Crossovers and SUVs are everywhere these days. What was once a niche market has become one of the most profitable and top-selling models for all manufacturers. Here, it's pick-up based SUVs that rule the roost.
During the last decade, we saw a new wave of mid-size SUVs revolutionize the segment. Kicked off by the Isuzu Mu-X in 2013, the models that followed it became more powerful and refined to the SUVs we know today. Now, we're seeing another wave of all-new truck-based SUVs just in time for the new decade. The 2020s are barely getting started, but the battleground for these models are heating up.
Like its predecessor, the second-generation Mu-X kicked off the next wave of mid-sized SUVs. Among its peers, it's the only one that received a full model change. With a new frame and an extensive redesign, it's set to be the benchmark of all SUVs that will be launched after it. Not only that, it will be launched here within the year, likely a few months after the D-Max.
We're also anticipating the arrival of the extensively updated Terra. Launched in the Middle East as the X-Terra, it's essentially a re-skinned Terra with a brand-new interior. For now, it's powered by a 2.5-liter gas engine, but a diesel engine is in the pipeline. We'll have to wait for our Thai neighbors to roll it out before we can make any calls on this SUV.
Aside from the Mu-X and Terra, two more all-new SUVs are coming within the next two years. These are the fourth-generation Mitsubishi Montero Sport and third-generation Ford Everest.
It's the Everest that will come first since Ford confirmed the next-gen Ranger's debut. It's slated for 2022 and our sources say that the pick-up and SUV will be launched at around the same time. It's an unprecedented move since none of its competitors have done that. Just take a look at the Isuzu, Mitsubishi, and Toyota. All of them held out for almost a year before launching their SUVs following their pick-ups. Should Ford's launch strategy prove successful, other manufacturers might follow suit.
Then, in 2023, the redesigned Mitsubishi Montero Sport will debut. It's perfect timing too since the SUV will be eight years old by that time. The current-generation model was introduced a year after the Strada in 2015 and was subsequently given a facelift in 2019. Its predecessor also had a life cycle of eight years (2008 – 2015). That makes Mitsubishi's popular SUV ripe for a full model change.
But what about the segment's best-seller, the Toyota Fortuner? So far, the manufacturer is quiet about any plans for the country's top-selling SUV. Given that Toyota tends to hold on to platforms for a long time, we might not expect it during the first half of the decade. Of course, that doesn't mean they will be resting on their laurels. Either way, there could be a redesigned Fortuner by the middle or latter part of the decade.