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These are the 15 cars that sparked hope for PH auto industry in 2020

Because we all need that little glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel

To say that 2020 was rough is a massive understatement for very obvious reasons. It’s safe to say that we have all been affected in one way or another with varying degrees of severity. From canceling travel plans to getting laid off to actually losing loved ones, the past 12 months were a roller-coaster ride like no other.

But in spite of this, we found ways to adapt and work around the challenges laid before us. With new ways of doing things from wearing face masks to attending online meetings, the normalcy of life is kind of restored. And with the all-important vaccine slowly being distributed around the world, we’ll probably eventually get back to a routine that isn’t so new anymore.

Such is the case with the Philippine automotive industry, which has just experienced an unprecedented downturn due to reduced sales. But it, too, has found ways to rise above the trials and adjust to the changing tides. And proof of this resilience is seen in the following 15 vehicles that all managed to break cover during these difficult times.

BMW 7-Series. PHOTO FROM BMW

BMW 7-Series. At one end of the spectrum—the luxurious end, that is—is the all-new iteration of Munich’s flagship sedan. Its relatively small (yet powerful) four-cylinder engine is a result of the changing times and the stricter emissions regulations.

Ford Territory. PHOTO BY MIGGI SOLIDUM

Ford Territory. The Blue Oval’s approach to the highly competitive crossover segment is to offer luxury features at an affordable price tag. And with standard equipment such as a sunroof and heated/cooled seats, the Territory is indeed plenty of bang for the buck.

Geely Okavango. PHOTO FROM GEELY

Geely Okavango. Geely is on a roll this year with two model launches. But the Okavango takes the cake as it is the brand’s first seven-seat offering in the country. The 1.5-liter turbo engine makes this people-carrier anything but dull as far as performance is concerned.

Honda City. PHOTO BY VINCENT SUAREZ

Honda City. Honda’s popular subcompact sedan just received a big makeover. The styling is admittedly less edgy than its predecessor, but the comfortable ride and the brand’s reputation for durability still make it worth considering as a reliable urban runabout.

Hyundai Venue. PHOTO FROM HYUNDAI

Hyundai Venue. Seeing that there is a market for crossovers smaller than the Kona, the Korean automaker finally decided to launch the Venue in our territory. With plenty of standard equipment and a retail price of just under P1,000,000, it’s one vehicle that is perfect for young couples or small families.

Jeep Gladiator. PHOTO BY MIGGI SOLIDUM

Jeep Gladiator. No one knows why it took Jeep a long time to make a pickup version of its popular Wrangler SUV. But we’re just glad that it did, and the Gladiator’s combination of go-anywhere capability and truck-like versatility will win it fans just like its brother.

Kia Stonic. PHOTO BY RED SANTIAGO

Kia Stonic. Kia’s answer to the budget crossover problem is a little nugget that combines stylish looks, generous standard equipment, and an affordable price tag. With prices starting at P735,000, why would anyone even go for a low-slung subcompact car?

Land Rover Defender. PHOTO FROM LAND ROVER

Land Rover Defender. With a mild-hybrid system, the all-new Defender becomes more relevant in this eco-conscious world we live in. However, Land Rover claims that even with all the high-tech gadgets onboard, the vehicle hasn’t lost the off-road prowess that its agricultural ancestor was known for.

Lexus IS. PHOTO FROM LEXUS

Lexus IS. In a world where SUVs reign supreme, Lexus believes that there is still room for the saloon car. The Japanese luxury brand thinks that the IS sedan’s engineering improvement can offer sporting drivers an experience that no crossover can ever match.

Maserati MC20. PHOTO FROM MASERATI

Maserati MC20. It’s difficult enough to launch a regular car during the pandemic, but try introducing an expensive supercar. Maserati seriously wants to return to its racing past, and the MC20 harks back to those times when the Italian marque was a force to be reckoned with in motorsports.

Maxus G50. PHOTO BY MIGGI SOLIDUM

Maxus G50. Maxus can be excused for wanting to sing praises for its G50 MPV—and how spacious, comfortable and powerful it is. Its price tag competes with those of less capacious crossovers. But in the end, the car’s unique Roland Purple paint job won us over.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Why it took Mitsubishi ages to bring in what is arguably the world’s most popular electrified SUV is anyone’s guess. But the Outlander PHEV is here now, and it promises to be a comfortable and practical family shuttle with less of the environmental guilt.

Porsche Taycan. PHOTO BY BOTCHI SANTOS

Porsche Taycan. Say hello to Porsche’s performance car that doesn’t run on fossil fuels. And if our literally electrifying experience is anything to go by, the Taycan could pose some serious competition to sports cars still drinking dinosaur juice.

Suzuki S-Presso. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

Suzuki S-Presso. The S-Presso goes back to basics with its tiny engine, manual transmission, and crank windows. And with a starting price of just P518,000, it fits the bill for budget-conscious customers looking for reliable but inexpensive personal transportation.

Toyota Corolla Cross. PHOTO BY VINCENT SUAREZ

Toyota Corolla Cross. Toyota’s campaign to bring hybrid power to the masses is boosted by the crossover version of its iconic Corolla sedan. The competitive starting price of P1,650,000 is proof that reducing your carbon footprint need not cost an arm and a leg.



Miggi Solidum

Miggi is the managing editor of VISOR. Professionally speaking, he is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads.



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