Monday, April 30, 2012

Toyota Philippines Offers Certified Pre-Owned Program


Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) launches the Toyota Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles (TCPOV) program. The TCPOV is a new program where in customers can enjoy utmost value for money in purchasing pre owned vehicles. TMP aims to cater to the market where purchasing a reliable used car is given much importance.  Now a days finding dependable pre owned vehicles can be a difficult task. In launching the TCPOV, Toyota is able to provide buyers an avenue where they can always be assured of the vehicle’s quality and reliability.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Toyota Launches All-New Camry

Photos courtesy of Toyota Press
Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) unveils the all-new Camry with a new sense of emotion and vision on its premium luxury sedan. Its aerodynamic styling and valiant stance exude a strong presence that complements a luxurious and iconic vehicle. Named after the word “Crown” in Japanese, the Camry is developed to stand out and shine in the local automotive scene; along with its new developments in both interior and exterior features, the Camry boasts a more luxurious and cutting-edge design.

Suzuki Philippines Unveils Kizashi Sports Sedan


Photos courtesy of Suzuki Press
Known primarily as a maker of small cars such as the Celerio and Swift as well as motorcycles, Suzuki Philippines takes a bold step forward with the introduction of the Kizashi sports sedan. Marking the company’s first foray into the highly competitive, brand conscious executive sedan market, the Kizashi comes extremely prepared: it’s benchmarked against some of the world’s best cars including those from European brands. Meaning “a sign of things to come” in Japanese, the Kizashi delivers a unique blend of performance, design and craftsmanship into the executive sedan segment.

Isuzu Philippines Launches Crosswind XS

Photo courtesy of Isuzu Press
More than 60,000 owners have spoken; the Isuzu Crosswind is the best solution for their personal, family and business vehicle requirements as the multipurpose vehicle continues to serve the Filipino consumer since 2001. To further address the evolving needs of the market, Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC), the country’s Diesel Expert, is introducing the 2012 Isuzu Crosswind XS variant.

The Crosswind XS is a six-seater model. Without the third-row seat, the vehicle can carry more than 1.8-cubic meter cargo as its entire rear area is now a dedicated load space. This makes the Crosswind XS perfect for small families or those with young children because the vehicle can easily accommodate strollers, toys, extra clothes, groceries and other similar items. Also, the Crosswind XS becomes an even more ideal choice for business use as it can serve as a taxicab, service/delivery shuttle, or courier vehicle that’s able to load balikbayan boxes and other oversized baggage.

Hyundai Grand Starex: Official Transport of Annual ADB Meet


Photo courtesy of Hyundai Press
In the Philippines, if there’s one Hyundai that’s already recognized for being an iconic on its own right, it’s the Grand Starex. Known for its extreme comfort, durability, and reliability, the Grand Starex is always been one of the country’s best-selling large family van. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when the Hyundai Grand Starex has been chosen as the official mobility partner for the annual Asian Development Bank (ADB) meet.

What to Expect When You're Expecting: Ford Explorer 2.0 EcoBoost


The all-new Ford Explorer with the 2.0 EcoBoost engine is still a full three months away, but we’ve been lucky enough to have sampled, by all intents and purposes, the entry-level Explorer. Of course, the P 2.350-million price tag is anything but entry-level, but it still saves you something like P 200,000 compared to the V6. However, as with anything that’s more affordable, expect the Explorer experience to be diluted. The question is, by how much? The Ford Explorer V6 has raised the bar quite a bit by providing excellent driving manners and numerous creature features at a truly competitive price. So, how will its little brother, the 2.0 EcoBoost fair? Without passing judgement (that will come at a later time), here’s what you can expect from the Explorer V6’s little brother.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review: 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer EX Ralliart

Photos by Ulysses Ang
At first glance, the Lancer Ralliart looks pretty much like the typical Lancer EX it’s based on. In fact, while the Lancer Evolution takes the path of being a sophisticated, no-holds-barred flagship that offers track-honed features and the capability of outperforming more expensive sports cars, the Lancer Ralliart feels more like a well-done tuner car—a reincarnation perhaps of the original Evolution.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Full Monty: Toyota Auto Salon Amlux

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Japan is most definitely on the list of any car enthusiast’s Mecca; and a trip here isn’t complete without a visit to one of various automotive shrines, museums, and what have you. Given that Japan is an expensive place to go to (for example, a single bus ride costs around P 110), some penny-pinching may be in order to stretch the valuable Yen you’re carrying. However, there is one automotive-related gem that’s just waiting to be discovered—and best of all, it’s free! So if you’re starting to overload on eating conveyor-belt sushi or visiting the various Shinto shrines, here’s an automotive museum worth spending some quality time in.

Honda Cars Philippines Launches All-New CR-V

Photos courtesy of Honda Press
Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI), Honda’s automobile production and sales subsidiary in the Philippines, today launched its highly-anticipated all-new CR-V. Following the launch of the new City last January, the all-new Civic and Jazz Special Edition in February, the all-new CR-V further strengthens Honda’s return to the Philippine automotive market.

Ford Unveils Production EcoSport in Beijing



Ford has finally taken the wraps off the production version of its B-segment crossover--the EcoSport at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition. This all-new crossover, dubbed as the "SUV for the urban world", will be available in over 100 countries mostly likely including the Philippines.

Based off Ford's B-segment platform (which happens to underpin the Fiesta as well), the EcoSport comes with Ford's newest and most advanced EcoBoost turbocharged engine yet: a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine with 118 horsepower.

Other key features of the Ford EcoSport are: the Ford SYNC infotainment system, 16-inch alloy wheels, a push-button engine start/stop, and a cooled glove box. For safety, it gets 6 airbags, ABS, and Electronic Stability Program or ESP that integrates Hill Start Assist.

The Ford EcoSport will make its way to other markets in Asia including the Philippines soon.

Chinese-Spec Subaru Legacy Aims High (Literally)


Subaru parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. has unveiled the 2013 Legacy for the Chinese market, and from the looks alone, you know it's aiming high--literally.

The 2013 Legacy has been re-designed specifically for the Chinese market and the changes are quite extensive. First, the ride height has been increased by 60 mm. Second, because of the increased ride height, Subaru had to modify the front bumper, side spoiler, and rear bumper. The wheels remain 18-inches. And of course, to suit the Chinese buyer, Subaru has put chrome on the side sill spoiler and rear bumper. Inside, the Chinese version of the Legacy removes the silvery plastics and in place is a piano-black finish. The electronic parking brake and SI-Drive switches were also relocated for better usability.

The 2013 Subaru Legacy also debuts the new-generation 2.5-liter Boxer (FB25) for the Chinese market as well as the Lineartronic CVT.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mitsubishi Expands Zamboanga Dealer

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Press
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) together with one of its authorized dealers Zamboanga Motors Inc. (ZMI) recently broke ground to mark the start of the construction of a bigger and a more modern Mitsubishi Motors showroom and service center. The newest ZMI showroom will be constructed in a 5,320 square meter lot located in Governor Carmins Avenue Zamboanga, City. 

Mazda Philippines Launches CX-5 and Mazda3



It’s been a while since we’ve heard something exciting from Mazda. The brand of ‘zoom-zoom’ has been quiet, not being able to launch a significant vehicle since the CX-7 several years ago. But you know what they say: patience is a virtue. And over the weekend’s Mazda Revolution event, Mazda has unveiled two promising all-new vehicles for the local market: the CX-5 crossover and the all-new Mazda3.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Suzuki Launching Kizashi Sedan in Philippines


We all know that the 2012 Toyota Camry's launching Thursday next week. But here's even a bigger surprise: Suzuki is ready to move upmarket straight into Camry territory with their Kizashi sports sedan. And guess what? It's launching on the very same day, just two hours apart from Toyota's perennial best-seller.

Aside from the the hard to pronounce name, what can we expect from the Suzuki Kizashi? Well, there's still no word on the pricing, but we do know that the Philippine spec Kizashi is powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that's good for 180 horsepower. The sole transmission is a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Apart from the drivetrain, the rest of the details are still foggy. But based on pics, we can tell the Kizashi will have a keyless push button engine start/stop, USB input for audio devices, rear air conditioning vents, dual climate control, and leather upholstery.

Again, we'll be live from the Suzuki Kizashi launch on Thursday, April 26. Follow us live via our Twitter account starting 3PM.

Hyundai PHL Sales Up 44% in Q1 2012

“As the Philippine economic landscape continues to move from good to great, so does consumer confidence and Hyundai’s outstanding sales performance for Q1. We are optimistic that this trend will extend into Q2, with the Elantra making waves as Car of the Year for 2012, the launch of the new Hyundai EON, and our consistent brand promotion efforts.”
-- Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, HARI President and CEO

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Photo Break #1: (Head) Turning Japanese

Photo by Ulysses Ang
Welcome to "Photo Break" where I post cars and scenes which I find awesome. The first one is a 2012 Nissan GT-R which I happened to snap in Kyoto, Japan. After walking more than a kilometer into the heart of Gion, Kyoto, this is one amazing sight I just had to take a picture of.

All Photo Break photos can be downloaded as a desktop wallpaper This one's in a 1280x960 pixel resolution. Enjoy.

Report: Peugeot 3008 Coming to Philippines?


During the The Philippine Star turnover last night, Vernon Sarne of Top Gear has gotten hold of a news nugget: one of the models that Eurobrands Distributor, the Peugeot distributor in the Philippines, is bringing in is a diesel-powered 3008 crossover.

Worldwide, there are two diesel engines available for the 3008: a 1.6-liter and a 2.0-liter. What motor will arrive in the Philippines is still uncertain according to Mr. Sarne. What's more, he has revealed that Peugeot will also be bringing in "a sedan, an MPV, and a coupe". Bringing Peugeot's Philippine total to 4 models by the brand's launch by July.

Source: TopGear.com.ph

UPDATED: Ford Showcases Mustang at MIAS, On Sale by Setember

Photo courtesy of Ford Press
UPDATE: Ford execs confirmed that the Mustang previewed at The Manila International Auto Show is indeed the 2012 model. Once Ford starts selling the pony car in September it will be the 2013 model.

Ford executives have good reasons to smile: first, they unveiled the all-new Ranger, a class-changing and one-of-a-kind pick-up; second, they unveiled the baby brother to their Explorer V6, the Explorer 2.0 GDTi XLT with EcoBoost; and lastly, the pulled off a surprise by finally showcasing the Mustang for the Philippine market.

Now, when Ford Group Philippines brings in a model, even if it's a preview, it means they're dead serious in selling it. None of that, "we need a halo car" bullshit. And though it's easy to say they'll be bringing in this variant and that, well, the final specs have yet to be finalized. Yes folks...for those who've been reading other sources, that they've driven the 2013 Mustang, sorry folks we don't know for sure which particular pony will gallop our streets. That said, Ford Group Philippines says that the Mustang will be "competitively priced" and deliveries will start in September.

A formal launch event will happen sometime in June or July, and by that time, we'll have a better idea on the final specs and pricing for the Ford Mustang.

Focus Ventures Introduces King Long Univan

Photo courtesy of Focus Ventures, Inc.
Focus Ventures, Inc. the Philippine distributor of Chana automobiles and FAW light-duty trucks has added another brand into its portfolio: King Long.

Known as a brand of passenger buses and luxury coaches, King Long Automotive Industry Co., Ltd. has applied the same expertise and technical innovation into their latest vehicle line: vans. For the Philippine market, Focus Ventures showcased the King Long Univan at the recently concluded 8th Manila International Auto Show (MIAS).

Originally named as "A+ HIASE" light bus in China, the King Long Univan is a 14-seater, 5.2-meter long van (wheelbase of 2.89 meters) is powered by a choice of a 4JB1 Direct Injection diesel engine with turbocharger or a GW2.8TC-2 diesel with common rail direct injection (CRDi). In the 4JB1 guise, the Univan has a maximum output of 76 horsepower and 174 Nm of torque, and with the GW2.8TC-2 engine, the Univan has 90 horsepower and 220 Nm of torque. Both models feature 5-speed manuals driving the rear wheels.

The King Long Univan is a practical and by all intents and purposes, a basic vehicle. So convenience features are limited to: front fog lamps, 195/70 R 15 tires mounted on steel wheels (with cover), dual air conditioning, power steering and an AM/FM radio with CD player. However, thanks to its "bubble roof" construction, it promises ample space and easy access for all passengers. Indeed, Focus Ventures, Inc. is aiming the King Long Univan towards business-minded Filipinos who are looking into transportation services business.

Price for both variants is P 950,000. If you're interested in the King Long Univan, you may contact Focus Ventures, Inc. at +632-631-0298 or visit their website at: www.focusventures.com.ph

Ford Driving Skills for Life Gets an Upgrade

Photo courtesy of Ford Press
Ford is going further on its commitment to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and injuries in the country by conducting regional refresher training courses for its global and award-winning Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) campaign.

Now on its fifth year, Ford DSFL provides training in both safe and economical driving practices to drivers from Ford’s Asia Pacific and Africa markets, including Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, China, India, Taiwan, and South Africa. So far, 50,000 have participated in the program across Asia with another 12,000 expected in 2012, including 2,000 in the Philippines.

The DSFL program has not only been successful in training drivers on defensive driving but it has also shown 20-25 percent short-term effect on fuel savings and 6-15 percent long term fuel savings on passenger cars with the potential to reduce carbon dioxide.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

UPDATED: More Leaks from the Upcoming Mazda Revolution Event


UPDATE: We just received word from Mazda Philippines that the BT-50 and CX-9 2WD won't be launching at the Mazda Revolution. Oh well. Still, you can't deny the sales reps are saying that these two cars will be launching real soon!

You just have to had it to overeager sales reps. Just a few days before the official launch of the all-new Mazda3 and CX-5 at the Mazda Revolution tent event, we've uncovered some more interesting tidbits about the upcoming event. It seems that it's not only the CX-5 and the Mazda3 seeing the light of day at the Mazda Revolution but we'll be seeing the all-new BT-50 pick-up as well as a new variant of the CX-9 full-sized crossover. We'll also be seeing a slight price adjustment (upward) of the Mazda2.

UPDATED: Honda Dealers Taking Orders for All-New CR-V, Launching in April 2012



UPDATE: Yes, the all-new Honda CR-V is launching this Monday, April 23. It's confirmed. Again, we'll be live from the launch itself. Follow us starting 12nn on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/carguideph/
 
In what could be the case of the oddest marketing campaign, Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. has posted on online car buy and sell website sulit.com.ph that they're taking orders already for the all-new 2012 CR-V which will arrive by the last week of April 2012 with deliveries starting May. This posting has also been corroborated our readers as well.

We understand that the Philippines will be first launching point of the all-new CR-V at least for the ASEAN market. Like the Civic, Accord and Jazz models, the 2012 CR-V is looking to be a CBU unit from Japan with production moving soon thereafter back to Thailand. Though the final specifications and pricing are yet to be announced, Honda is very clear that the 2012 CR-V is a mere "re-design" of the previous model.

Like the previous CR-V, the 2012 model will be powered by a choice of 4-cylinder engines in 2.0- and 2.4-liter configurations. If we're taking our cue from the Japanese market (which I hope we're not), the 2.0-liter engine will have a CVT transmission while the 2.4-liter will have a conventional 5-speed automatic.

Compared to the previous generation, the 2012 CR-V is certainly more aggressive with deeper sculpting of the body lines and a bolder front facia. The lower front bumper, which was highly controversial in the outgoing model, looks better wrapped onto the body for improved aesthetics and aerodynamics. Inside, the CR-V will benefit from a Civic-like intelligent Multi-Information Display. Other possible options include an automatic climate control system and Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free phoning.

Look for coverage on the launch of the all-new 2012 Honda CR-V very, very soon.

Source: sulit.com.ph

Review: 2012 Ford Fiesta 1.6 Sport

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Whether it’s the latest gadget or the trendiest social networking website, whatever it may be, it begins to lose its charm a year on. That iPad of yours, still kept in that shatter-proof, fingerprint-proof case doesn’t see the amount of time playing Angry Birds. You may have clicked the ‘like’ button religiously before, but now; you log into Facebook just to ‘friend’ people then log out. Ultimately, it’s the everyday version of entropy: your gadget still works, but it’s beginning to lose its luster.

Typically, it’s the same story with cars, where there is in fact, an unwritten rule: the flasher the car, the quicker it loses its star power. Launched in the Philippines to much fanfare more than a year ago, the Ford Fiesta is flashy as flashy gets. On the highest model, it’s got Bluetooth voice command, the PowerShift dual-clutch six-speed automatic, electronic stability program and even Hill Launch Assist. It’s been flying off the showroom floor with over 3,350 units sold (the best-selling sub-compact hatch in 2011 with more than 1,675 sold) and it’s been garnering accolades left and right (2010-2011 Car of the Year – Philippines Best Sub-Compact and Best Sub-Compact in the 7th Annual C! Awards among others). But as much as the public and press love it, how does it drive a year later?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

3rd Bikers Meet Focuses on Malabon Riders


Safe-T-Ryders, a training center purely for motorcycle riders, reaches out to Malabon riders with its 3rd Bikers Club Meet-Up on Sunday, 20 May 2012, at the Malabon Amphitheater. As part of the Araw ng Malabon celebrations, the host club UFRC (Underbone Fury Riders Club) is bringing together Malabon bike riders for an afternoon of fun and learning.

The number of motorcycle users is growing in double digits. Consequently, the cases of road crashes involving motorcycles are also growing in double digits. While we are alarmed by everyday accounts of bloody bike crashes, little is being done to mitigate them.

Say It Ain't So: Next Mustang to Ditch Retro Look


Say it ain't so. Just when we're about to get the Ford Mustang as a late 2012 model (it was previewed at the Manila International Auto Show last March, the launch will be in June-July, and deliveries will be in September), a report from The Wall Street Journal claims that the next-generation Ford Mustang will drop its retro styling for something decisively futuristic.

The report's author, Matt Ramsey cites people close to the development of the all-new Mustang says it will look more like the Evos Concept Car (seen in the pictures here). The reason for switching styles, according to the report, is Ford's desire to appeal to the younger generation of buyers (born between 1980 and 1999). Being from the Generation Y myself, I still prefer the Mustang's retro look as it ties in perfectly with the iconic 1960's original.

Whatever the case, the all-new Mustang which is slated to debut sometime 2014 (as a 2015 model) is said to be global model this time around. This means it will do battle in Europe where affordable sports cars is the norm. Hopefully this would mean that the next-generation Mustang will benefit from a more sophisticated suspension as well as world-class driving characteristics.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Ward's AutoWorld Picks Mazda CX-5 as One of Ten Best Interiors of 2012

Photo courtesy of Mazda Press
The much anticipated Mazda CX-5 is still to make its debut in the Philippine late this week, but it has managed to garner another honor. This time, it doesn't have to do with the available technology or the good looks, rather it's more about the CX-5's interior. Ward's AutoWorld, the same publication that awards the 10 Best Engines annually, has released the "Interior of the Year" award, and one of the winners is the Mazda CX-5.

Ward's AutoWorld says 40 vehicles qualified for this year's awards by having new or significantly improved interiors. They judged the interiors were judged in areas of design, fit-and-finish, ergonomics, safety, material selection, overall value, aesthetics, and human-machine interface.

Aside from the Mazda CX-5, other winners this year include: Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Sonic, Dodge Dart, Volkswagen Beetle, Hyundai Azera, Chrysler 300 Luxury, Range Rover Evoque, Infiniti JX35, and Audi A7. It's also worth noting that half of this year's winners are relatively affordable automobiles showing that car makers have really stepped forward with their interior game.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ford Philippines March Sales on the Rise as Vehicle Supply Continues to Improve


Ford Philippines today reported March retail sales of 623 units, an increase of 50 percent from the previous month, as vehicle supply from Thailand continued to improve.

The all-new Ford Fiesta led the March performance and reaffirmed its segment leadership by delivering its best-ever monthly sales of 392 units – an increase of 64 percent from February. Despite the lingering effects from the Thai floods on local supply, the class-leading Fiesta delivered overall first-quarter sales that rose slightly from the previous quarter to 774 units.

UPDATED: 2012 Toyota Camry Spotted at BKK Show, Possible PHL Specs Leaked


UPDATE: Yes, we've finally confirmed a launch date of the all-new Camry. It will happen on Thursday, April 26. Again, if you want to follow us during the launch event, make sure you follow us on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/carguideph/

Guess what we saw the Bangkok International Motor Show: the 2012 Toyota Camry. Recently unveiled for the local Thai market, this is the best indication of how the Philippine model will shape up once it's unveiled in the second quarter of this year. And a look down through the specs reveal one surprising thing: there's no more V6 at least for the Thai market.

Well, it's not THAT surprising considering the price of gasoline. However, what's even more surprising is that the Philippines is set to continue its three-model line-up which includes a 3.5-liter V6. This means you'll see the 2012 Camry in three flavors: 2.5 G, 2.5 V and 3.5 Q

For the Philippine market however, a query with our local Toyota dealership reveals that the Camry will still retain the 3.5-liter V6 and we probably won't see the entrance of the hybrid model just yet. This means that the Camry will retain its three-model line-up: 2.5 G, 2.5 V and 3.5 Q.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Philippine Car Price Guide: April 2012

After the biggest motoring event of the year, MIAS 2012 (Manila International Auto Show), we've compiled all the launch vehicles and their prices into the April 2012 Philippine Price Guide. They include new cars from BMW, Ford, Foton, Hyundai, Mini, Subaru, Toyota, and Volvo.

Of course, with the upcoming Mazda Revolution in just a week's time, we've also included the all-new Mazda3 and CX-5 into this update as well. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Valvoline Launches NextGen Motor Oil



Thirty nine billion: that’s the staggering amount of motor oil used by engines worldwide annually, and most of this is used just once and then treated as waste. Think about the sort of environmental impact this would have on Mother Nature from the pollution it causes to the reduction of the already dwindling supply of the world’s crude oil. And even when used motor oil is disposed of properly, it is simply burned off into the atmosphere, contributing to the already worsening problem of global warming.

Nonetheless, the world runs on oil—that’s a fact of life. However, there must be a way to reduce the world’s dependency as well as minimize the environmental impact caused by the seemingly insatiable appetite for crude oil. One company has started the first step, and it comes from a very unlikely industry: petrochemicals. The company is Ashland Incorporated and its solution: Valvoline NextGen.

Enjoy 'The Works' with Ford


Ford Philippines launches its summer retail promotion, The Works, which offers customers a worry-free purchase with Ford’s all-in low down payment packages with Ford’s Scheduled Service Plan (SSP). Ford’s summer promotion provides customers with an easy purchase and ownership experience featuring popular vehicles such as the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus and Ford Escape.

For as low as PhP99,000 all-in low down payment, customers can drive home their very own all-new Ford Fiesta, the fun to drive Ford Focus or the all-action Ford Escape SUV.

2012 Mazda 3: Zoom-Zoom at a Price

Photo by Ulysses Ang
We were the first to leak out the pricing of the 2012 Mazda CX-5 and now, we can ultimately say for certain that the 2012 Mazda 3 will also be unveiled at the Mazda Revolution weekend event that's happening at the NBC Tent at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig from April 21-22.

Now, if you can't wait for an additional week, here's what we've learned about Mazda's new compact car. First, the bad news: the entry-level variant of the all-new Mazda 3 is priced at a not-so-affordable P 999,000. That's right--if you were dreaming of a P 780,000 Mazda 3 like before, you're not going to get one this time around. Still, the P 999,000 (the 1.6L Sedan) comes reasonably loaded with automatic climate control and a complete set of safety equipment. Up one notch is the 1.6L Hatchback at P 1,098,000. There doesn't seem to have any noticeable difference with equipment level though we've noticed that the Hatchback does carry a sportier design (sport package?). Both the 1.6-liter models will be powered by the old 1.6-liter MZR engine with 104 horsepower and 144 Nm of torque. Though these figures won't necessary excite your loins, you can get the new 5-speed automatic with paddle shifters will be a welcome addition.

The last model in the Mazda3 line-up is the 2.0L Hatchback which is pegged at P 1,290,000. Priced precariously to the likes of the better-equipped Subaru XV (and to some extent, the Mitsubishi Lancer EX), the Mazda3 2.0 gets leather seating and a moon roof. The 2.0 is powered by the 2.0-liter version of the MZR with 147 horsepower and 182 Nm of torque. Again, these figures aren't necessarily impressive, but it's good news that at least a 5-speed automatic is standard as are paddle shifters.

Will these rumored/leaked specs turn out to be the final ones? Well, we'll have to wait and see the all-new Mazda3 and the CX-5 at the Mazda Revolution event. As always, we'll be tweeting live from the event, so don't forget to follow us on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/carguideph/

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Goodyear's Highway Helper App Now on Android

Photo courtesy of Goodyear Press
Goodyear, one of the world’s leading tire brands, has launched its highly anticipated smart phone app, Highway Helper on Android. This is in response to the explosive growth of smartphone users in Asia who are using apps as a life-enhancement productivity tool for functions like driving in the Philippines.

The Goodyear Highway Helper app was developed to cater to the needs of drivers while on the road, making any road trip a hassle-free experience. With the massive number of people taking long drives to relaxing resorts and beautiful beaches during summer road trips, it is always important to be extra cautious on the road especially while driving with loved ones. Goodyear’s reintroduction of its unique Highway Helper mobile app with new and improved multi-functional application features will make summer road trips a fulfilling and exceptional experience for everyone.

Mazda Philippines Introduces SKYACTIV Technology

Photo courtesy of Mazda Press
Mazda Philippines is set to introduce SKYACTIV technology in the all-new Mazda CX-5, which is scheduled to launch this April in the Philippines. SKYACTIV technology is designed to increase fuel efficiency and engine output while providing optimum driving pleasure, and environmental and safety performance.

“We are thrilled to bring SKYACTIV technology to the Philippines which will revolutionize the driving experience of our local Mazda customers,” said Janinna Mendoza, Mazda’s AVP for Marketing.

SKYACTIV is a blanket term for Mazda's innovative next-generation technologies that are being developed under the company's long-term vision for technology development -- sustainable Zoom-Zoom.

Starting a Revolution: Ford Focus ASEAN Reveal


Photos by Ulysses Ang and Ford Press
When you’re promising to “start more than a car” you know you’re in for a treat. After seeing it as a concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit three years ago, the all-new Ford Focus has finally broken ground for the ASEAN market as a full-fledged production model ready to take to the streets later this year. With the all-new Focus, Ford has once again strived to leapfrog the competition in every conceivable aspect from quality to fuel-efficiency to safety and smart technology. And clearly, they have succeeded.

Developed as part of the company’s ONE Ford strategy, the all-new Focus has taken advantage of shared resources and economies of scale to deliver a compact car that’s brimming with technology most of which hasn’t been seen in the competition, let alone the Philippine automotive market altogether. Technologies such as Active Park Assist, Active City Stop, Blind Spot Information System and Smart Keyless Entry will be available equipment for the Focus.

Review: 2012 Mazda6, CX-7 and CX-9

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Normally, when one thinks of the Mazda brand, the image of a young driver, perhaps bordering on “boy-racer” comes to mind. Mind you, with products like the Mazda 2, 3 and the MX-5, that’s not such a bad thing. However, bringing back the love in everyday driving goes way beyond the “go-fast, live-fast” mantra that’s been instilled, somewhat unofficially, to the Mazda brand. In fact, beyond the compacts and sports cars, Mazda is home to three bright driving gems, all of which show an equal dose of sophistication and speed; comfort and handling fun; practicality and attitude: the Mazda6, CX-7, and CX-9.

Driving and comparing Mazda’s executive sedan, five-seater and seven-seater crossovers may seem somewhat odd given the different market segments they’re supposed to cater to. However, after driving these cars back-to-back-to-back, one thing’s clear: they’re all machined from the same magical piece of Mazda magic. The sheet metal alone serves as an indication to the sort of experience waiting to be discovered. Whether it’s the 6, CX-7 or CX-9, they’re equally aggressive and expressive without being comical or over-the-top. The flowing lines and taut features continue to remain fresh in the respective segments they’re in; while the squinting headlamps and large, smiling grille clearly ties them together as one family.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Toyota 86 Appears in Toyota Thai Website, Priced Ridiculously


While trying to search for information about the upcoming April launch of the Toyota Camry, we happened to stumble on a little nugget of information in Toyota's official Thailand Website: the Toyota 86 is now available for order in the Kingdom of Thailand. Of course, this just means that the reality of seeing an 86 on the roads of Manila is slowly becoming a reality.

Unfortunately for us, it seems that Toyota Thailand didn't get the memo with regards to the Toyota 86's aggressive pricing strategy. In the US, a similar Subaru BRZ / Scion FR-S can be yours for just a little over US$ 25,000 (~ P 1,075,000). However, in Thailand, the Toyota 86 starts at a whopping THB 2,490,000 which translates to over P 3,400,000! If this is any indication to the 86's Philippine pricing, we have an advice for Toyota: don't bring it in! Sorry Toyota, but ou'll probably have better luck selling a Prius or two at a million bucks less.

Source: Toyota Thailand

Hyundai Reveals 2013 Santa Fe


Hyundai has finally taken the covers off its all-new Santa Fe at the New York International Auto Show. And as promised, it finally brings the Fluidic Sculpture design motif to the aging mid-sized crossover. At the show floor, Hyundai surprised the audience by unveiling two wheelbase choices (standard and long wheelbase) for the all-new Santa Fe possibly meaning the demise of the Veracruz full-sized crossover.

From the outside, the Santa Fe takes on the "Storm Edge" concept which aims to capture the strong and dynamic images created by nature during the formation of a storm. Though we're not entirely sure how it fits right into the Santa Fe design, we certainly like the Santa Fe's new bolder exterior which include available 19-inch alloys.