Toyota and Honda reveal 2018 prices: a good time to buy?

Toyota and Honda announce lower prices for some of its popular models, price increase for others


It’s November 2017. You have P5 million burning a hole in your pocket. Two rather speculative purchases are top of mind.

One is a virtual currency that has no intrinsic value but has already grown by 800 percent. The other is a Toyota Land Cruiser, a premium large SUV that may see a 25 percent increase in price next year due to an proposed change in tax laws.

At that time, many would have seen the Land Cruiser as the safer bet. It’s big, can seat the entire family, and can likely keep driving until the end of civilization. This led to the phenomenon of buyers speculating on high-end cars, expecting that they would be getting a relative bargain, or some even intending to resell.

Then came the final tax regulation, which actually lowered the excise tax imposed on certain market segments, including the LC. Now, in January 2018, Toyota dealers have begun revealing their new prices. (They have all been careful to call the price lists “unofficial.”)

Honda has also released its vehicle price list.

Let’s take a look at which cars are a relatively good buy now, versus ones that are “goodbye” if you can’t afford the higher prices.

Good buys in 2018

1. Toyota Land Cruiser 200

New price: P4.65 million (lower by P350,000)

Even before the excise tax proposal, the LC somehow struck a chord with certain buyers. It’s easy to rationalize the purchase of an LC: eight-seat capacity, high ground clearance, even its diesel fuel.

The excise tax stoked the demand to fever pitch. Buyers who didn’t snag one last year might very well consider it now that it’s cheaper.

2. Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 3.0

New price: P4.041 million (lower by P202,000)

The “other” Land Cruiser, if you can’t afford the LC200, has also gone down in price, to just a hair above P4 million.

3. Toyota Prius

New price: P2.22 million (lower by P217,000)

A provision in the new excise tax law was meant to encourage the adoption of hybrids and electric vehicles, and the Prius certainly benefits from this.

The P217,000 price cut could buy enough fuel for the life span of your Prius (about 100,000 km).

4. Toyota Prius-C

New price: P1.831 million (lower by P119,000)

The smaller Prius C also gets a friendlier price. It may still seem expensive for a small hatchback, but if you want to buy a hybrid, this is the more affordable Toyota option.

5. Toyota Hilux 4×4 2.8G diesel AT

New price: P1.737 million (lower by P145,000)

Pickups may also benefit from the new excise tax regulation, as it favors commercial vehicles.

Toyota’s top of the line workhorse has all the creature comforts, but it seems to benefit the most in the lineup.

6. Honda Odyssey

New price: P2.433 million (lower by P16,000)

One of the best-to-drive family vans gets a slight price cut for this year, one of the few cars in Honda’s lineup to do so.

You can use the P16,000 to buy a trunk load of diapers, or perhaps condoms, if you don’t want to add your Odyssey’s passenger count.

Goodbyes in 2018

1. Toyota Fortuner 2.4G diesel AT

New price: P1,555,555 (higher by P127,000)

Toyota’s hot-selling SUV becomes more expensive, but the expected upgrades in features (rear disc brakes, for example) have not yet been announced.

2. Toyota Innova 2.8V diesel AT

New price: P1.624 million (higher by P128,000)

Toyota is confident enough in the Innova to allow the prices to overlap those of the Fortuner, formerly a more premium product.

The Innova is full of creature comforts, but the price keeps creeping higher.

3. Honda City 1.5 E MT

New price: P820,000 (higher by P50,000)

The Honda City is small but roomy, with a full set of convenience features. It remains to be seen if the P50,000 price increase will affect its success.

4. Honda CR-V SX Diesel 9AT AWD

New price: P2.086 million (higher by P37,000)

Honda’s seven-seat alternative to pickup-based SUVs is now well above the P2 million mark.

There are more affordable variants available, including ones with the turbodiesel engine as well.

Will the higher excise taxes dampen demand for cars?

With the prices shown by Honda and Toyota, almost certainly not. The price increases can be spread over many months via financing, and with the lack of reliable public transport, a new car remains as attractive—and even necessary—a purchase as ever.

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