If you ever needed any more proof of Toyota Motor Philippines’ dominance, look no further than the past 12 months. No, we’re not talking about sales—we’re talking about how much noise the brand’s local launches made despite everything that went on in 2020.
The Japanese car manufacturer managed to snag six out of the top ten spots in terms of article views on the Top Gear Philippines website. These vehicles are the new Toyota Fortuner, the newly-introduced seven-seat Rush base variant, the new Hilux, new Wigo, Toyota Corolla Cross, and Hiace Cargo.
Other vehicles that managed to crack the top ten include the Suzuki S-Presso, Everest Sport, and Mitsubishi Xpander Cross. You can check out the full list below:
Not much of a surprise here. The Toyota Fortuner, sales-wise, is easily the king of the midsize SUV segment, so it only makes sense that it took the top spot. The 2020 refresh gives the vehicle a more macho exterior, as well as a more powerful 2.8-liter DOHC turbodiesel capable of up to 201hp and 500Nm of torque (for the top variants).
The Suzuki S-Presso may be tiny, but the hype leading up to its local arrival was anything but. The vehicle’s extremely budget-friendly price tag no doubt played in its success on this list: The base model comes in at just P518,000. For that figure, you get a 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine with 67hp and 90Nm, and arguably the cutest exterior design in the market.
Unlike the first Toyota on this list, this one came as somewhat of a surprise as no formal launch was held. Why the big deal? Well, you know how the local market is obsessed with being able to fit as many passengers into a vehicle as possible? Toyota just gave the base variant of one of its hottest-selling models seven seats.
Again, no surprise here. Filipinos love trucks, and Filipinos love Toyota. The fact the Japanese carmaker moved to pack a new, more powerful 2.8-liter turbodiesel with 201hp and 500Nm (the same one powering the new Toyota Fortuners) of torque only sweetened the pot further.
The Ford Everest Sport isn’t just one of the slickest-looking midsize SUVs in the market—it also happens to be one of the first vehicles launched digitally because of the COVID-19 pandemic. No performance changes here, but the brand did give this ride a darker appearance courtesy of a blacked-out grille, new 20-inch alloy wheels, and special ‘sport’ decals.
Along with the Suzuki S-Presso, the Wigo presents itself as a viable starter car for buyers on a budget. This hatchback starts at just P568,000, and packs a 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine capable of 65hp and 89Nm. Perhaps there’s a good number of people looking to own a daily driver in the new normal?
This year, TMP expanded its local crossover lineup by introducing the Corolla Cross to Filipino motorists. A hybrid version is also available, similar to its sedan sibling, the Corolla Altis. The ‘Corolla’ name has been a staple in the market for well over two decades already, so bringing in a high-riding crossover version was sure to catch people’s attention.
This is proof that there’s still life in the Toyota Hiace’s nose-less version yet. The Cargo is essentially the Commuter variant, albeit with a generous amount of flat cargo space instead of, well, seats for carrying passengers—ideal for business owners, especially considering its attainable P1.01 million price tag.
The launch of the Mitsubishi Xpander was one of the biggest in recent memory. So, was it a shock when people started getting hyped for the local launch of a more rugged take on the seven-seater with midsize SUV-like ground clearance? Not at all.
10) Suzuki XL7
Like the Mitsubishi Xpander Cross, the XL7 is a more macho take on a popular seven-seat offering, this time the Suzuki Ertiga. It comes equipped with a 1.5-liter K15B engine with 103hp and 138Nm, and an exterior that does a great job building on the vehicle’s MPV underpinnings.