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This week in cars: New Nissan Urvan, Lexus IS350 F Sport launched in PH; new Honda SUV


New Nissan Urvan quietly launched in PH

Nissan Urvan 2023 Philippines

“The last time we wrote about the Nissan NV350 Urvan, we spoke about the new Mitsubishi-sourced 4N16 engine now used for the Japan-spec model. Now, we have an update on the popular van as it seems that it has been quietly rolled out for the Philippine market.

“For the 2023 model year, the NV350 Urvan gets a slightly freshened-up front end. Here, you’ll see the new grille with the trim surrounds, as well as a reshaped bumper. You’ll also see the new bumper corners that feature slimmer openings and foglight housings.

“Last but not least, the new NV350 features the new Nissan logo that sits proudly on the grille. Both narrow body and wide body versions get these exterior updates.

“As for the engine, the local-spec NV350 continues to use the same YD25DDTi as before. It’s essentially the block that powers the Terra and Navara, but with a different tune for this van. Power is rated at 127hp and 356Nm of torque, and it delivers power to the rear wheel via a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic. The automatic is exclusive to the Premium model.


“Now, for the prices, and there’s a bit of a bump compared to the previous model. See the complete list below.”

2022 Nissan Urvan prices:

  1. NV350 Urvan 15-seater – P1,509,000
  2. NV350 Urvan 18-seater – P1,519,000
  3. NV350 Urvan Cargo – P1,199,000
  4. NV350 Urvan Premium AT – P1,919,000
  5. NV350 Urvan Premium MT – P1,790,000

Honda might be launching a new crossover to rival the Toyota Raize

Honda SUV RS Conp

“About a year ago, Honda unveiled its small SUV concept that could potentially compete against the likes of the Toyota Raize and Kia Stonic. Well, it now appears that concept might be turning into reality soon.

“Honda Indonesia has just released teasers for the world premiere of a new RS model scheduled on November 2. While there were no full images of the vehicle released, we’re guessing it could be the production model of the SUV RS Concept that’s set to be unveiled.

“According to the rumor mill, it could make its debut as the all-new WR-V, Honda’s baby crossover sold in markets like Brazil. The image of the yellow SUV you see above isn’t the actual thing, of course—that’s one of our renders. It’s an illustration of what we think the full production version might look like.”

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Lexus launches new IS350 F Sport in PH

Image of the 2023 Lexus IS350 F Sport

“The local-spec Lexus IS lineup just got a major upgrade.

“Lexus Philippines has announced the introduction of the 2023 IS350 F Sport, providing premium car buyers with a sportier option in the brand’s luxury sedan stable. The new entry costs P4,178,000 and joins the IS300h Executive (P3,038,000) and IS300h Premier (3,398,000) in the local lineup.

“The big news here is that the vehicle comes equipped with a limited-slip differential. Paired with the vehicle’s 3.5-liter V6 engine and its 312hp and 380Nm of torque, and you have one of the most drivable luxury sedans in the country at your disposal (not to mention the performance to match the model’s aggressive exterior design).

“The sedan now also comes equipped with stealthy new 19-inch forged alloy wheels (which are also supposedly 10% lighter compared to the previous iterations’), as well as a host of advanced driving and safety features.


“A blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert now come standard with the IS350 F Sport. Other Lexus Safety System features that come with this package include a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, and automatic high beams.”

Ferrari owner who used bus lane won’t be able to renew his supercar’s LTO registration
Reminder: The Ferrari F8 Tributo is not a bus, hence, it cannot use the bus lane

This might be the all-new Toyota Innova Hycross

Teaser image of the Toyota Innova Hycross 2023

“It’s uncommon for car manufacturers to roll out a teaser during unusual hours, but Toyota Indonesia might have just given us the surprise of the year. Perhaps unexpectedly, it just teased what could be the next-generation Innova.

“Yes, you read that right. After just seven years in the market, Toyota might roll out a totally redesigned Innova. Shocked? Well, so are we.

“Toyota isn’t putting out a lot of clues just yet. Per Toyota Indonesia’s Facebook post, the teaser came with the caption, ‘Are you ready for the next prestigious crossover? Hold tight as impeccable drives with cutting-edge pleasures are on your way.’ Not only that, the teaser photo says ‘The crossing-edge is coming.’

“So, what can we get out of these clues? If you remember, back in May, Toyota patented the name Innova Hycross. At the time, it was unclear what Toyota was to do with the name, but with several mentions of the word ‘Cross,’ this might be the Innova Hycross.

“Other claims? The third-gen Innova might shift from a body-on-frame chassis to a unibody. That means it might not be based on the IMV platform that underpins the Hilux and the Fortuner. It also hints that the Innova will have front-wheel drive instead of rear-wheel drive. If so, it might come across as a shocking move from Toyota, given that the Innova’s roots have always been truck-based.

“Other details are yet to be known. The engine lineup is uncertain at the moment, and so, too, are the variants. It’s also unclear if the Innova will still have diesel options since Toyota has not made a diesel engine for front-wheel-drive applications since 2020.”

The Ford Fiesta will end its production in June 2023

Ford Fiesta


“Well, this really is the end of an era: after rumors began circulating yesterday Ford has now confirmed that production of the Fiesta hatch will come to an end in June 2023, almost half a century after it started.

“In that time the Fiesta has become an icon over in the UK, regularly topping the list of best-selling vehicles in those parts over the last decade and beyond.

“It was only last year that the new Vauxhall Corsa knocked the Fiesta off its perch, with the little Ford falling out of the top 10 altogether as crossovers like the Puma took over the landscape.

“And it’s not just Fiesta (and with it the brilliant Fiesta ST) production that’s ending. A statement released by Ford read as follows: “At Ford in Europe, we are accelerating our efforts to go all-in on electrification with our passenger vehicles being fully electric by 2030—and all vehicles across our Ford portfolio by 2035.

“‘As we get ready to transition to an electric future, we will discontinue production of S-MAX and Galaxy in Valencia, Spain in April 2023 and discontinue Fiesta production in Cologne, Germany by end of June 2023.’

“So that’s the S-Max and Galaxy MPVs axed as well as the Fiesta in one fell swoop. Big news day or what?

“And what of the future? Ford’s statement alluded to this too, stating: “We will introduce three new exciting electric passenger vehicles and four new electric commercial vehicles in Europe by 2024.”

Toyota GR Corolla to make ASEAN debut in Thailand

Toyota GR Corolla hatch, 2022 Toyota GR Corolla hatch, Toyota GR Corolla hatch photos, Toyota GR Corolla hatch image, Toyota GR Corolla hatch design

“When Toyota pulled the wraps off the GR Corolla, we didn’t really get our hopes up that it would make its way over to our market. There’s one particular reason.

“The Japanese carmaker has already made it clear that the US will get 6,000 GR Corolla units while the rest of the world will get only 2,000. We highly doubted that ‘the rest of the world’ included us, a market where the GR Yaris is already available.

“A recent article from, however, is giving us a sliver of hope. The Thai website has reported that the bigger and more powerful Gazoo Racing hot hatch is set to be launched in Thailand at the end of 2022, and no less than Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda himself is expected to grace the occasion.


“If this turns out to be true, then this will mark the model’s debut in ASEAN. We can’t really say for sure if the rest of the region will get it, we can enjoy this moment of excitement for now.

“In case you aren’t familiar with the GR Corolla, this five-door monster is powered by a 1.6-liter three-cylinder turbopetrol capable of 300hp and 370Nm of torque. It features Toyota’s GR-Four AWD system and can only be had with a six-speed manual transmission. Oh, it’s a beast, alright.”

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