Comparing PNGs most driven cars; the CR-V and the Harrier

Papua New Guinea’s road conditions take their toll on every vehicle’s alignment and suspension, never mind the tyres and rims. Although a smaller vehicle is preferred because of 1) the easier maneuverability, 2) easier and cheaper access to parts, 3) the ease to maintain your vehicle yourself and of course 4) cheaper registration. Unfortunately our roads create a huge disadvantage for sedans and while most of us would prefer to own a ute the cost of maintenance make that a major deterrent. This has made the SUV or sports utility vehicle, fast become one of the most seen on all PNG roads.
Why SUVs are the answer for PNG?
SUVs have many off-road capabilities yet they’re ‘dressed up’ as a taller and wider sedan, with a much larger ground clearance. For any Papua New Guinean who has to do large grocery or fresh market produce shopping at various times in a year,  the large trunk space and an interior almost as spacious as any ute also makes any SUV pretty attractive. While SUVs fall into the category of a light truck, and some SUVs even offer the same power as a light truck the biggest pull factor is that they offer all that space, that power, that versatility but they’re cheaper to register than your BT50, Ranger or Navara.
There are many SUVs being driven in PNG currently from the Ford Everest, the Kia Sportage, the Toyota Rav-4, Nissan X-Trail, Hyundai Tucson and off course the two most driven SUVs the Honda CR-V and the Toyota Harrier. Marketmeri has an abundant listing of SUVs and more - if you would like to see the full range of vehicles that are on sale currently click Here. You will notice that in almost all the urban centers whether in Buka or Goroka, Madang or Lae, Alotau or Kokopo - the two most popular SUV type vehicles are the Honda CR-V and the Toyota Harrier. So which vehicle is a better investment?
Meet the Honda CR-V and the Toyota Harrier
The first thing that you should know is the models we mostly see on our roads are first generations of the CR-V (95-2001) and the Harrier (97 - 2003).
Both vehicles are made to seat five people comfortably although in PNG you know that we will attempt to fit in a whole village despite the safety hazards.
The Honda Comfortable Runabout Vehicle a.k.a Compact Recreational Vehicle
The Honda CR-V or ‘Comfortable Runabout Vehicle’ or ‘Compact Recreational Vehicle’ was first manufactured in 1995 and this generation was manufactured using the Civic engine specifications altered to suit an SUV body.
The CR-V has a front engine, transversely mounted, with either a front-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive, that packs a 147 hp (110 kW) at 6200 rpm, 133 lb⋅ft (180 N⋅m) of torque at 4500 rpm on a 2L engine. Our research shows that the CR-V just barely passed the safety test with some data even showing damage to a dummies left leg and another’s head broke the air bag which would have caused a minor head concussion in a human being. The CR-V uses fuel more efficiently than the Harrier both on road and off road.
The Toyota Harrier a.k.a The Lexus RX
The Toyota Harrier or as it’s better known in all other markets - the Lexus RX was first introduced in December 1997 in Japan. Harriers
The name is taken from a native Japanese bird of prey that is featured on the grille. As mentioned most of what we see in PNG are first generation Harriers, therefore most are four wheel drives but recently there have been more second generation models (2003 -2013) especially in the nation's capital, this generation provides an all wheel drive option. It comes with an efficient 2.0 liter engine mated with 149 hp and most come with CV transmission that should make the bumpiest PNG road smooth. The Harrier also features additional airbags in the rear and the front side as well as the emergency braking assistance features making the Harrier safer than the CR-V.
Final comparisons
In terms of added features both these vehicles come with cup holders, back of the seat storage, power steering, adjustable and telescopic steering wheels, rear view mirrors, parking sensors although the Harrier comes with both front and side view cameras as well.
After comparing the above aspects of the two vehicles, the implication is that there is not a significant difference although the CR-V is slightly more fuel efficient while the Harrier is shown to have better safety features.
The Crunch Factor
The huge difference is in the price range. The Honda CR-V is available on from K4,000 to K27,000 (AUD$1,382.80 - AUD$9,333.90) while the Harrier price range is from K10,750 to K53,000 (AUD$3,716.28 - AUD$18,322.10).

Click Here for more information on the Honda CR-Vs available on Marketmeri or Click Here for more information on the Toyota Harrier. If you have any further questions you can email [email protected] or call B: +675 752 64887 or D: +675 74700243 or visit our Facebook page.
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