These were the biggest car news stories of 2018

When price tags went up
by Jason Tulio | Dec 30, 2018
PHOTO: Raynand Olarte

Scroll through this list, and you’ll begin to notice a pattern. You see, due to the implentation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, vehicle prices across the board went up. Normally, this list would be all about the arrival of new car models. While some of those stories did make the cut, a lot of the pieces listed here revolve around the post-TRAIN prices. It was definitely a year when most of us had to watch our wallets.

1) The Mitsubishi Xpander’s prices were lower than expected

In January, we reported the official prices of Mitsu’s new MPV before its Philippine debut. But at the official launch a month later, the Japanese carmaker revealed that the SRPs were actually lower than what it had first disclosed. Yay!

2) The market leader reveals its new price list

Many readers and customers were likely waiting for Toyota’s 2018 price list with bated breath. As expected, the SRPs went up. For example, all variants of the Corolla Altis had an asking price of over P900,000.

3) Toyota ups the ante with the Rush’s SRPs

Speaking of Toyota, the country’s bestselling brand wasn’t about to be outdone by the Xpander’s launch. The brand quickly followed up with the unveil of the Rush, and placed the model’s prices within the same ballpark as those of its rival. Consider the battle lines drawn.

4) Mitsubishi updates its price list

Remember what we said about a pattern? In Mitsu’s case, its popular Montero Sport received a significant price bump. The SRP of the 2.4-liter 2WD GLS went up by a whopping P121,000.

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5) The return of the king

This year featured the launch of the all-new Toyota Vios. An exciting thing for the market, yes, but many of you weren’t too happy with its price tag—and the fact that there were no changes to the available engines.

6) Honda prices go up, but there is an upside

Of course, Honda’s offerings became more expensive this year as well. One upside, though, is that the Civic Type R’s price tag remained unchanged. That’s great news—if you can afford one.

7) ‘Money’ comes to town in some lavish cars

You wouldn’t expect Floyd Mayweather to cruise around town in run-of-the-mill cars, would you? For the boxer’s trip to the Philippines, several high-end cars were wrapped in gold foil to befit his notoriously lavish lifestyle. The convoy included a BMW i8, a Rolls-Royce Ghost, and a Cadillac Escalade. They all featured his signature TMT logos, of course.

8) The initial reveal of the Mitsubishi Xpander’s prices

Yes, the Xpander was such a big deal this year that it made this list twice. This story featured the initial prices set by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines.

9) The Ford Ranger Raptor proves that it’s a good year for pickups

Under TRAIN, pickups are exempt from vehicle excise tax. So, it was the right time for Ford Philippines to bring in its much-hyped Ranger Raptor. And the SRP was a lot less than what we expected, coming in at just under P2 million.

10) Nissan joins the midsize-SUV race

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With its Japanese rivals (and some contenders from the Americans) duking it out in the midsize-SUV market, Nissan showed its might this year by bringing in the Terra. The fact that the regional launch took place on our shores was further proof of Nissan’s seriousness in tackling the segment.

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PHOTO: Raynand Olarte
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