Hot cars 2017: new cars in the first semester


The first half of 2017 saw the Philippine automotive industry continue its record breaking performance from 2016.

The first five months of the year registered an increase of 17.9 percent from the same period in 2016. The sales increase can be attributed to the fast growth of the Philippine economy, an impending increase in taxes causing people to buy earlier, as well as the slew of new models arriving on our shores.

Here are some of the new cars that arrived in the first half of 2017:

Honda Civic Type R

One of the hottest cars to arrive in the Philippines, this sports version of the Civic hatchback roars into showrooms with a 310 ps turbocharged 2.0-liter iVTEC engine.

The Civic Type-R stole the limelight at this summer’s Manila International Auto Show, and will no doubt turn heads whenever it makes an appearance on the street.

Honda Jazz and Mobilio

Honda also offered refreshed versions of the Jazz hatchback and Mobilio MPV. The Mobilio MPV gets a more SUV-like exterior, bringing it closer to the hot-selling BR-V crossover in appeal.

Both the Jazz and Mobilio MPV are much roomier inside than what you’d expect from their compact exteriors.

Subaru Impreza, XV

Subaru unveiled the new Impreza sedan, first in a regional launch in Singapore, then at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS).

Aside from the more mature appearance, the Impreza most significantly rides on an all-new platform. Subaru says this new chassis is significantly stronger and stiffer than the outgoing one, making the new Impreza safer, more comfortable, and better-handling.

The Impreza’s sister crossover, the XV hatchback, also rolled out for a regional launch. The XV will no doubt prove to be more popular than the Impreza due to its raised ground clearance giving it an SUV-like stance.

It’s expected to make its way to the Philippines in a couple of months.

Volkswage Tiguan, GTS, Caddy, Crafter

Volkswagen launched the all-new Tiguan compact SUV at MIAS. Looking sharper than the outgoing model, the Tiguan promises a more comfortable ride and much-improved interior.

VW also released a new version of the Golf, the GTS, a wagon that increases the cargo-carrying capability of the compact car, while reportedly keeping its handling and efficiency.

VW introduced the attractively-priced Caddy MPV, as well as the extra large 9-seat Crafter, a large van with a huge interior, ideal for traveling long distances or spending lots of time in the slow oozing Manila traffic.

Mazda CX-5, CX-9, MX-5

Mazda had a triple feature at MIAS, launching the CX-5 and CX-9 SUVS, and the MX-5 RF roadster. The second generation features an edgier version of the Kodo – Soul of Motion styling theme, and promises a roomier, more comfortable interior.

The CX-9 moves upmarket, thanks to a sumptuous leather-lined interior. It’s powered by a new turbocharged SkyActiv 2.5-liter engine.

The MX-5 adds a folding hardtop to the best-selling sports car, allowing the Miata to convert from coupe to targa-style roadster in 11 quick, motorized seconds.

Hyundai Creta, Genesis, Grand Starex

Hyundai entered the subcompact SUV fray with the Creta. The Creta was launched with a gasoline engine, but a diesel variant is coming. The Creta carries some of the lines its bigger sibling, making it the “baby Tucson.”

Meanwhile, the big man of the Hyundai lineup is the all-new Genesis G90. G90 aspires to carry all the luxury features of high-end European brands, while carrying its own “Athletic Elegance” design.

If your family or posse can’t fit in a regular Starex, Hyundai has the new Grand Starex Super Express.

Chevrolet Spark, Trax

Chevrolet Spark took its bow at MIAS. The all-new, second-generation Spark gets a more modern look, with a dual-port grille, projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights, fog lamps, and 15-inch alloy wheels. Power is via a 1.4-liter gasoline engine paired with a CVT.

The facelifted Trax SUV was also at the Chevrolet stand. With a sleeker front and rear end, and improved interior, the Trax takes on the subcompact SUV category with a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine.

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Dodge unleashed one of its most powerful vehicles at MIAS: the Challenger SRT Hellcat, the quickest, most powerful muscle car from the brand. The Hemi V8 engine pumps out 707 hp and 881 Nm via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Top speed is an astounding 320 kph.

Volvo V90

Volvo launched the V90 Cross Country crossover. The raised wagon features 65 mm of additional ground clearance, available silver front and rear skid plates, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Audi Q7, Q2

Audi added an XL and an S to its lineup of SUVs. The extra-large is the Q7, a seven-seat luxury SUV, and its new variant is powered by a 2.0-liter gasoline engine.

Meanwhile, the all-new Q2 was launched this July, catering to those seeking a compact but snazzy-looking ride. The Q2 features the trademark Audi styling cues like the huge grille and gray side-blades on its C-pillars.

The Audi Q2

BMW 5 Series

BMW launched the all-new 5 Series, loaded with features previously exclusive to the ultra-luxury 7 Series. These include gesture commands for the secondary controls-you just wave your hands in the air to control the audio-and a display key that looks more like a smartphone.

With it, you can start the car’s engine and turn on the airconditioning before climbing in. It’s powered by a choice of diesel engines: the 2.0-liter inline-four (192ps, 400 Nm) and the 3.0-liter inline-six (268ps, 620 Nm).

Kia Rio

Kia launched the all-new Rio hatchback, an attractive update for the nameplate. Rio features a 1.4-liter gasoline engine, with 100 ps and 133 Nm, 17-inch alloy wheels, climate control, and a smart key with push-button start.

MINI Countryman

The Mini Cooper Countryman

MINI launched its biggest vehicle to date, the Countryman compact SUV. The Countryman has grown significantly in length, and this pays off in its larger cabin and cargo area. It can now seat five realistically, and four comfortably.

Still present is the trademark sharp MINI handling character and distinctive styling inside and out. The Countryman for the Philippines is powered by diesel engines, a turbo three-cylinder for the D and a more powerful four-cylinder in the SD.

Toyota Wigo

Toyota updated its best-selling Wigo hatchback. New bumper, grille, and lights refresh the looks. The most important upgrade is under the hood, with a new VVT-I engine providng more power and efficiency.

Isuzu mu-X Black Series

Isuzu launched a new variant of its mu-X, the Black Series. This variant gets black trim on its radiator and hood garnish, 17-inch alloy wheels, and two-tone front bumper. The Black Series is built on the automatic 3.0-liter LS-A 4×2 model.

Porsche Panamera

The Porsche Panamera

Porsche introduced the all -new Panamera sedan, billed as one of the world’s fastest four-doors. The new Panamera is powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, with 555 ps and 770 Nm of torque. It’s mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Nissan Juke N-Style

Giving the Mini Cooper a run for its money in the style department, the Nissan Juke N-Style features accents such as hood stripe, contrasting mirror caps, roof spoiler, and aero kit.

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