Although the Philippines is noted among the fastest growing car markets in Asia, it is still battered by really weird government policies (e.g. the LTO mishap) and their dependence on imports. This, however, could really not hinder the Philippine car buyers who have shown a tremendous response to most new vehicles presented in 2015. The key players are largely the same as other ASEAN markets including Honda, Toyota, Suzuki, Ford, Hyundai, and Mitsubishi etc. With only 3 days before the gates our very own auto geek mecca ‘the Manila International Auto Show 2016’ finally open, the Philippine audiences will be presented with the latest models for their favorite cars. Before the fans get busy with the new designs, let us take a look at some of last year’s favorites.
One of the best-selling models last year, the Vios is up for a refresher this MIAS. Currently in its 2014 avatar, the Vios has sold over 30,000 units last year making it the most successful Toyota vehicle in the Philippines. Being a subcompact sedan, the Vios combines both stylish looks and driving comfort along with roomy interiors. The vehicle is available with two engine choices namely the 1.3-litre VVT-i and the 1.5-litre VVT-i.
Noted to be one of Honda’s all-time bestsellers, the latest model not only speaks of a highly stylized exteriors but also offers the best interior comfort in its class. Underpinned by a 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine, the City is also offered with a choice between a 5-speed manual or a Continuously Variable Transmission. The vehicle’s exterior maintain a highly sporty feel but the interiors are what makes the Honda City stand apart from its competitors. Push start, navigation ready center console, premium upholstery on seats, automatic air conditioning along with a CVT gearbox makes it a highly comfortable and fun to drive vehicle.
The love for B-class sedans is pretty evident among Philippines buyers, especially the rocking performance of the new Mitsubishi Mirage G4 in the market last year. Utilizing the same platform as the compact hatchback model, the G4 is one of the highest selling vehicles in the segment with highly efficient fuel economy and interior comfort. While the platform is the same as the standard Mirage city car, the G4 possesses a much larger body and a 1.2-litre engine that also comes with a CVT transmission.
The city car segment although an old one has been recently provided a boost with the release of new models. While the top performing vehicles are still the Honda Brio and Toyota Wigo, the South Korean brand Hyundai have surprised their competitors by bagging a significant amount of sales for the Eon. Designed in accordance with the traffic-ridden cities in India, the Hyundai Eon is a highly affordable city car with astonishing fuel economy. The vehicle is powered by a 0.8-litre engine, that delivers around 55 hp. But what it lacks in engine power it gains in its tremendous fuel efficiency of 15-16 kmpl in city traffic, and 20 kmpl on highways.
The idea of a top selling pickup truck sure sounds oxymoronic, but it has been literally achieved by the American brand, Ford. Their latest take on the Ford Ranger pickup truck has not only made it an instant favorite among adventurers but has also put the luxury pickup among the list of the highest selling cars in the Philippines. Offered with a choice of two engines namely, a 2.5-litre and a 3.0-litre mill along with a choice in the 4-wheel or 2-wheel drive. The exterior design is a great combination of a full-size SUV and a pickup truck body, merged together to form an astonishing luxury off-roader.
The above list contains our personal picks of models we thought surprised the country’s car lovers in 2015. If you choose to differ or want to add to the list, please use the comment box below.