Hello, Botchi! What's the best driver's car under P1 million? It will be a gift for a college graduate who wants a fun-to-drive car. Thank you!
Hi, Joel. Thanks for your e-mail. Letters like this get me really excited!
First on my list is the Honda Jazz. It's fun, hip, practical, versatile and still as enjoyable as ever to drive! It remains the standard by which all small cars are to be judged based on its overall package.
(Read: Honda Jazz 1.5 V CVT review)
The second car I recommend is the Mazda 2. It's pricey, but really, really fun to drive. The only reason the Jazz outshines the 2 is because the Honda is bigger, so the former is more versatile and practical. You can haul more stuff in the Jazz. But the Mazda, equipped with Skyactiv technology, is just as fuel-efficient--if not more--as the Jazz. It's newer and fresher, and it appeals to an even younger crowd than the Honda.
(Watch: We take the Mazda 2 Speed for a fun-filled drive around Bataan)
Third on my list is the Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost. On paper, it's an amazing car. It's really fast, fun and surprisingly fuel-efficient thanks to its 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. My only gripe with it is that the dual-clutch transmission really takes some getting used to (to put it politely). But it's appealing because Ford is churning out promo after promo to make owning one cheaper and more accessible.
(Read: Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost review)
In terms of aftermarket support, the Honda takes the trophy as it has the largest number of available parts. In terms of outright speed and power, the Fiesta--with its EcoBoost engine--outshines both the Honda and the Mazda. But in terms of newness, the Mazda 2 looks amazingly futuristic and fresh.
I hope this helps. Good luck and God bless! Tell your college graduate to drive safely.