Friday, November 30, 2012

The Ultimate Used Car Guide Surprise

Yeah, Christmas is coming so, so as the year 2013. As a giveaway gift to you, my readers, I would be giving you a surprise.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Used Car Review Compilation (11/27/2012 Update)



I've started creating used car reviews since December 2011 in a weekly basis and it would be very hard for several of my blog visitors to wade around my blogsite. So, to simplify your life, I would be compiling all used car reviews done by me and this list would be updated once a month and you'll see the possible vehicles that I would be making a used car review in the future, and the existing ones. You may also suggest a car that you want to see in this page by commenting. All existing models are not included.

So, here are the cars. Links are provided for available articles.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Used Car Review - Mazda 323 Familia (1996-2000)

Before we end the year, among all the compact sedans sold in the 90s, Myk Belmonte reviews this rather forgotten compact before that delivers all the goods and equipment which most popular choices lack. So, are you ready to review this car?

1996-2000 Mazda 323 Familia

Thanks to user basti08 of for supply some data!

What is the main similarity of the Toyota Corolla, Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Sentra/Sunny, and the Mazda Familia? These four models were launched in during the 60s and since then, all but the Mazda remained in the market with the Mazda Familia was replaced by the Mazda 3. And a fact, the Ford Laser was basically a twin of the Familia due to the ownership stake that Mazda gained with Ford back then.

The seventh generation model with the platform code BH was introduced first in the Japan Domestic Market  in 1994, together with a Van version (which is essentially a rebadged Nissan Sunny California). Various model styles include a three door hatchback named as the Neo, a four door hardtop known as the Lantis, and a five door hatchback using the Lantis/Astina names. While it ceased production in 1998, other nations had it for a little bit longer.

Interestingly enough, the 323 Familia nameplate used in the Philippines is very wide and in fact, a number of them are sold side by side. Which included the Lantis, Astina, 323 (a popular choice among taxi drivers back then), and the 323 Familia. Family lineage aside, the Seventh generation model was introduced to the market by Columbian Autocar Corporation in 1996. Initially it was offered in GLX trim at launch, then 1997 saw the releases of the base GLi and the limited MazdaSpeed variant. An update in late 1997 had the top line model being renamed as the GLXi, and the addition of a base model named as the GL, which used a 1.3 engine. The GLi was retained with minimal updates, which will be elaborated more in the Exterior and Interior section of this article. You could buy one until the year 2000, which are basically leftover units.

Value and Costs
Due to the perception that Mazda gained (it was active in motor sports back then but relegated to the taxi market during its time) when it pulled out, prices of a second hand Mazda 323 Familia would set you P110,000-P160,000. To be honest, if you are looking for a bang-for-the-buck car, I advise to check this vehicle out apart from the Nissan Sentra B14. It does have a complete set of standard equipment back then, so you get more for less. Even power amenities and other niceties are never scrimped even in the lowest models.

Say you will buy a 323 Familia and they will discourage you due to the popular reason of "konti lang piyesa yan", but, there are numerous parts stores that cater to Mazda vehicles and some components are switchable with the Ford Lynx. If you plan to get one, have your foot be friendly to the pedal since reaching 100kph with the tach be on the 3,500rpm range would result to less-than-stellar fuel consumption. One common problem with this vehicle would be the rear suspension bushings and other related parts, especially if the owner doesn't care placing tons of stuff at the trunk.

Exterior and Interior
Among the sedans offered in the mid-Nineties, this looks sexy and curvy among the boxes and edges that is prevalent back then. You my say that that Aeolus sculpted it, but thank God that it does not have that sharply sloped rear windshield which causes reduction of rear headroom that afflicted other sedans back then. If you are a Mazda enthusiast, you could point out the 1996 and the late 1997 models by their lights. 1996 units had their headlights and bumper-mounted signal lights while the update had them relocated in the corners. Fluted lenses are standard in 1996 models while late 1997 models do carry the clear headlamp and foglamp lenses. There exists a Mazda Speed variant with a different set of alloys, body kits, and other accessories.

The dashboard won't win any best dashboard awards if there is one, it is built on the function side and done in grey to avoid glare, that's if the previous owner wasn't crazy about Armor All. Controls are appropriately sized but the switchgear is flimsy feeling. The driver's seat has adjustments for different sizes, while the shotgun passenger has decent seating support. Rear passengers are treated to a leg stretching ride, credit the long wheelbase of the 323 Familia. A first in the industry is the additional glovebox on top of the main one in the pre-facelifted models (the glovebox was redesigned in the update), this concept was done by other manufacturers recently which includes the Toyota Innova. The 1996-1997 GLX had ABS Brakes, 60/40 seats, rear center armrest, center console, rear defogger, and its air conditioning is the push type one. GLi models do have power amenities at least, but blacked out bumpers are standard, as opposed to the GLX's body colored. The late 1997 update had the addition of the base GL model; it had power amenities except that it had vinyl upholstery, black bumpers and side mirrors and a decontented interior. The GLi had cloth seats, body color panels which the previous one had it blacked. The GLXi gained a driver's airbag, fog lamps, and four wheel disc brakes while retaining the same kit.

A standard fare among 90s sedans is a choice of a carbureted engine and one with fuel injection system. The GL trim utilizes a B3 1,324cc carburetor that has 75hp at 6,000rpm and 104Nm at 5,200rpm. While the rest of the variants get to have a B6 1,597cc with 115hp at 6,000rpm and 139Nm at 3,500rpm under their hoods. Let's leave out the B3 since you'll be mostly encountering models with the B6 engine. The 1.6 liter engine does have that flexibility on different speeds at low revs, but drive prudently since the throttle can get twitchy.

Driving Impressions
Place the ignition and the 323 Familia starts without drama. Shift to first gear and you'll be rewarded with a peppy acceleration that tempts you to speed up, and notice that it has more than the indicated 115hp. Shifts are fluid once you are used to the fairly torques power band of the engine. Whenever you extract maximum acceleration in a little amount of time, accelerating to the peak is not that smooth but not that rough. Rev up to the redline and you'll hear a boomy noise that could get annoying but drive smoothly and no engine noise would be heard. Steering can get lifeless in road imperfections which is common with vehicles that use the McPherson suspension and slightly high profile tires. Braking is excellent, since ABS come standard and the all disc combo.

Shopping for a well equipped car in the price range of P150,000 (not including repairs) is a hard task, but knowing the secret about this vehicle would make you want to check this beauty out. Nightmares of the past such as lack of parts availability are now banished. If you desire sports car driving characteristics for less but with more equipment, the time for hunting one is now.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Used Car Review - Ford Explorer (2007-2011)

If you say SUV, it should be American. You want one right? But Myk Belmonte says that it must be practical since fuel money is limited, space is trouble, and less is more. But what American SUV would be it? There is one outstanding choice in a sea of them.

2007-2011 Ford Explorer

If there is one vehicle that ignited the SUV craze, this would be the one. The Explorer replaced the Ford Bronco in 1990 and thus became a runaway success which caused other manufacturers (particularly the Americans) to join the party. There are numerous Explorer history tidbits which include the introduction of the Explorer Sport Trac pick-up truck in 2001 and who could forget the rollover controversy that tarnished the relationship with a tire brand? Very notable SUV in Ford's history indeed.

The fourth generation model was sold from 2006-2010 (our market had it a year late) which was an update rather than a redesign. If you notice the size, it is more upsized than the previous model due to the Ford Freestyle slotting between it and the Escape. And a piece of trivia, this version of the Explorer was sold in Japan as original LHD since vehicles whose steering wheel is on the left are considered prestigious there.

As what I said earlier, the 4th generation Explorer arrived with a one year delay. As for this reason, this is because the third generation model was introduced in 2005 and stayed until 2006, which is the cause of this delay. This stayed in Ford dealers until 2011, with the much hyped 5th generation model launched late that year.

Value and Costs
Not a fan of the crossover Explorer sold now? You can obtain the previous generation model for just less, with prices between P850,000-P1,600,000 for various year models. Better focus on the condition than a particular year model since changes are minimal.

Common problems with the Explorer involves (mostly) the electrical functions such as the liftgate, and the power folding seats. It would be a pain for you if the previous owner was very negligent about this, but a well maintained unit is a good way to go.

Exterior and Interior
Remove the badges and you'll say that the Explorer is basically a shrunken Expedition. This is true since the exterior cues are visible even from afar. The grille which is surrounded by the cleanly placed integrated aerodynamic lights is displayed prominently. Accessories that are there when needed the most are the roof rack stands, and a tow hitch that can carry at least three tons of cargo.

Tons of leather surfaces would greet you inside the Explorer from the seats to some interior bits. The dashboard is neatly done with controls placed where they should be and truly American. Five people is a comfortable fit but the third row is best left empty. But if cargo hauling is the order what the doctor ordered, you can have the seats folded by a flick of a button.

As usual with American SUV's, a V6 engine and one with eight cylinders are standard. But in the Philippine setting, a V6 engine was offered. A Cologne 4,009cc gasoline with 210hp at 5,100rpm and 344Nm at 3,700rpm comes standard and it is the lone option. Why is it named Cologne? This particular type of engine is made in Germany but for USDM Fords only, weird isn't it. Power is ready at any revs, credit the variable-length intake manifold for this.

Driving Impressions
If you are decided to purchase an Explorer, take time to learn the placement of controls, especially if you are used to Japanese layouts. Driving this SUV is fun since the V6 engine provides enough power to weave through traffic. Handling debunks the stereotypes for SUV's, this one is very nimble and braking is excellent. This injects the sport factor in the Sport Utility Vehicle.

Undecided on what pre-owned SUV to buy? Add the Ford Explorer to your shopping list since you may be impressed with the levels of equipment for its price. If you are that type of person who thinks green (environmentally ok?) this is not the car for you.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wildcard Pick of the Month - Nissan Murano (2006-2009)

Our third wildcard pick would be a topic of interest since Myk Belmonte is also intrigued with this vehicle. Who knew this vehicle would put this manufacturer on the track because it looks so darn beautiful. Enough with the cheesy start, let's evaluate this car shall we?

2006-2009 Nissan Murano

In a sport utility vehicle, there is a trade-off between the sporty aspect and the utility portion. If the SUV emphasizes sporty driving and looks, you don't get to have two extra people to sit at the back and rear visibility is suckish. If we deal with the utility portion of the SUV, comfort is not in the vocabulary as well as refinement, but they are tops when it comes to maintenance costs.

The Nissan Murano is marketed as a sporty crossover than the utility aspect. Besides, if you are hunting a utility SUV in Nissan's lineup, you'll go with the Pathfinder right? It was designed in California and the Murano name came from a place in Italy, where hand blown glass is produced. If there was one car that steered Nissan in the right direction, this is the one. A VQ engine also utilized by the Maxima and Altima is kitted under the hood, style cues for both outside and some interior bits taken from the 350z, and styling that spectators never seen from any Nissan. It was sold from 2003 to 2007 internationally.

2006 saw the arrival of the Murano in the Philippines courtesy of Nissan Motors Philippines and along with the 350z, this Nissan brought new light to the carmaker. While 2008 saw the sales of the new generation Murano, we had this (albeit in limited quantities) until 2009, with the second gen's introduction in 2010.

Value and Costs
You may say that the Murano is overpriced at P2.6M during its time, but a closer inspection reveals that it was money well spent, with unrivaled levels of luxury and power for those shopping at this segment. And for second hand prices of P800,000-P1,200,000, you can get sports car driving with the added advantage of a high ground clearance at less price.

Maintaining this SUV would cost a bit higher than a Fortuner or Montero Sport, heck even more than a Patrol. Just remember to fill up the oil fluid levels, use a CVT fluid than a ATF, replace all wheels at the same time, and feed it with premium fuel than regular unleaded.

Exterior and Interior
Designers at Nissan believed in the "think out of the box" philosophy with using a design cue reserved for expensive sports cars. And Nissan succeeded in merging form and functionality in one package without having the final product different from what they wanted. You'll even say to yourself that the stylish shell was made in the Italian town known for hand blown glass, since it so damn beautiful.

Going inside, the interior is a cross between the 350z and the X-Trail. A fact, the Murano's wide and expansive dashboard has to be the automobile kingdom's deepest dashboard (if there is any claim to begin with). With that in mind, you could use it as a parcel tray and it looks similar as well, but remember not to place heavy items and extra buluroy on the car. To review the other parts, controls are logically located and within reach, plus other features that emphasize driver convenience include a one-touch backseat folding mechanism and a Bose audio system tops this off. Space for human beings are adequate in both quarters.

There is only one engine standard on all Muranos, and it is a VQ35DE 3,498cc V6 with 234hp at 6,000rpm and 318Nm at 3,600rpm. If this power and torque figures is too much power in some sedans, in the Murano it is just right to carry the two ton vehicle. And while we're at it, this particular engine also powers the 350z and the VQ engine family is usually included in the Ward's 10 Best Engines awards.

Driving Impressions
It may be heavy, but the engine does the job of hauling this SUV with that weight. The CVT transmission extracts every power available at any given time, but one must take time to learn the tricks on maximizing power available. Acceleration and handling are very similar to the sports car where it is based on, thanks to the rear suspension derived from the 350z. However, rear visibility is not a strong suit because of the chunky C-pillars.

You can buy a sports car, but forgo with the practicality and the other four passengers. But with the Murano, you and four other people can hop in and enjoy the 350z's driving characteristics. Just make sure you do have reserved funds for fueling this baby up.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Used Car Review - Jaguar S-Type (1999-2007)

If Myk belmonte had featured a Land Rover months ago, this time, another British brand would be gracing these pages. If you are the type of person who dares to be different, so my friend, read this post and make a wise decision.

1999-2007 Jaguar S-Type

History dictates that Jaguar was formed way back in 1922 by two friends in Blackpool, England. First called the Swallow Sidecar Company, then renamed as the Swallow Coachbuilding Company in 1927. The early thirties had their name change to SS Cars, that was the time the first Jaguars are born, but, they are not called Jaguars during that time. Production stopped in 1940 due to the war and resumed in 1945, with the SS Cars being reborn as Jaguar Cars.

To branch out to the mass market somehow, the S-Type was introduced in 1998 with design credits from Geoff Lawson. With that time Ford owning the leaping cat brand, the platform is shared with various Ford vehicles which includes the Lincoln LS and the revived Ford Thunderbird. This car aims to ignite interest for the brand to attract newer buyers. Come 2007, it was axed in favor of the XF and thus, the Jaguar brand was sold to Tata Motors based in India.

The Jaguar S-Type was made to the select few buyers (or in short, the high income market since they do have the money) in 1999. With the local distributor following the international market, the S-Type was discontinued to be replaced by the XF.

Value and Costs
From P800,000-P1,600,000, your British dreams could be achieved for less. This price range ranges models that are in good condition to the spotty ones. Be cautious of second hand units from other countries, and units with questionable odometer readings. They can cause problems in the future, and this is a bad thing for luxury cars. Going with a second hand unit that has been certified is a wise proposition.

Cost of maintaining these felines is at par with other European brands, so there is no need to cut back on meals for a year. Let me debunk on the impression that has been widespread during the old days according to the old school thinking of Joseph Lucas, these are not applicable in this decade. And to worry you less, electrical components come from the Land of Nippon, so if there is any sensor or two that fail, you can find an equivalent from the parts bin of a different brand. If problems persist regarding funny noises, unusual driving characteristics, or liquids entering from nowhere, don't make the problem big and go to the nearest service center to fix them.

Exterior and Interior
Car nut or not, you'll say that the S-Type is a beautiful car. Inspect closer and you will see small details that other makes cannot imitate (some imitate it but end up as fails). Squint hard at the grille mesh, you will say that it is stamped but actually, it is a woven mesh, with threads and fabric collide. The lines would remind you of Jaguar's coachbuilding background, with complex curves and shapes that are nice to look at.

The interior trim is a throwback to Jaguar's past, with wood trims (this is real, not fake that most use) and soft leather. Hold the steering wheel where the logo is proudly displayed, it would guarantee you hours of fun. A unique touch is the J-gate automatic shifter, which provides distinct positions for each gear. There was never a time Jaguar scrimped in audio portion, comfort, and safety; with a reasonable amount of kit being standard. If you plan to bring four people with you, better not since the rear is very cramped.

Two engines with two engine cylinders and a turbo option are the choices for the moneyed crowd. The most popular variant (and you will encounter this one) is an AJ30 2,967cc V6 which has 240hp at 6,800rpm and 300Nm 4,100rpm. If you have tons of money for maintenance and gas, you get two V8 options starting with the AJ34 2,967cc that possess 300hp at 6,000rpm and 420Nm at 4,100rpm. Opting for the turbo version would get you the same engine but 400hp at 6,100rpm and 541Nm at 3,500rpm. The V6 is more than enough to satisfy your power needs and ends out purrific since it uses a wide range of revs. Going for the V8 gives you more power and same goes with the turbo.

Driving Impressions
Say bye bye to the lack of power since the S-Type provides you a lot, yes, a lot of ready power. Handling is decent enough, but don't expect sports car-like. But if there is one thing where the S-Type would shine, it would be isolation. Couple this with the leather seats, and you'll enjoy the scenery. Just remember to be patient with the brakes, since it takes time getting used to than your ordinary car.

Going with the S-Type is not a choice done by a fool. You will be rewarded with the elegance it provides, and also the performance you could get even in stock form. It may not be as plenty as the Germans, but you can say to yourself that you have arrived. And there is the feeling of owning a British car, which should be experienced, not read in reviews. So, go out and buy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Used Car Buying Tips - Identifying The Origin Of The Plate Of The Car

This article is dedicated to those used car buyers who are paranoid. Especially if the one is a "hot car", which meant stolen or the owner relocated. So, let's start the article without much ado.

Arranged alphabetically:
"A" - Ilocos provinces, La Union, Pangasinan, Benguet, Abra, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Apayao, Kalinga.
"B" - Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Batanes.
"C" - Pampanga, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan, Aurora. 2002 and below year models.
"D" - Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Mindoro provinces, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan. 1998 and below year models.
"E" - Camarines provinces, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Masbate.
"F" - Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Capiz, Aklan, Antique, Guimaras.
"G" - Cebu, Negros Oriental, Bohol, Siquijor. 2003 and below year models
"H" - Leyte, provinces, Samar provinces, Biliran.
"I" - Not assigned.
"J" - Zamboanga provinces, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao.
"K" - Misamis provinces, Lanao del Norte, Bukidnon, Augusan provinces, Surigao provinces, Camiguin, Dinagat Islands.
"L" - Davao provinces, Compostela Valley.
"M" - North and South Cotabato, Saranggani, Sultan Kudarat.
"N" - Metro Manila. 1981-1982 and 2009-2010 year models.
"O" - Not assigned.
"P" - Metro Manila. 1982-1991 and 2010-2011 year models.
"Q" - Not assigned.
"R" - Pampanga, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan, Aurora. 2003 and above year models.
"S" - Government vehicles.
"T" - Metro Manila. 1991-1995 and 2011-2012 year models.
"U" - Metro Manila. 1995-1997 and 2012-2013 year models (estimated).
"V" - Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Mindoro provinces, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan. 1999 and above year models.
"W" - Metro Manila. 1998-2001 year models.
"X" - Metro Manila. 2001-2005 year models.
"Y" - Cebu, Negros Oriental, Bohol, Siquijor. 2004 and above year models.
"Z" - Metro Manila. 2005-2009 year models.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Used Car Review - Volvo XC70 (2000-2007)

They said that wagons would never go off road and should not have all wheel drive. But Myk Belmonte is impressed with this wagon that can take the roads that lead to nowhere and at the same time, can do your grocery and baby sitting jobs. San ka pa? 

2000-2007 Volvo XC70

This Sweden based carmaker loves to build wagons and have them on their line-up. In fact, more than 15 wagon models had been made by Volvo since 1966. There are wagons that are aimed for small families and as a city duty driver. Volvo made wagons that substituted SUV's for vacation trips and long drives. But the carmaker didn't play it safe when they released the XC70 in the year 2000. They tried to use a wagon body, add all wheel drive, raise it up, and add some plastic cladding.

Peter Horbury - the master designer behind several Volvo vehicles - crafted and designed the second generation model of the V70 series. While the ordinary V70 had no all-wheel drive and a raised suspension, the XC70 is blessed with them. To differentiate them, the V70 looks ordinary while the XC70 is a little bit higher. Production ended for both the V70 and XC70 in 2007 to make way for the third generation model that is launched in the following year.

Viking Motors Inc. (the one who distributes Volvo vehicles in the Philippines) brought in this vehicle to the Philippine market as niche vehicle. Yes, whenever you go to a Volvo dealer you're going to acquire a S60, S40, or on the very least the V40/V50? But, there are adventurous buyers who didn't want the bulk and consumption of an SUV, which meant there is a following for this car. 2008 saw the release of the third gen V70/XC70 and thus, the previous one got the ax the year before that.

Value and Costs
If your wallet and bank account said that you can't afford the newer XC70 that is gleaming on a Volvo dealership, you can have one via the used car market - or better yet, from Volvo's pre-owned section - for just P550,000-P700,000. Your priority is something all around that doesn't have the bulk yet efficient all around, this is one of the few sensible choices if that is the criteria.

Among all the items that should be inspected in the car before driving it off in the lot, is the suspension system. Why that? It is a raised vehicle and you'll need it at all times. Have it abused by the previous owner, you'll get the trouble of replacing it with brand new ones. Another area of concern is the turbo especially if the one whom your buying your unit drives like crazy.

Exterior and Interior
For the outside looks, you may say that it is the end result when the V70 and an American SUV mated. The increased height mean't protection against stones and floods, not going hard core off roading. In the end, do not take this one to Mount Pinatubo or you'll end up stuck.

As with all Volvos, controls are placed near the driver's reach. Pressing or pushing the buttons would let you say that money is well spent, since they are made of high quality materials. Aluminum is a welcome feature than wood that is fake and prevalent among vehicles that are priced more. There are not much cubby holes but there are numerous pockets spread across the passenger cabin. A strong suit of this vehicle is that you can nearly fit anything in the cargo area (even a corpse! But don't attempt it ok?) thanks to the boxy exterior. If you plan to use it as a family vehicle, they will thank you for that since it can fit five people in comfort.
Only one engine is available for PHDM XC70's, and this is a 2.5 I5 gasoline engine that has 210hp at 6,000rpm and 285Nm at 1,800-5,000rpm. This engine can be driven at any range thanks to a wide range of revs. You can drive it fast, and you can drive it slow, but be ready to pay the price at the pump.

Driving Impressions
Driving this beast at highway maximum speeds would show a different behavior when handled in a graceful manner. It would be better to let the computer work the gears for you than using the manu-matic mode, since it is not smooth. It accelerates in an impressive manner and stops in a dime, which defies its extra weight. Have it treated with a corner and it would show some understeer and having some wheelspin. Don't compare the driving characteristics of the XC70 to a BMW X5, but this alone is decent enough for everyday living.

Question to Myk: If there is one car you want to own it during your lifetime (which means no purchases or trades until death), what would it be? Answer: Among all the cars available, it would be the Volvo XC70. It has the capabilities of a wagon, the flood-wading skills of an SUV, the riding comfort of a sedan, and not awkwardly looking like a van.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Car Features - Cars That Filipinos Bought in 1998

While waiting for the next used car feature this monday, let's go back to memory lane and explore the year 1998. We could all remember the financial crisis struck the country, Erap was elected to stay in Malacanang, and the country celebrated 100 years of independence. Let's check what did the Filipinos purchased during that year, with figures courtesy of Top Gear Philippines and Best Selling Cars Blog.

From 160,000 plus units driving off showroom floors in 1996, only a half were driven off with 80,193 vehicles found an owner. Out of the ten, seven faced double digit decreases in sales while three vehicles are making their mark in the market.

Still at the top, the Toyota Corolla is the sales leader but selling 7,629 units and having a decline of 45%. The new generation sold in that year was called the "Love Life" but it didn't manage to capture the hearts of buyers in the following year, unlike the one which leads us to the second bestseller below.

6,352 Honda Civics are driven off Honda dealers with a decrease of 40%. This was less than the Corolla's 45% and surprisingly, it managed to sell well despite being older than the Corolla and Lancer, the two main competitors.

New to the country and to this list is the Mitsubishi Adventure with 6,319 units found an owner to an otherwise new nameplate. It managed to boot out the Toyota Tamaraw FX as the best selling AUV and the only one throughout the nameplate's history.

Next to the bigger Adventure is the Mitsubishi Lancer with 4,451 sales and 60% decrease. Among the sedans present here, it posted a huge decline.

At fifth spot is the Nissan Sentra which was treated to a minor model change in that year. Despite cosmetic changes and the addition of the base FE model, Sentra sales had fallen 57% with 3,879 units sold.

The second AUV not wearing a Toyota badge in this list is the Isuzu Hilander, with 3,617 sales and posting a 35% decrease. In fact, there are more Crosswinds sold than this one.

The only Korean vehicle in this list is the Kia Besta which saw 3,401 sales and posted a 31% decrease. For the record, this was the best selling full sized van from 1996-1998 which bested the veteran Mitsubishi L300.

An innovator for the compact SUV craze in the Philippines is the Honda CR-V, and despite the new name it managed to sell 3,181 pieces and thus, became the best selling compact until the arrival of the second generation Hyundai Tucson in 2010.

Two Toyotas of the same category occupied the last two slots and first is the Toyota Revo, despite being launched in the last part of 1998 found 3,118 owners. This dethroned the Corolla the following year and saved Toyota some sales.

The other one is the aging Toyota Tamaraw FX that saw a 75% decrease and selling 3,045 units. The following year or so, the brand axed this popular but old name.

While the mainstays experienced a slump in their sales, three models managed to make a splash in the Philippine automotive culture with the two stayed in production while the other one evolved as the Innova.