Friday, April 5, 2013

Cars of the 2013 Manila International Auto Show

This is my first car show coverage for 2013 and the second time in this blog. Usually, the Manila International Auto Show is held during March/April every year and is also the staging ground of several new cars that were to be available in the market. However, among the numerous exhibitors inside, only a few are noteworthy to be written here.

Among the numerous Chinese brands present, Chery has released a slew of new cars thanks to a new management. Vehicles present inside are the Q22L van that can seat 11 powered by a 1.2 engine (this would spark some debate since having a small engine for a big car can smell some fuel consumption problems) with a selling price of P565,000, the X1 hatchback, the updated Tiggo (thank goodness the 1.6 engine is ditched for good) and the QQ3 (which has a different interior and some exterior cues), the E5 (basically an updated A5 sedan) which has leather seats for 600k, and the Fulwin hatchback. 

Q22L Van
Updated QQ
E5 Sedan
Taking up a huge space at one side, they placed a number of their new releases for 2013. First is the Ranger, which had its Wildtrack version available to the public and also a preview of their base version that is a single cab that will make a fight with the Mitsubishi L200. Next are the updated Explorer and Everest that has new rims and a color palette. There is no Ford Fiesta Ecoboost on display here, which is a bummer.

Ranger Wildtrack
Can this Ranger beat the Mitsubishi L200?
Wishing that there is an option like in the Toyota Hilux FX 
Another unit, but this time in orange 
Front of the Mustang
See these lights blink
The updated Everest
This truck company has one notable display that can change the lives of commuters out there (which includes me). An articulated bus was on their booth that is very long (similar to the MRT) that can accommodate 138 passengers both seated and standing and has a price of P8.5M. This is more suited in the city setting and taking turns can be a challenge for the driver's discipline and patience. If this thing existed in EDSA, would this spell the end for bad traffic due to unruly drivers?
One angle of the bus
With under a new management, Mazda is now poised to take new heights with a new Mazda 6 that has drool worthy features for P1.7M, and the display of the BT-50 pickup truck (twin of the Ranger) since this became the Truck of the Year. All of their vehicles in the line-up (except for the 2) are on the booth.
The new Mazda 6
Back shot of the 6
A classic, the MX-5
Mazda BT-50
An addition to the Mini lineup is the Mini Paceman which is basically a niche vehicle that will do battle against the Fiat 500 in the US. It resembles the Land Rover Evoque but this is more of a hatchback, so those who like a classic design of the Mini while being unique, you can have this in your list
The returning brand is now active with their display of their latest slew of cars namely the 3008, 508, 5008, and the updated RCZ. Further inspection inside reveals a high quality interior, which is great and should be for a vehicle selling above P1.5M. The RCZ, in fact, isn't selling well but one word of advice for the distributor, bring in a larger displacement engine or price it lower (to BRZ levels).
Peugeot 5008
Peugeot 508
Updated RCZ
Peugeot 3008
Another new car seeking your approval is the new Forester (expect a used car review about the 2008-2012 Forester soon), which made a fanbase among lifestyle oriented owners. Other news include the updated Legacy which sports a new grille and alloy wheels.
Subaru BR-Z
Updated Legacy
Legacy wagon
New Forester
Skeleton of the BR-Z
This variant would be a hit among buyers
Sitting in a lonely portion of the World Trade Center, the small booth has a display of the new Dzire (a Swift sedan popular in India) and an updated Alto 800. Both of them target the lower range of the market but the evaluation limited me and my companion in the exterior. The Dzire displayed had no power windows, so it targets the taxi market dominated by the Vios.
Updated Alto 800
The Dzire, is this the time where drivers ditch their Vioses and Accents for this?
Unlike their bongga booth in the PIMS, a dealer represented booth was there with an 86 Aero and RAV4. The RAV4, which I already witnessed in person is a big improvement but the price for the 4WD top of the line is to steep. Expect a used car review for the preceding generations of the RAV4 soon with the second one this month. 
Fourth generation RAV4

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