Honda Wants Your To Cruise With The New CR-V Cruiser Edition

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In a bid to increase the CR-V’s appeal, Honda introduces the new CR-V Cruise Edition. Available until August 31, 2014, the CR-V Cruiser Edition introduces a new Kenwood entertainment system.

The Kenwood entertainment system has a built-in DVD player and video playback. To aid you in navigating the Philippines, the Kenwood system also has a built-in Garmin navigation system.

The Cruiser Edition is available in two variants of the CR-V. The 2.0 S and 2.4 SX. The Cruiser Edition adds P40,000 to the CR-V’s price tag, with the 2.0 S costing P1,430,000 and the 2.4 SX costing P1,565,000.

Suzuki Launches The Swift 1.2 Liter Variant

In a bid to further increase the Swift’s appeal to a wider audience, Suzuki launches the 1.2 liter variant of their well-loved Swift.

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The Suzuki Swift is also known by many as the poor man’s Mini, due to the wheels being located near the car’s overhangs, resulting in a small hatchback that has impeccable handling capabilities that is similar to a… well, Mini.

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The Swift is powered by the same 1.2 liter petrol engine from its sedan version called the DZire, producing 87 hp and 114 Nm of torque. It has a higher ground clearance over the 1.4 liter model, mostly due to the thicker 185/65 R15 tires.

The Suzuki Swift 1.2 is yours for P608,000 for the 5-Speed Manual or P648,000 for the 4-Speed Automatic.

Honda Nips and Tucks The Civic, Modulo and Mugen Kits Now Standard

The Honda Civic is Honda’s bread and butter model. The poster boy for what is called the sports car in the compact segment. However, it is now accepted that each new iteration of the Civic will never be as sporty as the EK, or the sixth generation Civic, though it doesn’t mean they’re not fun to drive machines today. In a bid to reinvigorate the Honda Civic, HCPI releases the new 2014 model, with three distinct variants to choose from, the 1.8 S, 1.8 E Modulo, and 2.0 EL Mugen.

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1.8 S: P978,000

The most obvious change from the previous model is the new honeycomb chrome grille, and a new chrome bar underneath it. Offered now as standard on all models are fog lights, which used to be standard only on the top spec 2.0 EL.

1.8 E Modulo: P1,118,000

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More changes are apparent on the Modulo and Mugen duo. New, two-tone 16 inch rims and a standard Modulo kit enhance the sporty look of the Honda Civic. Inside, a few first-in-class features come as standard. Some features from the Honda Accord and City eventually trickled to the Civic, including the Multi-Angle Rear View Camera, and the 7-inch Display Audio touch screen unit with HDMI to display the smartphone onto the Display Audio. Power folding mirrors and cruise control are now standard.

2.0 EL Mugen: P1,378,000

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The 2.0 EL Mugen has all the features of the 1.8 E Modulo, but with the addition of a better Multi-Angle Rear View Camera, which now includes dynamic guide lines, 6 airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist, automatic climate control, and leather seats. 17 inch two-tone rims and a Mugen kit further differentiates it from the 1.8 E Modulo.

Autostrada Motore Inc. Launches The New Maserati Ghibli

The Maserati Ghibli marks a turning point in the Maserati brand. In pursuit of their goal to sell 50,000 units globally by 2015, creating a midsize luxury sports sedan to rival huge sellers from Germany is by all means necessary, and this is the first time in their history that they will have 2 sedans in their lineup. What used to be a coupe is now a midsize sedan. This is the all-new Maserati Ghibli.

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Launched at this year’s Trans Sport Show, the Maserati Ghibli aims to offer something different, carrying the Italian pedigree along whilst competing with the higher end offerings of its German rivals, the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Audi A6.

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Its exterior is graced by its coupe-like roofline and its distinctive C-pillar design, which carries the iconic Saetta Maserati logo. The trademark triple air vents behind the front wheel arches further add character and immediately hints onlookers that this isn’t your typical midsize German luxury sedan.

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The interior is dominated by a huge touchscreen which is based on Chrysler’s UConnect system. Leather crafted by Poltrona Frau keeps its occupants in opulent luxury, while optional features such as the Bower and Wilkins sound system and other customization features should keep the most demanding customers satisfied.

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Keeping it distinct from its rivals are its trio of twin turbocharged engines, all of which are developed together with Ferrari. Two twin-turbo petrol, and one diesel. Only the petrol will be offered in the Philippines, the first of which, powers the standard model, producing 330 hp and 500 Nm of torque. The other petrol engine powers the more powerful S and S Q4 with AWD model, producing 410 hp and 550 Nm of torque. Only one transmission is available, a ZF 8-Speed Automatic.

Ford Adds New Features To The Ranger Wildtrak

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Ford’s Ranger nameplate is one of their bestsellers here in the Philippines. Being a truck-loving country, it isn’t a surprise that Ford is adding new features to maintain their momentum. Starting this June, the following features will be available on the new Ford Ranger.

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The Ford Ranger Wildtrak 2.2 4×2 AT and MT will now be available with side and curtain airbags, features that used to be exclusive to the top of the line Wildtrak 3.2 4×4 AT. Other safety features include three-point seatbelts on all seats, driver and passenger seatbelt warning, and ISOFIX child-seat anchor points.

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Speaking of the 3.2 Wildtrak 4×4 AT, many customers begged for a manual transmission variant of the said model, and in response to that demand, Ford is finally offering a manual transmission model of the said variant. This variant has a rear-view camera, cooled center console bin, eight-way power adjustable seats, and a 12V socket on the bed.

2.2 Wildtrak 4×2 AT: P1,289,000
2.2 Wildtrak 4×2 MT: P1,219,000
3.2 Wildtrak 4×4 MT: P1,490,000

DRIVING The 2014 Peugeot 3008 1.6 eHDI Active: A Fellow Overachiever

A few months ago, I was able to review the Peugeot 5008 1.6 eHDI 7-seater MPV. For those who were able to read it, I was indeed left very impressed, instantly turning me into a huge fan of the Peugeot brand. Despite being a 7-seater MPV, it drives like a sporty sedan, yet has the ride comfort 7-seater MPVs are known for. The fun-to-drive factor alone is already a huge plus, since MPVs are never normally fun-to-drive on a twisty road. Now that the Peugeot 5008 has left me a good impression of the Peugeot brand, my expectations are set really high on this Peugeot 3008 1.6 eHDI Active. Have my expectations been met? It’s time to find out.

Exterior

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The exterior looks dynamic and exciting, especially the rear. Body cladding and silver skid plate trim on key areas gives purpose and beauty to the 3008’s looks. It may look like a crossover SUV, but it is actually an MPV, with the added benefit of being able to do a little bit of mild off-roading. That said, the front design has been met with mixed receptions. I’m more on the negative side, since I find the grille too awkwardly shaped. A facelifted model is already released in other markets, and the facelift substantially improves the overall look of the 3008, receiving the new corporate face of the Peugeot brand that started with the 508 executive sedan. In the meantime, my opinion on the Peugeot 3008’s looks, more-or-less, is on the positive side.

Interior

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The interior is very similar to the Peugeot 5008’s, except for a few bits like the switches for the hazards, central locking, and the heads-up display, having a toggle-like design instead of buttons found on the Peugeot 5008. The interior is full of high quality materials, with padded soft touch materials covering the dashboard. It also feels robust and well screwed together, feeling more expensive than what the SRP suggests. The seats are done in fabric on this Active model, but they are far from feeling cheap, giving off a sporty and high quality vibe.

Space and Practicality

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The Peugeot 3008 has a generously sized boot, with 512 liters of space with the rear seats up. A handy divider and false floor further add versatility, giving you a place to store items that may potentially attract thieves. A split tailgate design ensures that loading items won’t be a hassle, eliminating any lip that may intrude when sliding things into the boot. According to Peugeot, the flip down portion of the tailgate has a load capacity of up to 200 kg, essentially giving you a bench to sit in when going outdoors. There is even a flashlight in the trunk, should you ever go to the wilderness with your Peugeot 3008.

Cubby spaces are strategically placed in the cabin. The glove box is on the small side, but like the 5008, there are a few tricks up its sleeve. There is a small storage bin under the steering column, and the center console bin is one of the deepest I’ve encountered in any vehicle. While it may look a bit like a crossover outside, on the inside, it has the generous cubby spaces of an MPV.

Features

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Even if this is the base Active model, there is no shortage in equipment. Just like the Peugeot 5008, a panoramic glass roof is equipped as standard. A heads-up display ensures your eyes are always on the road by projecting information onto the driver’s line of sight. Other features include automatic headlights with daytime running lights, 6 airbags, ABS, DSC, ASR, Central Locking, Rain Sensing Wipers, Power Windows with all windows having one-touch up & down, and Keyless Entry.

Powertrain

The similarities between the 3008 and 5008 continue here with what’s underneath their hoods. The Peugeot 3008 is powered by a 1.6 liter turbocharged diesel engine with eHDI Micro-Hybrid technology, which is mated to a 6-Speed Automated Manual Transmission. It produces 112 hp and while low on horsepower, it makes up on a lot of torque, producing a whopping 285 Nm of it from an early 1700 rpm. It is a Euro V compliant diesel, however, Peugeot states that there wouldn’t be any problems if we were to fuel it with Euro II diesel fuels. Further aiding the Peugeot 3008’s environmental friendliness is its FAP diesel particulate filter, which eliminates the harmful particles left by unclean diesel fuels, resulting in very clean emissions.

It is also equipped with eHDI Micro-Hybrid start/stop technology, shutting off the engine (with the electronics still being able to run) at situations like when there is a stoplight, and then you hold on the brake while in D. The engine will simply restart by simply releasing your foot from the brakes.

How It Drives

Have my high expectations set by the Peugeot 5008 been met? The answer is a definite yes. Underneath what is essentially an MPV in a crossover body, the Peugeot 3008 surprises drivers with excellent steering feel with plenty of feedback and is very responsive to driver inputs. Despite being a tall vehicle, body roll is very well controlled, without the compromise in ride comfort, feeling more like a sports sedan than an MPV in the corners. Helping the Peugeot 3008’s outstanding handling is a suspension set-up that has a good balance between ride comfort and handling. Stepping up to the Allure variants, and you get Dynamic Roll Control, further eliminating the car’s body lean when being pushed hard on the corners.

As a long distance cruiser, the Peugeot 3008 also impresses. The cabin is well insulated from outside noise, even when traversing some of the Philippines’ roughest tarmac. This should mean that kids will easily fall to sleep on long journeys. Like all diesel engines from a European manufacturer, the engine is refined, and has a good torque band. When in manual mode, the Peugeot 3008 will simply leap ahead, even when launching it from 3rd gear.

Fuel economy, like all other Peugeots, is very impressive. Peugeot advertises that on the highway, the Peugeot 3008 with the 1.6 eHDI diesel engine will easily reach 28 km/l. It may sound too good to be true, but having said that this is a diesel, this is almost certainly not the case. With this drive around the city block, the computers told me that my fuel consumption was *12.1 km/l. Very fuel efficient figures indeed for a vehicle of this size and weight. Helping me achieve this fuel economy figure is the eHDI Micro-Hybrid start/stop system.

On The Downside

This time around, I was very acquainted with the Automated Manual transmission of the Peugeot 3008. Like what I said before when I reviewed the Peugeot 5008, it does take a bit of getting used to, because whenever the transmission changes gears, it doesn’t jerk, but rather, a feeling of loss of power or lag is felt. When I asked a few friends who went with me to drive the Peugeot 3008, they hardly felt it when I asked them if they feel the loss of power whenever the transmission shifts, so that should at least give a perspective on how the transmission feels.

Being an Automated Manual transmission, and not entirely an Automatic transmission (also known as the typical Torque Converter automatic), it lacks the crawl feature. Therefore a little bit more effort in pressing the gas pedal is needed to get this car moving. The same can be said when starting to move from an incline. It is sometimes reluctant to downshift in automatic mode, sending vibrations through the cabin. Again, it does take a bit of getting used to, but after driving the Peugeot 5008, I have certainly gotten used to driving this vehicle, enjoying it even in the process. I still wonder how the Peugeot 3008 will be if it had the same 6-Speed Automatic from the 2.0 HDI Allure model.

The last downside I’ll be discussing is only unique to the Peugeot 3008. While headroom is generous, legroom isn’t. I do fit in the back seats, but an extra couple of inches of space would be nice in order to really stretch out. It feels tight, especially for a vehicle of this size.

Verdict

The Peugeot 3008 shares many similar traits with its bigger brother, the 5008. Both vehicles are plenty fun to drive, yet is comfortable on long journeys. Given that the Peugeot 3008 1.6 eHDI Active has a price tag of P1,495,000, this gives buyers a glimpse of what the 5008 is like to live with. The Peugeot 5008 offers the flexibility of 7-seats and a longer body over the 3008, for someone who only needs 5-seats, then the Peugeot 3008 is one of those rare MPVs with plenty of hidden talents. Since this review ended very similarly from the Peugeot 5008 review, the Peugeot 3008, just like its bigger brother, is another overachiever.

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Rating

Exterior Design: ★★★☆☆
Interior Design: ★★★★☆
Interior Quality: ★★★★☆
Features: ★★★★☆
Acceleration: ★★★★☆
Handling: ★★★★☆
Comfort: ★★★★☆
Fuel Efficiency: ★★★★★
Value For Money: ★★★★☆

OVERALL: 4 out of 5

Related:

2014 Mazda CX-5 2.5 AWD Sport
2014 Peugeot 5008 1.6 eHDI Active

See Also:

2012 Honda Civic 1.8 EXI
2012 Hyundai Elantra 1.6 GL AT
2013 Mitsubishi Montero Sport GLS-V 4×2 AT
2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer LTZ 4×4 AT
2013 Mazda 6 AT
2014 Toyota Vios 1.5 G AT
2014 Ford EcoSport 1.5 Titanium
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

*Fuel consumption results may vary depending on conditions and the driver itself.

Mazda Philippines To Bring 25 Units Of The MX-5 25th Anniversary Edition

The world premiere of the MX-5 25th Anniversary Edition was held at the 2014 New York Auto Show, alongside the next generation Mazda MX-5’s Skyactiv Chassis.

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The Mazda MX-5 25th Anniversary Edition is based on the retractable hardtop version of the MX-5, available only with the Soul Red Metallic exterior, either in 6-speed manual or automatic. Differences with the standard model include blacked-out parts such as the roof, A and C-pillars, an off-white leather interior, and a couple of hand finished decorative panels around the cabin. Bilstein shocks further improve the MX-5’s already excellent handling.

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Only 1,000 units will be made globally, and recently, Berjaya Auto Philippines, the official distributor of Mazda vehicles in the Philippines, has announced at the monthly gathering of the Miata Group at the Manila Polo Club, that 25 units of the MX-5 25th Anniversary Edition will be allocated to the Philippine market. These units will arrive in August. According to Top Gear Philippines, only a handful of units were supposed to be delivered to the Philippines, but Steven Tan was able to convince a high ranking official at Mazda Motor Corporation, stating that the Philippines has one of the world’s most passionate Miata/MX-5 groups in the world. This should mean that members of the Miata group will have a better chance of owning one of the 25 of these limited edition collector’s items.

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The Mazda MX-5 is recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world’s best selling 2-seater sportscar, having sold 940,000 units since it was sold in 1989. The Mazda MX-5 is also highly acclaimed globally, being a very fun to drive and nimble sportscar, even capturing the #1 spot in Discovery Channel’s Greatest Ever Sports Cars. While it doesn’t have the power of, let’s say, a Porsche Boxster, it is however, very light, making it faster than what the numbers suggest.

The Mazda MX-5 25th Anniversary Edition will be sold at a P1,800,000, excellent value for what is essentially a collector’s item, especially for the loyal fans of the Mazda MX-5. Grab one while slots last.

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