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February 29, 2012

Lexus Launches All-New GS in Manila

Photos Courtesy of Lexus
"The new face of Lexus", that's how the all-new GS is called. This is the car that will finally realign Lexus from simply being a re-badged Toyota into one that's completely engineered from top to bottom as a bonafide challenger to the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. And last night, Manila got the first glimpse of the all-new GS at its launch event at the Lexus Manila showroom.

Among the most noticeable change is the all-new sheet metal that carries the brand-new "spindle grille" design. This love-it-or-hate-it is the latest iteration of Lexus's L-Finesse design language and will slowly make its way to the rest of the Lexus line-up. Aside from the stylish grille, the GS looks strong and athletic riding on standard 17-inch rims while the F-Sport runs on 18-inch rims.

Speaking of variants, there are three GS models available. Two are immediately available at launch and one will follow soon. The GS 350 retails for P 4,238,000; the GS 350 F Sport with additional styling, handling and comfort package goes for P 4,818,000; while the GS 450h will arrive in Manila soon (price yet to be announced).

As the name implies, the all-new GS carries a single engine variant: a 3.5-liter V6 good for 312 horsepower, figures very close to the outgoing 4.6-liter V8 engine. The added power bump is thanks to dual variable valve timing as well as direct injection technology. Mated to a 6-speed automatic, the GS can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just 5.7 seconds.

You can read and view more photos of the Lexus GS after the break.

Ford Expands Fiesta Line-Up with Three New Variants

Photos courtesy of Ford Press
The folks over at Ford Club Philippines (FCP) have more reasons to celebrate aside from their tenth anniversary which was held at the Bonifacio Global City last Saturday. Ford Group Philippines made it a point to unveil 3 new variants of its best-selling Fiesta sub-compact. These three variants are: the 1.4 Trend A/T Hatchback, 1.6 Trend with Voice Command + Bluetooth and the 1.6 Sport Plus.

You can read more about it after the break.

Petron Promotes Safety Awareness Through Bikers Meet-Up

Photo courtesy of Petron Press
Petron Corporation, the Philippines's leading oil company has been advocating road safety, particularly among motorcycle riders. Recently, they have sponsored a biker meet-up for its Safe-T-Ryders Training Center at the Ortigas Home Depot.

You can read more about their endeavors after the break.

February 28, 2012

Ford Philippines Feels Effects of Thai Floods

Ford Group Philippines has reported that its January sales have been cut to 367 units due primarily to supply problems caused by the recent floods in Thailand. With most of its products coming from Thailand, supply of cars such as the best-selling Fiesta are hampered.

In fact, the rumor mill is buzzing that the Thai floods may also affect the availability of the all-new Ford Ranger, which is slated to debut at this year's Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) which will run from March 29 to April 1.

Read the entire report after the break.

February 26, 2012

Toyota Launches 2012 Innova

Photos courtesy of Toyota Press
Since its launch in 2005, the Toyota Innova has been the Philippines’s best-selling Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) selling 70,000 units cumulatively. When it was first launched, it offered the Filipino family a comfortable, dynamic and affordable MPV which offered features often reserved for much more expensive rides. So when the time came: how do you improve on something so accepted, so loved by the Filipino buying public? Simple: offer the same comfortable, dynamic and affordable equation and place it into a bolder, sexier package. This forms the basis of the 2012 Innova.

February 23, 2012

Follow Us Live for the 2012 Toyota Innova Launch!

EDITOR'S NOTE: There will be no update on Thursday, 23 February to Friday, 24 February 2012 because we'll be in Boracay Island for the launch of the 2012 Toyota Innova.

However, please make it a point to follow us live on twitter: for the latest scoops, pictures and specs fresh and hot from the launch event. Of course, once we come back from the sun and the sand, we'll post a full story right here!

February 22, 2012

Goodyear Gives Free Gas for Tire Sales

Goodyear Philippines is extending its free fuel offer up to March 31, 2012. With Goodyear's New Year Bonanza, buyers are entitled to free fuel e-cards ranging from P 500 to P 1,000.

Press Release
Goodyear Announces Free Fuel Promo

MANILA, 17 February 2012 – With the rising costs of fuel, Goodyear lends a helping hand by extending its free fuel offer into the first quarter for the family and friends to enjoy.
Goodyear’s New Year Bonanza promo is offering free fuel to every single-receipt purchase of Goodyear tires. Motorists are entitled to either one of two things depending on purchase:
  • A P500 fuel card for every single-receipt purchase of two (2) tires of Assurance ArmorGrip, Fuel Max, Fortera, Wrangler HP, Wrangler HP AW, Wrangler AT/SA, Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2, Eagle F1 Directional 5 or Eagle EfficientGrip, or for every purchase of four (4) DuraPlus tireA
  • A P1,000 fuel card to every single-receipt purchase of four (4) tires of Assurance ArmorGrip, Fuel Max, Fortera, Wrangler HP, Wrangler HP AW, Wrangler AT/SA, Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2, Eagle F1 Directional 5 or Eagle EfficientGrip.
Visit your nearest Goodyear Autocare, Goodyear Servitek and TyrePro store outlets nationwide to avail of the fuel cards up to sixty (60) days after the end of the promotion.  What’s more, motorists not only get a free fuel card but also an exclusive Confidence Warranty on all Goodyear purchases good for up to four (4) years from date of purchase.

With the Holy Week travels coming up, it is a good time to check tires and get free fuel. The New Year Bonanza promo, with DTI permit number 0513 series of 2012, runs until March 31, 2012. Log on to for details.

Car Awards Group Elects New Officers for 2012-2013

The Car Awards Group, Inc. (CAGI), the nominating body behind the Car of the Year - Philippines has elected a new board for the 2012-2013 year. Strong support is shown to its current set of officers as they have a re-election rate of 80 percent. Ferman Lao, Editor-in-Chief of automotive website as well as Technical Editor of Top Gear remains President.

Ford's Global Driving Skills for Life Program Enters Fifth Year in PHL

Globally, Ford is promoting driving safety through proper training of drivers, new and old. In fact, they have been doing the Driving Skills for Life as a global program. In the Philippines, it now enters its fifth-year and here's the whole press release for your information.

Press Release
Ford's Global Driving Skills for Life Program Enters Fifth Year in the Philippines
  •  Globally, the DSFL program has trained more than 500,000 drivers through online and professional hands-on driver instruction, including more than 20,000 in the Philippines\
  • In the Philippines, the program has been tailored to suit the local driving environment and is aimed at raising awareness of safe and fuel efficient driving techniques through classroom and practical learning 

AVID Begins 2012 with 37 Percent Growth

Despite industry figures dipping 16 percent in January 2012, Members of the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) reported a 37 percent increase.

AVID members sold a total of 2,526 units for the first month of 2012 driven mainly by passenger car sales which counted for 71 percent. Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) contributed a 6 percent growth. The top AVID performer remained HARI. Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc., the official distributor of Hyundai cars in the Philippines contributed 20,297 units. Meanwhile, The Covenant Car Company, Inc., the official distributor of Chevrolet vehicles sold 2,763 units.

AVID members are: PGA Cars, Inc. (Audi and Porsche), Auto Ventures, Inc. (Chana and FAW), The Covenant Car Company, Inc. (Chevrolet), CATS Motors, Inc. (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Mercedes-Benz), Foton Motor Philippines, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc., Jaguar Philippines, British United (MINI) and Volvo.

February 20, 2012

Kia Inaugurates Largest Dealership in Metro Manila

Photo courtesy of Kia Press
Fresh from the launch of its head-turning Rio sub-compact car, Columbian Autocar Corporation (CAC), the official distributor of Kia automobiles in the Philippines is strengthening its dealer network by formally opening the Kia Metro East showroom last Friday.

Located at 332 Barangay San Isidro in Cainta, Rizal, Kia Metro East is the largest Kia dealership in Metro Manila with a total area of 4,000 square-meters. Aside from the usual showroom and service facilities, Kia Metro East boasts of a special VIP lounge and restaurant where customers can relax and order a vast array of food and beverages while waiting for the completion of their respective Kia vehicles from service or repair.

February 17, 2012

Honda Cars Philippines Unveils Much Awaited 2012 Civic

Photos courtesy of Honda Press
After much delay, Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) has finally unveiled the all-new 2012 Civic at the start of their weekend-long festivities dubbed Honda Mania at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

Though it looks pretty much close to the previous-generation Civic, Honda has repeatedly said that the ninth-generation Civic features an all-new sheet metal as well as extensive work done on its proven platform and drivetrain. Known for its sporty handling and practicality, Honda said that they have kept these traits while focusing more to improve the Civic's fuel efficiency for this all-new model. Among the changes include a design that has a co-efficient of drag that's 3.8 percent lower, a body that's seven percent lighter thanks to 55 percent high-tensile steel and bigger interior room with a wider shoulder width and rear seat room. Honda engineers have also improved the 2012 Civic's overall visibility by over nine percent.

Under the hood, the Civic carries on with the previous model's 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter two-stage VTEC engine. Power generated is 141 horsepower and 155 horsepower respectively connected to a 5-speed automatic. The suspension is independent all-around with MacPherson Struts upfront and Multi-Links at the back. The 2012 model features a longer suspension stroke to further reduce the transmission of unwanted "shocks" into the cabin.

Though the Civic is traditionally Honda's most mainstream model, because of the Thailand plant's shutdown, HCPI is currently offering the Civic in a single flavor: the 1.8 EXi. This sole model, available in four colors (Urban Titanium, Taffeta White, Carnelian Red and Crystal Black) is imported as a completely built-up model from Japan. Because of this, the Civic has a slightly prohibitive price of P 1.074-M. Nonetheless, it comes fully loaded with almost everything as standard.

Features on the 2012 Honda Civic 1.8 EXi include: projector-type halogen headlights, front fog lamps, 16-inch alloys with 205/55 R 16 rubber, door-mounted side turn lights, rear reversing camera, an integrated audio system with CD/MP3/USB connectivity with 6 speakers, steering wheel controls, cruise control, Bluetooth hands-free phone function, 60/40 split-fold rear seats, leather steering wheel, dual SRS airbags, ABS and vehicle stability assist.

More photos and the Press Release after the break.

February 16, 2012

Honda Introduces Jazz Special Edition

Photos courtesy of Honda Press
Honda Cars Philippines is saying that the Jazz is back in stock in very big way: by launching the Jazz Special Edition.

Now imported as a completely built-up unit from Japan (as opposed to Thailand), the Jazz Special Edition (1.5 EX) features different front and rear bumpers with fog lamps from the regular Jazz 1.5 (it actually shares its bumpers with the 1.3 variant). Aside from that, the Jazz Special Edition gets cruise control, steering wheel audio controls as well as a cooled upper glove box and power folding door mirrors. In terms of engine, the Jazz Special Edition has a 1.5-liter VTEC engine with 120 horsepower and a 5-speed automatic transmission.

Priced at P 899,000, the Jazz Special Edition is available in three colors including a new retina-burning Fresh Lime color.

More details in the Press Kit after the break.

Honda Cars Holds "Honda Mania" at Bonifacio Global City

Want to test drive the all-new Honda Civic? Want to see the Honda Jazz Special Edition? Well, mark your calendars this weekend for Honda Mania at the Bonifacio Global City.

Press Release
Honda is Back with the "Honda Mania" - An Exhibit and Test Drive Event

Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI), Honda’s automobile production and sales subsidiary in the Philippines, today launches the “Honda Mania” – An Exhibit and Test Drive event. Returning back to the Philippine automotive market after natural calamities in Thailand and Japan adversely affected its supply chain the previous year, the Honda Mania is an opportunity for HCPI to showcase its new models to Philippine customers.

February 13, 2012

Mitsubishi to Offer Gasoline-Powered Montero Sport

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors Press
Top Gear Philippines Editor-in-Chief Vernon Sarne has revealed that Mitsubishi Motors Philippines is very, very close to bringing in a gasoline-powered Montero Sport. In a story published late last week, Mr. Sarne has quoted Mitsubishi Motors Philippines vice president for marketing services, Froilan Dytianquin that a 3.0-liter V6 from the outgoing Outlander will make its way to the Montero Sport.

In the same story, Dytianquin was quoted as saying that the MIVEC-equipped engine will be available initially in limited numbers starting April of this year. Dytianquin also said that this version will only be equipped with a 2WD system. Pricing will be close to that of the diesel variant.

Source: Top Gear Philippines

Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler Reports Increased Sales in 2011

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Press
CATS Motors, Inc., the official distributor of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and trucks has reported a 10 percent sales increase year-on-year when comparing 2010 and 2011. Sales are up to 653 units compared to 596 units a year earlier.

CATS Motors, Inc. is saying that its aggressive fleet deliveries as well as the introduction of the new-generation C-Class is largely the reason for its success. In fact, the C-Class is the luxury segment's best-selling passenger car.

Meanwhile, CATS Motors's mainstream American brand--the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands reported a 12% sales growth year-on-year. For 2011, the group sold 341 units, up from 304 units in 2010. CATS is expecting the CJD brands to do even better in 2012 thanks to dealer expansion in the Alabang area as well as new vehicles to be launched.

The CATS Motors, Inc. growth is despite the fact that the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI), an umbrella group of Philippine manufacturers and distributors reported a net decline of 2.97 of the overall automotive industry.

CATS Motors Makes Challenger SRT8 Available in PHL

Photo courtesy of Dodge Press
CATS Motors, Inc., the official Philippine distributor of the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands has finally added a new model to their line-up: the Challenger SRT8 muscle car.

Dubbed as the "Ultimate American muscle machine", by Reid Bigland, the President and CEO of Dodge, the SRT8 is available with a massive 6.4-liter V8 HEMI that tops off at 470 horsepower. Couple this with a track-tuned suspension as well as heavy-duty brakes, the Challenger SRT8 is a dream come true for any performance car enthusiast.

Read more on the Dodge Challenger SRT8 launch after the break.

February 9, 2012

Mitsubishi Previews 2012 Outlander

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Press
Mitsubishi Motors has chosen the 82nd Geneva International Auto Show to unveil its all-new Outlander. Though the show will run starting March 6, Mitsubishi has already released a teaser photo of the compact crossover.

For European markets, the Outlander will be offered with a choice of gasoline and diesel engines. For those who prefer petrol, the Outlander will use a 2.0-liter SOHC 4-cylinder engine equipped with MIVEC (4J11). The lean-burning model will use a 2.2-liter CRDi with a very low compression ratio and MIVEC technology. Mitsubishi promises excellent CO2 emissions as well as fuel efficiency thanks to its new Auto Stop&Go idle-stop system as well as a lighter body.

Inside, the Outlander promises a high-quality interior thanks to a "soft-touch dashboard" as well as a gloss black instrument panel. Some models will also come with third-row seating just like the current Outlander while a power tailgate makes it to the options list.

Initially, the 2012 Outlander will be launched for the Russian market followed by the European, Japanese, Chinese and North American market. No word yet whether the Outlander will come back to the Philippine market.

Philippine Car Price Guide: February 2012

Ah, February--the month of love. Well here at, there's nothing we love more than cars. So, here's your monthly dose of the latest car prices in the Philippines.

For this update, we've made some improvements. Now indicated is the last time a particular price list has been changed. This month, the notable entries include the Chevrolet Orlando and Traverse as well as the 2012 Honda City, Kia Rio, Range Rover Evoque and Toyota Avanza.

See the price list after the break.

February 8, 2012

Review: 2012 Ford Explorer 3.5 V6

It’s Tuesday morning. By all intents and purposes, the roads should be bustling with traffic: jeepneys plying their route, cars headed to school or to work. But this Tuesday is not your ordinary Tuesday. The monsoon downpour caused heavy floods last night and today, no one can go to work. In other words, today’s going to be hell. Going in and out of Marikina is a task left to the toughened, heavy-duty vehicles and the all-new Ford Explorer.

February 7, 2012

PHL Auto Industry Group Calls for Increased Competitiveness

Half a million—that’s the amount of people reliant on the Philippine automotive industry. This staggering figure alone should serve as a rallying call for P-Noy and his government to help protect and expand local car manufacturing and assembling. But the figures go on: it is the fourth largest output multiplier effect, where a one peso investment generates 3.67 pesos worth of additional output. It is extensively linked to significant industries such as electrical machinery, metal works, wholesale and retail, petroleum and even banking. The figures go on and on, but the Philippine Automotive Competitive Council, Inc. (PACCI) has made it clear: the local automotive industry is too important to fail. That’s more or less the message they’ve made clear at the Third Philippine Automotive Manufacturing Summit, which was appropriately titled, “Driving the Automotive Industry to Progress”.

February 2, 2012

All-New Mazda 3, CX-5 Launching Very Soon

Photo courtesy of Mazda Press
A report on Top Gear Philippines's official website points to the fact that the much anticipated second-generation Mazda 3 will soon be available for Philippine buyers.

In an interview with the website, Ford Group Philippines Assistant Vice President for Communications, Anika Salceda-Wycoco said that the all-new Mazda 3 will be available later this year, but won't be assembled in the Philippines.

The rumor mill is currently speculating that the all-new Mazda 3 along with the CX-5 compact crossover could be made available as early as the First to Second Quarter of 2012 given that Mazda is now running out their inventory of the current 3. In fact, in the latest price list, only the 1.6 S and 1.6 V (both four door models) are the only ones available.

According to Top Gear Philippines's, the Mazda 3 is currently being assembled in Thailand, so it's pretty much certain that the Philippines's supply of the 3 will come from there. Meanwhile, the CX-5 is currently only being assembled in Japan.

Source: Top Gear Philippines

Volvo Philippines is Offering P 1-Million in Discounts

Photo courtesy of Volvo Press
Viking Cars, Inc., the official distributor of Volvo automobiles in the Philippines shared an amazing bit of news to start the new year.

With their "What can you do with P 1 Million?" promotion, buyers of the Volvo XC90 or S80 T5 is made to enjoy up to P 1-million in savings. How does that happen? Well, it could be one of three ways:

  1. Straight up cash discount of P 1-million.
  2. Trip for 2 to the Volvo Museum in Sweden.
  3. 30% downpayment, 48-months to pay at 0% interest.
Whatever you choose, all Volvo models also come with an unprecedented 5-year warranty and roadside assistance package which is very generous compared to the other luxury makes.

Hurry, this promotional offer is only good until the 15th of February!

Hyundai to Increase Prices of Tucson, Starex this February

A source from Hyundai Automotive Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the Philippines has revealed a price increase for all variants of the Tucson compact crossover as well as the Starex van.

The source said that the price increase will take effect within the month of February. So, if you're in the market for these two vehicles, better put down that deposit to lock in your price.

Ford Alabang is Ford Dealer of the Year

Photo courtesy of Ford Press
Ford Group Philippines, celebrating a banner year in 2011 has revealed that Ford Alabang is their 2011 Dealer of the Year.

Aside from being lauded as the Dealer of the Year, Ford Alabang also was recognized as the dealer that sold the most number of Fiesta sub-compacts in Metro Manila as well as Everest.

Vision Petron Opens Exhibit at the National Museum

The good folks from Petron has sent us some news regarding their Vision Petron exhibit which runs from January 17, 2012 to April 2012. This exhibit presents the winners of the recently concluded Vision Petron National Student Art Competition

February 1, 2012

Review: 2012 Subaru Legacy GT Sedan

When you put ‘Subaru’ and ‘turbocharged’ in one sentence, what often comes to mind is the WRX or its naughtier sibling, the WRX STI. Be that as it may, Subaru’s been turbocharging its boxer engines for quite some time now; seeing action in most of its line-up including the compact crossover, the Forester and mid-sized sedan, the Legacy. And before labeling the turbo engine and executive sedan pairing as a ‘mismatch’, it’s good to be reminded that Subaru, is one of the most focused car companies in the world. For decades, Subaru has been engineering the world’s most acclaimed sports sedans. Though most folks remember Impreza, the Legacy’s been at the game for much longer. It’s been in the sports sedan game for twenty years—and the latest one’s the best one yet.