So far, 2018 has been a hell of a year for the local auto scene. Car after car, launch after launch--it just seems like there's no end to the number of new arrivals. And it isn't just limited to mass-market offerings like midsize SUVs and subcompact sedans either. A handful of performance cars have made it to our shores, too.
With this in mind, we got to rounding up the most significant car launches over the course of 2018's first six months. Anything past June will have to be included in the year-end roundup this December, and yes, that includes the all-new Toyota Vios (it was launched in July, so tough luck). So, what's your favorite ride of 2018 so far?
BMW X3 and X2
Two of BMW's more practical offerings, the X3 and X2, were launched in February and April, respectively. With impressive powertrains, good size, muscular designs and undoubted German quality, the SUV and crossover are attractive options for buyers looking for more premium alternatives in the two segments.
The American carmaker had its eye on shaking up the local midsize sedan market when it brought in the all-new Malibu at the 2018 Manila International Auto Show (MIAS). Meanwhile, the turbo-powered Cruze surprisingly popped up out of nowhere--though it has yet to be seen if the nameplate truly is making a comeback or if the company is merely toying with the idea.
Ferrari GTC4 Lusso and 812 Superfast
The Italian supercar manufacturer celebrated its 70th birthday earlier this year, and Autostrade Motore followed up on the milestone by bringing in the GTC4 Lusso and 812 Superfast--two of the most hotly-anticipated vehicles in the Prancing Pony's lineup.
Ford Expedition and Mustang Convertible
Both the all-new Ford Expedition and topless Mustang were unveiled to the public during MIAS 2018, with the former flaunting an attractive new design and the models most powerful engine to date, and the latter, well, the ability to drop its roof.
Hyundai Kona, Veloster and Santa Fe
The Korean manufacturer had all bases covered during MIAS 2018 with three car launches: An attractive mass-market subcompact crossover in the Kona; an exciting sports car in the all-new Veloster; and a family-friendly vehicle in the Santa Fe. Take your pick.
Isuzu MU-X 1.9-liter
With the entry of the new 1.9-liter RZ4E-equipped Isuzu MU-X, the country saw the arrival of a more affordable, more efficient Japanese midsize SUV. Yes, the D-Max now also packs a 1.9-liter underneath its hood, but that was launched in July.
The hype leading up to the Mitsubishi Xpander's Philippine release was as real as it gets. From the get-go, it just ticked all the right boxes for a mass-market MPV: A modern design, good driving dynamics, cozy interior and a practical layout. It's only a matter of time until units begin littering our streets.
This Japanese carmaker might be late to the midsize SUV party, but it entered with a considerable splash. Prior to its release, local anticipation for the Nissan Terra built considerably thanks to secretive spy shots of the vehicle being tested on Philippine provincial roads. Now, it's finally here.
Nissan GT-R Nismo
Launched at the start of this year alongside a handful of refreshed Nissans and new variants, the GT-R Nismo was hidden up the Japanese manufacturer's sleeve. There were no previews of teasers—Nissan Philippines head Ramesh Narasimhan just suddenly introduced the performance import on stage during the event. Surprise!
Subaru Eyesight cars
While the all-new Forester is undoubtedly what everyone's looking forward to from Subaru, its new Eyesight-equipped lineup is still well worth looking into. If you didn't think Subies could get any safer, you thought wrong.
Suzuki Swift and Dzire
Not a lot of small cars have had an impact on the Philippine car scene in the first half of 2018, but the Suzuki Swift is looking to be the first one. The new-look subcompact hatchback was launched just last month, together with its sedan counterpart, the Dzire.
Is the Toyota Rush vs. the Mitsubishi Xpander the country's newest four-wheel rivalry? After all, this Toyota is arguably the only car to have been able to match the Mitsubishi MPV's hype levels. Dubbed by many as a 'baby Fortuner,' the Rush looks like a great fit for Philippine roads thanks to its high ground clearance.
Throw out any biases you have regarding where the Santana is manufactured, because at the end of the day, its design is German and it's extremely affordable. If all goes according to VW's plan, we could finally have a subcompact sedan to take on the likes of the Toyota Vios and Honda City.