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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

UPDATED: Upping the Game: Honda Launches Mobilio for Philippines (w/ Specs)

UPDATE 2: Read our First Drive here (5/5).

UPDATE 1: Photos from the launch proper, more interior shots, and the spec sheet (5/1).

For a carmaker, a product’s importance falls in one of two categories: a halo model or a sales leader. And though everyone dreams of having the new NSX, Honda knows quite well that’s not going to sell in critical numbers here in the country or even globally. On the other hand, you have the all-new Mobilio, Honda’s first crack at the lucrative but highly competitive Asian Utility Vehicle (AUV) market. Single-handedly, it’s poised to be their make-or-break model. And by sticking true to the company’s philosophy of being engineering-centered, it looks like it’s going to be a winner.

Review: 2015 Ford Escape 2.0 EcoBoost Titanium AWD

Photos by Ulysses Ang
The compact crossover genre was popularized by the Japanese. Given their propensity to favor small cars, putting height (but not necessarily four-wheel drive) seemed perfect for the urban environment. After all, going up mall ramps diagonally is uncool. Americans, who were mostly busy making rolling versions of the Stegosaurus, soon got into the game. One of the biggest hits is the Ford Escape. Locally, it brought the Blue Oval brand from niche to mainstream player almost overnight. Alas, it almost fell victim to fossilization after a model run lasting a good 12 years (2000-2012) despite three facelifts. (If you want to read the review on the Escape 1.6 SE EcoBoost, click here).

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Back to Winning Ways: The Shell-Ducati Technology Partnership

Photos by Ulysses Ang
DOHA, QATAR—Shell’s Technical Partnership with Ducati Corse came full circle as both of its riders arrived home in the winner’s circle at the 2015 Qatar MotoGP race at the Losail International Circuit. After snatching pole position, Andrea Dovizioso almost won the race if not for a brave charge by Valentino Rossi. Team mate Andrea Iannone finished in third place.

Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology Launches Best Drive Ever Promo

Shell Helix Ultra customers can look forward to an enjoyable and convenient driving experience this summer as Shell Helix Ultra with Pure Plus technology rewards its customers with a free convenience kit and toll voucher for every single receipt purchase of Shell Helix Ultra (4L) or Shell Helix Ultra Diesel (6L).

Kia Opens First Mindoro Dealership in Calapan

Kia continues to expand its foothold in Philippine shores as it recently opened the doors of Kia Calapan for all of Mindoro to benefit from.

BMW Motorrad Starts 2015 Strong

BMW continues to celebrate undisputed leadership in the Philippine luxury segment with the success of BMW Motorrad, the German brand’s motorcycle division. Also under the helm of Asian Carmakers Corporation (ACC), the official importer and distributor of BMW in the Philippines, BMW Motorrad began 2015 with a 15% growth in the first quarter of the year, versus the same period in 2014. This performance echoes the success of the brand in 2014, as it closed the year with a 71% increase in sales, the strongest in its local history.

Friday, April 24, 2015

UPDATED: The 2015 Ford Mustang Roars into the Philippines (w/ Brochure)

UPDATE 1: The full brochure is now available below (4/26).

Two models. Two distinct characters. One car. This is impossible to achieve given a car’s components are shared across a range. But this is no ordinary car. This is a legend. This is an icon. This is the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang. Kicking off its arrival in style, America’s rolling tribute to the love for the open road is available in two variants, one that caters to the muscle car purist and one to the performance junkie. It’s Ford’s way of looking into the future of the pony car without breaking tradition with its storied past. And that will get any car lover’s attention.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Philippine Car Price Guide: April 2015

The Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) is over, and with that comes a variety of new and updated models. We’ve delayed the monthly Philippine Car Price Guide to reflect these changes. For this update, we have the following new additions/updates:
  • Audi Q1 1.4 TFSI
  • BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
  • BYD Qin
  • Chevrolet Colorado Tracker
  • Chevrolet Trailblazer L / SE
  • Ford Expedition EL EcoBoost Platinum
  • Ford Ranger Wildtrak (Update)
  • Great Wall Haval M4
  • Hyundai Accent 1.6 E 4DR CRDI
  • Isuzu D-Max 2.5 VGS
  • Kia Grand Carnival
  • Kia Sorento
  • Mazda2 Skyactiv
  • MG MG3
  • MG MG350
  • MG MG5
  • MINI Cooper 5DR / Cooper S 5R
  • MINI Countryman
  • Peugeot 301
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Outback
  • Tata Ace Bata
  • Toyota Camry
  • Volkswagen Beetle (Update)
  • Volkswagen Polo Sedan A/T
  • Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 TSI
  • Volkswagen Touareg Sport Edition
  • Volkswagen Touran 1.2

Honda Launches Limited Edition Jazz, CR-V Models

Honda Cars Philippines is brightening up the summer with two special limited edition models: the Honda CR-V Limited Editon and Jazz Limited Edition. The Jazz is limited just to a run of 20 units while the CR-V is limited to just 10. That equates to just 30 units all-in-all. Interested? Read on.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mazda Shows KODO Design in Bike, Sofa Concepts

Mazda Motor Corporation has unveiled art pieces inspired by its KODO - Soul of Motion design theme in the famed design capital of the world, Milan, Italy. In an exhibit entitled, “Mazda Design: The Car as Art”, Mazda revealed stunning works that feature design cues inspired by its current KODO-derived vehicles such as the CX-5, the Mazda6, the Mazda3, and the recently launched all-new Mazda2 and fourth generation MX-5.

Review: 2015 Hyundai Elantra 1.6 S A/T

Photos by Ulysses Ang
When the Hyundai Elantra arrived in the local scene in 2012, it revolutionized the compact car genre. From a segment practically cornered by the Japanese, the Elantra has since turned it into a free-for-all slugfest. Today, compact car buyers are less brand loyal and more focused on getting great value. Indeed, the swoopy Elantra is responsible for removing existing prejudices and opening minds to considering a brand like Hyundai. Fast-forward three years later and the players are still fighting tooth and nail just to get the would-be buyer’s attention. So what does the ‘game-changer’ do? Stick to a tried-and-tested formula.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Isuzu Revamps D-Max for 2015, Adds VGS to Turbo

Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) is gearing up for the pickup truck wars as they revamp their D-Max for 2015. Launching their latest offering at the Clark International Speedway, the tough and reliable pickup truck now becomes more powerful and capable with its new drivetrain and re-tweaked features.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mazda Santa Rosa Opens, First in Country with New Mazda Global Identity

A brand new Mazda Santa Rosa 3S facility opens today along the bustling Tagaytay-Sta Rosa road. Located across the Nuvali commercial center, the new dealership is set to serve clients in the southern reaches of Metro Manila – an area of fast growing residential and industrial parks. The 1,100-square meter facility houses the full complement of new vehicle sales, service and after sales amenities found in all Mazda showrooms throughout the country.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Toyota Motor Philippines Reaches Milestone of 10,237 Units Sold in a Single Month!

The largest local car manufacturer in the country achieved its highest sales to date in a single month last March. Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) registered its record-breaking performance of 10,237 units sold. Its previous sales milestone was recorded last October 2014 with 10,163 units sold. Based on the most recent CAMPI report, Toyota registered a market share of 43.5% for the month.

Hyundai Makes Amazing Connection with A Message to Space (w/ Video)

Hyundai Motor has used the brand’s ‘New Thinking’ approach to connect the most distant of families, setting a novel world record in the process. When the daughter of an astronaut on the International Space Station had a special hand-written letter to send to her father, Hyundai Motor found an ‘out of this world’ way to share her message.

Toyota Vios Cup Heads to Cebu

The number one automotive company in the country brings waku-doki further by bringing the second race of this season’s Toyota Vios Cup to the Queen City of the South, Cebu City! Coming in as the first motorsports festival in the Visayas region, gearheads and car fans in the said area can now witness the waku-doki experience first-hand. Slated on Saturday to Sunday, May 16 - 17, local motorsports will be driven into newer heights with 4 incoming Cebu-based racers now making a total of 44 drivers in the said racing event.

All-New Volvo XC90 Coming Soon to Philippines

Volvo’s iconic seven-seater SUV is reborn and expected soon on Philippine roads this 2015.

The all-new XC90 is a visually striking, premium quality SUV with world-leading safety features, new Drive-E engines including a top-of-the-line T8 Twin Engine powertrain with close to 400 horsepower and CO2 emissions of around 60 g/km, an unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency and a superlative interior finish. The car also features beautiful interior and exterior design including an innovative tablet-like touch screen control console, which forms the heart of an all-new in-car control system. It marks the beginning of a new chapter in Volvo’s history, capturing its future design direction, incorporating its own range of new technologies and utilizing its new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) technology.

Hyundai Brings Hot Buys for the Hot Summer

Customers in hot pursuit of a brand new car may have found the deal they are looking for in the “Hot Buys to Upsize” promo from Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the exclusive distributor of Hyundai cars in the Philippines.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review: 2015 BMW 420d Gran Coupe

Photos by Ulysses Ang
It’s hard to say what a coupe is anymore. Is it merely a car with two doors? Does it have an arching roofline? Do frameless windows count for anything? Can a hatchback or an SUV be a coupe? At some point in the past few years, nearly everything you thought made a coupe, a coupe has been challenged by something that calls itself a coupe, but to most people isn’t. And BMW has led most of this line of questioning.

Monday, April 13, 2015

MIAS 2015: Chevrolet Adds Off-Road Ready Colorado Tracker, Trailblazer LTZ SE

Chevrolet Philippines launches an off-road ready version of their venerable Colorado dubbed the Colorado Tracker. Equipped solely with a manual transmission, the new Colorado Tracker comes equipped with features that cater directly to people who love the great outdoors.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

MIAS 2015: The 2015 Mazda Collection Impresses

Mazda Philippines’s sprawling and intimidating 1,000 square-meter space at the Manila International Auto Show is a strong show of force and for very good reason. Just last year, Mazda achieved a milestone with overall sales almost doubling that of 2013. The end tally shows them selling more than 3,200 units overtaking Subaru in the process. Of course, the giant showcase isn’t just for celebration. They’ve used the occasion to strategically launch 13 all-new or significantly updated new models for 2015. In short, if you’re buying a car that’s not a Mazda, you better hold off that purchase.

UPDATED: MIAS 2015: BYD Qin Paves the Way to the Future (w/ Brochure)

UPDATE 1: We have included the brochure at the end (4/13).

BYD is cementing its reputation as the new brand to watch out for as it unveiled the Qin at the Manila International Auto Show. Pronounced as “Chin”, the Qin is named after the first Emperor of China who successfully unified the warring states into the powerhouse everyone knows today. Like its namesake, the BYD Qin is set to defy the conventional and be one of the most advanced vehicles you can buy in the market.

UPDATED: MIAS 2015: Kia Launches More Luxurious Grand Carnival, Sorento (w/ Brochure)

UPDATE 1: We have included the brochure and replaced the rather convoluted spec sheet (4/13).

After much speculation, Columbian Autocar Corporation, Kia’s distributor in the Philippines has unveiled the all-new, third-generation Sorento and Grand Carnival. These two new offerings bolster Kia’s presence in the country while giving the Korean brand a more premium positioning. Both models are new from the top-down and are catered to the discerning taste of the upscale market.

MIAS 2015: MINI Goes Five

MINI Philippines unleashed two new models for 2015 at the Manila International Auto Show. Headlining the brand’s new-for-the-year offers is a car that will push the convention of what a MINI means: the 5-door model. Dubbed internally as the F55, the new MINI 5-door comes in both Cooper and Cooper S flavors and ups the SRP by P 100,000.

MIAS 2015: Safety First for Volkswagen

Volkswagen Philippines is highlighting the issue of safety, especially for children at the Manila International Auto Show. Part of VW’s global campaign which already rolled out to various markets worldwide, the VW Child Safety Initiative or CSI aims to increase awareness in the realm of child safety in two ways.

MIAS 2015: All-New Legacy and Outback Headline Subaru's Premium Push in the Philippines

Subaru is giving their flagship models a much needed boost in luxury and comfort with the launch of the all-new 2015 Legacy and Outback. Previewed at the Regional Launch in Thailand last year, the all-new Legacy and Outback now offers refinement in design and performance without sacrificing any aspect of the brand’s core technologies.

MIAS 2015: Ford Expands SUV Line-Up with All-new Expedition Platinum, Everest

Ford is expanding its Philippine SUV offering with the public debut of the much-awaited all-new Everest and the Expedition Platinum at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS). It’s joined at the Ford stand by the EcoSport, Escape, and Explorer as well as the Fiesta, Focus, and Mustang.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

MIAS 2015: 2 Series Active Tourer Takes Centerstage for BMW

An experience beyond the ordinary awaits families as BMW today announces the public debut of its first multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS). Through its official importer and distributor in the Philippines, Asian Carmakers Corporation (ACC), BMW will feature the first ever BMW 2 Series Active Tourer from April 9-12 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

6 Monster Jam Manila Competitors Confirmed for June 20-21 Show

American-based Feld Motor Sports has confirmed the six of the Monster Jam competitors that are coming here to the Philippines, for the first time ever! They are ready to showcase their best in the thrilling racing and freestyle competition in three shows running from June 20 to 21 at the MOA (Mall of Asia) Arena.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

First Drive: Mazda MX-5 1.5 Skyactiv

Photos by Ulysses Ang and Mazda Press
There are great driver’s cars, but there is only one Mazda MX-5. From its inception in 1989, the MX-5 has baked into every generation, an unmistakable close bond between car and driver. You can sound off a list of cars that come close to offering the same sort of experience, but none can capture the same MX-5 magic. And Mazda knows this very well. Listening to the designers and engineers talk about this fourth-generation ‘ND’ model makes you believe that they’ve poured their heart and soul into it. Indeed, every single person in the project team knows that they had to keep it as close to its founding ethos as possible. It can’t just be a great sports car or a great Mazda. It has to be a great MX-5.

Monday, April 6, 2015

MIAS 2015: Mazda's Display is a Strong Show of Force

Mazda Philippines is pulling out all the stops to bring back the fun in driving and they’re using the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) as their venue. The Japanese brand, best known for ‘zoom-zoom’, ‘KODO’, and of course, ‘Skyactiv’ will have the biggest footprint among exhibitors at the World Trade Center, measuring at 1,000 square-meters. And it won’t just be the case of making things roomy for show goers. Mazda says they will bring in 13 all-new or improved models at the show. Yes, you read that right. Thirteen all-new or improved models for 2015.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Auto Focus People's Choice Awards Poll Opens on April 6

Will the Toyota Vios garner a third “Automobile of the Year” award in the Standard Model category? And, will the Lexus IS350 repeat as “Automobile of the Year” among Luxury models?

MIAS 2015: BPI Family Auto Loan Sweetens Deal to Potential Car Buyers

BPI Family Auto Loan is sweetening the deal for people who’re thinking of buying a brand-new car at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) from April 9 to 12 at the World Trade Center. Celebrating its fourth year of partnership with the biggest annual motoring event, BPI Family is offering a one-month free amortization for approved auto loans of at least 36 months.

Michelin Joins GT Asia Series as Official Tire Supplier

Michelin Philippines Chief Representative Michael Nunag announced that Michelin is the official and exclusive tire supplier of the GT Asia Series the for the Asian Region’s leading GT category from 2015. The full 11-race series will begin in South Korea on May 15.

MIAS 2015: Chevrolet to Introduce New Variants of Trailblazer, Colorado

Already previewing the all-new Trax, Chevrolet Philippines has revealed more of their plans for the upcoming Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) on April 9 to 12 at the World Trade Center. Chevrolet is aiming to ‘broaden’ their market appeal with new versions of the Colorado and Trailblazer.

Friday, April 3, 2015

BMW Philippines Launches 2 Series Active Tourer

BMW is entering into a whole new market segment with the Philippine launch of the first-ever 2 Series Active Tourer. Known as a staunch supporter of the traditional driver’s car layout—rear wheel drive—the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is the German brand’s first front-wheel drive vehicle. As such, it’s aimed more towards a new breed of BMW buyers who’re looking for a practical family car that doesn’t sacrifice spirited performance.

Hyundai HND-12 Enduro Concept is an Urban Sports Crossover

Hyundai Motor Company showed off an interesting new concept at the 2015 Seoul Motor Show: the HND-12 Enduro. The Enduro is a small urban crossover that’s aimed squarely at individuals with energetic and athletic lifestyles. It’s dubbed the “Professional Gear” for those who want to escape an ordinary life.

This Subaru is Faster to 100 km/h Than a La Ferrari

What’s faster than the La Ferrari to 100 km/h? Try the new Subaru WRX STI-based VT15x. Developed by Vermont Sportscar to compete in the 2015 Red Rull Global Rallycross series, the VT15x has 580 horsepower from its turbocharged flat-4 enabling it to accelerate to 100 km/h in just two seconds flat. That’s faster than the La Ferrari.

MIAS 2015: BYD to Show Plug-In Hybrid Sedan

BYD Philippines is showing off their newest executive sedan at the Manila International Auto Show that offers an interesting twist: it’s a plug-in hybrid.

MIAS 2015: Tata Goes Business-Minded

Pilipinas Taj Autogroup, Inc., the official distributor of Tata automobiles and commercial vehicles in the Philippines just revealed their showcase line-up for the upcoming Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) slated from April 9 to 12 at the World Trade Center. This year, Tata is focusing on business-minded applications.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

This is What the All-New 2016 Honda Civic Will Look Like

Honda unveiled the all-new Civic Concept at the New York International Auto Show giving the public its first glimpse of what the highly-anticipated tenth-generation model will look like. After being criticized for being lackluster (even after its extensive re-design), the ninth-generation and current model will be saying goodbye this fall (third to fourth quarter 2015) in favor of a model that focuses on ‘spirited performance and class-leading versatility’.

Nissan Philippines Reacts to GT Academy Driver's Horrific Crash at Nurburgring (w/ Video)

Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) reacts to GT Academy graduate and NISMO racing driver Jann Mardenborough’s horrific crash at the Nurburgring in Germany which called to question the ability of GT Academy graduates and the future of GT Academy itself.

Subaru BRZ STI Concept is Start of STI's World Domination

Subaru’s performance division, Subaru Technica International or better known as STI, is expanding their global reach. At the New York International Auto Show, Subaru has announced that they are replacing the US-based Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT) in providing aftermarket parts as well as increased engineering presence in the company’s Global RallyCross Team.

Kia National Skills World Cup Recognizes Best in After Sales Service

Columbian Autocar Corporation (CAC), exclusive distributor of Kia Motors vehicles in the Philippines, and its After Sales division recently concluded the 8th Kia National Skills World Cup.
Held last March 19, 2015 at the Kia Pasay Training Center, personnel from Kia dealerships nationwide competed in a test of skill and knowledge in diagnosis, troubleshooting, repair, and customer service that should be attuned to Kia’s global top-notch standards.

Caltex Gives Robinsons Rewards Card Members Fuel Discounts, Shopping Savings

Robinsons Rewards Card (RRC) members will enjoy earning more points not only when they shop at their favorite Robinsons stores but also when they fuel up at Caltex. RRC members can now use their points to redeem P1 discount for every one liter fuel purchase at participating Caltex stations nationwide. Every five liter gas up earns a point which means that the more customers fuel up at Caltex and shop at Robinsons, the more points for fuel and shopping savings.