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January 3, 2022

Isuzu D-MAX is 2021 People's Choice For Automobile Of The Year

The Isuzu D-MAX and the Land Rover Defender took home maiden honors at the Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards (AFPCA) which bestowed them the titles of the “Standard Automobile of the Year” and the “Premium/Luxury Automobile of the Year,” respectively.

The Isuzu D-MAX pick-up emerged as a first-time people’s choice for “Standard Automobile of the Year” (AOY) and simultaneously bagged the “Standard Pick-up of the Year” accolade. The latter win is the Isuzu model’s 4th Model of the Year (MOY) award after previous 3-year reign in 2005-2007 in the pick-up classification.

In accepting the awards, and also making reference to the Isuzu Mu-X snapping-up the “Standard SUV/Crossover of the Year” title, Hajime Koso, president of Isuzu Philippines Corporation, exclaimed: “This year has seen new areas of action for Isuzu, highlighted by the much-anticipated launch of the all-new Isuzu D-MAX and all-new Isuzu mu-X. We at Isuzu are very grateful in receiving individual awards for both models as well as the prestigious Automobile of the Year award for 2021 for the D-MAX. With these, we would like to extend our thanks to our loyal customers and Isuzu fans nationwide who have been very supportive of us throughout the years. We could not have done it without you! Ako ang pinaka-masaya ngayon!”

The equally sought-after award for “Premium/Luxury Automobile of the Year” went to another first-time titlist, the Land Rover Defender. Distributed by Coventry Motors, the Defender is poised to become the top-selling premium/luxury SUV/Crossover vehicle in the country for 2021. It also came away with the award for “Premium/Luxury SUV/Crossover of the Year”.

“It’s been a tremendous accolade for us.” remarked Chris Ward, president of Coventry Motors, in his acceptance response. “It’s been a great success! Defender is such an icon, not just within the industry, but obviously for Land Rover over many, many years. It’s one of the most instantly recognizable cars in the world. Such is the scope the Defender has had for us. And here in the Philippines, absolutely, customers have really taken to the car. It fits people’s lifestyles. It’s great fun!”

Completing the cast of this year’s Auto Focus Models of the Year (MOY) in the Standard classification were the Toyota Vios (Sedan), Ford Mustang (Sports Car), and the Toyota Innova. The Vios, already in the AFPCA Hall of Fame (HOF) as the only 3-time AOY winner, added its entry AFPCA MOY Hall of Fame after copping its 5th MOY win this year. The Mustang achieved a back-to-back triumph, while the Innova, also an MOY Hall of Famer, earned its 9th MOY award.

In the Premium/Luxury classification, named Models of the Year were the Mercedes Benz E-Class (Sedan) for the 3rd straight year, Lamborghini Huracan Evo (Sports Car) for the 1st time, and the Honda Odyssey (Van/MPV) for the 4th time.

The AFPCA, organized by Sunshine Television and Marketing Services Inc. (STV) and now on its 17th edition, is an annual public poll that aims to determine the country’s most popular automobile brands and models. It features a unique scoring system that attributes 80 percent value to public votes from the extended April 1 – November 30 on-line poll and 20 percent to unit sales. Official sales volume data for the AFPCA was furnished by Stradcom Corporation with the official sanction of the Land Transportation Office (LTO). The data covered only “Completely Built” and “New Imported” units that were put in for new registration with the LTO from January-November 2021, and excludes grey market and used vehicles. The AFPCA scoring methodology yields Model of the Year awardees in 5 Standard and 4 Premium/Luxury classifications and the Automobile of the Year in separate Standard and Premium/Luxury categories from over 160 models in the 2021-2022 AFPCA Official Entry List.

During the ceremonies, due recognition was also conferred upon winners of the “2021-2022 Auto Focus Media’s Choice Awards” (AFMCA), an equally important component of STV’s annual Automobile Industry Merit Program. The AFMCA aims is to further recognize the automobile industry’s continuing efforts to provide car owners and motorists with the best on-board features, styling, performance, and overall value.

A select group of recognized motoring media professionals and practitioners comprised the AFMCA Voters’ Panel that participated in the November 26-December 6, 2021 poll. The Awards Committee maintained a rationalized majority rule that set a 1/3rd or 33.3 percent vote tally requirement for media awardees. The previous 12 Standard and 10 Premium/Luxury model classes were retained. Based on this, 46 honorees emerged from the 88 available award categories. These were:

Best Design – Standard: 9 Awardees
  • Honda City Hatchback (Sub-compact)
  • Mazda3 (Compact)
  • Mazda6 (Midsize Sedan)
  • Toyota GR Supra (Sports Car)
  • Toyota Land Cruiser (Large SUV/Crossover)
  • Isuzu D-MAX (Pick-up)
  • Kia Grand Carnival (MPV)
  • Toyota Hi-Ace (Van)
Best Design – Premium/Luxury: 5 Awardees
  • BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe (Sub-compact)
  • Lexus IS (Compact Sedan)
  • Porsche 911 (Sports Car)
  • Mercedes Benz GLE (Midsize SUV/Crossover)
  • Lexus LM350 (Van)
Best Engine Performance – Standard: 8 Awardees
  • Honda Brio (Mini)
  • Honda City Hatchback (Sub-compact)
  • Honda Civic (Compact)
  • Honda Accord (Midsize Sedan)
  • Geely Coolray (Sub-compact SUV/Crossover)
  • Toyota Land Cruiser (Large SUV/Crossover)
  • Isuzu D-MAX (Pick-up)
  • Toyota Innova (MPV)
Best Engine Performance – Premium/Luxury: 6 Awardees
  • Mini John Cooper Works Clubman (Sub-compact)
  • Audi RS6 (Midsize Sedan)
  • Porsche Taycan (Large Sedan)
  • Lamborghini Huracan (Sports Car)
  • Porsche Macan (Compact SUV/Crossover)
  • Lamborghini Urus (Large SUV/Crossover)
Best Safety Features – Standard: 4 Awardees
  • Honda Brio (Mini)
  • Mazda 6 (Midsize Sedan)
  • Kia Grand Carnival (MPV)
  • Toyota Hi-Ace (Van);
Best Safety Features – Premium/Luxury: 6 Awardees
  • BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe (Sub-compact Sedan)
  • Mercedes Benz C-Class (Compact Sedan)
  • Bentley Continental GT (Sports Car)
  • Volvo XC60 (Midsize SUV/Crossover)
  • Volvo XC90 (Large SUV/Crossover)
  • Lexus LM350 (Van)
Best Value-for-Money – Standard: 6 Awardees
  • Suzuki S-Presso (Mini)
  • Toyota Camry (Midsize Sedan)
  • Geely Coolray (Sub-compact SUV/Crossover)
  • Toyota Land Cruiser (Large SUV/Crossover)
  • Isuzu D-MAX (Pick-up)
  • Toyota Hi-Ace (Van)
Best Value-for-Money – Premium/Luxury: 2 Awardees
  • Lexus LS (Large Sedan)
  • Lexus NX300 (Compact SUV/Crossover)

The AFPCA and AFMCA are the centerpiece of STV’s annual merit programs for the local automotive industry and are now into their 17th and 14th editions respectively. As STV’s Ray “Butch” Gamboa pointed out: “We strongly believe that this tandem programs continue to benefit the motoring public and automobile industry no end, even amidst these uncertain and very challenging times. STV has now been working for and with local automotive manufacturers and distributors for 36 years. We’ve been with them through good times and bad over those years. In our own humble way, we are proud to be able help them and the motoring public in such ways that we’ve been able to.”

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