The 22 Best Cars of 2022

What better (and more fun) way to cap off the year than with making a list of the best cars that we lucky car-buying Filipinos can put in our garages? Lucky because we’ve got an embarrassment of riches from which to choose from: there are now over a hundred different models from over two dozen car companies offering their cars here in the Philippines—a vast majority of which range from good to excellent. It’s almost impossible to find a crappy poorly made car nowadays.

Which makes it actually challenging to come up with any “Best” list. But since it’s our job, we put our heads together to come up with the 22 Best Cars of 2022. No price ceilings. No limits for any category. The only requirement is that the car must be available in the 2022 calendar year (which means that not all the cars on this list necessarily have to be all-new for ’22). Without further ado, here they are…

1.  Toyota Raize

Toyota has once again taken a segment by storm with the introduction of the Raize subcompact crossover earlier this year. Its combination of petite yet perky SUV styling, standout color options, modern tech, and peppy 1-liter turbo engine made people flock to it, as evidenced by the number of Raizes on the streets.

2.  Hyundai Stargazer

Hyundai Stargazer

Hyundai is aggressive in its return to the Philippines under a new distributor and what better way to climb the ranks than with a family car. The Stargazer is the brand’s offering in the tightly contested 7-seater MPV arena. It has distinct features like the light bar DRL, unique wheel designs, and shelved dashboard, making it stand out from the rest of the pack.

3.  Audi e-tron GT

Audi e-Tron GT

Full electric cars don’t have to be boring and the Audi e-tron GT is certainly the best example. Packing two electric motors with a combined output of 530hp and 630Nm of torque, paired to Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, it’s certainly on par with the best of Audi with an internal combustion engine. If you’re not into sprints, the e-tron GT can do 500 kilometers on a full charge.

4.  Honda Civic

Honda Civic S Turbo

After an overly styled model, Honda has pulled back with the aesthetics of the 11th-gen Civic. It’s not as sporty looking as the previous model, and the interior even features new styling, especially the mesh grille on the dashboard. But don’t let that fool you because all Civic models come with a 1.5-liter turbo VTEC engine making 178hp and 240Nm of torque.

5.  Chery Tiggo 8 Pro

Chery’s updates on their local lineup has culminated with the introduction of the Tiggo 8 Pro. Available in a slew of flavors – 1.6-liter turbo, 2-liter turbo, and Plug-in Hybrid, Chery’s biggest SUV provides premium looks and plush interior amenities that takes the battle closer to its rivals. It also comes with a slew of advanced safety features making the overall package more irresistible.


6. Land Rover Defender

In an unseemly move to switch to a unibody platform, the Land Rover Defender was reborn as a luxury off-roader – far from the rugged utilitarian demeanor of its predecessor. It actually worked for the brand as the new Defender is just too good for both on-road and off-road endeavors, with tech features to spruce up those journeys. And to cater to Filipino buyers, Land Rover Philippines recently introduced the 130 model that seats eight people.

Land Rover Defender

7. Nissan Kicks e-POWER

Nissan Kicks e-Power

Is it an EV or a hybrid? For us, the Kicks e-POWER is a non-hybrid hybrid, offering EV driving traits but with the no-charging convenience of an IC-engine car. What makes it impressive is that it’s now the most affordable electrified vehicle in the market today. For customers who want to join the move to electrification, it’s the perfect jump point.

8. Geely Emgrand

Geely Emgrand

Following the success of the Coolray, Geely Philippines bolsters its lineup with the launch of the Emgrand sedan. Classified as a subcompact in terms of pricing but with the size of a bigger compact, the Emgrand actually offers more than its price tag, competing squarely against Japanese stalwarts that lead the segment. Even better, it veers away from the typical sporty styling found among subcompact cars, offering a classy executive approach in a smaller package.

9 . Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5

King of nimble. Vanquisher of understeer—the MX-5 enters the year with the addition of a new handling technology, new exterior/interior combos, and new variants (more manuals, basically). For 2023, the headline is Kinetic Posture Control, which sharpens the handling without adding a gram of weight. Despite newer competition, Mazda has gotten the formula right. Here’s a fun fact: the Philippines is the largest market for the MX-5 in Asia outside of Japan. This year also marked a milestone of having more than 1,000 roadsters sold locally with more than half being the current-gen “ND.”

10. BMW iX


BMW Philippines takes its first step towards an electrified future with the head-turning BMW iX. Conceived from the get-go as an EV, its bold design hides a clever aluminum spaceframe/carbon fiber construction. The integrated drive unit and dealer-serviceable battery are some of its unique features, but most important for enthusiasts, it puts out 326hp and 630Nm as well as a maximum range of 372 kilometers between charges.

11. Peugeot 2008

Peugeot 2008

Peugeot Philippines was reborn in 2022 with a different retailer backing up its return. And with that comes the introduction of the 2008 – the smallest in the brand’s lineup of crossovers. Despite being the smallest, the 2008 isn’t devoid of the French nuances that Peugeot vehicles are known for, which makes the 2008 a great car beyond the attractive design.

12. Toyota Corolla Cross

Toyota Corolla Cross

Though fuel prices have softened, it did manage to bring hybrids and EVs into mainstream. And among the most well-rounded of hybrids out there is the Toyota Corolla Cross. The styling is, admittedly, a tad ordinary, but it delivers where it counts: it’s darn economical. It can easily get more than 20 km/L without even trying. This year, there’s even a spicier GR Sport too which adds a dose of aggression to this friendly crossover.

13. Subaru WRX

Subaru WRX

There’s no mincing words here: the Subaru WRX is ugly as sin, but if you want a well-rounded, affordable sports sedan, this one’s 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 new platform is much more refined. Add to that much higher equipment levels—including more safety gear and even optional adaptive dampers—and you’ve got a WRX that’s equally capable of taking on the daily commute as it is a slick, mountain road.

14. Mini Cooper S

Mini Cooper

It may not be the original hot hatch (that cred belongs to the VW GTI), but the Mini popularized the now-almost-universal front-wheel drive layout. And it not just perfected that drivetrain configuration, it transitioned that to become what is arguably the most fun-to-drive and most universally desirable hatchback on the planet. In terms of fulfilling its mission, few cars can match the Mini’s smiles per hour.   

15. Chevrolet Corvette

Chevrolet Corvette C8

2022 is considered as a transitionary year for Chevrolet in the Philippines, but amidst bringing in SUVs and crossovers, the bowtie brand didn’t forget those who crave for horsepower. Enter the first-ever mid-engine Corvette C8. Listening to customer feedback, Chevrolet brought in the high-po, full-spec C8 equipped with a 6.2-liter V8. Zero to 100 km/h is done in just 3.5 seconds, rivaling certain cars from a Prancing Horse logo at the fraction of the price.

16. Mitsubishi Strada Ralliart

Mitsubishi Strada Ralliart

After an almost 12-year absence, Mitsubishi is bringing back its racy DNA with the introduction of the Ralliart brand. Synonymous with victories at the World Rally Championship and Dakar Rally, Ralliart is all about injecting excitement into Mitsubishi vehicles. For its launch, both the Montero Sport and the Strada Ralliart get the treatment. And while the Montero Sport is impressive, the fact that the Strada Ralliart just won the Asia Cross Country Rally (AXCR) on its first attempt makes it a true standout.

17.  Honda HR-V

Honda HR-V

The Honda HR-V is now on its third generation and thankfully, it reached the Philippine shores not long after the global version was released. The more mature styling doesn’t take away from its sporty character, especially with the turbocharged V and RS variants. But despite some shortcomings – notably the precarious rear cabin egress and inability to cope with demand – the HR-V is one of the safest vehicles in its price point, thanks to the introduction of Honda Sensing that’s standard across the range. No wonder there’s a huge demand for the new model, which HCPI aims to fulfill early next year.

18. Ford Everest

Ford Everest

Just like its Ranger truck twin, the Ford Everest drives as good as its looks. The ton of tech puts the SUV ahead of its contemporaries but most importantly, the Everest continues on with its off-roading pedigree despite the premium motoring it offers. Our only gripe with the Everest is that the Sport variant – which, by the way, arguably looks the best within the lineup – doesn’t come with a 4×4 drivetrain and biturbo powertrain.

19. Mazda CX-5 Turbo

Realizing an unfulfilled gap in the compact SUV segment, Mazda brings in the CX-5 Turbo. Blending style and functionality with newfound power, the turbocharged 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine (253hp and 434Nm of torque) serves up addicting levels of performance. That said, it never forgets to sharpen up the handling while also upping the refinement and equipment levels. After all’s said and done, this is basically a sports sedan masquerading as a practical compact SUV.

20. Lexus NX


Ushering a new chapter for Lexus, the Lexus NX brings a more sophisticated, dynamic, and mature character for the premium Japanese brand. Its “Functional Beauty” aesthetic is all about sharpening the Lexus signature design while also increasing interior room. Speaking of the cabin, it’s the first built on Lexus’ Tazuna concept, which is all about intuitive operation. For the Philippine market, it can be powered by a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine, or for those who want a bit more frugality there’s a 2.4-liter hybrid as well.

21. Toyota GR86 / Subaru BRZ

When Subaru and Toyota introduced the “Toyobaru” twins to the local market, they carved out a segment that’s hungry for a handling-focused, rear-wheel drive sports car. For the second-gen models, they carefully evolved the formula. The result is a sharper handling all-new Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR 86 (yes, they added the Gazoo Racing name there). They also managed to address the original’s biggest weakness: power. For 2022, they added a 237hp (up by 37hp) horizontally opposed (aka boxer) engine mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. It also features improved build quality and more safety equipment as well.

22. Ford Ranger

Ford Ranger

We drove the Ranger in Thailand even before it arrived on our shores and back then, we already know that Ford will be setting another benchmark in the truck segment. It’s way better than before and the improvements enhance the fact that the new-generation model actually looks the best – not only among the Rangers that existed but also among all pickup trucks you can buy locally. That said, the new Ford Ranger Raptor can’t come soon enough, which should arrive in 2023 as the Blue Oval’s biggest launch. – Kap Maceda Aguila, Jacob Oliva, Vincent Villa, and Manny N. de los Reyes

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