Coming from a lucrative portfolio of large commercial vehicles, Foton applied the same power and strength to the Toplander as seen on the vehicle’s exterior and under its hood. Its design follows the same general aesthetic as most nameplates in its segment, intimidating, huge, muscular with character lines, and accentuated with chrome. The Toplander is bigger in terms of height and width compared to its segment rivals. Inside, the cabin is decked in black plastic materials and the bare necessities in entertainment. However, it boasts of its spacious legroom and expansive cargo space. It comes in two variants which are the EL 4x2 AT and the EX 4x2. Both are powered by a Cummins 2.8L diesel engine. The SUV can tow up to 3 tons of weight which is higher than the standard for this segment.

₱ 1,388,000 - ₱ 1,498,000

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Rex Sanchez

Rex Sanchez

Author

Rex Sanchez grew up in Saudi Arabia where he saw and got into the automotive scene. He started his career for an aviation company in the said region, writing about turbines and rotors which are later distributed for educational purposes. And now, he joined Philkotse.com as a staff writer. Currently, he is the youngest on the team and is more than ready to grow in the field.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rexsanchez09

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