This year was challenging for the automotive industry. The Taal ashfall (yes, that really happened this year), and the economic slowdown due to COVID-19 meant that new cars sales dropped. Still, car brands were quick to adopt to the times—introducing new offerings through video conferencing and even launching their respective virtual showrooms.
With that in mind, here are the new cars that were launched this year.
Ford Ranger FX4
Ford Philippines opened 2020 with the introduction of two new variants of its bestselling Ranger pickup truck—the FX4 in manual and automatic transmission guise (it was introduced as a 4×2 first, but later added 4×4 variants as well). The Ranger FX4 features unique exterior and interior styling changes that make it a stand out from the rest of the Ranger line-up. These include 18-inch high-gloss black wheels, a new mesh grille, extended steel sports bar, 3D badging on the tailgate, leather seats, and a more premium infotainment system.
MINI Countryman JCW and Clubman JCW
MINI started off with a bang, introducing a pair of 300-plus horsepower, factory-tuned compacts that rightfully earn their place as part of MINI’s top-tier JCW family. Powering both models is a new 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo that makes 306hp and 450 Nm of torque. Paired to an eight-speed automatic, it rockets from 0-100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds (5.1 for the Countryman JCW). Both also come with all-wheel drive and 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, too.
BMW 1 Series
Flair up those nostrils, because BMW also introduced the all-new 1 Series. The premium hatchback sports a giant kidney grille, fused in the middle along with full LED lighting. Beneath, there are more changes as the hatchback switches to an all-new platform (coincidentally, the same one used by MINI), liberating a huge amount of interior room. Two versions are offered for the Philippines—the 118i Sport and the M135i XDrive—both of which undercut their respective competitors in terms of price.
BMW isn’t just lowering the price tag of its entry-level 1 Series for 2020. The refreshed X1 gets aesthetic and feature updates that significantly makes it more affordable. The exterior gets a larger grille, new LED headlights with sharper light iconography, and a front bumper with larger intakes. At the back is a body-colored apron, and at all four corners, new 18-inch alloy wheels. Under the hood, it loses all-wheel drive and power now comes a 150hp diesel engine (it was 190hp before), but it does manage to shed almost a million pesos off its price tag, and even comes with a longer warranty to boot.
Mazda CX-5 Diesel Signature AWD
Completing its 2020 CX-5 line-up, Mazda upgrades its top-tier AWD Diesel from Sport to Signature. With that, it adds both aesthetic and performance-oriented changes. Things start with a more powerful 2.2-liter diesel engine with more horsepower and torque than before. Along with the new engine, it gets a re-tuned suspension and active torque vectoring. Exterior changes are limited to the new wheels, but inside, it gets ventilated Nappa leather seats, a frameless rear-view mirror, and a new instrument cluster.
Ford Everest Trend
Showing the Everest some love, Ford updates its seven-seater mid-sized SUV. For 2020, the Trend variant returns with aesthetic changes first seen in the top-of-the-line Titanium models. It also gets added smart and safety features including a power tailgate, leather seating, and even an infotainment system powered by SYNC 3. Meanwhile, the top-tier Titanium variants now get LED exterior lighting and a new design for their 20-inch alloy wheels.
Suzuki updates its value-for-money MPV, the Ertiga. The changes are fairly minimal, limited only to a new design for its 15-inch alloy wheels (for the GLX). Inside, it dropped the beige-and-black interior for a more somber (but easier to maintain) all black one across the line-up. For those keeping score, yes, it’s the same one found in the once optional Ertiga Black Edition. Aside from that, the GL and GLX models get a center arm rest, while the GLX also gets automatic climate control.
After launching a line of MPVs and vans, Maxus is now adding a pickup truck to its line-up with the T60. The longest and widest in is class, the T60 also boasts of a one-ton payload capacity and 800-mm of water wading. It’s powered by a 2.8-liter diesel with variable geometry turbo mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. Either way, the T60 is loaded to the brim with features and does have the longest warranty among pickup trucks: a standard five-year / 100,000-kilometer warranty. Its service intervals are even capped off to a once-a-year visit.
Committed to injecting a bit of excitement to its local line-up, the Nissan 370Z has finally made it to the Philippines. Hailed as the sibling to the GT-R, and in the developer’s own words—a “better dance partner” (that’s why its Japanese market name is Fairlady Z), the Nissan 370Z offers a strong performance and celebrated heritage. The 332hp output (344hp in the Nismo) easily matches the GR Supra’s, while offering other factory-installed performance upgrades like 19-inch RAYS forged wheels, free-flowing exhaust, and performance-tuned dampers.
Mitsubishi Xpander Cross
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines promised, and they delivered. A few months after its global debut in Indonesia, the seven-seater Xpander Cross has finally landed in the Philippines and with it reignites the war for supremacy among three-row subcompact SUVs. Compared to its non-Cross sibling, the Xpander Cross receives beefier-looking styling. The headlights and front foglights are now illuminated by LEDs, while the wheels themselves are an inch up.
Mitsubishi Strada Athlete
Designed to appeal to those who want a bit more style, the Strada Athlete comes with all sorts of aesthetic changes that set it apart not just from the “regular” Strada, but from other pickup trucks in the market as well. Outside, it boasts of a more striking fascia thanks to its trademark Dynamic Shield grille now decked in high-gloss black. The same high-gloss black is also found in the door handles, side mirrors, and the 18-inch wheels. Side body graphics complete the changes. Inside, it gets orange and black leather seating with orange stitching. This orange stitching is also found on the door trims and steering wheel as well.
Subaru Forester GT
The last “face-to-face” launch for the motoring media this year, the Subaru Forester gets a dose of excitement thanks to this kit designed by Subaru’s “hitmaker” Masahiko “Jack” Kobayashi. Like his work on the Subaru XV GT Edition, the Forester GT Edition receives integral aero elements complemented by exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside, it gets revised leather seats, and a high-definition eight-inch infotainment system with Superview Around Recognition (SAR) 360 camera.
After finding success with its Coolray crossover, Geely is adding their own compact SUV with the Azkarra. Known as the Bo Yue (“Exceedingly Rich”) in China, it’s the segment’s first and only hybrid offering. The 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder shared with the Coolray is paired with an electric motor good for 190hp. It also gets luxury-oriented features such as Nappa leather interior, an N95-certified air filtration system, and a 12.3-inch infotainment system with smartphone integration.
Suzuki is entering the seven-seater subcompact SUV market with the XL7. Based off the Ertiga, the XL7 gets SUV styling with larger wheels and wraparound moldings. At four corners are 16-inch polished alloy wheels, while at the front is a stronger fascia with LED headlights and daytime running lights. Inside, it has an abundance of creature-comfort features such as automatic climate control and a 10-inch infotainment system. Like the Ertiga, it’s powered by a 1.5-liter K15B engine and is underpinned by Suzuki’s advanced lightweight HEARTECT platform.
Replacing its strong-selling Alto, Suzuki offers a different twist in the entry-level micro car segment with the S-Presso. Strong and bold, it features SUV-like styling in a car that’s priced at just P518,000. Don’t let that price fool you—it’s filled with a surprising array of features such as a digital-type speedometer and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine may push out just 67hp, but with just 770 kgs to pull around, it makes for one zippy ride.
The “S-Class of SUVs,” has arrived. Exuding presence and power, the Mercedes-Benz GLS features impressive dimensions covered by the brand’s new Sensual Purity design language. Inside, it combines the comfort of a traditional luxury sedan with the rugged detailing of an SUV. The local-spec GLS is powered by a 286hp diesel engine, while sure-footed handling is provided by its Airmatic air suspension.
Ford Everest Sport
Picking up where the Ford Everest Trend 4×2 leaves off, the Everest Sport comes decked with sportier exterior cues, replacing the chrome highlights with either high-gloss black or body-colored ones. Capping off the changes are 20-inch high-gloss black alloy rims, and Sport badging on the rear door and trunk. Inside, it features contrasting stitching on its leather seats and an infotainment system powered by SYNC 3. The Everest Sport also shares the Titanium 4×2’s single-turbo engine giving it 180hp mated to a 10-speed automatic.
With Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) looking to globalize its Jeep brand, they’ve begun to move the production hub for the Philippine market to its two plants in China. The first to take advantage of this move is the Compass compact SUV. Designed for people who want to achieve the perfect work-life balance, this global SUV features muscular styling and an exceptional glass-to-wheel proportion. Powering it is a 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Positioned as Jeep’s entry-level model, the Renegade fits the bill for those aspiring to own their first Jeep. The youthfully styled Renegade is juxtaposed with classic design cues making it a standout among the compact crossover class. The bold palette of colors, standard 17-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, and sunroof all make it great for “urban trailing.” Like the Compass, the Renegade is powered by a 1.4-liter turbo engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch auto.
BMW 5 Series, X3, Z4
BMW updates a trio of its cars for its first-ever local digital launch. First in the roster is the 520i Sport, which adds a sportier dimension to the brand’s mid-sized luxury sedan thanks to new exterior design elements. Following that is the X3 xDrive 20d Business which also sports new exterior trim elements and upscale Vernasca leather upholstery. Finally, there’s the Z4 which comes with a special matte gray paint, and more importantly, an upgrade in power to 387hp.
Isuzu D-Max Boondock 4×4
When Isuzu released the Boondock variant for its D-Max pickup last year, there were some head scratching: why add a 4×4-centric package to a 4×2? Well, it seems Isuzu’s addressed those complaints, and has now come up with the D-Max Boondock 4×4. Like the 4×2 version last year, this tough-looking truck comes with 17-inch all-terrain tires with black alloy rims, a lifted ride height, and a revised front suspension. It also gets roof rails, cargo extender, rocker panel, over-fender, and a massive “Boondock” decal on the tailgate.
Toyota made history with its first local digital launch. Featuring the 2020 Wigo, the tiny hatchback is being positioned as an ideal starter car, especially when social distancing in the “new normal.” It sports new exterior styling along with the availability of a new TRD S variant. It also gets various updates inside such as a new gauge cluster, touchscreen Apple CarPlay/Android Auto infotainment system, and a digital air conditioning system. The TRD S also adds a standard dashcam mounted neatly in front of the rear-view mirror.
BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe
Fusing the practicality of a sedan and the sporty style of a coupe, BMW adds the 2 Series Gran Coupe to its roster of vehicles. The four frameless doors are prominent enough, but add to that the easily recognizable double kidney grille and full LED headlights. Also underpinned by BMW’s front-wheel drive architecture, the 2 Series Gran Coupe comes with advanced features such as automated parking assist.
Coming from the success of the Ranger Raptor, Ford officially marks the return of the F-150 back to the Philippines. Viewed locally as lifestyle vehicles (as opposed to workhorses in its home market of the U.S.), it comes standard with a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 and a 10-speed automatic. It also has a full suite of advanced driver assistance systems and even seat massagers.
RAM 1500 Laramie
Ford isn’t the only one offering a full-sized American pickup truck locally. The award-winning RAM 1500 Laramie eschews turbo power for an old-fashioned but reliable 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine with 395hp. This RAM also comes with a class-exclusive RamBox—a lockable bed storage that’s waterproof, lockable, and illuminated.
Competing in the same segment populated by half a dozen choices, JAC brings in their own fighter—the S4. Penned by JAC’s team in Turin and Tokyo, the S4 adopts the brand’s new styling language. It’s also one fully loaded crossover that comes with advanced driver assist technology. Powering it is a 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder engine and comes in both manual or automatic guise.
Porsche enters the zero-emissions race locally with the Taycan. The Taycan Turbo S can generate up to 761hp and can hit 100 km/h from a standstill in just 2.8 seconds. Driving range is rated at 412 kms. The first production electric vehicle with a system voltage of 800 volts instead of the usual 400 volts, it also boasts of quicker battery charge times. Despite its four-door configuration, Porsche says the Taycan is a genuine sportscar more related to the 911 than the Panamera.
Jaguar goes electric in the Philippines too with the first-ever I-PACE. Taking a clean sheet design, it takes full advantage of battery electric technology. It’s been well-received globally being the most decorated production car (of any powertrain type) in modern history. The ultra-stiff architecture which incorporates the battery powers a 400hp electric motor, while a 90-kWh lithium ion battery delivers a driving range of 470 kms.
Range Rover PHEV and Range Rover Sport PHEV
As Range Rover globally celebrates its 50th Anniversary of luxury and all-terrain innovations, the brand is going electrified in the Philippines. Officially carrying the designation P400e, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport PHEV are the brand’s second steps of electrification locally. Both are equipped with a 2.0-liter turbo engine complemented by an 85kW electric motor. Together, it makes a combined 404hp.
Mercedes-Benz A Class Sedan
Launching their very own entry-level premium sedan, Mercedes-Benz adds a sedan variant to the A-Class family. Decked in AMG Line trim, it has a diamond radiator grille with chrome pins as well as 18-inch alloy wheels. Despite the A 180 model designation, this car is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine making 136hp with the sole transmission option available being a seven-speed dual-clutch auto.
Commemorating its historic win as the World Car Design of the Year, Bermaz Auto Philippines, the official distributor of Mazda in the country, launches a limited edition Mazda3 called the Mazda3 edition100. Arriving solely in the five-door Sportback trim, it continues where the top-of-the-line Mazda3 Speed leaves off. It adds either a Brilliant Black or Soul Red Speed body kit, high-gloss 18-inch alloy wheels, and a front license plate relocator.
After over three decades, Jeep is producing its first pickup truck, and that offering, the Gladiator is now here. Not just a Wrangler with a truck bed, the Gladiator is engineered from the ground up to provide real truck utility, functionality and of course, the legendary Jeep capability. Powering the Jeep Gladiator is the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. It is the only trail-rated pickup truck, and to do that, it had to conquer a series of grueling tests over the toughest terrain.
Since 1979, the G-Class has always thrilled its fans with its outstanding driving characteristics and impressive off-road capabilities. Powerful, comfortable, superior—the point of entry to the family has arrived locally with the G 350d. Its 286hp inline-6 diesel engine aside, the G-Class boasts of a fine mix of off-roading ability and creature comforts that Mercedes-Benz is known for. On the road, the “G” is as agile as it is comfortable and provides the driver with a better steering feel. The off-roader stays on track more solidly, and is nimble and effortless when driving off-road.
Almost exactly two years after its launch in 2018, the Philippines’s bestselling vehicle, the Vios gets a makeover for 2020. The refreshed subcompact sedan receives a breadth of new updates, and most important of all, a brand-new front fascia. It receives a new bumper which swaps the universally loathed “grinning look” for one that’s decidedly angrier. The meaner-looking front-end ties into design cues currently seen in the Camry and Corolla Altis models. Powering the Vios this year remains a choice between a 1.3- or 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, available in both manual and automatic transmission guise.
The Lexus NX crossover was engineered and designed to please not only the most discerning driving enthusiasts, but also those who are looking for a comfortable and practical vehicle that can do it all. The standard turbocharged or hybrid power is now complemented by enhanced handling, particularly on the F Sport variant. For 2020, it gets Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS). AVS—based on the advanced system found in the LC 500—offers enhanced control and overall handling stability. This is perfect for driving enthusiasts who enjoy hitting the open road and enjoying their vehicle’s capabilities.
Chery Arrizo 5e
Crossover specialist Chery crossed over to a new genre—not just for them, but for the whole Philippine car industry with their first-ever electric car. The Chery Arrizo 5e features a 160-hp electric motor and a driving range that tops out at close to 500 kilometers on a single charge.
Land Rover Defender
An icon reimagined for the 21st century, the Land Rover Defender is built for adventurous hearts and curious minds. The purposeful design is familiar, yet new. Underneath though it packs the company’s D7x architecture. The aluminum monocoque construction is the stiffest body structure the brand has ever done—three times stiffer than traditional body-on-frame designs. It also gets permanent all-wheel drive, a two-speed transfer box and an open-diff rear axle as standard. Initially, it arrives locally as a 400hp mild hybrid. It’ll be joined by diesel-fed engines by next year.
Audi A8 L
PGA Cars, the exclusive distributor of Audi in the Philippines brings in the new Audi A8 L 3.0 TFSI MHEV, their luxury limousine that offers specifications and equipment unmatched by competitors in its class. The crowning glory is its predictive active suspension. A feature not available in other luxury sedans, the A8 L uses electromechanical actuators to lift or force down each of the vehicle’s wheels individually using a camera located at the front of the car. The long wheelbase form also adds a rear seat entertainment system and a drinks chiller.
Ford entered the compact crossover segment with its all-new Territory. Aimed at young professionals and starting families, the Territory offers a technology-driven driving experience wrapped around a sleek, stylish urban-ready design. Done as a joint-venture partnership with Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC), the Territory packs a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine mated to a CVT.
Foton Gratour TM 300
Foton has opened more opportunities for local businesses with its new micro truck powered by a class-exclusive diesel engine. The Gratour TM 300 is powered by a 2.2-liter diesel that offers low fuel consumption. Combined with its high-strength frame, it has a rated payload capacity of 1,130 kgs. It’s also available in five customizable bodies: MPV, Dropside, F-Van, Wing Van, and Class 1 F-Jeepney
Dubbed as the “most versatile compact SUV” in its class, the 7-seater compact Mercedes-Benz GLB can take you and six of your friends for road trips on weekends. Despite its long wheelbase, it still packs a relatively short overall length—making it great for daily drives around the metro. As the sole offering in the GLB range, the GLB 200 comes with a turbocharged 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine with 163hp mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic.
Toyota Corolla Cross
Sitting below the RAV4 in terms of size and price, the Toyota Corolla Cross aims to bring the brand’s success in the compact sedan space into the small SUV segment. Sharing its basic TNGA GA-C platform with the Corolla, the Corolla Cross swaps the sedan’s independent rear suspension for a newly-developed torsion beam. For the Philippine market, the Corolla Cross comes with two engine choices including the segment’s first gasoline-electric hybrid option.
BMW 7 Series
BMW announced the arrival of the new 7 Series. Available in two body variants, both feature a striking front-end with a larger double kidney grille. The short wheelbase is powered by a 265hp TwinPower turbo, while the long wheelbase features the brand’s first-ever plug-in hybrid. Aside from putting out a combined 394 horsepower, it can run up to 55 kilometers on electric range.
Maxus heads straight into the mainstream with its family-oriented G50. Larger than its competition, it has ample space for all three rows. It also has countless features including leather seats, a 12.3-inch touchscreen, power seats for the front occupants, a panoramic sunroof, and even a power tailgate. Its full kit aside, it is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter. Churning out 169hp, it makes for one fast three-row 8-seater MPV.
Mazda3 and MX-5 100th Anniversary Special Edition
The Philippines joins in the global celebration of Mazda’s 100th anniversary with the arrival of the 100th Anniversary Special Edition series. As a pleasant surprise, Mazda Philippines brought not one, but two models—the MX-5 and Mazda3—that receive the commemorative treatment. Both are adorned with the special anniversary logo, a white-and-burgundy interior color scheme, headrests embossed with a special anniversary logo, and a key presented in a special keep case.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
The world’s bestselling plug-in hybrid vehicle arrives in the Philippines. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is equipped with a twin-motor 4WD system. The 2.4-liter motor already generates 128hp, but it’s supplemented by a 81hp front and 91hp rear motor. With a full charge, it can run 55 kilometers without sipping a drop of gas.
Mitsubishi has quietly brought in a refreshed version of its Xpander MPV. The 2021 version features a revised front-end with cues first seen in the Xpander Cross. It gets a more aggressive front clip with a larger three-diamond logo, new 16-inch alloy wheels with a two-tone finish, and a shark fin antenna. The top-trim GLS also benefits from LED headlights. Inside, Mitsubishi’s bestselling MPV gets minor tweaks such as revised fabrics for the seats.
Toyota brings in the refreshed version of its Hilux pickup truck. With this update, it brings a renewed sense of toughness with its upright fascia. Performance-wise, both the 2.4- and 2.8-liter engines have been upgraded with the larger one now boasting 204hp. Underneath, engineers have addressed the ride with a retuned suspension, while inside it gets a more advanced infotainment system among other updates.
Touted as Jaguar design DNA in its purest form, the F-Type two-seater sportscar adds a more assertive design to its balance of performance and luxury. The super-slim headlights now blend into the new “liquid metal” surfacing of the hood. It also gets a new bumper and larger grille for added visual impact. Inside, the driver-focused F-Type goes high-tech with its interactive driver display and advanced infotainment system with a 380-watt Meridian sound system.
SsangYong Philippines introduces the refreshed Rexton SUV. An alternative to the usual Japanese 7-seater mid-sized SUV choices, the changes to the 2020.5 (the official model year designation) adds more majestic styling along with new convenience and luxury features. The refreshed exterior look aside, it adds standard seat ventilation, a new 8-inch touchscreen infotainment, and LED interior lighting.
The entry-level GLA caps off the slew of new model launches for Mercedes-Benz. The eighth member in the Modular Front Architecture (MFA) family, the GLA features a more expressive design coupled with a more flexible interior. Locally, it comes with just one powertrain option: a 1.3-liter turbocharged engine with 163hp.
Chevrolet Trax Premier
Chevrolet Philippines is updating the Trax compact crossover this 2020 with renewed styling and added safety features. Officially known as the Trax Premier, it comes with black bowtie badges, carbon gray wheels (16 inches for the LS, 18 inches for the LT), a rear quarter decal, black fin-type antenna, and functional crossbars. Inside, it gets a cabin air ionizer, dash cam, and an all-weather cargo tray.
Kia isn’t mincing any words when they said they’re going after the sub-compact sedan/hatchback market with their newest offering: the 2021 Stonic. Penned by Kia design guru Peter Schreyer, the Stonic is very European in its design and execution with its sharp, crisp lines. Powered by a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to either a 5-speed MT or 6-speed AT, it promises peppy responses and excellent fuel efficiency.
The country’s bestselling SUV, the Fortuner gets a refreshed design, new features, and two new variants. With this refresh, it gets a more assertive face with a larger front grille and reshaped bumpers. All variants get an upgraded infotainment system, and even the availability of Toyota Safety Sense. Like the Hilux, power and refinement is also up with the 2.8-liter engine now boasting 204hp as well.
MINI John Cooper Works GP
With only 3,000 manufactured worldwide, MINI Philippines is proud to say that they’ve gotten six of the ultra-rare John Cooper Works GP—the fastest, most capable model that the British brand has ever approved for road use. The collectible is based off the John Cooper Works (JCW), but tuned for an even more visceral experience. Changes done to transform the JCW into the John Cooper Works GP include a more powerful engine, optimized lightweight construction, increased torsional stiffness, and improved aerodynamics.
Honda wants to turn the tide against the prevalence of subcompact crossovers by giving its 2021 City the most dramatic and most feature-packed transformation yet. The fifth generation in Honda’s storied line of subcompact sedans, the all-new City redefines the segment in every imaginable way. Like the previous-generation City, power comes exclusively from a 1.5-liter engine, but the all-new powerplant now features a DOHC layout making 121hp. And for the first time ever, the new City gets the sporty RS treatment.
The country’s bestselling compact SUV gets an upgrade bringing with it a more sophisticated styling along with a host of new safety and convenience features. A new chrome strip runs the length of the lower fascia with bar-type LED fog lamps now standard. In terms of safety, the CR-V adds more features with the Driver Attention Monitor now standard across the line-up. The company’s Honda SENSING—a suite of advanced driver assist system is now available on more trims as well.
A response to the growing demand for affordable small crossovers, the Hyundai Venue slots below the Kona in both price and size. Like the Kona, the Venue’s design is small, but big in character. Inside, it’s a back-to-basics approach with a direct focus on space and utility. Under the hood is Hyundai’s 1.6-liter Gamma MPi engine putting out 123 horsepower and mated to a 6-speed automatic. For safety, the 2021 Venue has a body made up of 46 percent Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS). It comes with 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, and stability control as standard.
Along with the launch of its personalization program, Mazda Philippines was the site chosen for the global debut of the 2021 MX-5. Basically, the changes are down to a revised color palette. Color choices aside, the MX-5 will also gain high-gloss black 17-inch alloy wheels and a new brake pad material which produces less dust, and is more environmentally-friendly. They are also introducing a new premium-spec version equipped with a manual transmission. This brings formerly AT exclusive features such as leather seats, the 9-speaker Bose sound system, and Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) to the three-pedal version for the first time.
After missing for most of the year, SsangYong Philippines announces the return of the gas variant of its Tivoli. Slotting in as a mid-trim model, the Tivoli Gas Sport caters to buyers who want a more familiar driving experience. Like before, the 1.6-liter gasoline engine makes 128 horsepower mated to a 6-speed automatic.
Geely launches a very unique offering—one that blurs the lines between an SUV and an MPV: the 2021 Okavango. The 7-seater crossover is available in two variants Comfort and Urban. Both variants are powered by the 1.5-liter G-Power turbocharged gasoline engine mated to a 48-volt EMS mild-hybrid system which bumps up the output to 190hp.
Born and bred at Toyota’s Shimoyama Technical Center Test Track, the Lexus IS has increased levels of rigidity resulting in an improved level of driving performance and riding comfort. Emphasizing this sense of dynamism, the 2021 Lexus IS runs true to the brand’s “wide and low” design DNA. Power comes from either a gasoline-hybrid 2.5-liter engine or a 3.5-liter V6 with 315hp.
Chery Tiggo 2 Two-Tone
Chery Auto Philippines is adding a new Tiggo 2 variant, this one centered on giving it some extra street cred. Typically, two-tone paint finishes are found on higher-end vehicles. However, as a true mass-market brand, the Chinese automaker is now offering the youthful style on its entry-level crossover.
Mazda BT-50 Pangolin
Mazda Philippines is raising awareness to the plight of a critically endangered species by launching a special edition BT-50 pickup truck: the BT-50 Pangolin. Based on the top-of-the-line 4×4, the BT-50 Pangolin rides on 17-inch black alloy wheels as well as a functional, lightweight aluminum black matte finished roof rack and basket, tubular sports bar, and tubular side step boards. Further differentiating it from regular BT-50s, all the exterior chrome bits—grille, door handles, side mirrors, and rear bumper are now color-coordinated to match the rest of the body.
Counted among China’s Top 4 auto brands, Changan is the newest player in the local market. They are also bringing in five models: the Alsvin subcompact sedan, CS35Plus compact crossover, CS75Plus compact SUV, CS95 mid-sized SUV, and the all-electric Eado EV460.
Their lone passenger car is the Alsvin—a subcompact sedan. It’s offered in three variants: an entry-level 1.4-liter MT with 100hp and 130Nm, and two variants of the 1.5-liter 5-speed DCT automatic with 107hp and 145Nm.
Moving up, there’s the CS35Plus compact crossover. This one is powered by a 1.4-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine with 158hp and 235Nm. The sole transmission is a 7-speed DCT automatic. For those who want something a bit sportier, there’s the CS75Plus with its 1.5-liter turbo 4-cylinder and 6-speed automatic.
For those needing seven seats, there’s the CS95. This 7-seat midsize SUV is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo engine making 232hp and 360Nm. The gearbox is a 6-speed automatic. Features include a 12.3-inch high-definition touchscreen for its infotainment, 10-inch digital gauge cluster, panoramic sunroof, 360-degree high-definition camera, and more.
The Lexus LM brings Takumi craftsmanship to the MPV segment. Both the 7- and 4-seater models feature Gin Sui Boku ornamentation inspired by Japanese paintings. Moving up to the 4-seater model, the Lexus LM features two fully adjustable captain seats at the back with built-in automatic ottomans, massagers, as well as a 26” HD screen paired with a Mark Levinson audio system.
JAC is adding a second pickup truck to its offering with the all-new T8. Meant for lifestyle-oriented buyers, the T8 gives buyers the flexibility and hauling capability of a workhorse, but the functionality and luxury of an SUV. The “Fortress on the Road,” is powered by a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine mated solely to a 6-speed manual. The aggressive exterior is complemented by brown leather seats and an 8-inch infotainment system and multi-function steering wheel.