Car News

This week in cars: VW Multivan Kombi PH launch date, Honda Mobilio discontinuation

There were some important announcements made this week

Volkswagen is launching the Multivan Kombi in PH

“After the successful debut of the T-Cross, Volkswagen Philippines has its sights set on the launch of another big model: The Multivan Kombi

“The Kombi—also known as the Type 2—is arguably one of Volkswagen’s most iconic nameplates apart from the Beetle or even the Golf, and it’s become a cult classic we’ve grown to love. Today, the ‘Kombi’ name isn’t widely used anymore, but the vehicle lives on in VW’s lineup as a modern-day van.

“According to VW’s latest announcement, the Multivan Kombi is set to be launched in the third quarter of 2021. That means we only have to wait three months at most before we finally see its arrival. We expect more details such as powertrain options to become available as we inch closer to the final date.”

Honda PH officially discontinues the Mobilio


“It appears Honda Cars Philippines (HCPI) has officially discontinued another model from its lineup: the Mobilio. This marks the second Honda cut from the local market this year alone—the first one being the Jazz, of course.

“HCPI didn’t make any announcement on it, but a reader recently pointed it out to us that the MPV was apparently dropped quietly from the lineup. That’s why we reached out to the company for a statement.

“‘We mainly considered the changes in market demand. By focusing on other growing segments, we can better cater to our customer needs,’ it merely said.”

Nissan unveils the “world’s toughest Navara”

“It was only a matter of time before Nissan built another Navara N-TREK Warrior in Australia. Remember that beastly truck we saw from a couple of years back? Well, a new one is on its way.

“This one, however, will be called the Navara Pro-4X Warrior. As its name suggests, it’s based on the already-rugged Pro-4X variant—the top-of-the-line variant we have here in our market—and it’s what Nissan calls ‘world’s toughest Navara.’ The new truck is now undergoing final testing and is almost complete. 

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“As with the Navara N-TREK Warrior from 2019, Nissan has partnered with product development and engineering consultancy Premcar to develop the new Pro-4X Warrior. The program now employs the help of 35 Premcar engineers, manufacturing experts, and executives to build a dual-cab truck that’s highly capable both on- and off-road.”

BMW launches the new M3, M4, and M5 Competition in PH

“Local BMW loyalists looking for a taste of the manufacturer’s performance-oriented offerings are going to want to ready their bank accounts.

SMC Asia Car Distributors, the German carmaker’s official Philippine distributor, has just launched three of the company’s newest M cars: the M3 Competition, the M4 Competition, and the M5 Competition.

“If you’re someone looking to have the pinnacle of the brand’s performance sitting snuggly inside your garage, well, here’s your chance. Check out the official prices below:”


2021 BMW M range

  1. BMW M3 Competition – P9,590,000
  2. BMW M4 Competition – P9,690,000
  3. BMW M5 Competition – P13,690,000

The 2022 Kia Telluride now bears the carmaker’s new badge

Kia has officially updated the Telluride for 2022. The changes are subtle. Very, very subtle. Nonetheless, they’re quite important.

“At first glance, you might not even notice anything new with the exterior. The grille has been tweaked a bit, and that’s about it. The ‘important’ changes we mentioned are the new Kia badges up front, out back, and on the wheels. This comes as no surprise, though, as this redesigned Kia logo is expected to make its way to all 2022 models, after all.

“Kia didn’t release photos of the interior, but it says there’s a new 10.25-inch infotainment system. We reckon the new badge can also be seen on the tiller. 

“Specific Telluride variants also get new automatic climate controls and highway driving assist features. Plus, Kia’s navigation-based smart cruise control is now standard across the range.”

Can the new Nissan Almera Sportech compete with the likes of the Vios GR-S, City RS?

“We’ve been waiting for a while for the all-new Almera to land on our shores. It’s been almost two years since the next-generation model made its debut in Thailand, but Nissan Philippines has yet to make any official announcement.

“In any case, if and when the carmaker does decide to launch the all-new Almera on our shores, we reckon it should consider bringing this in, too: the Almera Sportech. This is the top-of-the-line variant of the Almera that was just revealed in Thailand. It’s a sportier version of Nissan’s subcompact sedan, albeit only with aesthetic upgrades.

“The Almera Sportech has been given additional black exterior accents, specifically on the grille and fog lamp housings up front and on the bumper out back. This rear end also features a new spoiler as well as a Sportech badge. The car also has new silver side mirrors with turn signals, and it gets snazzier 15-inch alloy wheels.


“Now, that’s not to say that only having new cosmetics is a bad thing. Look at the Toyota Vios GR-S and the Honda City RS—two ‘sporty’ sedans in the segment—these two are also basically the same sedans underneath, only they’ve been fitted with special body kits. The Toyota does get a slightly different transmission going for it, although it still has the same engine under the hood, but we digress.”

Nissan has launched the new Note Aura in Japan

Nissan just rolled out the all-new Note in its home market of Japan back in November, but it’s already back at it with the launch of yet a new variant. And this isn’t just a standard top-of-the-line spec vehicle—there’s a lot of extra pizzazz to it.

“This is the new Note Aura, still powered with Nissan’s e-Power electrified powertrain but now with a lot of added premium bits. The exterior looks basically the same, but it gets new color options such as two-tone Garnet Red with Super Black and Midnight Black with Sunrise Copper. There are now 14 colorways available, five of which are two-tone finishes.

“The major aesthetic changes can be found inside, where the standard Zero Gravity seats can be had with either a Herringbone-patterned tweed-like fabric mixed with synthetic leather, or a high-quality genuine leather with specially designed pleating.

“The dash and the center console have also been fitted with wood-grain trim, adding tasteful accents to the cabin. Frankly, we find it impressive, and we wouldn’t mind seeing this style make its way to other Nissans in the future.”

Kia unveils new photos of the refreshed Forte GT in five-door form

Kia already unveiled the refreshed Forte in its home market of Korea a couple of months back, albeit photos were a bit scarce then. Now, the new sedan has made its way to the Australian market, and we finally get a proper look at the top-spec GT variant.


“This one basically has the same face adorned with the new Kia badge, but it does get different 18-inch alloy wheels. Also, worth noting is that the Forte GT—also called the Cerato—that’s been launched Down Under is a five-door hatchback, not the same four-door sedan that we know. We reckon Kia will release a four-door version of it soon enough, though.

“Inside, the GT gets similar bits as the lower Forte variants. The same interior material can be found here, and there’s also the new 10.25-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (both of which are wireless) available. An exclusive feature in this top-of-the-line trim is the new sliding and tilting sunroof.

“There’s also nothing new under the hood. As mentioned previously, the range-topping Forte GT will be powered by a 1.6-liter turbopetrol that generates 201hp and 265Nm of torque and is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch tranny. This is identical to the setup we have here in our market.”

The new Tesla Model S Plaid is one fast EV

“‘The quickest production car ever,’ says Tesla of the new Model S Plaid. Bold claim, and one worth testing when we can get our hands on a car. So without further ado, let’s look at the company’s own numbers.

“First, acceleration. ‘No production car has ever done 0-60mph (97kph) in under two seconds,’ said Elon Musk at a glitzy event at Tesla’s Fremont, California factory, where the company delivered the first handful of Model S Plaids to owners. Mate Rimac may disagree, and so might a few of you. Depends on your definition of a ‘production car.’

“Tesla claims the 1,020hp Model S Plaid accelerates from zero to 97kph in 1.99 seconds. That’s an American-style 0-97kph, mind, allowing for a one-foot rollout. So its actual standing start-to-97kph and 100kph times are likely to be a little over 2sec. Still, that’s uncomfortably, outrageously rapid for any kind of car, not least a four-door sedan with a decent boot and seating for five.”

A hydrogen-powered Land Rover Defender is in the works


“The Land Rover Defender is known for its rugged and versatile nature, as well as its ability to conquer almost any terrain you throw at it. For being kind to the environment, though? Not exactly. But this might be about to change.

Jaguar Land Rover has just revealed that it is working on a hydrogen-powered version of the iconic off-roader as part of the brand’s zero-emission tailpipes goal for 2036.

“Details regarding the hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) Defender remain scarce, but the company has revealed that development is known as ‘Project Zeus,’ and that testing of the prototype is scheduled to begin towards the end of the year.

“Once testing commences, the brand will determine how the setup performs in terms of off-road capability and fuel efficiency. The company says that FCEVs will compliment fully electric vehicles on the road to zero-emission motoring.”

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PHOTO: Volkswagen, Shutterstock, Nissan, Elaine Lara
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