Like all industries, the car industry had a monumental year in 2020, if only for wholly unexpected reasons. Automakers have had to quickly adapt to a rapidly transforming landscape and a changed consumer, as well as endure incredible pressure and strain from factors far beyond their control.

Yet a new year has dawned, and the challenges of the past year have now borne fruit. These models from popular brands are what the future of mobility looks like so far.

Honda City / Civic

The new and improved Honda City hatchback made a splash in global markets late last year, and Philippine customers can now get their own to drive. The all-new City was designed for confidence, from its sweeping, dynamic corners to the bold, black trim, to its specially designed, sleek RS bumpers.

With its stylish exterior design, outstanding interior space, and advanced technology, Honda aims to assert its 2030 vision of leading the advancement of mobility and enabling people around the world to improve their daily lives.

Honda City Hatchback (red) and Honda Civic —

Moreover, the launch reaffirms Honda Cars Philippines, Inc.’s commitment to providing mobility to Filipinos especially on its 30th year in the Philippines and continues to expand its presence in the market. Honda also recently unveiled the prototype of the 2021 Civic, which is now all set to enter into its 11th generation. It is only a matter of time before the newest iteration of the iconic Civic enters the country’s shores.

Isuzu mu-X / D-max

The Japanese car maker Isuzu Motors revealed the new and updated model for its mu-X line in Thailand before promising to roll it out in other markets. The D-max pickup truck, similarly, was promised an update.

The all-new Isuzu D-max, lauded all over the world for its top-class performance, safety, and innovation, will be making its debut later this year, both with new looks and new nifty features. It still comes equipped with either a 1.9-liter turbo diesel engine or an upgraded 3.0-liter motor that produces 190hp and 450 Nm of torque, however.

Isuzu mu-X and D-max —

The new mu-X meanwhile will enter the country’s midsize SUV market. Based on the D-max pickup, the mu-X is a robust option for those looking for a good rough road companion.

Set to also make its entry later in the year, the newly designed mu-X is based on Isuzu’s engineering concept of Robust and Exclusive, with the aim of enhancing the comfort and luxury while maintaining Isuzu’s unique strengths: reliable durability; fuel economy; and safety performance.

Lexus IS

The luxury car brand unveiled the new Lexus IS to the world last year. Fortunately for those who were waiting patiently for its Philippine release, Lexus launched it right as 2020 ended. Boasting superb maneuverability and riding comfort honed at the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama, with evocative styling and state-of-the-art technologies, including the latest Lexus Safety System+, the Lexus IS is built fine-tuned for the driving experience.

Lexus IS —

“What we had foremost in mind in developing the new IS was to make it a car that excelled in communicating with the driver and, as a car with wide latitude for providing such, would never fail in doing so, regardless of the road conditions or driving status. Toward achieving this, we retained the compact body that had been well received, and, with our team united, we endeavored to bring such to maturity by developing the new IS on a new test course. We aimed to make the new IS a Lexus compact sports sedan that provides high-quality riding comfort while offering a high level of vehicle control,” Naoki Kobayashi, chief engineer, Lexus International, said in a statement.

He added, “We wanted it to be a car that enables people to make new discoveries, such as the discovery that the longer the new IS is driven, the more one can experience the fun of driving. And we wanted it to be a car that enables people to feel the aspirations of those who created it.”

Mitsubishi Outlander / Mirage

Though there likely is a longer wait involved here for SUV fans, the new Mitsubishi Outlander is likely worth it. Developed under the ideal of the Japanese term “I-Fu-Do-Do”, which means authentic and majestic, the all-new Outlander is designed to demonstrate strength and quality from the inside out.

The exterior design is refined, with a powerful and proud front end with new generation Dynamic Shield design concept. The complete transformation from dimensions to exterior styling previews the design direction for the future Mitsubishi Motors models.

Mitsubishi Mirage (top) and Outlander PHEV —

“The Outlander is an iconic SUV for the company, so when we developed the next-generation model, we took inspirations from our rich SUV heritage to realize a bold and confident styling with a solid stance that excites our customers,” said Seiji Watanabe, division general manager of design (head of design), Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

“The all-new Outlander is the first model epitomizing the new generation of Mitsubishi design and the frontrunner of our design strategy,” he added.

The new Outlander will debut first in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, with international markets following soon after. Fans of the brand’s popular Mirage line also has something to look forward to, as the line got updated last year in Thailand with much fanfare.

Nissan Navara / Terra

Nissan is making waves by committing to a slew of new launches this year. The new Nissan Navara pickup, for one, now comes with a new redesigned front facia, opting for a sleeker yet still athletic outline. Combined with a newly redesigned grille, a new set of wheels,  a new set of headlights, and a new variant called the Pro-4X, the new Navara gives off a more angular silhouette for a cool and confident refresh.

And while Nissan Philippines has yet to release specifics on the release of the 2021 Navara, fans of the brand should expect to wait at least until the latter half of 2021. In the meantime, the carmaker launched the redesigned Nissan Terra.

Nissan Navarra and Terra —

First debuting in the Middle East as the X-Terra, the revamped SUV aims to exude a much bolder style with an update to its tech. The 2021 Terra distinguishes itself from the Navara which it’s based on with its brand-new front-end, which sports refinement and styling cues from the brand’s other SUV model, the Patrol. The Terra is redesigned to have an aggressive front-end with a larger, more upright V-motion grille bookmarked by LED headlights with quad projectors.

Toyota Yaris

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) was quick to welcome the new year with the new Toyota Yaris.

Sporting an aggressive redesigned front grille, the new Yaris gives off a commanding display on the road, flanked by new LED fog lamps across all variants. On the 1.5 S CVT variant, the head lamps have been upgraded to LED and are now paired with new Daytime Running Lights (DRL).

Toyota Yaris —

It also comes with new kicks with its 15-inch two-tone machine-finish alloy wheels across all variants. The updates extend up to the interiors with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now a standard feature across all variants, and synthetic leather seats for the 1.5 S CVT variant.

The redesign also comes in a vibrant new color across all variants to suit any discerning customer. A new and exciting “Cyan Metallic” shade is aimed at appealing to the young and young-at-heart.

“The Yaris appeals to many married professionals in their mid to late 30s looking for a modern fun-to-drive vehicle that offers the great cargo space a hatchback offers,” Elijah Marcial, vice-president of marketing services at TMP, said in a statement.

“The Yaris nameplate has amassed quite a loyal fan base for being synonymous with fun driving and flashy looks, and this year we’ve elevated it with a new premium eye-catching design to suit our customers’ evolving style. All without, of course, compromising on the power, convenience, and safety we’ve all come to expect from every Toyota.” — Bjorn Biel M. Beltran