Best rides for 2019

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Suzuki Ertiga, Ford Ranger Raptor, Kia Soluto, Mitsubishi Strada and Hyundai Reina, respectively — photos from,,,,

Year 2019 is poised to be an exciting year for the local automotive industry. Better market conditions are expected as consumers get used to the latest excise tax rates imposed on automobiles and as they have partly recovered from the impact of inflation surges, higher interest rates and inconstant oil prices last year.

New and redesigned cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), among others, that exemplify more advanced components are on the horizon this year. These vehicles, compared to their older versions, boasts of greater power and handling, more sophisticated and refined look, and improved safety features. From a number of recently launched automobiles and those coming our way in the months ahead, here are some worth noting:

Ford Ranger Raptor

This super truck is engineered with ultra-strength frame, giant bash plate, and an elevated design that allow it to thrive in different road conditions. Ranger Raptor is radiating a bolder and stronger look through its signature FORD block-letter grille, muscular haunches, frame-mounted bumper, and a tailgate that features an integrated bumper and 3D badging.

Inside Ranger Raptor are body-contoured sports seats carefully tailored for better body grip. Raptor stitching can be observed throughout the cabin, particularly on its steering wheel, soft top instrument panel, leather-wrapped shifter, and floor mats. A multi-intelligent instrument panel that displays performance information on a low-glare, high-quality flat screen is also available.


Ranger Raptor is setting a new standard of performance with its cutting-edge 2.0L bi-turbo diesel engine, carefully calibrated with Ford’s latest 10-speed auto transmission technology. It delivers more top-end power, more bottom-end torque, improved acceleration, and quicker gear changes.

Hyundai Reina

The all-new Hyundai Reina has generated a lot of buzz since it was launched to the local market by the Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI). This subcompact stunner is tailored based on Hyundai’s fluidic sculpture design philosophy and is marked by hexagonal front grille, showcasing an urban elegance reminiscent of the Hyundai Modern Premium pedigree.

Reina comes with various safety features that are usually unavailable in most subcompact cars. It is equipped with dual airbags that provide significant occupant protection for both driver and front passenger, a speed-sensing auto door lock to keep doors secure, and an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) that gives driver better control in maneuvering during slippery road conditions.

Under the hood of Hyundai Reina is a 1.4L gasoline engine with dynamic power of 95ps for quicker maneuverability in and around the city. It offers a more versatile and convenient driving experience through either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission.

Kia Soluto

Kia Soluto is the first all-new model showcased by Kia Philippines this year. This subcompact sedan is stylishly made to suit a perfect lifestyle. The electric side mirrors with LED side repeaters, chrome outside door handles, projector fog lamps, pole type antenna, and rear combination lamps are nice exterior touches that give Soluto a striking appeal.

The new Soluto features smart and useful details that capture the essence of the modern-day driving. These include an Android Auto and Apple Car Play compatible Audio System, an Audio Remote Control and a 2.8-inch LCD Cluster. For utmost comfort, Soluto is designed with comfortable seats and enough room to stretch, and is equipped with Rotary Temperature Control and 360° Rotatable Airducts.

Soluto is engineered with the highly efficient 95-Ps 1.4MPI gasoline engine, mated to either a four-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual transmission.

Mitsubishi Strada

Mitsubishi Strada is set to create another huge impact to the local market after Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) unveiled its latest version. The all-new Strada embodies a stronger and tougher look of a modern pickup with its refreshed design. The high hood and functional LED lamps, harmonized with grille design, complement its sculpted body curves with contrasting sharp lines. The front-to-back character line expresses a sense of space and thickness of its overall body.

This powerful pickup comes with a larger interior space, equipped with a functional and modernized center panel and console. All variants of Strada feature 2-DIN Touch Screen monitor, tuner, MP3 player, USB, iPod-ready Auxiliary-in, Bluetooth with Mirror Link feature Multi-media system, and GPS Navigation System.

Refined to deliver an unmatched performance and off-road capability, Strada is powered by 2.4L 4 In-line 16 Valve DOHC Clean Diesel with Variable Geometry Turbo and MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control System) 4N15 which gives a maximum output of 181 Ps/3,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 430 N-m/2,500 rpm.

Suzuki Ertiga

The new Ertiga exudes a distinctive exterior styling, featuring a taller and wider nose, a dynamic shoulder line, deeper curves, an aerodynamic body and refined chrome accents. It combines elegance and sturdiness that clearly differentiates it from other vehicle models under its segment.

Inside Ertiga is a world where sophistication meets utility. It has a flexible seating that can be easily adjusted to accommodate friends, family and large amounts of luggage. It also comes with user-friendly features such as bank note or coin holders, USB port and accessories socket, glove box, seatback pockets, accessories socket for second-row seat and ventilated cup holders, among others.

A powerful and efficient 1.5 petrol engine powers the new Ertiga which promises to deliver a smooth and powerful response, as well as high fuel efficiency. — Mark Louis F. Ferrolino