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Showing posts with label carguide.ph. Show all posts
Showing posts with label carguide.ph. 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.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Here Are The Most Fuel Efficient Cars In The Philippines From 2011-2022


Fueling cars is no small expense, but it’s an inevitable part of a vehicle’s ownership. With gas prices now reaching record highs—and the first where diesel has become more expensive than gasoline—fuel economy has once again become an important purchase consideration.

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.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Here's What I've Learned After Changing My Mazda CX-5's Brake Pads From Stock To Brembo Ceramic


This is outside the usual reporting cycle of our long-term Mazda CX-5 AWD Sport Diesel which is typically done each time it undergoes Preventive Maintenance Service or PMS, but this is a special occasion. It’s special because I happen to change the brake pads, and that’s the focus of this story.

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. 

Friday, May 15, 2020

A Warning to Car Dealers, Brands: Do This or Die


In times of crisis, auto dealerships should lean on their aftersales service and parts sales to keep them afloat. This lesson has been learned time and time again—during the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, the Global Financial Crisis in 2007, and now it’s something that can be applied with the softening economy brought on by COVID-19.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

12 Cars to Watch Out for in 2020


As the world enters a new year, carmakers in the Philippines are once again bullish with the prospects of a growing industry. After being hit hard by the implementation of the new vehicle excise tax in 2018, and some subsequent recovery in 2019, the industry is once again looking to new models to further fuel their growth this year.

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.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

13 Cars to Watch Out For in 2019


The Philippine automotive industry is seeking to rebound after the government’s implementation of TRAIN caused a derailment to growth in 2018. Collectively, carmakers are predicting a 10 to 15 percent rise in sales. While the growth will still be fueled mostly by attractive financing schemes, the bullish car industry is looking forward to new products to help spur this rebound.

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).

Friday, April 13, 2018

UPDATED: New Excise Tax Reveals Auto Industry Winners and Losers


UPDATE: Vehicle importers (AVID) also suffers loses for Q1 2018 (4/19).

The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) (aka the revised excise tax law) has finally reared its ugly head as evidenced in the Q1 2018 joint CAMPI-TMA sales report. The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturer’s Association (TMA) reports that new automobile sales are down 8.5 percent year-to-date (January to March 2018 versus January to March 2017).

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

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.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Buy or Do Not Buy: The Possible Effect of the New Vehicle Excise Tax on 42 Vehicles


With the finalization of the bicameral version of the TRAIN or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Bill, it’s now heading to the Malacañang Palace for the President’s approval. Once signed into law, this sets into motion a comprehensive change to the country’s taxation structure, including one that governs new vehicles.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Senate, Congress Agree on New Vehicle Excise Tax That's Friendly to Pick-Up Trucks, EVs


EDITOR’S NOTE (1): We simulate the prices of 42 vehicles under the final bicameral version of the TRAIN bill. Read it here. (12/14/2017).

It looks like the Senate and the House of Representatives were able to reach a compromise. Rallying before they adjourn for a Christmas break starting on December 15, the bicameral committee reached an agreement to finalize the TRAIN or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Senate Passes New Vehicle Excise Tax on Third and Final Reading; It Makes Luxury Cars More Affordable


EDITOR’S NOTE (2): We simulate the prices of 42 vehicles under the final bicameral version of the TRAIN bill. Read it here. (12/14/2017).

EDITOR’S NOTE (1): The House of Representatives and Senate have agreed on a compromised version of the new vehicle excise tax which excludes pick-up trucks and EVs. See the story here (12/12/2017).

The Rappler reports that The Philippine Senate has approved on the third and final reading the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Bill which reduces the personal income tax but raises the excise tax on items such as new car purchases and fuel.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

UPDATED: How the Approved Excise Tax Bill Affects 20 Popular Vehicles


EDITOR’S NOTE (3): We simulate the prices of 42 vehicles under the final bicameral version of the TRAIN bill. Read it here. (12/14/2017).

EDITOR’S NOTE (2): The House of Representatives and Senate have agreed on a compromised version of the new vehicle excise tax which excludes pick-up trucks and EVs. See the story here (12/12/2017).

EDITOR’S NOTE (1): The senate just approved a new version of TRAIN that is friendlier to luxury vehicles. See the full story here. (11/28/2017).

A few days ago, several media outlets including The Philippine STAR reported that The House Committee on Ways and Means has just approved the tax reform package proposed by the Department of Finance. Included in this tax reform package is a revision to the current new vehicle excise tax which car buyers have been enjoying for the good part of a decade.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Congress is About to Make Cars More Expensive For You


EDITOR’S NOTE (4): We simulate the prices of 42 vehicles under the final bicameral version of the TRAIN bill. Read it here. (12/14/2017).

EDITOR’S NOTE (3): The House of Representatives and Senate have agreed on a compromised version of the new vehicle excise tax which excludes pick-up trucks and EVs. See the story here (12/12/2017).

EDITOR’S NOTE (2): The senate just approved a new version of TRAIN that is friendlier to luxury vehicles. See the full story here. (11/28/2017).

EDITOR’S NOTE (1): A version of the bill has just passed the House Ways and Means Committee. You can check how it will affect vehicle prices here (5/8/2017).

Late last year, the Department of Finance looked at revising the excise tax on new vehicles initially as a means to curb Manila’s worsening problem. Then, they clarified it’s to increase tax collection. With the government bent on reducing personal income tax, they had to find alternative ways to fund government operations. This is especially true as the current administration is looking at spending big on infrastructure development, something that quite frankly, the previous administration didn’t do.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Should We Be Afraid of the New Vehicle Excise Tax?


EDITOR’S NOTE (6): We simulate the prices of 42 vehicles under the final bicameral version of the TRAIN bill. Read it here. (12/14/2017).

EDITOR’S NOTE (5): The House of Representatives and Senate have agreed on a compromised version of the new vehicle excise tax which excludes pick-up trucks and EVs. See the story here (12/12/2017).

EDITOR’S NOTE (4): The senate just approved a new version of TRAIN that is friendlier to luxury vehicles. See the full story here. (11/28/2017).

EDITOR’S NOTE (3): A version of the bill has just passed the House Ways and Means Committee. You can check how it will affect vehicle prices here (5/8/2017).

EDITOR’S NOTE (2): We have put up a comparative study of this Department of Finance proposal versus House Bill 4774. You can check out the story here (1/29/2017).

EDITOR’S NOTE (1): This report pertains to the Department of Finance’s initial recommendation to increase the excise tax on new vehicles. A new version, House Bill 4774 is being considered as well. In both cases, it’s important to know that NOTHING IS FINAL. The pricing scenario here may change once the law has been passed. Regardless, we will update this with a more detailed breakdown once that happens (1/25/2017).

This will be the biggest motoring headline for 2017 and one that will have a long lasting repercussion for the entire automotive industry. With the automotive industry enjoying a robust double-digit growth during the past few years, a new regulation is being proposed that may curtail this growth. This regulation is the proposed change to the current vehicle excise tax.