Friday, June 22, 2018

Road Tripping with the Honda Mobilio: Yay or Nay?

With the rising popularity of 7-seater vehicles in the country, it’s no wonder why Honda came up with not one, not two, but 3 three-row offerings in the market: the Mobilio, the BR-V, and the CR-V. Clearly, they think there’s a market for each, and for the purposes of this story, we’ll take a closer look at the Mobilio—their MPV that was designed to rival the Toyota Avanza and the Suzuki Ertiga.

I’ll be frank: in terms of design, there’s no comparison. Although the Honda Mobilio does resemble a minivan, it still has that some of that signature sporty Honda look that makes it look less of a purely functional vehicle (i.e. mom car) and more like one designed for a truly modern family.

Light and Easy

On the upside, I appreciate how easy the Mobilio is to maneuver in and out of traffic. The light steering is perfect to someone who’s had more seat time in smaller vehicles and sedans. The size of the Mobilio may be intimidating at first, but once I got used to it, it afforded me to have extra confidence. It’s easy to move from lane to lane and its acceleration felt safe. It also responds quickly to braking without the slow glide/abrupt stop that some vehicles would tend to have.

On the downside, it feels too light at times. For something of its size, I expected it to have a more solid feel similar to the Jazz or City. However, once I got it to the highway and accelerated to around 80 km/h, it felt like catching air. This actually made me doubt as to how much control it afforded once you come across things like cross winds or tackling a sharp turn or a sudden lane change.

In short, it does pretty well around city dwellings, but perhaps requires a bit of driver confidence when taken on a longer road trip.

That Bounce, Though

I’m chalking this up to its lightness. We took the back roads to Tagaytay (and back) as a shortcut — because Waze said so — and came across more bumps and potholes than you can imagine. While I was expecting the suspension to be stiffer than that of a sedan or a crossover, I didn’t expect to feel every little bounce. Since the purpose of the Mobilio is to move lots of people in comfort, it may be more adept that doing this sort of thing fully loaded.

Spacious and Comfortable (It Depends)

One of the factors in choosing a vehicle for a barkada or family road trip will always be space. Not only do we account for how many people can come along, but it also has to be roomy enough for all the essentials, whether it’s for a day trip or an overnight stay. The Mobilio, at least, offers that. Despite its compact exterior, the second and third row seats can actually squeeze 7 typically-sized adults and up to 9 petite-sized individuals if you dare.

However, considering the Mobilio’s size, the cargo capacity is a challenge if the third-row is kept up. Increasing cargo space means having to fold down the third row and this automatically reduces the seating capacity to five.

The Verdict

Based on this experience, I’d say that the Honda Mobilio works well for day-to-day city driving, but perhaps not so much for a long highway drive. It scores high because of its functionality and packaging. And while the 1.5-liter engine could easily keep up with the demands of highway driving, it feels less than stable at high speed. I also wished for a more pliant ride. It’s a great daily driver, but those looking for a more adept road trip car, perhaps the CR-V would be the better choice.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Fastest Nissan Players at Gran Turismo Manufacturers Series Championship Get to Go to NISMO Festival in Japan

While not exactly GT Academy, Nissan is rewarding gamers who choose Nissan and win in an upcoming official FIA championship made for the Playstation game, Gran Turismo Sport.

Toyota Manila Bay Group Picks Shell as Official Fuel Partner

Sharing common values of credibility, integrity, and efficiency, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation was named the fuel partner of Toyota Manila Bay Corp, the largest car dealership group in the country.

How Did Mazda Manage to Get More Power Out of the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G?

Mazda has finally confirmed that their more powerful, higher-revving MX-5 won’t be a Japanese only offering. It’s going to be made available for overseas markets as early as the September of this year.

Subaru Philippines to Offer 20 Percent Discount on Parts and Services

Subaru owners can have extra peace of mind this rainy season as Motor Image Pilipinas, the exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles will offer discounts on selected parts and services starting on Wednesday, June 27.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

LTO Says Your Plates Have Begun Shipping, But You Better Wait Some More

Are you used to your Conduction Sticker Number? Well, you better get un-used to it as the Land Transportation Office (LTO) announced that the first batch of locally manufactured motor vehicle (MV) plates have begun shipping.

BMW's All-New 8 Series Looks Somewhat Like A Ford Mustang (w/ 15 Photos)

Forget all your nostalgic memories of a flagship BMW grand tourer with pop-up headlights; this here is the all-new BMW 8 Series Coupe and frankly, it looks a Germanized Ford Mustang.

Sedans Aren't Dead as Hyundai Philippines Sees Growth in Elantra Sales

Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the Philippines registered total sales of 2,054 units for the month of May. This puts total year-to-date sales for 2018 at 13,130 units, or a 7.3 percent decrease from the recorded 14,163 units in the same period of 2017.

Caltex Philippines Now Offering Justice League Collectible Toy Cars

Admittedly, this gimmick is a year too late, but at least Chevron Philippines, Inc. (CPI) is giving DC Comics fans some love. From today until August 15, 2018, Caltex will be offering Justice League collectible toy cars for just P 250.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Isuzu Philippines is the First to Have Modern PUVs Ply Our Roads

The Philippine Senate together with Isuzu Philippines Corporation set an example and paved the way for the future of the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) with the turnover of 15 modernized jeepneys as part of the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

Japan Now Has One of the Fastest Police Cars in Service

It might be in production for over a decade now, but the Nissan GT-R is still one of the world’s fastest sportscars. And while it’s sometimes associated with speedsters and hooligans, there’s one R35 that’s siding with the law. Would-be crooks in the Tochigi Prefecture should be shaking in their boots with the arrival of the prefecture’s first R35 GT-R police car.

Suzuki Shows First Official Photos of All-New Jimny SUV

Suzuki has had enough of spy shots and brochure leaks and decided once and for all to release the first official photos of the 2018 Jimny a month before its official debut in July 2018.

Review: 2018 Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT Convertible

It’s the middle of June and the rain just won’t let up. It’s wet, gloomy, and dreary—conditions that don’t suit the 2018 Ford Mustang. With four hundred sixty horsepower driving the rear wheels and a canvas soft top, this thing doesn’t make any practical sense for half the year. But once you press the starter button, you’ll crack a smile and say: f*ck it. I’m gonna drive this thing. Once you do, you’re reminded at how good life could be.

Monday, June 18, 2018

2017 Mazda3 Speed: Long-Term Test Wrap-Up

Mazda Philippines basically put money where their mouth is by letting us drive a 2017 Mazda3 for a year. They likely knew what they were getting: an honest look into Mazda ownership without any pretenses. Now, four hundred twelve days and 7,510 kilometers later, this is our verdict: Mazda, both as a maker of driver-centric vehicles and as a provider of aftersales service for said vehicles has come a long, long way.

Ferrari Scores International Engine of the Year 2018

Ferrari took no fewer than 6 awards in this year’s International Engine of the Year Awards making it the most decorated sportscar company with a total of 27 trophies in the award’s 20-year history.

Texting While Driving is Like Driving with Your Eyes Closed

Every text, emoji, and selfie that captures your attention limits your awareness while driving, putting you and those around you in unnecessary danger. Yes, even “just one” text can cause one accident. And that’s one too many.

Hyundai CV Dealers Held First Dealer Conference

Pioneer dealers of Hyundai commercial vehicles (CV) in the Philippines held the First CV Dealership Conference in Chengdu City, China.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

10 Reasons Why SUV Owners Never Go Back to "Regular Cars"

Have you ever wanted to get away with your whole family for a weekend, but didn’t have enough room in your little car for everyone and their stuff? Have you ever got stuck in a flood during rainy season? These and other problems are easy to solve when you choose an SUV as your personal transportation.

Aston Martin Begins Production of All-New Vantage

Aston Martin has commenced production of the new Vantage, the most sporting model in the luxury carmaker’s series production range.

Mercedes-Benz Flying Doctor is in Town

In its pursuit to provide customers with world-class service, Mercedes-Benz is bringing in Mr. Edward Bradley, Mercedes-Benz Service Expert, to the Philippines to personally supervise a special service clinic for customers from Monday, June 18 to Thursday, June 21, 2018.

Caltex Gives Motorists P 100 of Free Fuel with PNB' Swipe and Be Rewarded Promo

From now until July 15, 2018, P 100 worth of free Caltex with Techron fuels await motorists with PNB Mastercard in Caltex and PNB’s Swipe and Be Rewarded Promo.
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