Friday, December 28, 2012

Car Features: The Three Pops and Flops of 2012

Before we leave 2012, The Ultimate Used Car Guide goes back to 12 months of new automotive releases and among the new cars available in the market, there are some that fled off car dealerships like wild while some remained glued and unloved. With some of my friends in Tropang TopGear Ph, we had listed the pops and flops of 2012.

In this case, only new releases in the form of a new nameplate, redesign, engine upgrade, or a new trim level are counted.

Many thanks to Dominic Sobreo, Mark Lester, and Carl Pacis for contributing!


Toyota 86 - We are used on seeing bread and butter vehicles from Toyota that are capable but boring. But June 2012 saw the arrival of the what could be the most exciting car that Toyota made in years. We all saw and cried when the Celica, MR2 Spyder, and Supra are hoisted in heaven; but things are changing and in fact, more sports cars from the oval brand with the T are coming.

Kia Rio - What used to be a favorite of cab drivers from Manila, Cebu, and Davao is now a desirable choice for sub-compact buyers. Cheap plastics may be abound but not that much, plus looking at it can shame some European sub-compacts. Good gamble by Kia.

Ford Mustang - The pony car wars in the country had the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger arrive first in the year when PNoy assumed presidency, but the two didn't sell well due to their stratospheric prices. Ford made a shocker in this year's Manila International Auto Show that it displayed and much to the delight, introduced the Mustang. The good thing is that, it was priced at the P2M range, while the other Detroit compatriots are retailing for more than 3M.


Mazda 3 - It has been three years since the second generation 3 was launched and they brought in this late? And overpriced?? (the Honda Civic and Ford Focus, all new, have justifiable prices) Not to forget under-speced; if it had the SkyActiv engine, the price could have been spot on and justifiable. But with a new distributor, things might change for the better.

Suzuki Kizashi - Critically acclaimed by the press worldwide but not a sales success in the Philippines. Sure it may have an exciting drive plus a cheaper price (it under cuts the very affordable trim of the Sonata), but this failed to lure executives and gushed over the Camry, redesigned for 2012 and introduced last April. Being different has it's own advantages and disadvantages.

Subaru Impreza - A great vehicle in the somewhat crowded compact category but somewhat cheaper competitors had eaten its market share plus the arrival the of the XV didn't help either. We wish all the luck for Subaru to sell a decent number of them next year.

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