This week in cars: Honda’s new Raize-fighter, five-door Suzuki Jimny rumors

by TopGear.com.ph | Nov 6, 2022

The new Honda WR-V has been unveiled

Honda WR-V 2023

“The Toyota Raize may have finally met its match—at least if the Honda WR-V is able to live up to expectations.

“Honda’s right-sized runabout—which carries an energetic design and looks perfect for in-city driving—has finally been revealed in Indonesia. The all-new model has a tall task ahead of it if it wants to grab a slice of the mini crossover (though the brand calls its newest offering a “small SUV”) pie. Thankfully, it looks up to the task.

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“For starters, the edgy exterior looks like it’ll be a hit among its target audience. The face gets aggressive headlights with attractive DRLs that lend the thing a very energetic vibe. This design choice works nicely with the compact form factor. Said lighting units flank a stylish grille design, and the whole look is accentuated by bold character lines, a nice two-tone color scheme, and L-shaped taillights.

“Honda is also making a big deal of the vehicle’s ground clearance. It runs on 16- or 17-inch allot wheels, and rides 220mm off the ground. Not bad for a small crossover.

“Honda WR-V units will come equipped with a 1.5-liter DOHC i-VTEC gasoline engine capable of 119hp and 145Nm of torque. If those figures look familiar, it’s because this is the same engine you’ll find in the all-new Honda BR-V. Shifting will also be handled by a new continuously variable transmission. Oh, and some Honda Sensing active safety bits will be available, too.”

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Suzuki might be unveiling a five-door Jimny in January

Suzuki Jimny

“For years, the idea of a five-door Suzuki Jimny has floated around but it never really got close to production. It's even reached a point wherein people have resorted to building their own extra-door versions of the mini 4x4.

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“But now, that idea might soon become reality. There have been reports of the five-door model reaching production soon, but nothing was ever concrete. However, there have been spy shots of the said SUV around India lately. Not only that, there's even a rumor of a debut date.

“According to Indian motoring publication GaadiWaadi, we can expect it to be revealed by January 2023. That's a bold claim given that the spy shots are still fresh. Still, it's interesting news for those who always wanted a Jimny but were put off by the lack of rear doors. So, what can we expect from it?

“Per the spy shots, it won't be the current body with a pair of doors slapped at the back. Instead, it rides on a longer chassis, so we can assume there's a little more space for the back seat passengers. The covers also suggest an extra glass panel at the back. But all in all, it's safe to say there will be little change to the front and rear styling since it still looks boxy than ever.”

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Honda Brio gets spicier bodykit with RS Urbanite variant

Image of the Honda Brio RS Urbanite

“The Honda Brio is a practical, quirky, and cute little thing. Perhaps even too cute for some people’s taste.

“There are always ways, of course, to widen a ride’s appeal. One of them is by fitting a vehicle with a bodykit for a more energetic look—which is exactly what Honda has done to its city hatch over in Indonesia.

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“In that market, the Brio is available carrying an RS Urbanite bodykit. This is a slightly more interesting take on the standard RS package the Philippines is familiar with, with the main highlight being the inclusion of a large wing at the rear.

“The Honda Brio RS Urbanite also gets new matte black alloy wheels, ‘RS Urbanite’ badging, a body-colored rear diffuser and front underspoiler, side skirts, as well as blacked-out door handles and sidemirror housings.

“All of these upgrades are purely aesthetic, obviously. No changes to the standard 1.2-liter gasoline engine with 89hp and 110Nm of torque paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).”

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Chevrolet PH bumps prices of Suburban, Camaro, Tahoe, Corvette

Chevrolet Suburban 2022

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“We know the exchange rate is bad, but damn—this price increase is really giving us the sweats.

“Drop by the official Chevrolet Philippines website and you’ll notice that the brand has implemented some pretty steep price bumps across its lineup. US-made units, in particular, now cost significantly more.

“The 2022 Chevrolet Suburban Z71 4x4 has taken the biggest hit, going from P5,719,888 to a whopping P8,634,888. That’s an almost P3 million difference for the full-size SUV. Performance cars like the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette weren’t spared, either. The latter, in fact, has gone from P10,502,888 to P12,421,888.”

We’re seeing more and more of the Suzuki Every kei van in PH

Suzuki Every kei van

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“The Philippines is no stranger to unusual cars being sold locally. Whether it's a grey import luxury car or surplus models from Japan, it's what makes car spotting in the country that bit more interesting. 

“Recently, we've been seeing a small van from Suzuki making its way around our Facebook Marketplace feeds. Heck, you've probably been seeing a few of these tiny vans on the road. It's called the Suzuki Every, and we've been pretty interested about it. To satisfy our curiousity, let's take a closer look at the little load lugger.

“The Suzuki Every is what's called a kei van over in Japan. There are two versions of it available, namely the, um, Every and Every Wagon. The previous is more of a commercial vehicle (think LiteAce), and the latter is aimed more towards families thanks to extra seats at the back. 

“Being a kei van, the Every conforms to the rules and regulations set by the Japanese government. That means it's less than 3.4 meters long, 1.48 meters wide, and 2.0 meters tall. To give you an idea how tiny the Every is, the Toyota LiteAce is a bus by comparison at 4.045 meters long, 1.665 meters wide, and 1.930 meters tall.

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“Another thing about kei vans is the engine restriction. Like most of the vans in its class, the Every uses a turbocharged 660cc, three-cylinder engine. It's good for 64hp and 100Nm of torque, and it shifts with a four-speed automatic or a five-speed automated gear shift like the Dzire.

“As for design, the Every is a exercise of function over form. The tall, boxy and narrow body aims to maximize every square meter of its limited size. The engine is under the front seat for compact packaging and space efficiency. That means there's a decent amount of room inside for such a tiny footprint.

“Suzuki says the Every's interior is a flexible as it can be. It has loads of cubby spaces, along with several shelves on the side panels and even an overhead storage bin for good measure. You can even get it with a mini bunk bed, an extra cusion, attachable hooks all over the place, and even an indoor roof rack.

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“The Every has all the ingredients to be a mini campervan with all its customization options. Heck, there's even an all-wheel drive option for those who need to drive on dirt roads. 

“Over in Japan, a brand-new, top-spec Every Wagon with all-wheel drive will set you back ¥ 1,929,400 or about P768,000 at current conversion costs. As for the base model, that'll be ¥ 1,569,700 or about P625,000. That's a relative bargain for all the utility and practicality you get. Heck, we wouldn't mind having one as a city runabout.”

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