Hyundai Introduces New Grand Starex Gold Variants

The Hyundai Starex has been a Filipino family’s favorite. The well-rounded family van is reliable, and a true workhorse for the family, and while it may be reliable, it does not fall short in offering comfortable transportation.

When the Starex’s successor, the Grand Starex, was launched, it redefined what a large family van should be. Unlike most of its competition which were too utilitarian for most families, the Grand Starex offered what none of the competition had, and that is desirability and comfort.

Fast forward today, and the Grand Starex is still a top choice for many large Filipino families. Strengthening its character as a more luxurious and comfortable option over its rivals such as the Hiace and the Urvan Estate, the Grand Starex ups the ante by introducing the new Gold variants. The Gold Premium and Gold Platinum.


Outside, the new Gold variants are fairly easy to spot. A new, large chrome grille, colored side mirrors with LED turn signals, and elegantly-designed 16-inch alloy wheels ensure that you won’t mistake it as a UV Express shuttle. The standard 4-eye parking sensors with a rear view camera should render this huge van a breeze when parking.



Inside, the parity between the two variants become noticed. Let’s first start with what’s offered on both variants. At the front, a 6.5-inch LCD infotainment system with navigation is fitted as standard. A beige interior greets the passengers, which make the cabin feel elegant and airy. There are only three rows of seats, the second being a pair of opulent captains chairs, complete with an ottoman. Side-by-side with its competition, the Hyundai Grand Starex Gold variants seem to be like private jets.

For the Premium variant, there are wo 9-inch LCDs are mounted on the headrests, keeping even the most discerning of customers happy and entertained, perfect for today’s worsening Metro Manila traffic.



If the Premium variant still does not satisfy your exquisite tastes, then the Platinum variant should suffice. A huge console is now fitted as standard behind the front seats, and inside it is a retractable 22-inch LCD television, including a Hi-Fi system fitted as standard. The Platinum variant essentially becomes a theater on wheels, keeping you or your family entertained in today’s worsening traffic situation.

The following are the prices for the Hyundai Grand Starex Gold Variants.

Gold Premium – P2,368,000
Gold Platinum – P2,588,000

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Honda Adds New City Variants, Introduces iPhone Navigation App For Cars With Display Audio

The demand for a touch screen infotainment system nowadays is completely different from what it was before. Walk into a dealership, and you will always find one or two vehicles with a navigation system or a touch screen infotainment system inside the car. Further craving the tech-savvy Pinoy’s demand for a touch-screen infotainment system, Honda launches a new variant of their best-seller, the City.


The City E Navi+ variants are basically the same E variants, but with Honda’s Audio-Visual-Navigation (AVN) unit. This is a completely different system from Honda’s Display Audio infotainment system, the latter being more sophisticated and much more well sorted out. The AVN is fitted with a Garmin navigation system, and to further showcase Honda’s strong partnership with Garmin, map updates are available for free for 3 years. The updates can be made while the car is undergoing its preventive maintenance at the dealership.

Aside from the Garmin navigation system, the AVN is also capable of playing DVDs and Bluetooth audio streaming.


Owners of Honda vehicles with the Display Audio infotainment system fitted as standard should not worry about being left out. While GPS is not offered directly into the system, it must be noted that its still one of the few infotainment systems with an HDMI port for smartphone mirroring. Taking advantage of this feature, Honda Cars Philippines releases the SmartphoneConnection app for iPhone users.

With this iPhone application, Honda models with the Display Audio system will be treated to a Sygic Navigation app, one of the leading smartphone navigation apps in the world. In order for this feature to work, the following accessories are needed.

  • iPhone 5 and up (Should be running on iOS 7.1.2 or later)
  • SmartphoneConnection App (Available on the App Store)
  • Sygic (Available on the App Store)
  • HDMI cable
  • USB Cable
  • Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter

The Honda City E Navi+ Variants are officially sold at P816,000 for the 5-speed manual model and P856,000 for the CVT.

PIMS 2014: Jeep Philippines Holds Dynamic Preview Of 2015 Cherokee Trailhawk

Jeep Philippines held a preview of their Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk at the 2014 Philippine International Motor Show.


The 2015 Jeep Cherokee, now a compact-midsize crossover, is also Jeep’s most competitive bet at capturing a market share from the high-end or top-of-the-line models of mainstream compact crossovers such as the Subaru Forester 2.0 XT, Toyota RAV-4 AWD, and more.


Show at the 2014 PIMS is the Trailhawk variant. More than just a crossover for show, the Trailhawk is Trail Rated by Jeep, meaning it is truly a legitimate off-roader. The Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk has an approach angle of 29.8 degrees, a 32.1 degree departure angle, and a 23.3 degree breakover angle. Combined with features such as Jeep Active Drive Lock with locking differential and its skid plates, the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk clearly has all the go and all the show that a true 4×4 possesses.

Powering the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is a 2.4 liter Tigershark MultiAir 2 engine from the Fiat family, and in case you still aren’t aware, Italian car manufacturer Fiat bought the whole Chrysler group back in 2009. The Tigershark engine produces 185 hp and 232 Nm of torque, and is mated to a ZF 9-Speed Automatic Transmission, one of the first few production cars in the world to have a 9-Speed transmission.

PIMS 2014: Honda Releases The City Mugen Edition (With Pricing)

The Honda City Mugen had its world premiere as a prototype at the City’s launch event earlier this year, and a couple of days before the Philippine International Motor Show,  Honda Cars Philippines has been releasing advertisements on its Facebook page regarding the City Mugen, but without an announcement regarding its price. Thankfully, pricing has now been released by Honda Cars Philippines, and the City Mugen is now officially on sale.

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Priced at P1,030,000, the Honda City Mugen is a VX variant with 17 inch wheels, complete with a nut and lock set, a front, side, and rear under spoiler, and a Mugen sports grille. In case you’re wondering, the Mugen graphics and the carbon-fiber side mirror covers equipped on the display vehicle at the autoshow isn’t included. If you’ve already bought a Honda City, the Mugen kit is sold separately as well at a price of P189,000.


Honda Cars Philippines says that the Honda City Mugen is only available in limited quantities. If you’re interested, better grab one now.

PIMS 2014: Volkswagen Release The Jetta Sport Edition, Previews The Golf GTI (With Complete Specifications)

Volkswagen is a brand that is also well known for building cars that are really fun to drive, and at the 2014 Philippine International Motor Show, Volkswagen Philippines has released the new Jetta Sport.

Volkswagen Jetta Sport


The Volkswagen Jetta, yours for P1,480,000, is a body-kitted version of the Jetta 2.0 TDI MT. Added external improvements include a bodykit, and a new set of 18-inch alloy wheels, riding on a set of 225/40 R18 tires. There are no changes in the interior and the powertrain, which produces 110 hp and 280 Nm of torque.

Volkswagen Golf GTI


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However, the true star of the Volkswagen booth is the Volkswagen Golf GTI. A true star in the making, setting the benchmark for european hot hatches for more than 30 years.


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The Volkswagen Golf GTI will be sold sometime in the year 2015, and should give the Filipinos a taste of what a true hot hatch should be. Powering the Golf GTI is a turbocharged 2.0 liter petrol engine, producing 217 hp and 250 Nm of torque, propelling this hot hatchback from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds. Only one transmission choice will be offered in 2015, and it is Volkswagen’s excellent DSG dual-clutch transmission.


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To make sure the Golf GTI has top-notch handling, it has a double wishbone front suspension with stabilizer bar, and a multi-link rear suspension with stabilizer bar. Creature comforts include keyless entry with push button start, and a touch screen infotainment system. Keeping the driver and front passenger in place are a pair of power-adjustable sport bucket seats.


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PIMS 2014: Mazda Launches New 3 Speed And Showcases Partnership With Bose

Launched this April, one of the highly regarded compact sedans to date, even garnering a nomination from the 2014 World Car Of The Year Awards, Berjaya Auto, Mazda’s distributor in the Philippines is launching the new Mazda 3 Speed.


The Mazda 3 Speed is a 2.0 R hatchback variant with a front, side, and rear spoiler, high-gloss black 18-inch alloy wheels, and high-gloss black side mirrors. In the inside, a beautifully appointed white leather interior greets the driver. A power driver’s seat and DVD entertainment system is added as a bonus.


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(Decals and Concept One Wheels Are Not Fitted As Standard)

The Philippine International Motor Show is also the venue of Mazda’s showcase of its partnership with sound system company Bose. Audiophiles will be happy to know that the Mazda 3 Speed also has Bose sound system, which perfectly complements that car’s DVD entertainment system. Already a standard feature in the CX-5 2.5 AWD Sport (and it sounds great too, read my review by clicking here) and MX-5 25th Anniversary, the Bose sound system is now equipped in the Mazda 6 and CX-9 Grand Touring as well. Should you purchase a Bose-equipped Mazda, Berjaya Auto is giving customers a 20% discount voucher on Bose products through Bose’s Philippine distributor, Eleksis Marketing Corporation.


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The following are the prices for the Mazda vehicles with the Bose sound system.

Mazda 3 Speed: P1,298,000 (+P16,800 for Soul Red Metallic)
Mazda CX-5 AWD Sport: P1,685,000 (+P16,800 for Soul Red Metallic)
Mazda 6: P1,745,000 (+P16,800 for Soul Red Metallic)
Mazda MX-5 25th Anniversary: P1,800,000
Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring: P2,399,000

PIMS 2014: Honda Amazes With The Launch Of The Brio and Brio Amaze (Including The NSX Concept)

Honda wants a share of the supermini segment. Are they too little too late? Let’s hope not. At the Philippine International Motor Show, Honda Cars Philippines has launched the all-new Honda Brio hatchback and its sedan sibling, the Brio Amaze.


2012 honda brio

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The Honda Brio and Brio Amaze is set by Honda Cars Philippines to be wholly distinct from its competitors, especially when it comes to the car’s powertrain. While the competition offers three-cylinder engines, the Brio and Brio Amaze is equipped with the 1.3 liter 4-cylinder from the third generation Honda City, putting out a class-leading 98 hp and 127 Nm of torque. There are two transmission choices. A 5-Speed manual, and unique to the Honda Brio, a 5-Speed automatic, while the rest of the competition uses a 4-Speed automatic. Combined with the Brio hatch’s shorter but wider stance, increasing agility, the Brio hatch is developed by Honda to be the sportscar of the supermini segment.

Brio Amaze

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A lot is expected from the Honda Brio siblings, especially since Honda has moved the City and Jazz upmarket, even making the said vehicles have a purely 1.5 liter engine line-up. In a country were value is highly appreciated, simply adding a powerful engine won’t easily drive buyers away from the Toyota Wigo, Mitsubishi Mirage and Mirage G4. Buyers also want a lot of features too. The Honda Brio comes standard with power windows, mirrors, and door locks on all variants, while power mirrors are unavailable in the base Brio Amaze E. Safety hasn’t been left out as well. Driver and passenger airbags, and ABS with EBD is standard across the range. A 2DIN navigation system with Bluetooth and DVD is equipped in the top trim V variants. Unique to the Brio V variant, the navigation system is also equipped with a built-in internet connectivity with WiFi, a first-in-class feature. Externally, only the top trim 1.3 V Variants of the Brio and Brio Amaze is equipped with a 14-inch alloy wheels.

Aside from Honda Cars Philippines using the Philippine International Motor Show in order to launch the Brio and Brio Amaze, they pulled out two huge surprises to the discerning crowd. Setting the Filipino’s excitement at Honda’s return to Formula 1, Honda displayed to the public their 2013 championship winning Super Japan Formula SF13, which was driven to victory by race car driver Naoki Yamamoto of Team Mugen.


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But the true star of their racing and sporting heritage display is the successor to what is known as one of the world’s most iconic supercars. One of Japan’s best, which first introduces aluminum construction in a production car, and Honda’s first application of VTEC in their engines. They premiered to the Philippine public the Honda NSX Concept, the successor to the original NSX. It will be powered by a mid-mounted V6 engine with three electric motors. An innovation that will be first seen in the NSX once it is released in 2015 is the ability to send negative torque to the inside wheels when cornering, ensuring grippy cornering at high speeds.

More Photos

The Brio and Brio Amaze was crowded, which made taking clear photos difficult. The following photos show the exterior of the Brio Amaze, and the interior plus engine of the Brio hatch.


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Honda Brio Pricing:

1.3 S: P599,000 (MT), P639,000 (AT)
1.3 V: P679,000 (MT), P719,000 (AT)

Honda Brio Amaze Pricing:

1.3 E: P629,000 (MT)
1.3 S: P689,000 (AT)
1.3 V: P729,000 (MT), P769,000 (AT)


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