Two perfect rides for Father’s Day

Most dads won’t ask for much on Father’s day. A simple lunch or dinner would suffice, and they’d be ecstatic if you give them even a hanky on this special day. But there are those who want to go beyond apparel and jewelry as a gift for the exceptional man in their life. You look around and see your dad’s old reliable car. He’s tirelessly worked on it every now and then, keeping up with its maintenance and making sure everything is smooth for every drive. Suddenly, a light bulb lights up in your head—why not give him a car? But what is a car that he will surely like? I have two suggestions for you, but this is from my own perspective only. Of course, you know your father better than I do.

Honda Civic Type R

Our dads are the best men in our lives, so why not give them one of the best cars they could possibly have? One that can bring back their youthful excitement and glee without taking away functionalities for the everyday drive. For that, there’s the Honda Civic Type-R.

For sure your dad went through the hype of sedans in the country in the past years or deacdes before the advent of the crossovers. From the Lancer “box types” to the Honda Civic SiR, to the official arrival of the Lancer EVO, I’m sure your dad had a phase where he wanted a low, sleek, and fast car. It just happens that the fastest iteration of a sports sedan turns out to be a hatchback.

The red badged Civic is available in the Philippines and it’s more than a pretty suit for a sports sedan. Under the hood is a 2-liter turbo VTEC engine that makes 320 horsepower and 420 Nm of torque, paired to a 6-speed manual transmission. Sure, an automatic would be easier, but where’s the thrill in that once he takes this out on a weekend in Clark or Batangas? Why would he go there? The Civic Type-R is track ready right out of the showroom. It has adaptive damper system, 350mm Brembo disc brakes, auto rev-matching system, and performance monitor that will show you the G-Force, Tire Friction, and can even be used for lap times. There’s also an R+ driving mode that firms up the steering wheel and suspension, throttle response becomes almost instant, and the engine noise in the cabin is just roaring.

But what makes the Civic Type-R truly desirable is its about-face capability. Sure, it can take records on many race tracks, but this high performance sedan is still cozy for the everyday drive—given there’s no traffic on your route. It has a Comfort Drive Mode that softens the suspension and lightens the steering feel for a much smoother ride in the city. There are also modern amenities like a wireless charger, 9-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 12-speaker Bose Sound System, and electronic parking brake with auto brake hold among others. I mentioned earlier that it’s a hatchback and that gives you a more versatile cargo hauling capability since you can fold the backseat flat for more space and benefit from the much larger trunk opening.

It’s also fitted with Honda SENSING features like Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist System, Forward Collision Warning, and Lane Departure Warning among others. If an SUV is at home in the city and on the dirt, the red-badged Civic is chill in the city and on the track. As a weekender or a daily, the Honda Civic Type-R can make your dad feel mid-20s again every time he’s behind the wheel. And that’s priceless.

Mitsubishi Montero Sport

Your dad will surely give you his tightest hug if he suddenly finds an SUV in his garage—more so if it’s the Mitsubishi Montero Sport. Bold but not overly aggressive, modern without being unfamiliar, the Montero Sport stands on the fine line of what it means to be a contemporary midsize SUV. Its 2.4-liter turbodiesel engine puts out 181 hp and 430 Nm of torque. Not the highest numbers in its segment but combined with the 8-speed automatic, it makes for a very fuel efficient powertrain. It also has an engine start/stop system for better fuel economy during traffic.

Mitsubishi Montero Sport photos by Vincent Villa

Driving comfort is certainly there thanks to the combination of a familiar layout and premium feel. The steering feel is weighted to give a proper feedback of the road without being a burden on the arms while the seats are bolstered well to keep you from swaying in winding roads. A digital gauge cluster also makes use of analog gauge templates for a familiar driving view, while modern amenities like the electronic parking brake are in the expected place to lessen the learning curve needed. Toys like powered tailgate and sunroof are also present to have more functional flair and not just bragging rights.

If your dad is moving up from a smaller car, there’d be no worries as the Montero Sport is fitted with modern driver assist features. There’s a Multi-Around View Monitor to see all sides of the car, Blind Spot Warning that will help you avoid sudden motorcycles that are lane splitting, Lane Change Assist, my personal favorite Rear Cross Traffic Alert that is useful when backing out of a parking area and onto the road, and Adaptive Cruise Control for easier cruising on the highways. Basically the Montero is just as comfortable in the city as it is on the dirt and unbeaten path. One will not be intimidated in driving this through tight city roads or steep mountain climbs.

What makes the Montero more enticing is the ride comfort it gives to all its passengers either alone or with all seven seats occupied. It’s one of the midsize SUVs in the market with a more supple ride quality that won’t rock your brains out if you miss a pothole. Your dad will appreciate it if he goes through a lot of road imperfections in his everyday drive, more so if there are truck lanes on his route. We may be talking about dream rides but of course safety is still paramount. The Montero Sport doesn’t skimp in this department as it is ready to protect everyone onboard. There are airbags on the side and curtain, Forward Collision Mitigation for those sudden braking needs, Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System, Trailer Stability Assist, and Brake Override System.

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