They both pack gasoline or diesel motors under the hood. They are both seven-seaters. And these two are Sport Utility Vehicles that come in either two- or four-wheel drive that cost anywhere from below P1.6 million to a little over the P2 million mark.
The similarities end there, however. So why pit the Toyota Fortuner against the Honda CR-V? To the typical car buyer, price is often more a point of comparison than outright specifications. With both these SUVs costing pretty much the same, people would most likely look at them in the same way as well, not realizing that they are actually pitting an apple against an orange.
Take for instance the dimensions. Even without a tape measure, you’d immediately notice that the Fortuner is way bigger than the Honda. And at 4,795mm long and 1,835mm tall with a 2,745mm wheelbase, it is longer and taller than the 4,571mm x 1,657mm CR-V with an equally shorter 2,660mm wheelbase. What’s interesting is that both these SUVs are equally wide an 1,855mm.
While the Honda rides on a compact car platform and the Toyota utilizes the IMV architecture of its Hilux pick-up cousin, both run on either a gasoline or diesel mill. The CR-V gas motor is a 2.0-liter SOHC 16-valve inline-4 with i-VTEC Variable Valve Timing technology that puts out 154hp and 189Nm, mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission. The bigger Fortuner gets an equally larger 2.7-liter DOHC 16-valve inline-4 with Dual VVT-I (Toyota-speak for variable valve timing). This one makes 163hp and 245Nm, mated to a 6-speed Sequential Shift AT.
Those that want diesel power can opt for the Fortuner’s DOHC 16-valve diesel motor with front-mounted intercooler and Variable Nozzle Turbo that comes in either 2.4-liter (147hp/400Nm) or 2.8-liter (174hp/450Nm) displacements. New for Honda is the its 1.6-liter 16-valve inline-4 diesel with DTEC or variable valve timing. This one delivers 120 horses and 300Nm of torque. While the Forunter’s oil-burner is paired with a 6-speed Sequential Shift auto, the Honda gets a tech-savvy 9-speed unit with a pushbutton-type Electronic Gear Selector.
When it comes to the ride, this is taken care of by Double Wishbones with Coil Springs and Stabilizer up front and 4-link with Coil Spring and Stabilizer and Lateral Rod out back for the Toyota. The Honda gets MacPherson struts and Multi-links front and rear, respectively. What these translate to is essentially a smoother, more car-like ride for the CR-V. And yes, its being based on a car platform naturally helps in this department.
Beyond the mechanicals, what most people would look for in such rides is what they really have to offer on the inside. Both of these give the buyer 7-seat versatility, with available leather, a 60/40 split second row, and a 50/50 split-folding third row. The Honda trumps the Toyota with its fold-flat third row that makes for a more usable luggage area.
And even if the Fortuner offers its owner seven SRS airbags (including a driver’s knee airbag), ABS, stability and traction control, and hill start and downhill assist control, this somehow pales in comparison to the CR-V’s available Honda Sensing safety suite. This gives drivers stuff like Adaptive Cruise Control, Low Speed Follow, Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision warning, Lane Departure Warning, Driver Attention Warning, and Low Tire Pressure warning. And that’s not even counting the usual 6 SRS airbags, ABS, stability assist, and other safety systems that are standard fare.
Obviously, this is not your usual head-to-head comparison. But for those that are shelling out the same amount of money, they can go for either the Fortuner 2.4 G DSL MT that goes for P1,592,000 or the 2.7 G Gas AT that retails at P1,597,000. The Honda CR-V 2.0 S CVT (gas) starts at P1,648,000 while its V diesel 9AT sibling goes for P1,671,000. The Fortuner 2.8V DSL 4x4 tops the heap at P2,260,000 while the CR-V SX Diesel 9AT 4x4 goes for P2,086,000.
Again, the price and their 7-seat SUV configuration are the only similarities. But why chose one over the other? If you need a tougher, more off-road capable vehicle, then the Fortuner is the obvious pick. But if you’re after an SUV that’s easy to drive, then go for the Honda. T