What does it take to become the number-one selling sub-compact sedan?

By Monch Henares Philippine Daily Inquirer March 24,2019

Top-of-the-line 2019 Vios 1.5L Prime G in Lipa City’s Beehive Farm and Kitchen

There must be a formula to get to that number-one slot year after year.


Dependability and reliability would be two key criterias that stand at the base of this formula.


It has to be consumer-tested, meaning it should go for many months running non-stop in a car boot camp like Metro Manila during the hottest months of the year, and come out unscathed.


It should be able to transport passengers to every point in the archipelago safely and in comfort, and these same people should be able to strongly recommend the vehicle to their family and friends.


It should rarely break down, and be easily maintained by most auto shops everywhere. Parts availability is part of this territory.


It has to be backed up by the solid reputation of a car brand that is entrenched in the Philippine automotive industry, one that is known for its years of delivering quality dependable reliable automobiles.


The sub-compact 4-door sedan that beat the rest of the lineup last year and 16 years in a row now running is the people’s favorite: the Toyota Vios.


It fills the above formula to a tee, and Toyota mastered it and applied it to its other models like the Fortuner and Innova, which sure enough brought out new record sales-breakers.


Some call the Vios a taxi-car. Yes, it should be because the Filipino has embraced it as such.


However, with all the decals and stickers, it still remains to be a looker—a car with character and style.


Take the 2019 Vios 1.5L Prime G which is a top-of-the-line variant.


It had a sharp-looking body kit and rear spoiler. The test drive unit had a red mica metallic coat that never lost its luster. Rain or shine, it never looked dusty or dirty.


It came complete with seven airbags, electronic climate control, keyless entry, a security alarm with immobilizer, push start and stop, stability control, Isofix, and 16-inch alloy wheels


Not really many hi-tech features for a top variant, but it had all the essential features to make your daily drive a safe and convenient driving pleasure.


Out-of-town journey


Does the color red make you hungry? Well it sure got Arabelle and I as hungry as bulls that day. We started looking for a good restaurant nearby the house because we could not wait. We found the Courtyard Café which is situated in the village. It’s known for its superb Spanish food selection and its courtyard filled with  Bouganvilla blooms. A great ambiance and delicious tummy filling food which is not to heavy on the wallet.


While at the courtyard we saw some bees buzzing around and remembered this one hidden restaurant located in Tambo, Lipa City. We always wanted to visit that quaint little hideaway south of the Metro that we used to frequent a few years back. The plan was hatched and we headed there late in the afternoon for our dinner date.


One hidden restaurant in Tambo, Lipa City worth the trip is a nice leisurely of 63 kilometers.


At the closing end of day, the orange sunset drapes the sky to the right and the majestic Mt. Makiling absorbing every ray of light just before it goes to sleep to the left.


The Beehive Farm and Kitchen is actually an old ancestral home that was converted by its owner to originally serve just the locals of Lipa.


News and satisfied tastebuds spread the word faster than they intended, and that’s when the gastronomic news hit the Manila food scene.


The Beehive Farm and Restaurant grows its own greens. Thus, they always have the freshest salads served.


They also have a mean burger called BumbleBee. The steaks are so soft and tasty. Sausages, wings, roast beef, pulled pork, pizzas and pastas of every kind—everything is just so good.


A must-order dish is their famous Honey-Cured Slab of Bacon dipped in honey pepper sauce. You will sense an explosion of heavenly flavors that would make you change your view of pork.


It’s a meal fit for a queen bee at a price a worker bee could afford—a gastronomical experience that will keep you coming back for more.


Heading home, the Toyota Vios proved to be the workhorse with years of proven reliability under its saddle. It’s a great family car and daily driver that’s easy to maintain and service.


There doesn’t seem to be an end to the love affair between the Toyota Vios and the Filipino. It will always be a part of the Filipino daily grind.


Remember: You can’t go wrong with a Toyota.


For more stories visit www.monchsterchronicles.com.


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