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This week in cars: Mitsubishi’s compact SUV, Omoda 5 EV preview, new Kia pickup

A busy week
mitsubishi xfc concept, omoda 5 ev, kia pickup, bmw 3-series touring

Mitsubishi to unveil new compact SUV in August

Teaser image of Mitsubishi’s upcoming compact SUV based on the XFC Concept

“Mitsubishi has just announced that it is introducing an all-new compact SUV at the 2023 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show this August. A few teaser images were released, highlighting the front profile and surprising new collaboration.

“The new model, the first of the new Mitsubishi SUVs expected to enter the ASEAN market, is believed to be the production version of the Mitsubishi XFC Concept, which we will see in the Philippines next month. According to the press material, ‘the all-new model features a stylish yet robust, authentic SUV styling, as well as practicality such as ease of handling and versatile storage spaces, and comfort including a spacious cabin.’

“We especially liked the part where it said, ‘through repeated testing and tuning in the road environment of the ASEAN region, the all-new compact SUV provides peace of mind even when handling rough surfaces or roads flooded by heavy rains.’ We hope they did some Philippine testing.

“Highlighted in the announcement was a collaboration with Yamaha to develop the audio system. Called the Dynamic Sound Yamaha Premium, the new system is tuned to optimize the acoustic characteristics of the cabin and deliver an immersive sound experience.

The Omoda 5 EV is coming to PH this year, and here’s a preview

Omoda 5 EV

Omoda, an upcoming brand in the local automotive industry, wants to make its mark on the electric vehicle (EV) landscape in the Philippines. The Chinese marque made its formal introduction this year, and is part of an influx of new car brands eager to stake a claim on the growing Philippine automotive industry. Now Omoda has announced what its local EV model will be.

“The Omoda 5 EV boasts a range of advanced features that showcase what the brand can do. Its notable attributes include a 16-function ADAS System, incorporating front collision avoidance, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and more. In addition, the vehicle is equipped with a 360-degree view camera and a heads-up display, along with dual 10.25-inch screens.

“Powering the Omoda 5 EV is a liquid-cooled permanent magnet synchronous motor, delivering an estimated power output of 201hp and peak torque of around 400Nm. With a fully-charged battery, the vehicle achieves a range of 300-450km. The vehicle comes equipped with an AC/DC charging module and a portable 220v charger for convenient charging options.”

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Kia might roll out a new pickup by 2025

Kia pickup coming 2025

“When it comes to midsize pickups, the models that usually come to mind are those from the Japanese marques, such as Toyota, Nissan, and Mitsubishi, or from Ford. However, there have been a couple of challengers that are aiming their sights on those popular models.

“Some Chinese manufacturers are stepping up in the pickup market. Great Wall and Foton would like a bigger slice of the fiercely competitive midsize truck market. But there is another country that aims to steal sales away from Japan and Ford: South Korea.

“Yes, you read that right, the South Koreans want to challenge the biggest names in pickup truck manufacturing, and it will be Kia that will lead the charge. Not only that, there are even some spy photos of the truck roaming around its home country, as this report from Australian motoring website Car Expert shows.

“It seems like the model is already far along into development given that there have been prototypes on the road. Reports even say that the new truck will be revealed by 2025, and that the model carries the internal code TK. It also appears that the pickup will use a traditional body-on-frame chassis instead of a unibody platform.”

The BMW 3-Series wagons have landed in PH

BMW 3-Series Touring

“There are two types of car guys: Those who love wagons, and those who are not yet full-fledged car guys. To the former, let us rejoice and be happy. BMW Philippines just brought back the wagon body style, called ’Touring’ in their company parlance, after two decades of absence in our market. And the German carmaker brought in not only one variant, but three: the 318i Touring, the M340i xDrive Touring, and the fantabalous M3 Competition xDrive Touring. 

“To get the biggest question out of the way, here are their prices.”

BMW 3-Series Touring 2023 prices

  • BMW 318i Touring – P3,890,000
  • BMW M340i xDrive Touring – P5,890,000
  • BMW M3 Competition xDrive Touring – P10,490,000

Toyota Raize passes internal crash test, but will still need recertification

Front quarter view of the 2022 Toyota Raize 1.0 Turbo CVT

“Toyota’s affiliate, Daihatsu has had it rough the past few months. The rigged test results from the all-new Vios and Wigo cast a dark cloud over the DNGA-based (Daihatsu New Global Architecture) vehicles. If that wasn’t enough, the crash test procedures for the Raize were, according to Toyota’s words, improperly certified.

“Despite all that, Toyota and Daihatsu are, at least, taking steps to rectify the wrongdoings instead of sweeping it under the rug. For the Raize and its Daihatsu brother, the Rocky, the company has retested it for the UN R135-01 crash test. UN R135-01 simulates a side impact with a pole at 32kph angled at 75 degrees. The reason for the retest is because Daihatsu skipped the passenger side test (or the driver’s side for LHD markets) and the company extended the same result from the driver’s test to the other side of the vehicle.

“Toyota has since done the passenger-side pole test, and says the Raize passed its internal parameters. Per the company, the measured impact forces are below the maximum allowable values set by regulations. Also, none of the doors swung open during the impact, and the fuel leakage is below a certain value.

“So, it’s all good news for the Raize, right? Well, not quite. By Toyota’s own admission, the test was conducted without the presence of a ‘certification authority’. That means the company will conduct the test again with the authorities as witnesses. Toyota said it will only continue sales of the Japan-built Raize and Rocky hybrid models once it’s given approval by the government agencies concerned.”

GWM wants to challeng the pickup segment with this model

GWM Cannon XSR

“If you take a look at our roads, one can say that Chinese automakers have penetrated the crossover segment. Heck, we’re also starting to see more sedans made in China, too. But if there is one segment the Chinese have yet to crack in the Philippines, as well as Asia and Oceania, it’s the pickup market.


“One of the manufacturers taking a crack at the fiercely competitive truck segment is Great Wall Motor or GWM. It plans to take away some sales from the likes of the Hilux, Ranger, and Navara with the Cannon. GWM was formally launched in the Philippines back in April with a wide range of Cannon variants along with it. But over in other parts of the world, there are even more versions of GWMs pickup.

“One of the variants available for the Cannon is the XSR, an off-road-oriented version of the truck. Already out in China, it’s set to be released in Australia with reservation books open. We checked out the specs, and we could say that it has one feature that off-roaders will love.

“That feature, something which most of its competitors do not have, is a front locking differential. Yes, you read that right, this version of the Cannon has front AND rear lockers whereas pickups such as the Hilux, Navara, and Ranger only have rear diff lockers. As it is, rear diff locks give heaps of traction in tricky off-road situations and help the vehicle plow forward by providing power to both rear wheels at all times. Adding a locker to the front axle multiplies that traction even more, on top of the vehicle’s four-wheel drive system.”

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Suzuki is launching the hybrid XL7 in Indonesia

Suzuki XL7 Hybrid teaser

“Back in January 2023, we saw the introduction of the Suzuki Ertiga Hybrid in the country. It’s the first of its kind in its class, and it’s also the least expensive mild-hybrid vehicle sold in the land. Now, it seems that Suzuki wants to apply that tech to another of its small seven-seat models in Southeast Asia.

“Over in Indonesia, Suzuki has released a teaser for the XL7 Hybrid. There isn’t much info for now, but the Japanese automaker did mention a premiere date. The Suzuki XL7 Hybrid will be introduced in Southeast Asia by June 15, 2023.

“That said, the XL7 Hybrid isn’t exactly a new product. It’s been on sale in India as the XL6 and had a mild-hybrid engine from the start. The Indian-market XL6 is essentially an XL7 with the second-row bench replaced with a pair of captain’s chairs. That model received an update in 2022, switching from the K15B engine to the fresher K15C unit.”

The next-gen Mazda CX-5 is coming in 2025

mazda cx-5

“The CX-5 has been a consistent best-seller for Mazda since it was introduced in 2012. In fact, the compact crossover has been the brand’s top-selling model since 2014. In 11 years, Mazda has sold over 3.5 million units of the CX-5 worldwide, spanning two generations.

“However, the current CX-5 has a bit of an uphill battle right now. The Mazda was launched in 2017, and most of its major competitors are newer. The fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 rolled out in 2019, while the Honda CR-V got a full model change this year. So, is an all-new model on the horizon?

“According to a report from Australian publication Drive, we can expect the next-gen CX-5 in a few years. The publication claims that a redesigned model will be released by 2025 with the official launch date yet to be finalized.”

A Toyota GR Prius could be previewed at Le Mans 2023

GR version of the Toyota Prius concept

“The Toyota Gazoo Racing division has been rolled out great cars since its inception in 2007. From the revived Supra to the rally-ready GR Yaris, the GR models have turned Toyota into a surprise go-to brand for performance vehicles. Even the GR Sport trucks and SUVs have been a hit for the brand.

“But Gazoo Racing has another car in store for us. It will be presented during this year’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Toyota has even provided a teaser photo of the concept. The brand isn’t saying what exact model it is just yet, but there’s a possibility of it being a Prius.

“Before you start sending angry letters to Toyota Gazoo Racing, you have to remember that the all-new Prius has all the potential to be a performance car. After all, it rides on the TNGA-C platform that’s also used in the GR Corolla. Not only that, the standard version of the Prius is quick. We’re not talking quick for a Prius, but rather, fast by any standard. The new Prius packs 196hp and the plug-in hybrid version (Prius Prime) makes 220hp. Heck, the Prius Prime can do the 0 to 100kph sprint in the six-second range.

“So, why do we reckon Toyota will show a GR-fied Prius concept at this year’s Le Mans 24 hour race? According to the brand, the car will introduce ‘efforts to realize a Carbon Neutral society in Japan.’ The concept will also feature ‘technologies that have been developed through numerous challenges in motorsports participation will be exhibited.’

“Buzzwords aside, Toyota Gazoo Racing hints at a green performance concept, and the Prius ticks all the right boxes to push the brand’s green initiative forward. If anything, the concept might be a hotter version of the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid.”

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