Top Gear Philippines

Big Test July 2011

The car industry hasn't given up on manual transmissions yet. Having a more engaging--and affordable--shifting option will put a smile on the faces of car-crazy drivers.

Here are snippets on our Big Test contenders this month:

Chevrolet Cruze 1.8 LS MT. The freshest compact sedan on the market also has an enviable spec list. This 1.8-liter LS variant doesn't have the same muscle as the other two contenders, but it makes up for this shortcoming in a number of surprising and practical ways.

Mitsubishi Lancer EX GLX. Do not underestimate the regular Lancer's link to the Evolution X, which by itself is enough to get people seriously interested in driving this car. And let's not forget the enticing combo of a 2.0-liter and manual transmission.

Nissan Sentra 200 6MT. The six-speed manual shifter is a boon when attempting to get the best mileage possible. However, the fuel savings might not be enough to offset the Sentra 200's price tag. When shopping in this price range, buyers will expect more than entry-level fare.



Basic technical specifications Chevrolet Cruze 1.8 LS MT Mitsubishi Lancer EX GLX Nissan Sentra 200 6MT
Engine 1.8-liter DOHC 16V I4 2.0-liter DOHC 16V I4 2.0-liter DOHC 16V I4
Type gasoline, naturally aspirated gasoline, naturally aspirated gasoline, naturally aspirated
Capacity (cc) 1,796 1,998 1,997
Maximum output (hp @ rpm) 139 @ 6,200 153 @ 6,000 143 @ 5,100
Maximum torque (Nm @ rpm) 176 @ 3,800 199 @ 4,250 199 @ 4,800
Transmission 5-speed manual 5-speed manual 6-speed manual
Brakes (front / rear) vented disc/solid disc vented disc/drum-in-disc vented disc/drum
Front suspension independent MacPherson independent MacPherson independent MacPherson
Rear suspension torsion beam multilink torsion beam
Wheels 16in alloy 16in alloy 15in steel
Tires 205/60 R16 205/60 R16 205/60 R15
Dimensions L/W/H (mm) 4,597/1,788/1,477 4,570/1,760/1,490 4,567/1,790/1,512
Wheelbase (mm) 2,685 2,635 2,685
Curb weight (kg) 1,290 1,290 1,298
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton) 107.75 118.6 107.86
Fuel tank capacity (liters) 60 59 55

Photo by Christian Halili

Which of these cars is the lord of manual compacts in the market today?
Chevrolet Cruze 1.8 LS MT (P888,888)
Mitsubishi Lancer EX GLX (P990,000)
Nissan Sentra 200 6MT (1,050,000)

Paulo Rafael Subido
Editor in Chief
Top Gear Philippines' editor in chief is a driving addict, but with a taste for old-school metal. He loves spending the day in the talyer, working on his cars as a form of relaxation.
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