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Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Top 5 Picks For 2022


With 42 entries spanning everything from sub-compacts to luxury SUVs, it’s time to our Top 5 Cars of 2022.

As usual, our Top 5 Picks is done differently (see the past winners here: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011). Instead of categorizing cars to try to make everyone a winner, we lump them together to get the five cars that we thought were outstanding.

Our methods are simple. First, we should have driven it extensively and on the roads that we’re familiar with. This means no around the block test drives (including track days), no “first drives”, no junkets. Second, it should be fairly mainstream. For that, the list is capped with a maximum MSRP of P 4 million. Finally, it’s something we’d be willing to spend our own money own, and we’re willing to be caught dead in.

With that out of the way, here’s our Top 5 Picks of 2022:


#5. Subaru WRX

Still our go-to for a well-rounded, yet relatively affordable sports sedan, the all-new Subaru WRX is still hard to beat. The combination of a turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive means it can serve up the fun. This time, though, it won’t be trying to shake your fillings out half the time as the much-fangled Subaru Global Platform’s much more, gasp, refined. The WRX STI is gone, but at least you get much higher equipment levels—including more safety gear and even optional adaptive dampers. In short, it’s a WRX that’s equally capable of taking on the daily commute as it is a slick, mountain road. Sadly, no amount of suede or Alcantara could change the fact that it looks ugly as sin.

Read our review.


#4. Toyota Corolla Cross

Though fuel prices have softened of late, it did manage to bring hybrids and EVs into mainstream conversation. And among the growing list of hybrids out there, the Toyota Corolla Cross, we find, is the most well-rounded. The styling looks like it was designed by accountants during their lunchbreak, but at least it’s darn economical. We consistently did 20 km/L without breaking a sweat—something we couldn’t do with a “gas-charged, electric-driven crossover.” Fuel sipping abilities aside, the rest of the package is solid—pliant ride, secure handling, roomy interior, and decent (for a Toyota) specs. An added bonus is that there’s a GR Sport version, but a forewarning: the added spice does little to uplift the bland driving flavor.

Read our review.


#3. Toyota Raize

When Toyota decided to enter the sub-compact SUV genre, everyone knew they’d be a force to be reckoned with. Some may say “it’s just a Daihatsu,” but who the fuck cares? The resulting Toyota Raize is a well-engineered and well-thought-out car. Dynamically, it’s got surprisingly good NVH, precise steering, and a punchy engine (well, at least for the turbo). Naturally, for its price, you can’t expect plush materials (and yeah, everything’s rock hard), but at least build quality is pretty decent. Add styling that’s angular as opposed to jellybean-like, solid levels of safety (it got a 5-star rating at the ASEAN NCAP), usable packaging, and of course, Toyota’s promise of painless ownership means the Raize ticks all the right boxes.

Read our review: Raize 1.2 G, Raize 1.0 Turbo.


#2. Mazda CX-5 Turbo

Subaru turned their back on the fun-loving family man with the death of the Forester XT, so its mantle was taken over by a certain little carmaker from Hiroshima: Mazda. Realizing an unfulfilled gap in the compact SUV segment, the CX-5 Turbo is the choice for everyday thrills with its 253-horsepower, 434 Nm turbocharged engine. Beyond serving up straight line thrills, its revamped chassis sharpens up the handling while also upping the overall refinement and equipment levels. An added bonus is that it’s much more economical than any past Forester XT too. It’s also a constant reminder that, despite its age, the CX-5 still is the one of the best, if not the best compact SUV out there. This new turbocharged variant though enables them to raise the middle finger against mediocrity.

Read our review: CX-5 Turbo.


#1. Honda Civic

You can’t go wrong with the Honda Civic, and the all-new 11th generation model is no different. Despite the so-called “odd-numbered” Civic curse, this one is a winner. We’ve driven all of its variants (S Turbo, V Turbo, RS Turbo), and we’d have to conclude that Honda’s turned in some Dean’s Lister caliber work. In the face of an impending crossover/SUV invasion, including its very own stablemate, the HR-V, the Civic proves it still serves up an unbeatable formula. It’s not perfect (the S Turbo, in particular has a cheap-feeling interior), but overall, it balances wants and need perfectly with class-above space, tight handling, punchy yet fuel efficient engine, and cutting-edge driver assist system. You can’t ask for more in a daily driver. Our top pick goes to the top-of-the-line Civic RS Turbo, but the V Turbo is still pretty solid—it offers 80 percent of the experience for less than P 1.5-million.

15 comments:

  1. I'm very surprised the new Suzuki Grand Vitara isn't in the top 5. It's getting great reviews on YouTube. It is also a collaboration between Suzuki and Toyota.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The all-new Grand Vitara that was unveiled in India isn't here yet so it will take a while.

      Delete
    2. they only include cars they have fully reviewed, also not much hope for new vitara, its underpowered in paper

      Delete
  2. No crappy chinese cars. As it should. You didn't disappoint sir Uly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *as it should be

      Recently this site has been riddled with chinese loving people like kuchi888

      Delete
    2. Just take your anti-psychotic drugs Keane Kuliglig..Nababakla nanaman!
      I don't really care about this list anyway..

      Delete
    3. I think you would care more about a top 5 worst car list. I bet it will all be chinese cars.

      Delete
  3. Sir Uly, any runner-ups, hehe? Still hoping 🙏

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No runner-ups here. No honorable mentions too. Just not how we do things.

      Delete
  4. Sir Uly, I think it would be better if you have a top 5 for each segment siguro something like:

    1. SUVs
    2. Sub-compact SUVs
    3. Sedan
    4. MPVs
    5. Hatchbacks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's not how we roll. If we do that, we might as well award every single car in the country.

      Delete
    2. You can ask me for a recommendation per segment though, but I won't call it my Top 5.

      Delete
  5. Why is the new Nissan Kicks not included in the list?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great on paper, not so great in real life. If I were to get a hybrid crossover, I'd rather go for the ultra-efficient Corolla Cross Hybrid. Read our review:

      https://www.carguide.ph/2022/10/review-2022-nissan-kicks-e-power-vl.html

      Delete
    2. It seems toyota has already perfected the hybrid system thru 2 decades of experience, making hybrids starting with the prius

      Delete

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