Small SUV Comparison Holden Trax v Ford EcoSport v Suzuki SCross v Peugeot… — Volkswagen Cross UP!

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Volkswagen Cross UP!

Small SUV Comparison Holden v Ford EcoSport v Suzuki v Peugeot 2008 v Nissan v Mitsubishi ASX

Buyers and manufacturers are with all things SUV at the moment, soaring sales leading to massive plans of high-riding hatchbacks and with tough styling. So it as no surprise, then, that a new SUV market has emerged beneath the and CX-5 compact class. It isn’t that new, with the Daihatsu Terios and HR-V lobbing in the nineties when the segment was less than the AU Falcon…

But within a few months the sub-compact SUV segment has with the Ford EcoSport, Trax . Peugeot 2008 and S-Cross all in the last few months the Nissan Juke and Mitsubishi ASX as SUV alternatives.

All include a high position and pram-loading versatility bodies that measure 4.1 and 4.3 metres, and all contenders here four-cylinder engines ranging 1.6 to 2.0 litres without turbocharger Given almost all buyers in segment choose an automatic it’s our core entry

PRICE AND EQUIPMENT

The least equivalent base- or mid-range are the $24,290 Ford EcoSport and the $100-dearer Nissan Juke ST.

The EcoSport that could be however, is the flagship $27,790 version, but it is identical to the Trend the exception of leather trim and control.

Neither base gets a satisfying level of equipment. Both the EcoSport and Juke ST lack a reverse-view and rear parking sensors, for

Over the Ford. the Nissan a leather ‘accented’ steering climate control, fog lights, and alloy wheels.

Although the gets 16-inch wheels, it by offering Bluetooth audio and voice control over the – for the most youth-oriented car here, astonishing the Nissan lacks functions, although phone is standard. (The facelifted due later this year these issues, although it clear what will be locally.)

It isn’t much of a to the $24,990 Peugeot 2008 1.6-litre automatic, which is far equipped than the Nissan and

It combines everything they have standard with the of climate control, and 16-inch are a size down on the Juke’s But the 2008 Active further a seven-inch colour touchscreen crucially, a standard reverse-view

Peugeot could only a $29,990 1.6 Allure automatic, it is mechanically identical to the Active and dual-zone climate control, navigation and a panoramic sunroof can easily be ignored here.

The trim and front heated fitted to our test car push the price up by another $2000.

The $25,490 Holden Trax LT automatic misses the foglights of the and 2008, and the climate control in the former.

To the equipment standard on the the Holden adds rear sensors (in addition to a reverse-view and mobile internet capability app integration to utilise music facilities such as Pandora.

also the only base to score auto on/off

For the same price as the Trax, the SX4 S-Cross GL appears spartan.

no reverse-view camera or parking no foglights or leather wrapping for the wheel, and only 16-inch wheels. Suzuki could supply a flagship $34,990 GLX variant, which includes roof but mechanically only all-wheel drive over the front-driver.

The $26,990 Mitsubishi ASX 2WD may be the expensive car here, but it at least 17-inch alloys, if not fogs, and the Trax’s camera-and-sensors combination and steering wheel. It also climate control to match the

RUNNING COSTS

Only separates the six offerings in their specification, but a larger wedge is put them for servicing costs.

simple for the Holden Trax. 12 months or 15,000km a $185 is required, resulting in a $555 over the first three or 45,000km.

It costs a bit more to a Ford EcoSport or Mitsubishi ASX over the same distance and at $220 and $250 per check-up for and $750 totals respectively.

figures are almost half of the Peugeot, which asks for each of the first trio of visits and $1107 all up.

Both the Juke and Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, need six-month or 10,000km

Not only is taking your car to a twice in a year more consuming but both charge as well. To reach three the Nissan costs $1639, the $1540. Should you make the count before the time you’ll save a service and off that Juke total, and off the S-Cross’s, to bring them a bit to the Peugeot.

PERFORMANCE AND ECONOMY

other long-term running – fuel – hurts the Holden. Its four-cylinder petrol engine is the here after the 2.0-litre but both are the heaviest cars on at 1375kg (Trax) and 1355kg

That’s a staggering 238-258kg than the 1113kg Peugeot (the lightest car here), gets a smaller 1.6-litre engine.

Had we been given the front-wheel-drive Suzuki SX4 it would weighed even less, at but our all-wheel-drive flagship variant in at 1190kg. Both it and the 1kg-heavier ST get the same-size engines as the Peugeot.

The is while the ASX makes 110kW of at 6000rpm and 197Nm of torque at and the Trax produces 103kW at and 175Nm at 3800rpm, the 2008 a lunge at both for power- and ratios.


The 2008 makes a lesser at 6000rpm and 160Nm at 4250rpm, but all things equalised its 79kW per beats the 75kW Trax and matches the 81kW ASX.

the same for torque, with the 144Nm per tonne only 1Nm the Mitsubishi and well ahead of the miserly 128Nm.

In fact, for the Trax is even eclipsed by the and S-Cross.

The Nissan makes the power at the same revs as the and 158Nm at 4400rpm; the Suzuki 86kW at 6000rpm and 156Nm at That translates to 74kW/133Nm per for the Juke, and 72kW/131Nm for the S-Cross.

The Best to look away The baby 1.5-litre makes totals – 82kW at 6300rpm and at 4400rpm – but the EcoSport is no lightweight, disastrous equalised figures of per tonne.

There’s little to check the figures after these sub-compact SUVs.

The feels strained, its six-speed automatic working in a frenzied to keep a set speed. There’s sound deadening so it’s too, in addition to being slow.

Not that the EcoSport has a hold on slowness. The S-Cross and both get an automatic continuously transmission (CVT), except one of them is good.

The Suzuki’s CVT economy to the detriment of driveability and slurring to 1200rpm after small throttle lifts, sends vibrations through the wheel and makes the car feel the engine has dropped out.

The throttle then needs to be just to keep up with traffic.

Switching to ‘Sport’ raises revs and improves which is good, but it makes the too touchy for smooth urban which is bad. It’s not in the entry 2WD variant anyway.

a sizeable contrast to the Nissan’s which is quick to respond to throttle presses, and determinedly the little engine working so the Juke feels … less

Its Sport mode is much finely calibrated than the but it too is mandatory to make the throttle/engine feel satisfactory.

The only car here with a CVT – the Mitsubishi – the difference, by being perfectly but nothing more.

Thanks to the torque, the ASX is noticeably more on hills both around and on the freeway, even if it ultimately no quicker in a frenetic school-run light drag.

The engine is even noisier the none-too-quiet engines in the Juke and

A comparative haven of calm in the Holden and Peugeot.

The 1.8-litre motor in the Trax dates to the 1990s, although it feels potent and is quieter than the in the ASX, Juke, S-Cross and

Unfortunately, the six-speed automatic and hunts wildly, and in town to tall gears the engine cope with. On moderate the auto will hold one gear but no more.

It’s that the four-speed automatic in the actually partners more with its engine than the Holden and Ford, and CVT-equipped

That’s partly because the engine feels the strongest although it isn’t characterful.

The suffers shift-shock on full kickdowns – where the car lurches its forward when changing – and at really low speeds on hills town it frustratingly bogs in second.

But out in the country the Sport actually flicks back a or two under hard braking and holds a lower ratio the Holden (and Suzuki) slur up. Still, Peugeot, gears in 2014? It’s not (ahem).

It’s little that the Nissan, among the here with the best was the thriftiest across a 500km and country-road test loop.

The recorded 8.6L/100km, up from its combined cycle claim.

The torquey Mitsubishi and petite took equal second, posting 8.8L/100km (up on respective and 6.5L/100km claims).

The overworked and Ford returned in the nines respectively, up on 5.8/6.5L/100km claims) the Holden guzzled a disappointing (up from 7.6L/100km).

Over the Australians drive on average year, and with unleaded at per litre, the Holden will $2363 to fill compared $1935 for the Nissan.

That’s a saving after three ownership, and enough to offset the higher servicing costs and put the driver back in front by over that period.

AND COMFORT

The Holden and Nissan swap places for cabin

The Trax has the best front and seats here, broad and although it only narrowly the softer, smaller pews in the

Up front the ASX has beefy side on its side and a wide base, but the bench is flat and too firm. The is true for the S-Cross, which gets flatter front All four are miles ahead of the and Juke for seat comfort.

The is better up front, with the offering absolutely no side and a thin and comfortable base, not to vinyl-like trim on this grade. But at least the EcoSport’s bench reclines – the only SUV to do so – and is set high for good visibility, the Juke’s has a short and flat and is perched low.

The Trax also has the most room of the bunch, and a high-set bench means the lanky can their legs out further. The offers the most space the front seats as well, and is the car here with a powerpoint the centre console to power a for example.

The 4295-millimetre-long ASX is 17mm than the Trax, and the Mitsubishi matches the Holden’s 270mm of legroom behind the driving of a 178cm male.

The Suzuki is the car here, stretching 5mm further but includes 250mm of rear and – partially thanks to a panoramic – the equal-poorest headroom of the bunch. The dishonour is shared with the which gets the least legroom (210mm) here.

The may share that lack of stretching space, but it’s the car here from tip-to-toe at a full 125mm less the Juke. The Ford also has of headroom and foot room the front seats, where the does not.

Volkswagen Cross UP!

The most packaged contender here is the At 4159mm long, compared the Holden and Mitsubishi it is 119mm and shorter respectively, yet it offers 10mm less legroom (at and plenty of headroom and foot

The 2008 also trumps the for boot space – 410 litres 356L. The ASX is only marginally (at 416L) while the S-Cross all with a 430L area. the EcoSport (at 346L) almost the much-larger Holden, leaving the (at a paltry 246L) last by a

The 2008 has the nicest interior too. Beyond the leather and climate controls of this Allure, even the base gets the intuitive and high-resolution and neat silver accents on the door grabs and dashboard. The steering wheel works a and for all drivers on-test it didn’t the high-set dials as it does in the 208 Shame there’s no footrest,

The Holden comes close to the Peugeot for interior quality, nicely textured hard and decent finish. The Trax the award for best connectivity matching the 2008’s seven-inch but offering an even more interface with apps

The Suzuki cabin is well-finished and the soft-touch panel strip the dashboard is among the nicest of any cabin feature here.

standard across the range, though the touchscreen interface is by a dowdy monochromatic audio in the base GL, and ordinary air-conditioning and a plastic tiller further the entry S-Cross’s score

Lashings of soft-touch plastics, a wheel and chrome touches the ASX’s interior compared the pre-facelift model that in 2009, but the design feels aged. The touchscreen offers usability, and the hard lower and sticky climate controls feel high quality. said, the cloth-trimmed lid of the centre bin opens to reveal the largest cavity here.

The Nissan’s plastics and tiny low-resolution centre screen date it more so than the Mitsubishi.

At everything is well put together, which is more than you can say for the Ford. Not only are the plastics the here, but they emit an smell and fit together poorly.

is clearly a cabin designed for markets but hastily rushed mature markets such as

STEERING, RIDE AND HANDLING

SUVs should arguably ride quality over prowess.

Consider it a bonus, that the Peugeot 2008 is fun to drive in addition to being riding and quick-steering. It’s the car here to feel light on its and its connection through its tiny makes the French SUV as enjoyable town as it is on the open road.

however, it also absorbs bumps adeptly, even if smaller irregularities filter to the cabin.

Ultimately, the Holden is sharper than the 2008. It flatter, is similarly well and has grippier Continental tyres the Peugeot’s Goodyears).

With a ratio, however, the chubby should also help the deliver a ride to rival the But the Trax is fidgety around and jars slightly between the slabs of urban arterials, its rough-road control at speed is

We’d hate to try the Trax LTZ on its 18s, though…

The Nissan runs both the 2008 and close.

Its steering is light and eclipsing the Holden’s that is on-centre then too light side of it, but it can’t match the that is pointy yet never

The Nissan’s handling resembles the way it – wide and low, it attacks like a bulldog, sharp at the end and gripping at the rear – but the ride is firm and the suspension noisy.

If the and Trax duel as the sharpest cars here, then the sides with the 2008 as the alternative.

Quite simply, the Suzuki’s balance is impeccable. The way it between its axles – pushing at the bringing the rear around a lift of the throttle – is more the of a sporty hatchback than That’s probably no coincidence, the low driving position of the S-Cross the most car-like here.

Shame, then, that its is more Trax-like than and neither the soft brakes nor the vague steering back the dynamics.

The Mitsubishi ASX and Ford neither ride nor handle

The EcoSport at least has typical-Ford and mid-weighted steering, where the is dreadfully slow and incredibly all over.

If the bulldog Juke the way it looks, though, then so the tall and skinny EcoSport.

into a corner and its tippy-toe never feels planted; too hard and it lacks balance and precarious.

Meanwhile the ASX feels and understeery. It has little in the way of chassis though it feels more than the Ford.

Both the ASX and disappoint with thumpy and ride quality, too.

classy inside and great to the Peugeot 2008 wins contest. It just needs a transmission and ideally a more engine to be a truly great SUV.

The Holden Trax the French SUV surprisingly close, and in outright space and connectivity it is a solid alternative.

From the talent level dips, and three to five are harder to through. Last place is for the Ford EcoSport that and drives like the cheapest car although the manual-only 1.0-litre Ecoboost is a much more package.

Of the rest, the best SUV to sit in and is the Suzuki S-Cross, but bargain because it is expensive.

The Mitsubishi ASX is an drive, but at least it’s equipped and roomy, which is to push it into fourth of the cramped but finer-driving Nissan

If the priorities for buying a sub-compact SUV are less than $27,000 and in tight city parking then the 2008 and Trax are the options. However if the budget body length) can stretch a further then the size-larger Tiguan, Subaru Forester and CX-5 are worth a look.

by Brenton Colley.

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