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Showing posts with label Top Picks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Top Picks. Show all posts

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.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Top 5 Picks For 2021

Picking the Top 5 Picks out of 48 cars we’ve extensively driven this year is not an easy task. This is especially true since the field of choices whatever the category from sub-compact sedans to luxury SUVs has become extremely competitive.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Top 5 Picks for 2020

With pandemic-related community quarantine measures in place since March, one would think that choices for this year’s Top 5 Picks would be slim. Thankfully, that’s not the case. All in all, we managed to test 41 vehicles this year. While this number is slightly down from 2019’s 50, it’s still a sizeable number given we need to trim down the list to just five. 

Monday, December 7, 2020

JAC PH Set to Introduce The Fully-Loaded, Sub-Million Peso T8 Pickup Truck on December 13

JAC, distributed exclusively in the Philippines by Triesenburg Auto Corporation (TAC), is adding a second pickup truck to its portfolio with the launch of its T8 pickup truck.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Top 5 Picks for 2019

Marked by the introduction of several new brands, 2019 marks a period of change for the more established carmakers. With competition heating up, most stepped up to the challenge—offering new and/or improved offerings which have appealed not just to the regular consumer, but to enthusiasts as well.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Top 5 Picks for 2018

This year is almost coming to a close and while the automotive industry dipped because of the implementation of TRAIN, that didn’t stop carmakers from coming up with some great new offerings for the Philippine market. Before revealing this year’s best, now is a great time to look at the previous winners (2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011).

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Top 5 Picks for 2017

It’s almost the end of the year and that means it’s time for CarGuide.PH’s annual Top 5 Picks. Before revealing this year’s best, now would be a great time to look at the previous winners (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011). Regular readers know that our Top 5 Picks is done differently from anyone else. Instead of categorizing and sub-categorizing them (sometimes conveniently to make a brand win), we simply lump everything together.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Top 5 Picks for 2016

Forty-two test drives (not counting First Drives) and only five slots: welcome to CarGuide.PH’s annual Top 5 Picks of the Year. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, you can check out the past winners here (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011), but for now, let’s head on over to the best of 2016. As always, there are no categories or sub-categories. For CarGuide.PH’s Top 5, everything, be it pickup trucks, SUVs, crossovers, sports cars, and what have you, are all lumped together.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top 5 Picks for 2015

If you’ve been following this small blog since it launched in 2011, you’ve always known that we cap off the year with our annual Top 5 Picks (see 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011). And unlike other award-giving body, we don’t categorize entries based on performance, price, or any other parameter. For this list, we’re grouping everything together.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Top 5 Picks for 2014

2014 is a renaissance of sorts for the Philippine automotive industry. Record-breaking sales (topping north of 200,000 units), tons of events, and a great number of new entrants—for those covering the industry, it’s been a very busy year. Therefore, picking just the top five cars/vehicles of the year isn’t easy, but it’s something we have been doing for the past three years now (2013, 2012, 2011). As always, we don’t break it down into categories or classifications here. This is pretty straight to the point. No bull crap here. There are only two rules to be considered for CarGuide.PH’s Top 5 Picks: first, we should have driven it; second, it must be mainstream (no cars above PHP 4-million).

Now that we’ve put everything in order, let’s get on with CarGuide.PH’s Top 5 Picks of 2014. The list begins, in preferential order, after the break.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Top 5 Picks for 2013

Fifty—that’s how many new cars were launched in 2013; and that number is certainly on the conservative side. So picking the best five among the newly launched is a hard task, but one that we’ve been doing for the last two years (2012, 2011). As always, we only have two rules to be eligible for CarGuide.PH’s Top Picks of the Year: first, we should have driven it and second, it must be mainstream—so don’t expect to see cars selling above PHP 6-million to appear in this list.

Let’s get it on for CarGuide.PH’s Top Picks of 2013. The list begins, in preferential order, after the break.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top 5 Picks for 2012

Photos by Ulysses Ang

CarGuide.PH deals with anything and everything automotive with the Philippines. So, things wouldn’t be complete without our very own Top 5 Picks of the year. We’ve reviewed and featured quite a number of new cars on CarGuide.PH so picking just five outstanding vehicles launched in 2012 is hard business. At the same time, take note that these cars are mainstream vehicles, so don’t expect anything north of PHP 6-million to appear in this list.

Anyway, the list starts after the break and find out our Top 5 Picks of 2012 in preferential order.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Top 5 Picks for 2011

Photos by Ulysses Ang and Hyundai Press
At, we don't mince words and though we've existed for less than two months, we just had to come out with our very own Top 5 picks for 2011. Take note...these five cars were launched in 2011. At the same time, these are the cars we've managed to spend some seat time in--so Ferraris and Lamborghinis don't count.

Anyway, continue after the break to find out our Top 5 picks in preferential order.