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Gasoline versus diesel

When the prices of oil products skyrocketed a few years back, motorists scampered for diesel-fed vehicles to cut their transportation costs. Now that the prices of oil products are down to their lowest level since 2003, which will you choose? A petrol-fed sedan or diesel? SAME BUT DIFFERENT With features and amenities almost identical, this is the dilemma that entered my mind when I first drove the new Volkswagen Polo 1.6 sedan. Now available with both gasoline and diesel engines, choosing between the two can be mind-boggling. Both are blessed with the same suspension, interior features, audio system, exterior design and engine size of 1.6-liters but with different fuel requirements and contrasting fuel management systems. If this dilemma came up when fuel prices were at their highest level, would I choose the diesel which is …

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Still a contender

The seven-seat, pickup-based SUV is one of the more popular segments in the motoring scene for a reason. Practical, affordable, and thrifty, it’s an ideal solution not only to our country’s unpredictable road conditions, but it as a comfortable getaway vehicle for bringing the family out of town as well. It took a while, but the segment is completely fresh once again, with new offerings in the all-new forms of Toyota’s Fortuner, and the Mitsubishi Montero Sport. The Ford Everest has had a slight head start so far, having been introduced mid-last year, but how has it held up? And how will it fare against the up-and-coming new offerings? We revisit Ford’s mid-spec Everest Trend to find out.   STILL RUGGEDLY HANDSOME The Ford Everest has always been a handsome looking SUV and that …

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Road sense

Cars and jobs are not the only things that roll out from the factories of automotive manufacturers in the Philippines. There are many “invisible products” that come out of those plants, but all of them do not carry price tags nor do they add to sales targets. I call them the “invisible products” that fall under the visible department known as Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR. In the long years that I’ve covered the motoring beat, I’ve seen the entry of the first attempts at social responsibility, observed it transform into a regular program, and then continue to become like a community landmark. Some CSR programs on education are like that. There are several buildings that automakers have built for schools where classrooms used to be held in open spaces, separated …

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Man buys car with $15,000 in small change

What happened on January 11, 2016 completely stunned the staff members of a car dealership in Zhanjiang, south China’s Guangdong Province. A man drove a van full of bank notes wanting to buy a brand new car from the dealership. The sight of the cash blocks cash was jaw dropping. Weighing half a ton, the bank notes were carried in 10 separate cases together with some coins. With the biggest denomination being 1 yuan ($0.15), the slabs of money totaled over 100,000 yuan ($15,000). Since the car was selling at 90,000 yuan ($13,500), the man simply paid it off with his notes and coins. Meanwhile, Mashable reported that the mammoth deposit stunned staff. ”I have never seen so much cash in my life,” sales manager Gu Liyuan said. But dealership manager Yang Huai said the man, surnamed Cai, …

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Motech Automotive, Autobacs Seven sign deal, aim to expand in ASEAN region

Motech Automotive, a Philippine automotive company, signed a partnership deal with Autobacs Seven, a major automotive brand in the ASEAN region, with the goal of opening 500 centers in the region. The partnership is expected to create a high-quality global brand that aims to elevate the standards of service and parts to a level that is at par with Japanese and Autobacs standards. To achieve this, transfer of service technology and knowledge is needed to meet the ever-changing automotive technologies. In addition, a local training center will also be established. “The combination of the two brands is geared to meet the various demands of consumers across the different segments of automotive after-warranty market of the different ASEAN countries. Our vision and goal is to open 500 Motech centers in the ASEAN and …

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Driving with confidence

A long line of Mitsubishi Montero Sport SUVs assembled along Mother Ignacia Ave., early last Sunday. Their cars bore slogans like, “Sudden? What?”, “SUA? Tulog ka ba?”, and “I love this car.” Some participants have come as far as Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and even Ilocos with their families, all to join this drive in support of their favorite vehicle. It was called the “Drive of Confidence,” because these owners came to show their support, confidence, and trust in their Montero Sports, engaging in a fun run to disprove claims of Sudden Unintended Acceleration (SUA). EXPERIENCING DISCRIMINATION “We experience discrimination on the road,” said Gel Angeles, Montero Sport owner and organizer of the drive. “Other vehicles on the road avoid us and it's even affecting the resale value of our cars. We've tested on …

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Setting a new standard for crossovers

Everybody wants to go smaller to lessen fuel consumption and improve weight management for better overall efficiency. Automakers have been cutting down on engine displacement like you’ve been cutting down on carbs to free up some space for the holiday feast. It’s all well and good on paper, but as soon as you get behind the wheel and drive your first kilometer, all emotion and passion for driving goes out the window because majority feel the underwhelming performance due to the lack of power. The Covenant Car Company Incorporated (TCCCI), distributor of Chevrolet vehicles in the Philippines, hopes to ‘bring back that loving feeling’ by introducing the very first crossover in the country that is powered by a small displacement turbocharged engine. WELCOME THE CHEVY TRAX 1.4T LT Being a crossover, the Trax shares …

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One car to rule them all

If in the past, Filipinos have preferred sedans as a means of luxury transport, that choice is steadily shifting towards SUVs. After all, with bumpy streets, the occaissional threat of floods and the comfort and utility they provide, it's hard to imagine urban or rural life without such a capable, multirole vehicle. Thankfully, those with discerning taste and a large budget may find the best of both worlds in the Volkswagen Touareg Sport Edition. The Touareg has its fair share of pedigree, built upon a platform shared with the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7. With such sophisticated and sport-oriented cousins, it's not surprising to find that the Touareg benefits from this in many ways. In spite of the luxurious aspirations, the Touareg sports the most discreet design of the trio. There's a hint …

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Ruggedly refined

No other automobile champions the cause of lumberjacks, cowboys and hairy-chested machismo quite like the pickup truck. The pickup is the ultimate utility vehicle, with its wide bed capable of carrying pretty much anything, combined with its high ground clearance and 4x4 system. The pickup truck is the go-anywhere, do-anything vehicle that gets all ugly jobs done. But what if you live in the city? Rough roads are relatively rare (though some people would classify EDSA in this category), and it simply doesn’t make much sense to place groceries, shopping bags, or your kids in the pickup bed. Still, the pickup holds a certain appeal, giving you confidence over flooded roads, and for the rare times you actually have to move furniture from house to house. Toyota, always striving to satisfy …

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All-new Audi Q7 earns five stars in Euro NCAP

The all-new Audi Q7 seven-seater premium SUV was awarded with the top grade of five stars for safety by the European New Car Assessment Program (ENCAP). The results for adult protection in frontal and side impact collisions, pedestrian protection and child safety put the current Audi Q7 among the safest cars in its category. The testers gave the new Audi Q7 the top grade of five stars for safety. The results for the rear passengers in a frontal impact collision show that not just the driver and front passenger in the Audi Q7 are very well protected, the rear passengers are, too. The car also offers plenty of room and a high level of safety of children. Up to six child seats can be installed in the SUV. The model received …

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