Automotive

2019 Honda Brio RS: The sporty baby Jazz

A fun ride through and through

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For millennials and young professionals, choosing which car to buy could be a tough choice to make. For some, it has to pass certain requirements like fuel efficiency, ride comfort, space, if it looks good, and more importantly if it fits the budget. This is what first came to my mind when we got to test the 2019 Honda Brio RS. I think it has all the criteria most of us need for our daily commute and I’ll tell you why.

At first glance, it will give you the impression of a baby Jazz as it follows traditional Honda design cues.  It looks far better than its competing compact hatchbacks and is definitely a big design upgrade than the previous generation Brio.  From the front, this car looks aggressive and masculine for its size. The rear, however, still leans on the conservative side. Together with its sporty side skirts, the side profile is sleek with forward-tilting character lines giving it a sense of action and speed.

Being an RS variant, there are additional design upgrades which include the black roof, blacked-out honeycomb grille, a rear spoiler with mounted third brake light, 15-inch RS design alloy rims, and of course, the bright red RS badges plastered all over. These positively add to the sportiness of the vehicle.

Its Phoenix Orange Pearl body looked glowing hot when the sun hits and we like it

Hopping in, you will immediately notice the orange accents running through the air vents, glove box, and side panels, plus the orange stitching and patterns on the seats. Next, we see the 7-inch touch-enabled infotainment system at the center of the dash which is connected to six speakers. Although that’s the case, we still weren’t impressed with the sound quality as it felt a bit short on bass.

Whether as the driver or passenger, you are seated in a low orientation and feel very close and planted to the ground. The height of the steering wheel and dashboard takes some getting used to if you always drive tall cars. But don’t get the idea that it’s cramped up inside. The seats up front are spacious with plenty of headroom to spare while at the back we have a decent amount of legroom for the average Asian. The trunk was large enough to carry our equipment along with other stuff. It was impressively spacious for a car this size.

We drove to our favorite scenic route of the Sierra Madre mountains, putting the car through its paces. The Brio is powered by a 1.2-liter SOHC i-VTEC engine which I think is sufficient enough for a car this small. It is then mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with sport mode and the company’s Earth Dreams Technology.

This car gives you a smooth and quiet ride even at high speeds. The cabin is astonishingly quiet with very minimal wind noise and vibrations. Thanks to its CVT implementation, this car is so smooth that I didn’t realize I was already going 90 on a 50kph road.

You cannot ask it to drive like its more spirited cousins, though. It is not the fastest accelerating car and pushing down the gas pedal when overtaking or driving up a steep road takes the CVT some time to adjust and you won’t get that instant punch you were expecting.

The Brio also lacks traction control and other basic features like rear sensors and reverse camera. It doesn’t even have a center console box and an armrest, but these are things we can brush aside. In terms of fuel efficiency, we were able to average 11.1km/liter which is not bad considering we drove it aggressively through the winding and steep roads of Tanay, Rizal. Steering was light and handled tight corners remarkably.  Overall, this car gets the job done. It gets you where you need to go and is reliable, economical, safe, and don’t forget that it’s such a looker.

Will I recommend the Brio RS? In the city, this car would be perfect. Although it’s not the most powerful more so for long drives. I can tell you one thing, though, it sure is fun to drive. I’m actually not a big fan of small hatchbacks but it all boils down to the company’s target market. The Brio is tuned to be sporty and modernly stylish so it might appeal to those looking for something that looks fun and doesn’t break the bank.

With those, I could confidently say that the Brio RS has the edge over its small hatchback competitors in terms of performance and design. You won’t go wrong with this car.

Automotive

Honda Mobilio is PhP 250,000 off this February

Plus more amazing deals just for the month!

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Honda Philippines has lots of promos for car buyers this February. A PhP 250,000 discount is up for grabs with brand-new, old stock Mobilio and other Honda cars. Plus, special downpayment offers can be had only from February 1 to 28. On top of it all, buyers can win exciting prizes through an e-raffle just for this month.

Discounts for Mobilio and others

The first in Honda Philippines February promos is a staggering PhP 250,000 discount for the Mobilio. The discounted variant is 2019 1.5 RS Navi CVT which comes with a price tag of PhP 1,085,000.

Other Honda cars also get discounts like the following:

  • 2021 City 1.5 S CVT — PhP 30,000 off its PhP 888,000 retail price
  • 2021 BR-V 1.5 S CVT — PhP 60,000 off its PhP 1,038,000 retail price
  • 2020 Civic 1.8 E CVT — PhP 50,000 off its PhP 1,188,000 retail price
  • 2020 Odyssey 2.4 EX-V Navi CVT — PhP 50,000 off its PhP 2,698,000 retail price
  • 2019 Civic Type-R 2.0 Turbo MT — PhP 180,000 off its PhP 3,180,000 retail price

Special downpayment offers

Buyers may avail of special and regular all-in downpayment offers. For as low as PhP 28,000, they may avail of their first Honda car. Included models are the 2020 Brio, 2021 CR-V, and many more.

  • 2021 Jazz 1.5 RS Navi CVT — starts at PhP 54,000 downpayment (PhP 1,090,000 retail price)
  • 2020 Brio 1.2 S MT — starts at PhP 28,000 downpayment (PhP 601,000 retail price)
  • 2021 CR-V S Diesel 9AT — starts at PhP 115,000 downpayment (PhP 1,888,000 retail price)
  • 2021 HR-V 1.8 E CVT — starts at PhP 71,000 downpayment (PhP 1,296,000 retail price)

Freebies for everyone

Honda is also giving away a free one-year periodic maintenance service (PMS) for the purchase of any year and variant of BR-V until February 28. Upon the release of the vehicle, buyers will receive their 10K PMS/6th-month and 20K PMS/12th-month vouchers. Buyers must present both vouchers on their respective scheduled PMS dates, within the twelve-month period from the release date of their vehicles.

Meanwhile, those who purchase the 2019 Civic RS Turbo CVT or Mobilio 1.5 RS Navi CVT will also get a free Blaupunkt Air Purifier Airpure AP 1.0 set.

Sodexo+ gift certificates are also up for grabs until March 31 for those purchasing any variant of the all-new City or BR-V. To avail of the gift certificates, buyers must simply present their official vehicle receipt, certificate of registration, and deed of sale (for second-hand units) to their preferred dealership. The PhP 5,000 gift certificate will apply to any existing promo or discount.

For any car model purchased this month, Honda is bundling a free Petron Value Card too. Cardholders can earn 100 additional bonus points for every 140 liters (gasoline) or 200 liters (diesel) accumulated purchase per month. Additional perks include free towing and roadside assistance as well as year-round personal accident insurance.

A raffle that keeps on giving

This isn’t all that Honda Philippines has to offer. By successfully registering and providing contact information on this microsite, buyers will get one corresponding e-raffle entry for a chance to win exciting prizes. Forty winners can win one of the following items:

  • 1 winner of Honda Brio 1.2 S MT
  • 5 winners of Blaupunkt Air Purifier
  • 1 winner of iPad Air (3rd Gen, 64GB)
  • 1 winner of iPhone 11 (64GB)
  • 3 winners of Rustan’s Gift Certificate worth PHP 5,000 each
  • 3 winners of Sodexo Gift Certificate worth PHP 2,500 each
  • 1 winner of Nintendo Switch

The e-raffle will last until March 18, 2021. Those who have successfully registered online can get additional e-raffle entries by bringing their car to any authorized dealership for preventive maintenance service. The additional e-raffle entries will be sent by e-mail. The raffle draw will happen on March 23, with the lucky winners being notified through their registered email or a phone call.

Financing options

For interested buyers, they can avail of a special all-in financing program at 10% downpayment, with 36-60 months payment terms for select models. This financing program is available through BPI Family Savings Bank, RCBC, China Bank Savings, and Bank of Commerce.

Other all-in financing promo option offers, such as low cash-out, low monthly amortization, and free one-month amortization at 15%, 20%, and 25% all-in downpayment with 36-60 months payment terms are available through BPI Family Savings Bank, RCBC, Bank of Commerce, China Bank Savings, PNB, PSBank, UCPB, BDO, Maybank, Robinsons Bank, and Security Bank.

Customers may also submit their bank loan applications online through the Auto Loan link page on the website for select bank partners, subject to approval.

All these offers include a three-year LTO registration and chattel mortgage and a free one-year comprehensive insurance with acts of nature through select bank partners.

To know more about the promos and the latest updates, visit the nearest dealership or access Honda Philippines through its official website.

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Automotive

Ford launches 2021 Ranger lineup

Ford’s Super Truck lineup is something to watch out for

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Ford is just getting started. If you think that the American Brand is willing to sit on its laurels after dominating the 4×4 Pickup sales for 2020, Ford Philippines is set to kick-off 2021 with a refreshed lineup for the Ford Ranger.

The biggest change to the New Ford Ranger comes with a more aggressive and sporty facia that embodies the brand’s legacy of being Ford Tough and ushering the call to Live the Ranger Life. The new Ranger sports a bolder look and new design elements, giving it a stronger impression and tougher stance on the road.

Super Truck

Up front, you get a new eye-catching trapezoidal shape grille for all variants as well as Saber accents, on the Wildtrak reflecting the Ranger’s brand of unmatched design. The Ranger XLT on the other hand, comes with a new front grille with chrome accents and exterior gloss black accents on the front grille, exterior mirrors, door handles, and fog lamp bezel. Ranger XLS variants also come with a new front grille.

You can also consider the Ford Ranger as your GadgetMatch with Bluetooth connectivity as well as phone integration with Apple Carplay and Android Auto all cast on a glorious 8-inch screen. The New Wildtrak and Ranger Raptor also comes with Sync 3 voice-Activated controls that further enhances your audio experience.

Engine models available for the various variants include the 2.2 liter Duratorq TDCi Diesel engine that makes 160 PS at 3,200 RPM and 385Nm of torque at an insanely low 1,600-2,500 RPM, this comes with a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission and available for the Ford Ranger XLS, XLT and FX4 Models.

You also have the 2.0 liter Ecoblue Engine Bi-Turbo Diesel engine for the Wildtrak and Raptor variants to the tune of up to 213 PS at 3,730 RPM and 500Nm of torque. This comes with Ford’s state of the art 10-speed Automatic Transmission.

Pricing and availability

Despite the lack of a fleet model, of which Ford Philippines is still mulling over the marketability, The Ford Ranger still has the most diverse roster of variants from the value packed Ranger XLS to the legit Baja-bred Raptor. Prices remain the same at the moment except for the XLT and FX4 models.

Ranger 2.0L BiTurbo Raptor 4×4 AT P1,998,000
Ranger 2.0L BiTurbo Wildtrak 4×4 AT P1,728,000
Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak 4×2 AT P1,455,000
Ranger 2.2L FX4 4×4 AT P1,416,000
Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak 4×2 MT P1,390,000
Ranger 2.2L FX4 4×4 MT P1,356,000
Ranger 2.2L 4×2 AT P1,316,000
Ranger 2.2L FX4 4×2 MT P1,256,000
Ranger 2.2L XLT 4×2 AT P1,236,000
Ranger 2.2L XLS 4×4 MT P1,181,000
Ranger 2.2L XLT 4×2 MT P1,176,000
Ranger 2.2L XLS 4×2 AT P1,092,000
Ranger 2.2L XLS 4×2 MT  P1,062,000

 

 

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Automotive

Elon Musk’s Tesla is investing $1.5B in Bitcoin

It would start accepting Bitcoin as a payment method

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In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Tesla said it bought Bitcoins for more flexibility to diversify further and maximize returns on cash. To be precise, the company has invested a whopping US$ 1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency and intends to accept it as legal tender soon.

Obviously, just like his tweets, the announcement skyrocketed Bitcoin’s value by as much as 15 percent. The price of one Bitcoin even exceeded US$ 44,000 for a few minutes. Tesla is among the first to recognize cryptocurrency’s potential and intends to ride the wave with an early heads-up.

Bitcoin has been in the news for the longest of time, and its perception is quite polarised. The Bitcoin investors are confident that future currencies would be deregulated and support the free market’s principles. However, its volatility is too high, making it not a very suitable candidate for regular transactions. Adding to this, the currency is increasingly exploited by criminals to launder money and fund illegal activities.

Although Tesla is said to be in a unique position as far as accepting Bitcoin payments is concerned. The company does not have dealerships and directly sells its vehicles. A car is a huge purchase, and one can try paying via Bitcoin since the amount won’t be too minuscule. We don’t have a timeline on when you’ll be able to buy a Tesla in exchange for Bitcoins, but it’ll happen soon.

In a December 20 tweet, Elon Musk said that “Bitcoin is almost as bs as fiat money,” suggesting his belief that it is perhaps less “bs” than traditional government-backed currencies.

The most wonderful and mind-boggling thing about Bitcoin is, it could be worth US$ 500,000 after a year or even US$ 0. It’s a risky investment, but Musk has always preferred walking on a thread.

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