Car News

This week in cars: Honda HR-V launched, Toyota Veloz confirmed for PH

There were some big reveals and announcements this week

The all-new Honda HR-V has landed in PH

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“The current-generation Honda HR-V bows out this year to make way for the third-generation model. The 2022 HR-V boasts a sharper, revolutionary look, along with a new chassis that it shares with the fifth-generation Jazz, City, and City Hatchback. Aimed at upwardly mobile millennials and young families, Honda’s latest baby crossover has lived up to some high expectations.

“Now available in Honda Cars Philippines (HCPI) dealerships nationwide, the HR-V competes in the premium small-crossover market. Some of its prime competitors include the Toyota Corolla Cross, the Ford Territory, and the hotshot upstart, the Geely Coolray. So what does the HR-V offer in this competitive segment? Read more here.”

Toyota PH confirms Veloz launch

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“A few days ago, we were still speculating about the Veloz’s arrival here in our market. Now, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has just confirmed the upcoming launch.

“TMP announced via email that the new Veloz will be launched on April 29. The new model will be on display at TMP dealerships starting then. The company will also be showcasing the new Veloz at the BGC Amphitheater from April 29 to May 1.

“Reservations for the Veloz will be accepted starting April 23. TMP has yet to announce the full price list and details, but it did confirm that the range will start at P1,185,000. What’s interesting, however, is that TMP is calling the Veloz a subcompact SUV when it’s essentially just a snazzier-looking Avanza, which is a subcompact MPV. Don’t worry, we’ll be sure to ask TMP questions about that during the launch.

“Anyhoo, we do have a few details, albeit nothing is official yet as of this writing. We were told by a source that the Veloz will be powered by the same 1.5-liter gasoline engine in the Avanza—this unit produces 105hp and 138Nm. This will be mated to a CVT in both Veloz variants.

“Speaking of variants, there will be two, with the higher one supposedly stickering for P1,225,000. This one gets added tech such as Toyota Safety Sense and other safety and parking-assist features.”

Toyota to launch monotone Raize Turbo later this year


Toyota Motor Philippines is making some very slight adjustments to the local Raize lineup.

“According to a source, the Japanese carmaker will soon make its popular subcompact crossover’s Turbo variant available with a monotone White Pearl exterior.

“The move to add the new finish is reportedly due to supply restrictions affecting the two-tone version of the vehicle. Our source did not, however, disclose what two-tone options are affected by Toyota’s supply issue.

“The new color option will still set you back P1,031,000, so no changes in terms of pricing to report here. Reservations have already begun, with retail sales scheduled to begin on June 8.

“Oh, and no changes to performance, either. Toyota Raize Turbo units with a monotone White Pearl exterior still pack the same 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine capable of 97hp and 140Nm of torque. Shifting remains handled by a continuously variable transmission (CVT).”

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Suzuki has released the new Ertiga

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“The Suzuki Ertiga has long been a staple in the local MPV segment. That said, its competitors—the Toyota Avanza and the Mitsubishi Xpander—have stepped their games up over the past few months with a next-generation release and a refresh, respectively.

“If the Ertiga wants to maintain its presence around these parts, a nip-and-tuck for 2022 might be in order. Perhaps Suzuki Philippines can follow Maruti Suzuki’s example and release a refresh soon.

“In India, the Ertiga gets a slightly more premium vibe and additional ruggedness. These come in the form of a bold new grille design featuring chrome accents, new machined two-tone alloy wheels, additional trim at the rear, and a more sculpted front bumper. Two new color options, Splendid Silver and Dignity Brow, have also been made available in the Indian market.

“Some alterations have been made to the MPV’s cabin for 2022, too. The dashboard gets a new Metallic Teak faux wood finish, as well as new dual-tone fabric seats. It also flaunts a new seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with voice assistant.

“Under the hood of the Indian market’s 2022 Ertiga is a 1.5-liter K-series gasoline engine capable of 102hp and up to 137Nm of torque. This mill comes paired with either a six-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission. Suzuki claims the powertrain is capable of achieving up to 20.51km/L.”

As well as the refreshed XL7

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“The new Suzuki Ertiga’s more rugged sibling, the 2022 XL6 (known as the XL7 within our borders) has surfaced as well. The thing is, unlike the Ertiga, you’re going to have to squint to see what’s changed in the subcompact SUV.

“Tired of playing spot the difference? Let us help you out. On the face of the 2022 XL6, you’ll find some minor alterations to the grille. There’s a slightly more intricate 3D pattern on there now, and a bit of chrome trim has been added to the mix as well.

“Other than that, the vehicle’s face remains largely the same. You’re still looking at the same boxy headlights and rugged bumper our market has. Move towards the back of the XL6, though, and you’ll find smoked headlights with new LED brake light signatures and some additional garnish.

“No changes to report in regards to the cabin, but the 2022 XL6 does come with side airbags for the front passengers, a 360-degree camera, ventilated seats, and a tire pressure monitoring system. Like the Ertiga, it gets a seven-inch touchscreen and runs on the same 1.5-liter K-series engine capable of 102hp and 137Nm of torque paired with either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.”

Hyundai has turned the Staria into a bona fide camper

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“It’s kind of hard getting back into the swing of city life when you’ve just spent your Holy Week vacation out of town. Can anyone else relate? Sort of makes you wish you could just pack up and hit the road. Permanently.

“If the prospect of living on the move is one that appeals to you, cross your fingers that the Hyundai Staria somehow makes it into our market. Not just any Staria, though—you’re going to want the camper version that’s just been made available in South Korea.

“Save for a bathroom, the Hyundai Staria camper has everything you’ll need to live comfortably outside your home. The van’s seats can be folded down flat to create a relatively sizable bed, and there’s a counter placed next to it for dining.

“If we’re being honest, though? Maybe doing anything inside other than catching some shuteye will make for a cramped experience. This is where the exterior of the vehicle comes in. An awning allows you to hang out under the shade when you aren’t inside, and a pull-out table at the rear of the van can be used for dining on or remote working purposes. There’s even a roof-mounted electric pop-up tent, in case you want to have a more open-air experience while snoozing.”

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Toyota is giving the GR Supra a stick shift


“See that? Yes, it’s an image of a clutch pedal. Not just an image of any clutch pedal, mind you, but of one belonging to Toyota’s iconic five-letter sports car.

“We are, of course, referring to the Supra. Yes, the Japanese car manufacturer has finally revealed the model will soon be available with a manual transmission—one developed using feedback from the car’s customers and fans. How soon? We don’t know yet—but we do know what markets appear to be getting the option first.

“The company’s official USA Twitter account has confirmed it. Europe will be getting the option as well, and the same goes for Australia. We reckon Japan will get it, too, but all won’t be right in the world unless the three-pedal setup makes its way to our shores as well.

“In the Philippines, the Toyota GR Supra is currently available packing a 3.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged gasoline engine with 335hp and up to 500Nm of torque. And, you guessed it, this can only be had exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

“Toyota says it will be releasing more news regarding the manual transmission GR Supra in the coming weeks. Cross your fingers that word of widespread availability in less glamorous markets is included in the next update.”

Say hello to the new BMW 7-Series

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“Just a few days have passed since BMW pulled the covers off the face-lifted X7. Not content with one debut this month, the boys from Bavaria have now launched their all-new flagship sedan, the seventh-generation 7-Series. BMW says it packs a whole heap of tech, along with a theatrical back seat experience.

“But first, let’s talk about the styling. BMW’s design language has been polarizing lately, with the large kidney grilles being a common talking point. It’s no different with the all-new 7-Series, and that’s not the only radical change BMW made to the luxury sedan. Like the X7, the redesigned 7-Series has a split-headlight design. The main lights are a slim strip near the hood’s edges, while the auxiliary lights are a little lower down. If that’s not enough, the 7-Series is also available with an illuminated grille for those who think the front end is too tame.

“That said, the side is more of an evolution from the outgoing model. A strong character line runs from the fender to the taillights, while a subtle crease follows the lower sills. The signature Hofmeister Kink gets a new twist, and the rear doors appear more angular than the previous model. New to the 7-Series are flush door handles that only require a touch on the sensors.

“Like most recent BMW products, the taillights of the new 7-Series are slim, although a subtle L-shape connects it to the past generations. Much of the rear is dominated by the sizable bumper, but the angles on it give more character.

“Jump in the front, and you’re greeted by two wide screens. The instrument cluster is digital and customizable, and just beside it is the infotainment screen. Infotainment settings are controlled via touch or the iDrive scroll wheel. It also has the latest iDrive software we can expect in future BMW models.

“But the main highlight here is the back seat. Go for the Executive Lounge option and you get rear seats that recline with individual neck adjusters. It also has leg rests to let the passenger stretch out. But if that’s not enough, there’s the BMW Theater Screen—a massive 31.3 display that glides down from the car’s ceiling and also acts as a touchscreen.

“You can also control it through the built-in touchscreen remotes mounted on the doors. The Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system aims to give occupants an immersive experience, and the setup will even close the car’s sun shades for good measure.”

Meet the new seven-seater Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV

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“As night follows day, so a big electric SUV follows a big electric sedan. This is the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV, the third EQ-car to use the company’s new fully electric EVA2 architecture, and one fit for up to seven people.

“It’s got the same wheelbase as the EQS sedan—itself roughly the same as the combustion-engined (and peerless) S-Class—but sits over 20cm higher. There’s a 107.8kWh battery housed in the underbody, powering either the rear wheels alone in the EQS 450, or both axles in the 4WD 450 and 580 ‘4Matic’ versions. Rapid charging capability means 10-80% in 31 minutes.

“Those first two versions get 355hp (265kW) outputs, while the 580 comes in swinging with 536hp (400kW). Plenty of torque on offer, too, while Merc quotes 536-660km of range for the RWD 450, and 507-612km for the 450/580 4WD cars

“It runs on standard-fit air suspension, and as any self-respecting Big Merc, offers some Modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Individual, with those middle two modes lowering the suspension at over 100kph to reduce drag. A further Offroad mode exists, and the EQS SUV gets rear-axle steering that, says Merc, allows a turning circle of 11m.”

The Haima 7X lands in PH with a P1,199,999 price tag


“The 2022 Toyota Avanza and Mitsubishi Xpander aren’t the only newly introduced MPVs in town. If you’re open to Chinese brands, the Haima 7X might be worth checking out as well.

“Haima’s seven-seater has arrived to take on not just mainstream Japanese offerings, but fellow Chinese-built models like the Maxus G50 looking to find their footing locally, too. The lone variant available starts at P1,199,000, but is currently available with a P100,000 introductory discount.

“In terms of design, the 7X appears to have what it takes to keep up. It’s a stylish overall appearance with a nice flow from front to rear, and the face features a massive grille with an intricate design flanked by sleek swept-back headlights. It  runs on 17-inch wheels and 170mm of ground clearance. The cabin is this vehicle’s main selling point, though.

“The interior is covered in genuine leather, and there’s a large panoramic sunroof that helps give the cabin a roomier feel. There are plenty of A/C vents to go around, a decent amount of charging ports, and drivers are faced with a clean digital instrument cluster. Oh, and captain’s chairs are always a nice touch.

“Under the hood of the Haima 7X MPV is a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine capable of 162hp at 5,500rpm and up to 240Nm of torque between 1,800-4,000rpm. This comes paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Driving features include a Sport Mode, electronic parking brake, tire pressure monitoring system, and hill descent assist.”

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PHOTO: Mark Jesalva, Toyota, Hyundai
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