2021 Suzuki XL7 vs. the competition: Your other small SUV options


The mini SUV is one of the most robust segments in the local automotive market. You may already be familiar with the more popular models in this vehicle category, such as the Toyota Rush and Mitsubishi Xpander, but do you know that Suzuki also has an entry in the category in the guise of the XL7?


Interior-wise, the Suzuki XL7 enjoys a highly flexible seating arrangement, with impressive legroom for third row passengers courtesy of the lengthy 2740mm wheelbase. Built on Suzuki’s HEARTECT platform, the XL7 boasts better weight reduction, energy dispersal during collision, as well as improved NVH performance compared to the old generation model.


The PHP1.073 million-priced XL7 also has 199 liters of luggage room and has been fitted with advanced keyless push start function and automatic climate control, as well as a multi-information LCD display and 10-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.


Safety features of the XL7 include driver and passenger airbags, Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electric Brake force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), rear parking sensor and rear parking camera.

For those who wish to know which other mini SUV options are out there to the 2021 Suzuki XL7, here are some excellent choices.

Suzuki Vitara (PHP1.04 to 1.16 million)


One good thing about the Vitara is that Suzuki managed to keep its crossover affordable despite it being a popular nameplate and decent seller. An impressive achievement, considering its contemporaries such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 have significantly grown in size and price.

The third SUV in Suzuki’s stable (the third one is the retro Jimny), the Vitara is a completely-built-up unit from Magyar Suzuki Corporation in Hungary. Propelled by a 115hp and 156Nm engine with a 1.6-liter displacement, this European-bred crossover is available in two variants, both with 6-speed automatic transmission.

A unibody construction helps maximize the Vitara’s interior space. Meanwhile, a two-tone paint finish in the upper trim further gives the model a genuine European flair. Buyers also get to enjoy a panoramic sunroof, which reportedly has the biggest opening area in its class.

The small SUV's practical exterior extends to its interiors, delivering straightforward and user-friendly features that ensure smooth and easy operation.  Both GL Plus and GLX variants come with a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports Bluetooth, USB, Aux, and Android connectivity, although Apple CarPlay isn’t available. Meanwhile, the higher GLX grade radiates more upscale touch, enhanced by plush dark theme, with the leather seats enhanced by some suede trimmings for added elegance.

Toyota Rush (PHP983,000 to PHP1.1 million)

toyota rush

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) introduced a new vehicle to compact SUV fray with the entry of the Toyota Rush into the local vehicle market in May, 2018. Produced by Daihatsu, the Toyota Rush is powered by a fuel-efficient 1.5-liter VVT-I engine, good for 102hp and 134Nm of torque and mated to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed gate-type automatic transmission. A maximum ground clearance of 220mm is made possible with the use of 17-inch alloy wheels, making the Rush a veritable options for those who frequently brave Metro Manila’s oft-flooded streets.

With a 2685mm wheelbase, there’s plenty of interior space for occupants to enjoy in the Rush SUV. It’s got three trims to choose from—choose the five-seater variant, and your small family will be traveling in spacious glee. Want to give your second-row passengers a relaxing ride? Then the Rush deserves to be on your shortlist of cars to buy. It has so much legroom that kids will be able to stretch their little limbs to their content.

Honda BR-V (PHP1.04 to PHP1.16 million)

Honda BR-V

The Philippine-assembled Honda BR-V is near its end with the closing of its Laguna plant, so this could be your last chance to own one. A 1.5-liter SOHC 4-cylinder, 16-valve engine that puts out 118hp and 145Nm of torque powers this vehicle. Imbued with Honda’s standard i-VTEC technology the power mill is further enhanced by the addition of Lift Electronic Control. An Earth Dreams Technology Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is the BR-V’s only gearbox option.

Cabin-wise, the BR-V boasts ample headroom, legroom and shoulder room in all three rows for a full seven-people seating capacity. The third one offers easy ingress and egress, thanks to 60:40 sliding and reclining seats in the second row as well as the 50:50 reclining function in the last row. Rearmost passengers are treated to their separate roof-mounted air conditioner louver along with their own manual control.

As for creature comforts, the Honda BR-V hosts steering wheel mounted audio controls, paddle shifters, automatic climate control system, front and rear center armrests, and two USB inputs to name a few, along with a 7-inch digital touchscreen display with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Honda HR-V (PHP1.3 to 1.51 million)

Honda HR-V

Honda has another subcompact crossover up its sleeve in the guise of the pricier Honda HR-V. Under its hood lies a 1.8L SOHC i-VTEC engine that outputs 140hp and 172Nm of torque. Like the BR-V, the HR-V’s engine comes solely with an Earth Dreams Technology Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

The updated HR-V has a redesigned exterior accentuated by the Solid Wing Face design that spruces up the grille and front bumper nicely. The sharper design is one of the HR-V’s biggest selling points and will probably win many crossover SUV buyers over if looks are a priority.

The HR-V also has plenty of storage spaces with and three cup holders and four bottle holders in total—more than enough for any day’s worth of travel for vehicle’s full capacity of five people, including driver. Meanwhile, the spacious boot space provides impressive luggage-carrying capacity, so this car makes a great choice for small Filipino families who frequently go on road trips.

In addition to the leather-wrapped interiors that exude a plush sporty design, the HR-V also offers powered central locking, power windows, and power-adjustable rearview mirrors with integrated turn indicators. A 7-inch touchscreen display serves as infotainment, navigation system, and backup camera.

Mitsubishi Xpander (PHP1.01 to PHP1.13 million)

Mitsubishi Xpander

With four variants available (including the top-ranging Xpander Cross), all Mitsubishi Xpander models are equipped with a 1.5-liter inline-four 16-valve DOHC MIVEC engine that delivers 105hp and 141Nm of torque. The low-ring GLX trim is the only manual transmission of the bunch--all the rest are backed by a four-speed automatic transmission. Suspension comes by way of a MacPherson strut with coil spring and stabilizer pairing up front and a torsion beam at the rear.

More an MPV than an SUV, the Xpander complements its sharply contoured sheetmetal with some attractive modern accoutrements, making it a viable people carrier for the contemporary Filipino family. From its Dynamic Shield front fascia to its sleek character lines, the all-new Xpander certainly looks prettier than most other vehicles in its class. The LED position lights and combination tail lamps are easy on the eyes, and the 16-inch two-tone alloy wheels make a great introduction to the sleek and tasteful exterior.

Inside, the Mitsubishi Xpander welcomes occupants to a contemporary dashboard that places great emphasis on ergonomics. This is matched by the use of high-quality plastic and fabric materials that help the cabin look especially upscale for the price point. Key interior features include Keyless Operation system, 12-volt power outlets, and a touchscreen six-speaker infotainment system equipped with GPS navigation for the Xpander’s top variants.

Hyundai Kona (PHP1.19 million)


Tthe combustion engine-equipped Hyundai Kona (completely different from the all-electric version) drives on a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson engine good for 147hp and 179Nm. It’s mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, sending all its power and torque solely to the front wheels.

Inside, an intuitive 7-inch instrument cluster display makes critical trip information visible at a glance, but there’s also the 8-inch head-up display to keep trip details visible within the driver’s peripheral, helping keep eyes on the road where they belong. For infotainment, the Kona relies on a floating-type touchscreen complete with built-in navigation system, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Aside from button controls, the system can also be operated with voice commands.

The Kona covers all safety bases starting with anti-lock braking system (ABS), six airbags, and a the SuperStructure high-strength steel vehicle chassis. In addition, the Kona boasts a slew of advanced driver assistance technologies, such as a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and Hyundai SmartSense driver assistance suite.

Kia Seltos (PHP1.1 million to PHP1.5 million)

kia seltos

Designed as a replacement to the eccentric Kia Soul, the Kia Seltos is built on the same platform as the Kona from sister company Hyundai. Both share the same engine producing the same power (147hp, 179Nm) but the Seltos uses an infinitely variable transmission (IVT) for shifting. Meanwhile, a Drive Mode Select feature allows the driver to choose between five different driving modes (Smart, Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Custom) to control different drive functions including steering response, throttle, and transmission RPM shift points, among others. It’s pricier than its South Korean sibling, but it’s also decidedly more upscale, especially the top variants.

Inside, driver controls take on an intuitive and ergonomic design, with a head-up display providing the driver with vital trip information while ensuring eyes are on the road at all times. Exuding an “elegant and comfortable functionality,” the roomy interior is made more welcome with comfortable seats and tasteful upper trim appointments such as automatic climate control, 6-speaker, 8-inch infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and Smart Entry and Push Start convenience.

Safety-wise, the 2020 Seltos comes equipped with a suite of standard safety features that you would expect to find exclusively in premium luxury vehicles. Check out this impressive list, most of which are found in the vehicle’s upper trims: an advanced high strength steel (AHSS) body, front side and curtain airbags, electronic stability control, rear parking distance warning, rear camera display with rearview driving function, downhill brake control, hill-start assist control, and cruise control.

Photos from Suzuki

Also read:

2021 Suzuki XL7: The pros and cons

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