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Monday, May 31, 2021

The Range Rover Vogue PHEV Combines Sustainability And Power

The significance of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is, more than anything, its contribution to environmental sustainability. Plug-in hybrids are proven to emit less greenhouse gases and reduces oil dependency in vehicles. In numbers, it consumes an estimate of 30 to 60 percent less petrol than conventional vehicles. That said, with the world feeling the effects of climate change more than ever in recent decades, it is no wonder that more and more car brands have been shifting to non-gasoline engines. In fact, most highly developed countries have already begun to commit to a transition to full electric in the next 20 or 30 years.

Toyota Wants To Spark A Conversation With Their Hydrogen-Powered Race Car

In a world where the conversation is dominated by electric vehicles or EVs, Toyota proved that internal combustion engines could still have a future. This as the carmaker’s president, Akio Toyoda brought home a hydrogen-fueled Corolla, the Corolla H2 Concept across the finish line at the Fuji Supertec 24-Hour endurance race.

Mercedes-Benz PH Now Offers Luxury Seats For The V-Class

Mercedes-Benz Philippines is now offering the V-Class with upgraded seats with the introduction of second-row Captain’s Seats. Dubbed “Luxury Seats” by the three-pointed star, it’s now available at all authorized Mercedes-Benz dealerships with a suggested retail price of P 4,690,000.

Toyota Sold Over 859,000 Vehicles In April

It looks like Toyota put the worst of the pandemic behind them as they secured global sales reaching 859,448 units in April 2021. It marks the eighth consecutive month of increase for the Japanese automaker.

Kia Teases All-New 2022 Sportage

Kia Corporation has revealed the first official teaser images of the all-new 2022 Sportage—the fifth incarnation of the brand’s most popular SUV model.

For P 16.97M, This Company Can Turn Your Porsche 911 Into An EV

Want to keep your classic car during the EV shift? Everrati Automotive can certainly help. The U.K. company has unveiled the Signature—their new flagship wide body model based off a 1991 Porsche 911 964.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Review: 2021 BMW 218i Gran Coupe Sport

The 2 Series is the odd child of the BMW family. Spawning four body styles, it rides on two separate platforms with one being rear-wheel drive, and the other being front-wheel drive. Even more confusing, the 2 Series Gran Coupe you see here is unrelated to the 2 Series Coupe despite BMW being known for coming up with all sorts of derivatives. It’s also clear from the photos that it’s not a coupe; it’s a sedan. The 2 GC’s rather complicated lineage sets the stage on what to expect with the rest of the car.

Chery Auto PH Chosen As Breakthrough Distributor

Considered as one of the youngest distributors of the Chery brand in the world, the United Asia Automotive Group, Inc. (UAAGI) and Chery Auto Philippines team bagged the 2021 Brand Breakthrough Award from Chery International.

Review: 2021 Ford Ranger FX4 MAX

Fans are empowered nowadays. In the age of social media, they’re your buyer, your FGD, and your most vocal critic all rolled into one. It’s made things like the Synder Cut, and in the case of Ford, the 2021 Ranger FX4 MAX possible. Truth be told, there’s no definitive reason why Warner Brothers would need a four-hour cut of an already mediocre superhero movie, or for Ford to add a fourteenth variant to their already crammed Ranger line-up. Maybe except, and to bring up an anime term, to serve as “fanservice.”

Friday, May 28, 2021

Yes, The Refreshed 2021 Subaru XV Now Comes With A P80,000 Discount

Good news awaits those who’re looking to buy the refreshed 2021 Subaru XV this June. As a refresher, Motor Image Pilipinas, the exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles in the Philippines started to display the updated compact crossover at its dealerships this month.

50 Years On, the Countach Continues To Influence Lamborghini Design

The distinctively contemporary lines of the Lamborghini Countach, a legendary model celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, shaped the design of all subsequent Lamborghinis even up to today’s models, including the Aventador, Huracán, Sián, as well as the Urus.

GM To Co-Design Upcoming Lunar Rover

Lockheed Martin and General Motors Co. are teaming up to develop the next generation of lunar vehicles to transport astronauts on the surface of the Moon, fundamentally evolving and expanding humanity’s deep-space exploration footprint.

Hyundai, Kia To Cut Gas, Diesel Engine Line-Up By Half

Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) will slash the number of combustion engine models in its lineup to free up resources to invest in electric vehicles, according to a report by Reuters.

This One-Of-A-Kind Mazda Became A Toy Car Sales Success

In October 1970, Mazda unveiled the radically angular and streamlined RX500 concept car at the 17th Tokyo Motor Show. The start of the new decade also marked the company’s 50th Anniversary and the RX500 was a bold statement of Mazda’s engineering and design ambition. It quickly became a crowd favorite, captivating the public with its futuristic design and technology.

Honda Is Proud Of This 2022 HR-V Design Feature

When Honda first unveiled the all-new 2022 HR-V, it didn’t really garner may fans with its exterior design. Apparently, the carmaker has an explanation for this: they’ve focused their attention to their car’s interiors.

Ford Wants To Shed "Gas Guzzler" Image By Going Electric By 2030

Ford’s F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E aren’t one-offs in the carmaker’s electrification plans. They’re revealed that they’re accelerating the development of EV-related technologies with a goal of having 40 percent of its global sales fully electric by 2030.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Hyundai PH Buyers, Owners Have Embraced Digital Shift

The daily drive has radically changed for us all—most likely for good. While the virus is still in the air, plans on buying a new car may remain in the back burner, but how about the one that’s been stuck in your garage for months on end? It deserves to be in tiptop shape should emergencies arise.

Are You Guilty Of Not Checking Your Car's Engine Oil? You're Not Alone

Do you ever check your car’s oil? If not, you’re not alone. Research from U.K.-based Kwik Fit has revealed that one in five (19 percent) of car owners never check the oil in their vehicle. 8 percent of owners, some 3 million, actually admit to not knowing how to check their oil level, while 11 percent say hey know how to do it, but never do so.

Rolls-Royce Brings Back The Art Of Coachbuilding

For Rolls-Royce owners who want a greater deal of customization; greater than say this one-off partnership with Hermès, they’re in luck because the automaker has just brought back their Coachbuild department.

Why Isn't Anyone Else Talking About This Design Feature On The 2021 Volkswagen T-Cross?

Volkswagen Philippines’s uber-hyped T-Cross sub-compact SUV carries one interesting design detail that, surprisingly, escaped most people—including some so-called car enthusiasts. If you need a clue, take a gander at the photo above. Do you see it? Yes?

Future "Gas" Stations Could Look Like This

There is no denying the rise of electric vehicles; last year global sales increased by 43 percent and in markets such as Norway and the Netherlands, EV sales surpassed those of traditional ICE engine vehicles. As adoption rates increase, the conversation moves to the improvement of day-to-day electric vehicle ownership, specifically battery replenishment infrastructure and services.

The New Honda RS125 Can Do 67.5 km/L; Costs Less Than P 74k

Honda Philippines, Inc. (HPI) continues to update its motorbike range with the new 2021 RS125. Boasting of a refreshed design, the RS125 is built for those who’re looking for a bit more thrill to their daily commutes.

Nissan, Mitsubishi, Renault Alliance "Maxed Out" Says Exec

Nissan thinks they’ve maxed out the sharing of platforms, powertrains, and components in their alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi. And for them, the only way they can do more is through electrification.

Geely, Smart Teases Its First Collaboration Model

Last year, many were surprised when Daimler announced that its Smart branded cars will be engineered by Geely. A year later, the first product of that new joint-venture, officially called Smart Automobile Co., Ltd., has been teased.

The Ford Ranger Raptor Dons Racing Stripes For 2021

The race-inspired updates for the Ranger Raptor first launched in the Australian and New Zealand markets has now gone global.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Confirmed: The Suzuki Vitara AllGrip Will Start At P 1.458M And Will Be Sourced From Europe

A day ago, we reported that the all-wheel drive variant of the Suzuki Vitara, the Vitara AllGrip Select would be priced starting at P 1.458 million. That number has now been confirmed by Suzuki Philippines a couple of days before its official public unveil set for Friday, June 28.

Spot The Volkswagen T-Cross, Get A Chance To Win Gadgets

Volkswagen Philippines marks the local market introduction of its new global sub-compact SUV, the T-Cross with a special “#TCrossTrendspotting activity.”

PIAA Philippines Adds Security Feature To Ensure Authenticity of OTO Style Horns

After a rash of fake PIAA OTO Style Horns flooded the market, PIAA Philippines has now taken steps to ensure that what its customers receive is the genuine article.

All-New 2021 Subaru Levorg Is The Safest New Car In Japan

The Japan New Car Assessment Program or JNCAP lauded the all-new Subaru Levorg for its safety, bestowing as the best-rated car tested throughout 2020.

Prestone PH Now Offers 3 Variants of Ready-To-Use Coolant

This year’s summer appears to be different than years before thanks to heightened travel restrictions, but the dangers of driving your car under the immense heat remains to be the same; and can cause long-lasting damage to your vehicle if not cared for properly.

It's Car Maintenance Weekend At Toyota Motor PH, So You'll Get Big Discounts

Toyota owners are in for a treat this Thursday, May 27 to Friday, 29, 2021 as Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) announces its Car Maintenance Weekend in all Toyota dealers and service centers nationwide.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Suzuki Auto PH To Launch All-Wheel Drive Vitara For P 1.458M

Suzuki Philippines is throwing its hat into the all-wheel drive crossover ring with the launch of the 2021 Vitara AllGrip (Update: Suzuki Philippines has confirmed all the details here).

Skyway Stage 3 Quirino SB Exit Now Open

San Miguel Corporation (SMC), through SMC Infrastructure, opened the southbound Quirino exit of the Skyway Stage 3 elevated expressway to Class 1 vehicles, allowing motorists coming from Balintawak and Quezon Avenue to directly reach Manila within less than 20 minutes from 1.5 hours without traffic.

Suzuki PH's Growth Is Because of These Three Models

Suzuki Philippines, Inc. has been on an upward trajectory since last year. The Japanese automaker is one of the few bright spots in the local auto industry, enough for them to catapult ahead of both Nissan and Hyundai so far this year.

Kia Opens In Bohol

Kia Philippines continues to bring its vehicles and services to more Filipinos across the country. Recently the car brand expanded to Central Visayas with the opening of a new dealership in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

Young Enterpreneurs Invest in Caltex Service Stations

Millennials and Generation Z are interested to go into business to secure their future and help the society. Studies reveal that 66 percent of millennials and 54 percent of Gen Z aim to start their own business. While new business models continue to emerge in the midst of the changing times, there exists a long-standing, future-ready opportunity for the younger generations—the energy industry.

2021 Toyota Vios Cup Is A Go As Aspiring Racers Undergo Training

After its postponement last year due to the pandemic, Toyota Motor Philippines has announced that the Toyota Vios Cup 2021 is a go. And to formally open the racing season, they have re-started training aspiring racers through the Toyota Gazoo Racing Academy Philippines or TGR Academy.

Lexus Offering Up To 40 Percent Discount On Service This Weekend

Lexus is capping off the month of May with the Lexus Car Maintenance Weekend. From Thursday, May 27 to Saturday, May 29, enjoy discounts on several products and services.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Review: BMW 318i Sport

BMW certainly loves to experiment. If filling up every conceivable niche wasn’t enough, they’ve dabbled on things like all- and front-wheel drive; heck, they’ve even tweaked one of their core design traits: the double kidney grille. Whether or not people will accept the whole “kidney lung” debacle is still up in the air, but there’s one thing they can’t afford to fuck up: the 3 Series.

Forty years on, the 3 Series has been largely evolutionary. Sure, it’s grown in size, and the family tree has now split into two main branches depending on the number of doors, but the fact of the matter is that there aren’t many great surprises here. And good thing too because in an increasingly crowded premium compact sedan segment, the 2021 BMW 318i Sport is every bit sporty and smart.

Yes, the kidney grille on the 3 Series is larger, but thankfully, it hasn’t metastasized into lungs (yet). Thus, there’s no debating that it looks taunt, elegant, and timeless—as a 3 Series should. Having said that, the headlights, which now cut through the bumper do look a bit Peugeot-y, while the rear has a certain Lexus-y feel to it. Overall, no complaints though; it looks great. Bookmarking everything perfectly is the Sport trim which feature high-gloss black elements and tasty-looking 18-inch alloy wheels.

The 3 Series’ insistence on sticking to tradition bods well with the way it drives. Some of its competitors have caught up, but BMW still schools them on what it means to be a premium compact sedan with a sporting edge. A few kilometers are all that’s needed to tell you this car means business. The steering is pretty darn close to that of a sportscar with its sharp, accurate feel. Even better, it doesn’t feel that nervous through Manila’s pockmarked roads.

Driver inputs through the tiller are then beautifully communicated to a chassis that’s precise and obedient. When cruising, it has a great sense of stability and poise. Damping is firm, but disciplined; soaking up ruts and bumps with a sense of solidity. It’s extremely quiet and refined with 100 km/h feeling more like 60. Shove it through a corner though, and it’ll play hooky, swiveling around and out of the curve with ease. Tackling switchbacks is second nature. Wherever your eyes visually point out to, for as long as you put in the steering angle to match, the 3 Series will head there without a fuss. The brakes too are progressive and well-modulated.

This particular 3 Series is the 318i, and with that, it’s rocking BMW’s entry-level engine. Don’t let the badge or the figures—156 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque—fool you. The numbers tell just one part of the story; the other being that peak power comes in from 4,500 to 6,500 rpm, while peak torque is delivered from 1,300 to 4,300 rpm. It won’t win in a straight sprint, but it’s very balanced, and more importantly, well-suited to the local traffic conditions. There’s enough grunt from the 4-cylinder to overtake, cruise to the legal speed limit, or power down through corners. The 8-speed automatic shifts smoothly too, though paddle shifters would have been a welcome addition.

It would have been the perfect package if only BMW remembered to create an interior with a bit more drama and flair. Don’t get it wrong, it’s modern and everything is well-finished, but it also looks cold and unemotional. Spend enough time inside though, and the execution makes sense. 

For starters, there’s an abundance of adjustment whether it’s with the steering wheel or the seats. Getting the perfect driving position takes no time. Then, there’s the visibility which is great to say the least. A bevy of screens greet the driver—a 5.1-inch screen serving as the gauges, and an 8.8-inch screen serving as the interface to the infotainment system. Odd though that the virtual gauges are designed to mimic traditional ones as BMW could have better adopted to LCD screen tech. Still, they’re easy enough to read and understand.

Another glaring omission here is the lack of smartphone connectivity. There’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, wired or otherwise. So, the only way to make phone calls or listen to music without getting arrested for distracted driving is through Bluetooth. Want to use Google Maps or Waze? Hopefully you’ve got a cellphone holder at the ready. It’s a shame because the native system is snappy, easy-to-navigate, and thankfully, can be operated either by touchscreen or iDrive knob. Compounding matters, there’s only one USB Type A port, while there are three USB Type C ports.

At 4,709 mm in length, the “G20” 3 Series has grown a lot in this generation. Together with its 2,851 mm wheelbase, it now feels genuinely roomy. There’s no need to worry about head or legroom now, plus because it’s wider, there’s room to stretch sideways. At the back, there’s adult-sized space, and with rear vents and their own climate control zone to boot it helps keep everyone comfortable. Of note, BMW Philippines has chosen to fit Sensatec (aka synthetic leather). While this sounds like a bummer, it’s well-wearing, durable, and vegan (if you’re into such things). Plus, most buyers will probably mistake it for the real thing anyway. More noticeable is the lack of a folding seatback. While 480 liters is big, there’s no way to expand this number in the case of a last-minute airport run.

Also absent in the 3 Series is any sort of advanced driver assist. Apart from the usual gaggle of airbags and acronyms, there’s not much else to talk about in the safety department aside from clearance sensors, a back-up camera, and tire pressure sensors. You want to make sure this car keeps to its lane or avoids hitting pedestrians or cyclists? You’ll have to do it yourself.

No one was expecting BMW to screw up the 3 Series, and with the latest model, that thankfully hasn’t happened. Not only is it roomier and more comfortable than ever, but it’s managed to remain the standard when it comes to handling and refinement. Sure, it lacks driver assist features and smartphone connectivity, and the interior looks rather somber; but these could be fixed by ticking the right options. As it is, the 2021 318i Sport is also well-priced at just P 2.990 million undercutting the Jaguar XE, Lexus IS, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It comes with a 5-year / 200,000-kilometer warranty to boot.

2021 BMW 318i Sport

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Ownership 2021 BMW 318i Sport
Year Introduced 2019
Vehicle Classification Luxury Car
Warranty 5 years / 200,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type Luxury Car
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/R
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.0
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery Direct Injection
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 156 @ 4,500-6,500
Nm @ rpm 250 @ 1,300-4,300
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission 8AT
Cruise Control Yes
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 12.82 km/L @ 35 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,709
Width (mm) 1,827
Height (mm) 1,435
Wheelbase (mm) 2,851
Curb Weight (kg) 1,565
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Independent, Multi-link
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Vented Disc
Parking Brake Electric
Tires Hankook Ventus S1 Evo3 RFT 225/45 R 18 Y (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 8
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front and Rear
Parking Camera Yes, Rear
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR with pre-tensioner x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR with pre-tensioner x 2,
3-pt ELR x 1
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Start Assist
Tire Pressure Monitoring
Parking Assistant
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Yes, Front and Rear (LED)
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers Yes
Tailgate Electric
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Electric, 8-way, w/ Memory
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Electric, 8-way
Seating Surface Synthetic Leather
Folding Rear Seat No
Sunroof No
Trip Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Auto-dimming
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Auto, Tri-Zone, w/ Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
USB Type A x 1
USB Type C x 3
Smartphone Connectivity None
# of Speakers 8
Steering Controls Yes