The formula for success in the local automotive landscape has remained simple over the last few decades: You need a decent mix of practicality and affordability, because that’s what Filipino car buyers consistently look for. The various vehicles that have topped sales charts are clear reflections of that.
Even so, having those traits is not a guarantee for success, because in recent years, practical and affordable models—and new brands with those offerings—have been coming in one after the other. The local market has no shortage of them.
For this reason, some of you might have felt that Suzuki Philippines’ decision to bring in the XL7 is somewhat questionable. The subcompact-SUV class is a hot segment right now, but it’s already dominated by established nameplates like the Honda BR-V and the Toyota Rush. What’s more, Suzuki already has a tried-and-tested seven-seater—albeit in a slightly different segment—in the form of the Ertiga. Why should it bother with another one?
If you ask me, I would’ve raise a red flag if the Japanese carmaker hadn’t brought in the XL7. It’s a promising new offering that really looks like it has the makings of a winner, and I believe it could be a dark horse in its class.
I say this because while the XL7 exudes a certain familiar and generic vibe, once people see what it brings to the table, they’ll definitely take notice.