Friday, December 19, 2014

Car Features - 2014 Ultimate Car Guide Car of the Year

2014 was a year to remember, especially for the automotive industry. Lots of exciting introductions greeted consumers and enthusiasts alike. While some names went away (Sentra, Alterra, Teana), some got new bodies (Altis, Mazda 3, City, C Class, X-Trail), and some were new names (MU-X, Wigo, Ecosport, Ertiga), it was the year to be in since consumers have a lot of choices to pick. With the industry hitting the 200k mark, things are getting thrilling.

First of all, this Car of the Year award does not aim any manufacturer and the choices are the opinions of the writers/contributors here. Voting process is done individually to avoid any voting manipulation here.

The question here is "what car released in 2014 made a huge impact to the consumer and to the market while having some impact to the manufacturer itself." Every writer/contributor have to pick five cars and rank them from 5 with the highest to 1 being the lowest. Results will be published here for transparency, as well as the reason why the writers/contributors chose that car.

The nominees:
  • BMW 4 Series
  • BMW X4
  • BMW X5
  • Ford Ecosport
  • Honda Accord
  • Honda Brio and Brio Amaze
  • Honda City
  • Honda Jazz
  • Hyundai Grand i10
  • Hyundai Grand Santa Fe
  • Isuzu MU-X
  • Jeep Cherokee
  • Kia Soul
  • Lamborghini Hurracan
  • Lexus NX
  • Lexus RC
  • Mazda 3
  • Mercedes Benz C Class
  • Nissan Altima
  • Nissan Sylphy
  • Nissan X-Trail
  • Porsche Macan
  • Peugeot 208 GT
  • Peugeot Expert Tepee
  • Subaru WRX/WRX STi
  • Suzuki Ertiga
  • Tata cars
  • Toyota Corolla Altis
  • Toyota Wigo
  • Toyota Yaris
  • Volkswagen Beetle


1st Place - Mazda 3

2nd Place - Honda City

3rd Place - Ford Ecosport

The overall results:
Mazda 3 - 19 points
Honda City - 6 points
Ford Ecosport - 5 points
Toyota Wigo - 4 points
Nissan Sylphy - 4 points
Lamborghini Hurracan - 4 points
Isuzu MU-X - 4 points
Nissan X-Trail - 4 points
Suzuki Ertiga - 3 points
Lexus RC - 3 points
Toyota Corolla Altis - 1 point
Honda Jazz - 1 point
Subaru WRX/WRX STi - 1 point

How we voted

Myk's Picks:
1st. Mazda 3 (5 Points) 
- This gets the top choice since this car brought a lot of fanfare and anticipation. What made the car significant is the SkyActiv engine and the driving feel, which the 3 is known for, plus good looks to boot. Mazda had a winner in their hands.

2nd. Toyota Wigo (4 Points)
- With the Vios getting pricier, the money is now on the economy car class (but not the largest in market share). Well slapping a Toyota in a Daihatsu vehicle and pricing it lower. Despite having some rough edges, what mattered is the value.

3rd. Ford Ecosport (3 Points)
- Everyone wants an SUV but not all can afford it. With the flooding around us, then Ford gave us the Ecosport since for the price of an Altis, you can have something that has a higher ride even for under a million bucks. This is not an SUV substitute, though.

4th. Isuzu MU-X (2 Points)
- The Alterra was a sales laggard, so the MU-X's arrival had to make an impact for the brand. And the impact was large since many were anticipating on this car. While it may lack power on paper or have similar cues with the Trailblazer, the Isuzu badge made it a winner.

5th. Honda City (1 Point)
- Many people had their eyes on the new model, which was normal for a car ending its life. One big impact is the VX+ variant that had a lot of amenities for the competition and the price as well. 

Isaac's Picks:
1st. Honda City/Jazz (5 Points)
- It's groundbreaking in every single way, shaming rivals costing much, especially in space, refinement, and technology. Honda went all-out with these two subcompacts.

2nd. Mazda 3 (4 Points)
- It brought back excitement in the compact segment. It had a sexy design, possess a high quality interior, and has a sporty driving dynamics which is a hallmark.

3rd. Nissan X-Trail (3 Points)
- This vehicle was the bet of Nissan in bringing back their brand in the Philippines. Its a rare specie, being one of the few crossovers that can actually go off-road while others are limited to the off-road show.

4th. Lexus NX (2 Points)
- Like the Lexus IS, it turned the brand from a boring maker to something exciting. Not all may like it (due to its polarizing looks), but one thing's for sure, it is a lot more distinctive and instantly recognizable than those generic rivals and will leave a lasting impression, good or bad. And isn't leaving an impression that Lexus wants nowadays?

5th. Toyota Corolla Altis (1 Point)
- Boring design no more. Excitement has finally been injected to this compact sedan. It has rejuvenated the boring image that are associated with Toyotas.

Steve's Picks:
1st. Mazda 3 (5 Points)
- Top points for being a #gamechanger. It lives by the mantra it is being marketed by Mazda. Suddenly, everyone in the class had to catch-up.

2nd. Nissan Sylphy (4 Points)
- Four points for being a nice new comeback product for Nissan. It offers most value in the segment, reasonable content, and should satisfy the needs and priorities of the average Juan's requirement for an everyday ride. I find it a more superior product than the Altis in any variant. One could only wonder if NPI would introduce a Sylphy with Super Sentra like in Taiwan when it comes to content at the price of TOTL rivals.

3rd. Suzuki Ertiga (3 Points)
- Thee points for upping up the ante in the sub-compact family MPV class. It offers three variants with a stylish interior and exterior, reasonable feature content and pricing, and a refinement better than the Avanza. No wonder it was an Indonesian favorite. I would have pushed it higher in the list if it comes with the 1.3 Multijet diesel engine found in the Chevrolet Spin.

4th. Ford Ecosport (2 Points)
- Two points for being such a perfect urban getaway car. It offers sprightly dynamics, upmarket vibe in its interior and the Titanium's deluxe features. Its multi-confrontational interior makes it a practical choice for people with active lifestyles and the 550mm wading capacity appeals to people living in flood prone areas.

5th. Subaru WRX/WRX STi (1 Point)
- One phrase: value for money fun.

Edchelle's Picks:
1st. Mazda 3 (5 Points)
- It's styling, engine technology, driving dynamics, competitive price, and the toys in its class had made me choose the Mazda 3 as my top pick.

2nd. Lamborghini Hurracan (4 Points)
- It's redesigned V10 engine and new technologies that can be found in it and its design made it my second choice.

3rd, Lexus RC (3 Points)
- My third choice because of its engineering and innovations due to its V8 engine from the IS F and the chassis. Lexus was able to develop a car that can live-up and wear an F badge.

4th. Isuzu MU-X (2 Points)
- The versatility and comfort plus the variants made it to my fourth choice.

5th. Nissan X-Trail (1 Point)

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