Modest sales of various types of vehicles among the local automotive sector has been observed in the past months of 2018. The light commercial vehicles (LCVs) — under which fall sport utility vehicles (SUVs), multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs), and pickups, among others — are gaining more interest, competing with commercial vehicles segment for the first spot in terms of sales.

In this generation, SUVs, MPVs, and pickups are likely becoming the new aspirational vehicles because of their practicality, efficient powertrains, and impressive road presence. As the year comes to an end, we have compiled some of the most notable vehicle models under these segments that are worth-purchasing.

Ford Ranger Raptor

Engineered with ultra-strength frame, giant bash plate and an elevated design, Ranger Raptor sets a new benchmark in off-road performance.

On the outside, this pickup showcases a bold look with its signature Ford block-letter grille, muscular haunches, and frame-mounted bumper, which perfectly complemented with LED fog lamps, and integrated bumper and 3D badging in its tailgate.

Under Ranger Raptor’s hood lies a cutting-edge 2.0L bi-turbo diesel engine, which has been carefully calibrated with Ford’s latest 10-speed auto transmission technology to deliver more top-end power, more bottom-end torque, improved acceleration, and quicker gear changes. According to the company’s Web site, the Ranger Raptor is the first factory-ready high-speed off-road performance truck.

Honda BR-V

This seven-seater SUV exhibits innate toughness and sporty nature. Its chrome front grille, and roof rails with silver finish give it a strong appearance and distinguished style. Inside the cabin, BR-V offers a comfortable and inviting space. With the one-touch fold-to-tumble second row and the interior’s versatile seat configurations, access to third row and accommodation of various cargo requirements are made easier.

The Honda BR-V comes with BR-V’s 1.5 i-VTEC engine that produces 120ps, harnessed by Earth Dreams Technology CVT.

Such combination ensures peppy performance and notable fuel efficiency, the company says in its Web site.

Reassuring safety, BR-V is packed with safety features that guarantee its passengers a safe journey.

These include dual front SRS airbags to protect the driver and front passenger in the event of a front collision; hill start assist, a feature that prevents the vehicle from rolling backwards when the brake pedal is released; vehicle stability assist that keeps the vehicle in control during cornering and turns; and speed sensing auto door lock.

Mazda CX-9

This SUV is meticulously crafted to perfection. From cutting-edge engineering and technology to a spacious cabin, CX-9 offers a driving experience not typically found in a full-size SUV.

The Mazda CX-9 boasts a KODO design philosophy, which is based on the idea of breathing life into the vehicle’s form. Its grille’s signature wings flow into beautiful, compact LED headlamps that curve and extend deep into the front fenders, while its LED taillights echo the headlamps design theme, featuring a strong horizontal layout that wraps around the body to emphasize CX-9’s presence.

Behind the wheels, CX-9 offers newly adopted front-seat ventilation system that draws hot and humid air away from areas where the occupant’s body is in contact with the seat surface. It comes with premium sound system that features several speakers, and a navigation system that displays current location and route on the windscreen via Active Driving Display and also on the center display.

This seven-seater SUV is powered with SKYACTIV-G 2.5T, an all-new turbo-charged engine developed specifically for CX-9 to give relaxed yet powerful torque of a 4.0-litre V8 while achieving best-in-class listed and real-world fuel economy.

Mitsubishi Xpander

The Mitsubishi Xpander is one of the newest additions of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) to its product line-up. This all-new cross multi-purpose, sport utility vehicle has an overall exterior that communicates an adventurous and futuristic style. It flaunts Mitsubishi Motors’ Dynamic Shield design concept with a luxurious front grille, which will be available in chrome with clear smoke coating for GLS Sport and GLS variants and gloss black for GLX Plus and GLX variants.

Meanwhile, it also offers a dynamic and highly functional interior features. Aside from interior that provides a comfortable space for maximum of seven adults, it also features a carefully crafted layout that lets passengers enter and exit the vehicle with ease, and a tumbling system for folding the second row seats that provides easy access to third row seats.

The Xpander is equipped with a 1.5L 4A91 MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control System) DOHC 16-Valve engine which gives a maximum output of 105PS / 6,000rpm and maximum torque of 141N-m / 4,000rpm.

Suzuki Ertiga

This MPV features an excellent blend of bold, sporty looks and advanced aerodynamics. It exudes a sleek exterior profile that includes stylish headlamps, alloy wheels, classy rear combination lamps and overall aerodynamic styling.

Inside the cabin, Ertiga offers a world where elegance meets utility. Every inch of the space is designed to optimize the comfort and convenience of the driver, as well as the passengers. The second and third row seats can be adjusted into a variety of different configurations to accommodate different passengers and luggage combinations.

In terms of road performance, Ertiga’s compact, lightweight body, aerodynamic form, and powerful yet efficient engine create the base for its excellent environmental credentials. With the optimization of suspension and NVH performance, superb handling and ride comfort have also been achieved. — Mark Louis F. Ferrolino