Sunday, September 11, 2005

Review: 2005 Mazda6 2.3


The engine closes up to 7,000 rpm and the muted sonorous note fills the cabin.  Just before the rev limiter hit, you signal the sequential shifter up a notch.  It responds quickly, almost transparently, pushing the speed even further.  A corner approaches, and without a second thought, you twist the fat three-spoke steering wheel into the direction of the curve.  The car obeys, telepathically taking the line you want.  Your pulse quickens, your breath deepens, and you feel alive once more behind the wheel of the Mazda6.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Review: 2005 Jaguar XJ8


Jaguar’s XJ-series is the epitome of luxury and performance for the British car maker.  And even with Ford money, and the subsequent introduction of new models such as the XK-series, X-Type, and S-Type series models, the XJ-series has remained the company’s all-encompassing product.  The XJ-series, especially in XJ8 form, proves that the British do stand a great chance in toppling the Germans in the ultra-luxury car game.

First Drive: 2005 Porsche 911


Pluck any car enthusiast from the last 40 years, and there is only one car that he will be sure to identify from a hundred paces away.  The upright fenders and windshield, triangular greenhouse profile, and sharply sloping rear can only belong to the Porsche 911.

Monday, March 7, 2005

Review: 2005 Chevrolet Optra 1.8 LT


Enter a showroom, any kind of showroom, and you’ll immediately get whiffs of lies and deceit.  And it’s not the plastered smiles on the receptionists or even the sales personnel.  It goes much deeper than that.  I’m talking about the sales pitch—the kind of talk that promises you a whole new experience.  Cars can promise you performance numbers that rival Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari or deodorants that make girls go ga-ga over you.  But, do they ever happen?  Did the last juicer you purchased give you houses of pulping fun?  Did the last 15-peso burger meal really look like a pound big like it did on the store poster?  I didn’t think so.  This is the sort of harsh reality that faces consumers everyday, and the sort that ultimately leads to a dismayed buying public.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Review: 2005 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer


Elvis Presley, James Dean, Clint Eastwood—men with very different backgrounds, and yet, all have become at least during a part of their lives, the epitome of American cool.  Despite their varied styles of performing, they’ve managed to engrave themselves into the hearts and minds of one of the world’s finickiest markets: the United States.  Even more remarkable is how their topics of rebellion, realization and self-preservation translate so well even to the Filipino setting.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Review: 2005 Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8G


Five to ten years ago, the choice for a first car was as diverse as the colors on a Charlie Chaplin flick: it was either the Toyota Corolla or the Honda Civic.  Sure enough, sales figures and market shares simply swung back and forth, while the rest were just content with whatever table scrap that’s left.  Fast forward to today, and things couldn’t have been more different.  Aside from a resurgence from the likes of Mazda, Mitsubishi and Nissan; these two Japanese automotive giants are facing competition from the Americans, namely Ford and Chevrolet.  Add the fact that there are now excellently built sub-compacts, microscopic SUVs and a zillion other choices all catered to making every buyer happy.  Now, the question beckons: can the Toyota Corolla keep up with the changing market place?

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Review: 2005 Mitsubishi Adventure Grand Sport


The wonder of an effective marketing campaign is that it sticks right in your head, whether you like it or not.  And while Vinchie and the rest of the Parokya ni Edgar strut their stuff, kissing and rapping their way to the beach, I can’t help but imagine a similar scenario climbing onboard the 2004 Mitsubishi Adventure.  While I have no intension of kissing a fellow man, I do have every intension to test this heavily revised AUV in a field it does best: ferrying people.  When the need of carrying 7 people to the Car of the Year Awards – Philippines test venue was raised, guess which one was the vehicle of choice: the Mitsubishi Adventure.

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