The 10 biggest PH car launches of 2021

Did you buy any of these new arrivals?
by Drei Laurel | Dec 20, 2021
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PHOTO: Topgear.com.ph

The past year was a noticeable step up from 2020 in terms of car launches. Yes, a huge part of that was because COVID-19 lockdowns didn’t hurt the auto industry as much as in the year prior—but also, many of the introductions this year were overhauls of familiar names.

Some brands turned to breathing new life into relatively dormant models in 2021. This includes Toyota Motor Philippines, which finally launched the all-new Land Cruiser, as well as Nissan Philippines which finally gave the local Almera a much-needed overhaul and introduced the all-new Patrol.

Anyway, let’s cut to the chase—we have a roundup to get to. Below are what we think were the 10 most impactful launches (in no particular order) in the Philippines in 2021. Let us know what you think of our picks in the comments.

1) All-new Nissan Almera

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Yes, the Nissan Almera has finally received an overhaul in the Philippine market. It’s a pretty big one, too, not just because it’s been ages since we’ve heard anything about the model, but because it now packs a turbocharger as well.

2) Honda City Hatch

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The local market might not have ended up getting the all-new Honda Jazz (in fact, Honda Cars Philippines decided to stop selling it entirely), but hey, at least there’s a successor in the form of the City Hatch. Keep those glasses half-full, people.

3) All-new Honda Civic

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HCPI wasted very little time in bringing its next-generation compact sedan to our shores, launching the all-new Civic late in November 2021. Do you think its classier stying will propel it ahead of other competitors like the Toyota Corolla Altis and the Mazda 3?

4) All-new Isuzu D-Max and MU-X

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After many years, the Isuzu D-Max and MU-X finally have what it takes to compete with other brands’ offerings in terms of polish. Yes, technically we’re cheating by lumping these two vehicles together, but the more the merrier.

5) New Toyota Innova

Many variations of the MPV have sprouted locally since the Innova made the segment mainstream during the naughties. The OG is still alive and kicking, though, and this refresh should ensure it stays that way for a considerable while longer.

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6) Toyota GR Yaris

As far as fun is concerned, no car on this list comes close to what the Toyota GR Yaris offers. Legitimate hot hatches in this market are extremely few and far between, and this little Toyota is arguably the best one we’ve seen in a while (or at least since the Honda Civic Type R was introduced several years ago).

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7) All-new Toyota Land Cruiser

Man, Toyota took its sweet time developing it, but an all-new Land Cruiser is now out and about. The latest generation of the iconic Japanese SUV is here in the Philippines, too—but tough luck for any buyers who weren’t able to secure one when news of its arrival first came out.

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8) New Mitsubishi Mirage G4

The Mirage G4 received a sizable makeover back in August 2021, giving one of the brand’s most successful offerings a new lease on life. Its revamped appearance combined with its ever-dependable performance makes it an enticing option for buyers finally looking to pull the trigger on a brand-new car following the worst of the pandemic.

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9) New Nissan Navara and Terra

Again, yes, we’re cheating here. But you just can’t talk of one of these without mentioning the other. Both models’ redesigns are about as substantial as refreshes come, and in the case of the Navara, the move should help keep consumers satiated until a next-generation version comes out in the near future.

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10) New Nissan Patrol

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Like with the previous-generation Toyota Land Cruiser, the Patrol was around for ages before the brand was able to bring in the new version. Rumblings of a local launch were around back in 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and threw a wrench in manufacturers’ product plans—Nissan included. But hey, it’s here now.

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PHOTO: Topgear.com.ph
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