THERE WAS A PRETTY GOOD mix of vehicles introduced in the country this year. There are some that exude sophisticated styling with superb exterior, spectacular cabin quality, and excellent ride comfort. There are also newly arrived autos that are more likely performance-oriented, delivering strong performance numbers, great turbocharged engines, and sharp handling, among others. Some of the vehicles, otherwise, are a combination of these impressive qualities.
Despite some uncertainties in the local automotive market this year, one thing is for sure, there is a handful of worthwhile automotive arrivals in the country to choose from. Here, in alphabetical order, are some of them:
Last August, Ford Philippines launched a new and refreshed version of its popular mid-sized sport utility vehicle (SUV) Everest, coming up with improved capability, safety, and efficiency, as well as notable enhancements to its engine, transmission, and driver-assist technologies.
This Ford Everest is powered by the new-generation 2.0L Bi-Turbo diesel engine that delivers 213PS and 500 Nm of torque, and 2.0L Turbo diesel engine that delivers 180PS and 420 Nm of torque. It offers better fuel efficiency and acceleration with the advanced 10-speed automatic transmission.
Engineered with the driver and passengers in mind, the new Everest offers smarter and safer features. Among others, it has a smart keyless entry and push-start button that gives users quicker engine starts, improved convenience and ease of entry and exit from the vehicle; a hands-free liftgate feature that automatically opens and closes the liftgate; and an Active Park Assist feature that helps drivers find parallel parking spaces and steers the vehicle to a parking slot, with the driver’s hands off the steering wheel.
The all-new 10th Generation Honda Accord was also unveiled in the local market this year. This Honda’s luxury sedan offers a premium and bolder design, a more powerful engine, and the advanced Honda SENSING safety technology.
Powering the Honda Accord is a new 1.5L VTEC Turbo engine developed under Earth Dreams Technology. This new engine puts out a maximum power output of 190PS at 5,500 rpm and 243 Nm of torque from 1,500 — 5,500 rpm. Its power is transmitted through a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) developed based on Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology. Combining these features under the hood of Honda Accord results in responsive performance, acceleration and efficient fuel economy.
The new Honda Accord now also sports a new eight-inch display audio system, which is one of the most advanced systems offered by Honda to date. Aside from a simplified menu structure and customizable shortcuts for commonly used features and applications, this intuitive and easy-to-use system also comes with navigation and supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for a more intuitive smartphone connectivity.
Competing with the likes of the Ford Explorer, Mazda CX-9, and GAC GS8, Hyundai Palisade is a strikingly styled premium SUV recognized for its refined visual design breakthroughs, state-of-the-art technology and safety features.
A quiet ride, powerful driving performance, and excellent fuel efficiency are guaranteed with Palisade’s R2.2 diesel engine and Atkinson-cycle 3.8L gasoline engine. The eight-speed automatic transmission also delivers a smooth and seamless driving experience, according to its website.
The Hyundai Palisade is engineered with a nine airbag system and active safety system equipped with intelligent driving safety technology. It also comes with advanced features from the backseat conversation and sleep functions to the rearview monitor and active noise-cancelling function. Moreover, it is equipped with blind view monitor, USB ports for second- and third-row passengers, and three-zone independent-control fully automatic air conditioning.
Kia Philippines also debuted this year one of its most powerful offerings — the all-new Stinger. This visionary product of the Kia GT Concept showcases a perfect balance of ride, handling, comfort, and impressive powertrain.
The all-new Stinger is powered by a 3.3L V6 Twin Turbocharged Gasoline Engine Direct Injection Dual CVVT. Its maximum power output is 370PS at 6,000 rpm, while its maximum torque is 510 Nm at 1,300-4,500 rpm. Acceleration from 0-100 kilometers per hour (kph) is at 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 270 kph. It is available in RWD drivetrain and mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Kia Stinger doesn’t fall short on advanced technology features. It has electronically controlled Dynamic Suspension integrated with Drive Mode Select, which adjusts steering boost, shift points, throttle and suspension mapping. Braking is powered by 4-Piston Brembo Caliper Discs on the Front and Rear. Moreover, Dynamic Torque Vectoring system comes standard.
As early as January, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) introduced in the country the heavily revised version of the Strada, which is considered as a key model of Mitsubishi Motors in the competitive pickup truck market. It is designed not only to be more durable, reliable and capable, but also to deliver a more comfortable ride.
The new Strada is refined to deliver an unmatched performance with its 2.4L 4 In-line 16 Valve DOHC Clean Diesel with Variable Geometry Turbo and MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control System) 4N15 that gives a maximum output of 181PS at 3,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 430 Nm at 2,500 rpm.
As far as safety is concern, the new Strada hosts an array of passive and advanced active safety features. It carries the proprietary Mitsubishi Motors’ RISE body (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) that absorbs the impact of collision, and retains the current model high durability, high reliability ladder-type frame, and high-impact safety cabin structure. The Active Stability Traction Control (ASTC), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) are now standard in all variants.
TOYOTA GR SUPRA
Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) Corp. also marked another history in the local automotive scene as it brought the all-new Toyota GR Supra in the Philippine shores. This first-ever Toyota Supra to be retailed in the country is the modern evolution of its predecessors. It inherits key styling features from both the Supra A80 and the Toyota 2000 GT.
The local variant of the Toyota GR Supra is powered by a twin-scroll turbocharged, in-line six-cylinder engine that produces a maximum output of 335 hp and 500 Nm of torque. It comes exclusively in 3.0L displacement and eight-speed automatic transmission.
The chassis and body frame of the all-new Toyota GR Supra are masterfully crafted to enjoy a 50:50 front-rear weight distribution, which is crucial in achieving optimum cornering performance. Its front wheels are equipped with double-joint type MacPherson Strut, while its rear wheels come with Multi-Link suspension. It also features a limited slip differential and ventilated disc brakes. — Mark Louis F. Ferrolino