Most significant new cars in PH for 2017
More News from Jason K. Ang
2017 marks another blockbuster year for the Philippine automotive industry. A combination of a growing economy and low interest rates helped propel sales to new heights. Not to mention the multitude of new models that were introduced this year to whet the appetite of car buyers and enthusiasts.
Here are the most significant new vehicles of 2017:
Honda Civic Type R
A scant few weeks after its world debut, Honda Philippines launched the Civic Type R at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS). The performance hatchback packs a 310-ps turbocharged iVTEC engine. The initial allocation of units was quickly sold out.
Honda Jazz and Mobilio
Honda also refreshed its bestselling Jazz hatchback and Mobilio MPV. The Mobilio MPV’s styling now more closely resembles its sibling, the popular BR-V crossover. The Jazz and Mobilio manage to have roomy interiors despite their compact exterior dimensions.
The big deal for Honda is the all-new CR-V. Its main features are an available seven-seat interior, and a new diesel engine, the first locally for Honda. The new generation SUV keeps the appeal of previous versions, with ease of driving foremost. The passenger car-based CR-V should be more comfortable and feel lighter to drive than its rival pickup-based SUVs.
Subaru Impreza and XV
Motor Image launched its new Impreza, the new sedan making its debut at MIAS. Exterior changes may seem subtle, but the Impreza is an all-new model that carries a more robust chassis. Its resistance to flexing and torsion is much higher that the previous model’s, resulting in a marked improvement in ride quality and safety.
The XV, Impreza’s crossover sibling, was launched later in 2017. It will probably be more popular than the sedan, thanks to the raised ground clearance. The higher stance gives it a more SUV-like appearance, but the handling is still responsive and car-like.
VW launched its new Tiguan this year. With an all-new platform, the Tiguan promises a more comfortable ride and higher-grade interior.
For those who like the space of an SUV but the handling of a passenger car, VW offers the Golf GTS. The wagon packs more cargo room than the hatchback, and runs on a diesel engine.
For families, VW launched the Caddy, an attractively-priced MPV, and the XL-sized nine-seat Crafter. The big Crafter features a huge interior ideal for slogging through Metro Manila traffic, or taking on long drives to the province.
Mazda CX-5, CX-9 and MX-5 RF
Mazda launched the all-new CX-5, a timely update of its popular SUV. The new SUV features a sharper version of the brand’s Kodo-Soul of Motion styling, and is reportedly roomier and more comfortable. Mazda’s three-row crossover, the CX-9, features seven seats, and a more upscale leather-trimmed interior. The CX-9 is powered by a turbocharged SkyActiv 2.5-liter gasoline engine. Mazda’s best-selling sports car now comes with a folding hardtop. The MX-5 Miata can change from sealed coupe to open targa-style roadster in 11 seconds.
Hyundai Creta, Genesis G90 and Grand Starex
Hyundai released its new subcompact, the Creta, which resembles its bigger sibling, making it the “baby Tucson.” The very much grown-up Genesis G90 is an all-new luxury sedan that aims to challenge the European brands. The Grand Starex Super Express expands the regular Starex.
The all-new Spark gets a more modern look, with dual-port grille, projector headlamps, LED daytime running lights, fog lamps, and 15-inch alloys. The Spark has a 1.4-liter gasoline engine with CVT.
The Trax SUV has sleeker front and rear ends and an improved interior. Its secret weapon is its 1.4-liter turbocharged engine.
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
Dodge released the Challenger SRT Hellcat, its quickest muscle car. The Hemi V8 engine dishes out 707hp and 881 Nm via an eight-speed automatic transmission, good for a 320kph top speed.
Volvo released its all-new flagship, the V90 Cross Country crossover. The wagon features 65mm of additional ground clearance, 18-inch alloy wheels and front and rear skid plates
Audi Q2, Q5, Q7
Seems that 2017 is the year of the crossover at Audi, as it launched the Q7, Q5, and Q2. The Q2 is a compact crossover with Audi styling cues like the gray side-blades and huge front grille. The Q5 features a more upscale interior and sharper exterior styling. The Q7 is a seven-seat three-row luxury SUV, with available diesel and gasoline engines.
BMW 5 Series
The all-new BMW 5 Series carries features previously found only on the ultra-luxury 7 Series, like gesture commands for the audio, and a smartphone-like display key. 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).
The all-new Rio hatchback 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 expands its appeal with the Countryman compact SUV. A more expansive interior allows seating for five, and ample cargo area is enough to carry their stuff. 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.
The Toyota Wigo gets a new VVTi engine, for improved power and fuel efficiency. It also gets a new bumper, grille, and lights.
Isuzu D-Max and mu-X
Isuzu updated its D-Max pickup and mu-X SUVs to the company’s new Euro-4 compliant diesel engines.
Porsche Panamera and Cayenne
Porsche launched a pair of fast four-doors, the Panamera sedan, and the Cayenne SUV. 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
The Nissan Juke N-Style features accents such as hood stripe, contrasting mirror caps, roof spoiler, and aero kit.