Tuesday, January 8, 2013
40 Cars to Watch Out For in 2013: Part 2 of 4
Barely a week has gone by, and it looks like it’s going to be yet another banner year for the Philippine automotive industry. Building on the high of record sales last year and the continued robust growth of the economy (this year’s an election year after all), car manufacturers and distributors are setting their sights on 2013 to be an exciting year for those hoping to purchase a new car.
Although there’s no way to be completely certain of what’s going to arrive at a showroom near you, an educated guess (and some luck) is all that’s needed to find out what’s in store for the coming 12 months. Peering into the magical crystal ball, here is CarGuide.PH’s fearless forecast on the new and exciting vehicles that lay ahead this 2013.
Link to Part 1
11. Ford Fiesta (FL) (Certainty: 100%)
Ford has already revealed the refreshed Fiesta in Europe last year, and has confirmed that the all-new model will make its way to the Philippine market real soon. The Fiesta gains a new face inspired by the new Focus and Mondeo/Fusion. The front is dominated by a new trapezoidal grille bracketed by new headlights with LED daytime running lights. The hood also features a ‘power bulge’. Inside, the Fiesta features an updated interior which includes the Ford SYNC in-car connectivity system. As for powertrain options, if the Philippines takes its lead from Europe, this would mean the 1.6-liter will disappear only to be replaced by a turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine.
12. Honda Accord (Certainty: 90%)
Honda’s move to modernize their entire line-up continues when their executive sedan, Accord, is anticipated to undergo a full model change in 2013. Though the styling looks quite evolutionary, the all-new model rides on front MacPherson Struts, finally replacing the Double Wishbone the model’s been using for decades. The new Accord rides on a stiffer chassis but weighs up to 25 kilograms less than the outgoing model. Plus, the Accord will debut Honda’s next-generation of engines dubbed “Earth Dreams”. For the Accord, it will mean the use of a brand-new direct-injected 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine pumping out 185 horsepower mated to a CVT transmission. For those wanting a bit more grunt, Honda is still retaining the services of its 3.5-liter V6, only this time it’s mated to a six-speed automatic.
13. Honda Brio / Brio Amaze (Certainty: 40%)
If Honda wants to add more volume to its local sales, it should consider bringing in the Brio hatchback and its sedan variant, the Brio Amaze. Developed and engineered to qualify under Thailand’s eco-car program, the Brio and Brio Amaze can easily make the transition from curry to kare-kare if Thailand’s willing to build a left-hand drive configuration. The 1.2-liter i-VTEC engine and CVT transmission should provide enough pep to go along with the reported 20 km/L fuel efficiency. Plus, with a price capping off at PHP 685,000, it sounds like a winner.
14. Honda Hybrids (Certainty: 70%)
Both the CRZ and Insight were previewed at last year’s Philippine International Motor Show, and Honda was ready to sell them with one caveat: the government must come up with incentives for gasoline-electric hybrid cars. Whether or not the government does come up with the necessary legislation, there’s a high probability that Honda’s going to sell the CRZ and Insight either way. It’s currently making the rounds to motoring journalists for evaluation, after all. The CRZ is a “sports hybrid coupe” featuring a 2+2 seating configuration and a fun-to-drive chassis. A 1.5-liter i-VTEC motor combined with an electric motor (122 horsepower, 174 Nm) provides the thrust. Meanwhile, Insight offers a sportier take on the Toyota Prius while still doing close to 20 km/L in the city.
15. Hyundai Accent CRDi (Certainty: 100%)
At Hyundai’s annual Media Christmas Party last year, a lime green five-door hatchback sat tucked at the left side of the large stage. And then the bomb dropped: the Accent CRDi is back and will be made available starting the first quarter of 2013. It’s finally making the leap from a taxi or fleet car special into a full-blown lifestyle car worthy of your hard-earned peso. First, it’s now a stylish five-door hatchback with features that include 16-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler. Second, it’s got a full-featured audio system with auxiliary and USB inputs as well as a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. Finally, the piece de resistance: a 1.6-liter diesel engine with variable geometry turbo pushing out 128 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque. The Accent CRDi is made available in both six-speed manual or four-speed automatic versions retailing for just P 768,000 for the M/T and P 850,000 for the A/T.
16. Isuzu D-Max (Certainty: 60%)
Everyone’s hoping that 2013 will be the year when Isuzu finally unveils the all-new D-Max pick-up. Much awaited by pick-up buyers and off-road enthusiasts, it’s being sold for quite some time in other ASEAN countries, Thailand most especially. Despite sharing its platform, sub-frame, interior, and external dimensions to the Chevrolet Colorado, the Isuzu D-Max is expected to gain a very unique character thanks to its own suspension tuning and tweaks to its 4JJ-TC 3.0-liter diesel engine. All in all, the D-Max’s good for 174 horsepower and 380 Nm of torque putting Isuzu squarely into the high end of the pick-up power wars while enabling the D-Max to tow a commendable 3,000 kilograms. Reportedly, Isuzu’s just been holding out on launching the all-new D-Max because they’re still assembling the older model at its Binan, Laguna plant. Hopefully though, things will change during the course of the year.
17. Jaguar F-Type (Certainty: 50%)
Jaguar is back in the sports car genre after 50 years of absence with the arrival of the new F-Type. Designed to tackle the Porsche 911, the F-Type is actually shorter but wider and features a longer wheelbase than the German. It will be a strictly two-seater affair (1+1 in Jaguar speak) but occupants will love delectable design cues such as the active center air vents which only deploy when the climate control deems it necessary. In addition, the F-Type features a near-perfect weight distribution and a torsional rigidity far greater than the XKR-S. Performance comes from a choice between a V6 or V8 engine. If the Philippines is lucky, this new cat will arrive sometime mid to late 2013 straddling between the prices of a BMW Z4 and Porsche 911.
18. Kia Carens (Certainty: 50%)
Kia is certainly riding high on the popularity of its crossovers and sub-compact cars, but let’s not forget they were once responsible for a seven-seater MPV that’s actually a decent drive: the Carens. Although it’s been phased out for more than six months now, here’s hoping it will return with the same stylistic edge seen in the rest of the Kia line-up. Built on an all-new platform, the Carens is said to deliver spacious practicality without compromising style and sleek aerodynamics. A bit of a forewarning though: don’t be surprised if the Carens will adopt a new name. Apparently, the word ‘Carens’ means ‘lacking’ in Latin.
19. Kia Forte (Certainty: 90%)
Kia is finally lending some of its mojo to the compact car market when they’re joining the fray with the all-new Forte. Longer, wider, and lower than its predecessor, the Californian-designed Forte now shares its underpinnings with its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Elantra. Reflecting Kia’s European sport sedan aspirations, the Forte now features an electric power steering system with Flex Steer which varies the steering effort with just the push of a button. In terms of engine, the Forte will offer either an economical 1.8-liter (148 horsepower) or powerful 2.0-liter (173 horsepower) motor. When it does land here, and reports are indicating that there’s a good chance for an early 2013 launch, hopefully it will have a much more competitive price tag than before.
20. Kia Quoris (Certainty: 60%)
It’s certainly going to take some cajones on the part of Kia to introduce the Quoris, but if they do, it will forever change the brand’s perception forever. Sitting atop of the brand’s line-up, the Quoris is a large rear-wheel drive sedan with an overall length stretching past five meters (wheelbase alone is more than 3 meters). The trademark “Tiger Nose” grille sits proudly in front echoing a famous German brand of luxury car. It’s powered by either a 3.3-liter V6 good for 296 horsepower or a 3.8-liter V6 good for 329 horsepower. Several media personalities were flown to Korea to sample the Quoris, so this just adds more fuel to the fire of the Quoris’s potential arrival in the Philippines.