“Well, what do you know? Just a few weeks back, we were talking about how the Toyota Sienta could make for a good Avanza substitute. Now, the carmaker has unveiled the all-new Sienta in its home market of Japan. Coincidence? We think not.
“The new Sienta debuts with a completely redesigned exterior, which Toyota calls a ‘Shikakumaru’ circle and square design. The Yaris-like front fascia on the old model has been replaced with a beefy-looking nose with an abundance of black plastic on enveloping the badge and enclosing the grille. A pair of wide headlights are found on the front end.
“More black plastic trim can be found on the doors and the C-pillar. From this side, you’ll notice how the Sienta now has a seemingly taller profile. At the rear, there’s still that boxy physique, but the taillights now flank the massive windshield. Said taillights feature a futuristic pattern that give off a sleek light signature.
“The Shikakumaru design carries over into the interior. A good mix of rounded and boxy shapes is visible on the dash, from the infotainment system to the cup holders, compartments, and A/C vents. The cabin actually looks fresh and hip, whether with the two-tone or the monotone finish.
“Powering the new Sienta is a series-parallel hybrid comprised of a 1.5-liter dynamic force engine that supposedly does up to 28.8km/L. As for the purely gasoline-powered variant, that one comes with a direct shift CVT with a 10-speed Sport Sequential Shiftmatic function. Toyota claims this does around 18.3km/L.
“The Sienta now also comes with Toyota Safety Sense and Toyota Teammate features. Highlights from this suite of tech include a pre-collision safety system and an advanced park function. The vehicle also comes with front and rear dash cams.”
“As expected, Modellista has just released new kits for the revamped MPV.
“Modellista has three builds available: Bright Tech Elegance, Urban Tech Gear, and Garnish Style. The third is the most subtle among the three, featuring silver garnishes on the hood, the doors, the side mirrors, and the liftgate.
“The Urban Tech Gear body kit, meanwhile, gets a front grille cover, a rear protector, silver plastic trim on the front bumper, and gloss-black door handle garnishes. The flashiest among the three is the Bright Tech Elegance, which features a front bumper spoiler, side skirts, rear spats, and muffler tips. The build gives the Sienta a much beefier look.
“All three can be spec’d further with additional Modellista accessories, and customers can mix and match the parts available. Two 15-inch alloy wheel designs are available as well.”
“The cycle of fuel prices goes up and down, and may be this way until certain warring nations settle down. But fuel-efficient cars will always be a draw because inflation is forever. And when it comes to automotive brands, Honda is very good at building cars that sip fuel.
“Honda Cars Philippines (HCPI) recently released results of fuel economy runs it conducted in a partnership with the Automobile Association of the Philippines. Tested were its two latest models—the Honda Civic and the Honda HR-V.
“The 2022 Civic, now sporting an all-turbo lineup, did an impressive 21.43km/L. The turbocharged HR-V did slightly better (surprisingly?) with 24.34km/L. But the nat-asp HR-V did an amazing 29.66km/L. Both models have the same 1.5-liter turbocharged engine under their hoods and the same torque figures at 240Nm. The Civic has one more hp than the HR-V Turbo at 176hp versus the HR-V Turbo’s 175hp. The nat asp HR-V has a modest 119hp and 145Nm.
“Honda said these results were achieved over 129km of highway driving at 60-80kph and 1,500-2,000rpm. Since they’re not masochists, Honda said the A/C was on and set at 24 degrees with the fan speed set at level 1. Not exactly the kind of chilly cabin temperature we want, but thank goodness it’s a Honda.”
“The Toyota GR Yaris is not exactly a car that’s lacking in potency. Packing a 1.6-liter turbo with 257hp and 360Nm of torque, the thing is about as hot as hot hatches come—and if you aren’t careful, you may just end up like a helpless turtle on its back.
“That said, if you can handle it, Toyota is now giving owners the option to bump up the GR Yaris’ torque figure up further through the brand’s Kinto Factory upgrade service.
“Owners whose units are part of the Kinto Factory service lineup can avail of the “GR Yaris performance software 2.0” upgrade. This increases the stock version’s base torque output to a livelier 390Nm with maximum boost coming in between 3,200-4,000rpm.
“‘Maximum engine torque in the 3,200-4,000 rpm range can be boosted to 390Nm, providing strain-free and relaxed acceleration based on technologies honed through racing in rallies, which puts high demands on acceleration, deceleration, and flexibility,’ Toyota says.
“Toyota says this option also allows owners to customize their software settings. The company will hold a “GR Yaris Personalize Event” wherein units are driven through a designated course to determine the optimal accelerator response, steering assist, and 4WD distribution per unit. Following this test, the new settings are then applied at a Gazoo Racing garage.”
“The 2023 Honda Civic Type R is arguably the most desirable hot hatch in the industry. And you know what? You could make the same argument with the last one, too. And the last one. And…
“Come to think of it, was there ever a time the Civic Type R wasn’t on your wishlist in its 25 years of existence? Yes, the spiced-up version of Honda’s tried-and-tested compact car has been around for a quarter of a century now. As they say, time flies when you’re having fun.
“And fly time did in the case of this thing. The Civic EK9 was the first in the model’s lineage to receive the Type R treatment back in 1997. Not surprisingly, the vehicle started as a Japan-only offering. It came equipped with a 1.6-liter DOHC VTEC gasoline engine capable of 116hp and weighed a paltry 1,050kg—a small taste of the performance behemoth the model would later become.
“Eventually, the Civic Type R made its way to Europe in its second generation. For its sophomore outing, the hot hatch came with a 2.0-liter DOHC VTEC and a build that made extensive use of high-tensile steel. The latter quality resulted in a rigidity 80% improved over its predecessor’s.
“For the third generation, the Civic Type R retained its 2.0-liter VTEC, but built on the formula with an entirely new chassis. The build moved the fuel tank underneath the front seats, improving interior space—so yeah, there’s room for a little more practicality every generation or two. Oh, this version was also offered as a sedan in Japan.
“In 2015, the FK2 Civic Type R was introduced with a K20C1 2.0-liter turbo engine capable of a whopping 306hp. This powertrain would propel the vehicle from 0-100kph in just 5.7 seconds, and to handle stopping duties, Honda went with a Bream brake system that featured 351mm front discs.
“Now, we have the FK8 Civic Type R. Familiar, isn’t it? Honda Cars Philippines (HCPI) made waves when it introduced the model to the local market back in 2017. Since then, you could argue that the Type R became the most desirable Japanese performance car available around these parts. The previous-generation Civic Type R came with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine capable of up to 306hp at 6,500rpm and 400Nm of torque between 2,500-4,500rpm.
“And, finally, we’re here: The all-new Honda Civic Type R. For this generation. Specific output and performance details have yet to be revealed, but the Japanese carmaker has already promised that this will be the ‘fastest, most rewarding and addictive Civic Type R ever built’ once it hits market. Excited?”