Car News

This week in cars: Budget-friendly Kaicene CX70, new Nissan Patrol, Toyota Camry

What a busy week for the local auto industry

The new Kaicene CX70 is now in PH, priced at P879,000


“Seven-seater SUVs are about a dime a dozen in the Philippines at this point. A ton of car manufacturers are offering one (or two, if you count vehicles like the Toyota Rush), and in many cases, the choice of which one to go for comes down to price.

“Local buyers on a tight budget will be pleased to know that another budget offering has entered the market. At just P879,000, the all-new Kaicene CX70 is hoping to grab a slice of that sweet seven-seater pie.

“This vehicle comes powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine capable of 148hp and up to 230Nm of torque paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Kaicene’s main selling point here, though, is the space the CX70 provides.

“The CX70 measures 4,705mm in length, 1,800mm in width, and 1,775mm in height. It rides on a 2,780mm wheelbase, and Kaicene says the interior—which comes with a 50:50 split third row and 40:60 second row—offers up to 3,810 liters of cargo space.

“In terms of design, the exterior conveys a relatively burly demeanor thanks to strong character lines. The headlight and grille format is also reminiscent of something you’d see on a Range Rover. Inside, the cabin is nice enough with some soft-touch materials, a stealthy color scheme, and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity. Only dual airbags, though, which might be a deal-breaker if you’re someone who puts a premium on safety features.”

Nissan PH launches the new Patrol with a P4.548-M SRP


“That was quick. Merely a week after first teasing the new Patrol, Nissan Philippines (NPI) has now officially launched the updated SUV.

“‘Built on 70 years of SUV heritage, the Nissan Patrol continues its legacy here in the Philippines,’ said NPI president and managing director Atsushi Najima. ‘It is now smarter than ever and leads its class in innovation, luxury, and performance. We are offering the latest in the Patrol legacy here in the Philippines to leaders who recognize its capability, versatility, stylishness, comforts, and innovations.’

“If you were one of those waiting for the Patrol Nismo to arrive, though, then we’re sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Only one variant is available at launch, and it’s priced at P4,548,000.”

Toyota PH will be launching the new Raize next year


“A carmaker as big as Toyota is not prone to having holes in its lineup. Its slate has everything from the small Wigo to the massive Land Cruiser—with more than P4 million in price difference between them. There doesn’t even seem to be a direct competitor to its best-selling MPV, the Innova. 

“But a gap does exist, and it’s in the subcompact crossover category. Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) does have the Avanza and Rush, but they are a subcompact MPV and a subcompact SUV, respectively. (Let’s not start on vehicle categories, please.) But Toyota has no answer to the Honda HR-V, Kia Stonic, and Ford EcoSport—compelling entries in a market that is moving away from sedans and appreciating the versatility of crossovers, but not ready for the bulk and price tag of midsize SUVs. 

“Recently we learned that this gap will soon be plugged. TMP will bring in the Raize subcompact crossover early next year, possibly as soon as January 2022. 

“In other markets the Raize gets a choice of three engines: a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder, a naturally aspirated 1.2-liter three-cylinder, and a 1.2-cylinder three-cylinder hybrid. It wasn’t confirmed what we will be getting here, but if we had to guess we wouldn’t bet on the hybrid. The turbo seems like an unlikely choice given its more expensive price tag, but TMP will want to protect the Vios from cannibalization, so it makes sense to price the Raize a little higher than its subcompact cash cow. This is evident in how the superb RAV4 is priced not to compete with the Fortuner.” 

The new Toyota Camry Hybrid lands in PH with P2.335-M price tag


“A compact sedan, a crossover, and something for the executive class. Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has introduced the 2022 Camry to the local market, and this time, it’s only available as a hybrid.

“Yes, that’s right. You now have something a little more upscale to choose if you’re looking to clean up your act in a Toyota.

“As for the range, TMP is ditching gasoline units for the model completely, and only a single hybrid variant of the 2022 Camry will be available. The Toyota Camry 2.5V HEV will set you back P2,335,000.”

Arctic Trucks unveils its all-new Toyota Land Cruiser


“This beast of an SUV? Oh, it’s nothing—just the all-new Toyota Land Cruiser after Arctic Trucks got its eager hands on it. A beauty, isn’t it?

“As with all releases from the go-anywhere specialist, the burly new look only comes second to the performance upgrades. Arctic Trucks has done so much to this thing that we reckon it’ll tear through any kind of terrain you throw at it.

“Without going into too many specifics, the company says that it has re-engineered the LC300’s frame. Considerable work has been done to the wheel arches to fit new 17-inch Arctic Truck alloys wrapped in massive 35-inch all-terrain tires.

“The suspension has been enhanced and reinforced, but Arctic Trucks highlights that the SUV retains its OEM electronically controlled functionality. These vehicles end up with a maximum ground clearance of 270mm—considerably higher than the stock version’s 230mm or 220mm. Both these alterations provide the Arctic Trucks LC300 with improved entry and departure angles for more off-road versatility.

“Other upgrades seen here include anti-corrosion coating on the SUV’s frame, extended Arctic Trucks sidesteps, Arctic Trucks mudguards, and Arctic Trucks badging. Each purchase also comes with certification from the brand to ensure you aren’t getting a knock-off. The company has also calibrated the speedometer to accommodate the changes above.”

The updated Toyota Corolla Cross hybrid now has 197hp


“Is the local Toyota Corolla Cross hybrid a cleaner alternative to its gasoline-powered competitors? Sure. But with a humble 120hp on tap, it isn’t exactly blowing many other crossovers away when it comes to numbers.

“Over in Europe, this isn’t an issue. The Japanese car manufacturer has stuffed the Corolla Cross for that market with a more powerful version of its fifth-generation hybrid system and a new battery pack.

“Available for both front- and all-wheel-drive Corolla Cross units, the setup features a 2.0-liter hybrid powertrain and is capable of up to 197hp and a 0-100kph time of just 8.1sec. AWD units also get a new 30.6kw rear electric motor, and the vehicle’s new lithium-ion battery is supposedly 40% lighter than in previous-generation hybrids.

“Toyota claims this version of the Corolla Cross boasts better engine response and efficiency. Also worth noting is that the European market gets a massive 10.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility to go along with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.”

Ford quietly reveals pricing, specs of PH-spec Explorer


“Earlier this year, Ford Philippines quietly brought in limited units of the all-new Explorer, and word on the street was that the few that arrived here were already reserved for VIPs.  Since then, we haven’t heard anything much about the next-generation SUV.

“Ford did confirm the Explorer’s arrival when it opened the ‘Coming Soon’ page on its website, but we still didn’t know when exactly that would be. Well, now we’re starting to think that the official launch could happen sooner rather than later.

“During a routine check of Ford’s local website, we noticed that the Explorer page was already up and that the specs and prices were already out. The tag? A hefty P2,998,000—that means it starts at P200,000 more than the previous-gen model does.

“The Explorer Limited is the lone variant that’s currently listed on the site, and according to the downloadable brochure, it’s powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine that generates 300hp and 420Nm of torque. This is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels.

“The all-new Explorer comes with Ford Co-Pilot360 tech, which includes safety features like pedestrian detection, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, and lane-departure warning. It also adds intelligent adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and lane-centering function to the package.

“The long list of amenities also includes a Ford SYNC 3 eight-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay-/Android Auto-connectivity and a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen setup, a built-in wireless charging pad, a power liftgate, a heated steering wheel, and a remote-start feature.”

The all-new GAC GS4 is now in PH


“It’s been a busy end of the year for GAC Motor Philippines. In the fourth quarter alone, the carmaker has already launched two new models in the GN8 Master’s Edition and the updated GS8. Now, it is unveiling yet another to end 2021: the new GS4.

“The second-generation compact crossover debuts with much sportier styling than its predecessor. The shape of the front fascia is retained, but the new model gets a more aggressive-looking pair of headlamps and a V-shaped grille that tapers down onto the new front bumper. A gray garnish that accentuates the lower lip has been added, and the fog-lamp housings have been ditched in favor of new black plastic trim that further emphasizes the beefy look.

“Similar to the exterior, the inside gets a complete overhaul. The dash, which is now adorned by an abundance of leather, features a completely different layout. The A/C vents are now found right above the knobs and controls, right underneath the touchscreen display.

“The steering wheel, center console, and gearshift lever have all been given redesigns as well. More leather can be found on the side panels and the seats. This cabin can be had with a two-tone black and caramel brown colorway as pictured above, or with a blacked-out finish as seen in other images below.

“The all-new GS4 also boasts a 3.5-inch instrument cluster and an eight-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay connectivity paired with a six-speaker setup. There’s cruise control available, as well as a high-performance cabin filter that keeps out 99.7% of small particles, common dust, and pollen.

“Under the hood of the new GS4 is a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that generates 164hp at 5,000rpm and 270Nm of torque from 1,700-4,000rpm. The Euro 5-compliant unit produces 17hp and 35Nm more than the previous-gen model’s engine. This is mated to a six-speed Aisin gearbox.

“The price tag? The 2022 GAC GS4 stickers for P1.098 million.”

The Mitsubishi Strada Athlete Black Series is now in PH


“The Strada Athlete landed early last year as a tougher and more playful alternative to the stock version of Mitsubishi’s popular pickup offering. We can see, though, how the vehicle’s popping orange paint job might turn buyers looking for a more subtle look off from considering it.

“If you count yourself among those who were hoping for a more subdued appearance with this release, the brand might have just answered your prayers. Say hello to the Mitsubishi Strada Athlete in Jet Black Mica.

“Like the orange Strada Athlete before it, this version features a considerably more rugged aesthetic. The new color option, though, gives it a stealthier vibe. Blacked-out components include the rear spoiler and front bumper.

“There’s still some contrast here, however, thanks to new side decals towards the rear of the pickup. Inside, you’ll also find that some of the orange found in the original Strada Athlete release remains on the seats, albeit now with black accents to get the cabin in line with the new theme.

“Again, don’t expect any changes to this thing’s mechanicals. It’s still a 4x4, and comes with a 2.4-liter DOHC turbodiesel engine capable of 178hp and up to 430Nm of torque paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety features include forward-collision mitigation, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert.

“How much? The 2022 Mitsubishi Strada Athlete in Jet Mica Black will set you back P1.764 million.”

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PHOTO: Berjaya Auto Asia, Nissan Philippines, Toyota, Dinzo Tabamo
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