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2019 BAIC M60S Luxury: Tall Order

After successfully penetrating the local market for affordable three-row subcompact multi-purpose vehicles (MPV) with their BAIC M40/M45 series, Bayan Automotive Industries Corporation, the Philippine distributor of BAIC automobiles, is setting its sights on a loftier goal – the Asian utility vehicle (AUV) market. This pseudo-sport utility vehicle (SUV) cum MPV cum mini-van segment of the automotive industry is currently being dominated ...

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Toyota Prius Hybrid: Indulging My Inner Environmentalist

Here’s a fun fact: “Prius” is a Latin word meaning “first”, “original”, “superior” or “to go before”, which is quite apt because the Toyota Motor Corporation was the “first” major car manufacturer to offer a mass-production hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). The “original” body style of the first-generation Toyota Prius (NHW10), which was introduced in 1997, was a 4-door sedan, while ...

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2019 Suzuki Vitara GLX A/T: Ideal Food Trip Companion

The Suzuki Vitara has been winning hearts and minds across the globe since 1988. The original Vitara became popular as a “lifestyle vehicle” – a compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) designed to fill the slot above the subcompact Suzuki Jimny. The Vitara became so popular that General Motors sold it as the Geo Tracker in the United States and as ...

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2019 FOTON Toano: Any Similarity is Strictly Intentional

When the FOTON Toano high-roof passenger van was first introduced to the Philippine market, we heard some talk about it being an “imitation” of the second generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. In spite of the fact that the Sprinter has been sold under various nameplates aside from Mercedes-Benz like Dodge, Freightliner, and Volkswagen (as the VW LT and VW Crafter), some ...

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2019 Honda CR-V 2.0 S CVT: The Song Remains The Same

While driving the latest iteration of the Honda CR-V, I was reminded of my long association with Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) as a motoring journalist. You see, one of my first test drives was that of a first generation CR-V, which was introduced in 1995. The second generation CR-V was introduced in 2002 and I was one of the ...

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2019 Suzuki Swift 1.2 GLX CVT: Hot in the City

A month ago (March 28-29, 2019), Suzuki Philippines, Inc. (SPH) invited us to drive the all-new third-generation Suzuki Swift from their Suzuki Auto Kalookan dealership to Bagac, Bataan, spend the night at the Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar resort, and then drive back to Metro Manila the next day. During the drive, we observed that the “… Suzuki Swift has ...

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2019 Toyota Rush 1.5 G AT: Fortuner’s Mini Me?  

From November 18 to December 10, 2005, I rode a Yamaha Sniper 135 around Indonesia along with a convoy of riders from other ASEAN countries – Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines – mounted on similar motorbikes for the Yamaha Pan-ASEAN Touring series. During our ride, which started from Jogjakarta in Java and ended at Medan in Sumatra, ...

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2019 Mitsubishi Xpander GLS AT: DNA of a Modern Family MPV

Science has proven that siblings share about 50 percent of the same DNA on average. Each brother gets one half of his DNA from each parent, since the father and the mother only donates half of their DNA. The shared DNA can produce some similarities in the appearance of the siblings, like – in the case of celebrities – the ...

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2019 Suzuki Ertiga 1.5 GLXi A/T: Falling in LUV Again

It seems just like yesterday when we picked up our brand-new 2014 Suzuki Ertiga 1.4GLXi A/T multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) directly from the Suzuki Philippines, Inc. (SPH) factory in Canlubang, Laguna. After we did a cover story on it for Power Wheels Magazine, we fell in love with the first-generation Ertiga Life Utility Vehicle (LUV), as SPH was marketing it then. On ...

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Electric Dream: Driving the 2019 Nissan Leaf in HK

On a relatively cold Friday afternoon in March, I found myself driving on the “wrong” side of the road in a 2019 Nissan Leaf hatchback, one of the earliest mainstream electric cars from an established and major automaker. I was in Hong Kong for the second round of Nissan Futures thought leadership discussions in the Asia and Oceania region, and ...

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