Automotive

2019 Honda Civic RS Turbo: Is this the return of the Civic we loved?

Looks good and packs a punch

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The Honda Civic has been around for more than 4 decades now and is one of the most popular cars around. In its glory days, it appealed to almost everyone, from being a family car to a daily driver, a road trip car, and even to petrol heads who are also racing enthusiasts.  Thanks to its VTEC technology, the Honda Civic can switch from a conservative, economic daily driver to a ferocious race car. The fifth and sixth-gen Civic from the ’90s was an all-time favorite with a better aerodynamic body and not to mention it was packed with plenty of horsepower under the hood. Parts were also cheap and it was easy to modify the car to your liking.

Every time a new model was released, people expected more and more from Honda. But in recent years, the Civic has been a bit on the unimpressive side. It got heavier and slower, and Honda seemed to focus more on economy rather than performance with technologies that Civic enthusiasts did not find necessary. It just got boring and dull. So is the release of the latest 10th generation Honda Civic the answer to our wishes? The styling is stunning, but does it perform the way we expect it to? Is this the return of our beloved Civic?

The styling of the new 10th generation Civic has so much character that you can instantly tell it’s a Civic even from afar. It looks exceptionally muscular yet sleek. The grille protrudes forward with its character lines and cuts direct your eyes to the front and emphasizes the low set assertive-looking LED headlamps. This makes the fascia look bold and aggressive, like an angry rhino ready to charge.

More lines and curves can be seen from the sides with broad fenders giving the car a wide and sporty stance. I personally liked the repeaters on the front wheel arch and the 18-inch RS Design Belrina Black alloy wheels as they add character and identity to the Civic. The rear is just as eye-catching; the C-shaped LED tail lamps are sleek and is complemented with black trims and diffusers. Plus, included in the RS package is a rear wing that gives the car extra downforce for better grip in high speeds.

The interior did not fall short in design as well. The dashboard was distinctly modern in appearance with a more ergonomic design and there was no shortage of cup holders nor small storage spaces. The interior is plush and spacious with leather and soft-touch plastic. With the RS variant, you get red accent stitching on the dash and steering wheel which evokes a feeling of passion and added sportiness.

Starting the car up, you are instantly greeted with a digital instrument panel. The center console is high and it gives you that feeling that you’re really in a sports car. The seven-inch touch screen is well-equipped and user-friendly. Looking at this car, you can tell that the design department went all out as every detail is well proportioned inside and out and it’s just one of the better-looking cars in the market today.

Although, does it drive the way we expected it to? Is it as sporty as it looks? We took this car up to the twisty mountains and the engine was quiet and extremely smooth. The i-VTEC engine produces 173 horsepower and getting up to speed was a breeze. Turning off the ECON mode and switching the gear lever to Sport mode, this car transforms into an adrenaline-inducing vehicle. It gives you higher revs between gear changes and it simply makes the car more responsive.

However, like most CVTs, you will not get that instant punch in acceleration when you put your foot down the throttle. A bit disappointing but thankfully, once the transmission has found the right ratios, it will slingshot you forward and fast. Steering was very light and responsive; hammering down a corner at 80kph has zero drama and is accompanied by firm suspensions. Body roll was minimal and the car just hugs the road exceptionally.

It’s close to being the perfect car, especially for its price range.  It is a fun, adrenaline-packed, yet quiet and smooth midsized sedan. If only it were up to me, I would replace its CVT setup. Mating this type of engine to a traditional 6-speed transmission would have made this car more aggressive on open roads. Secondly, the electronic handbrake seemed out of place. Sometimes you want to have fun with handbrake turns and try daring maneuvers but would be impossible with electronic handbrakes.

Third, it lacked some safety features that come standard with a lot of cars nowadays — features like front proximity sensors, blind spot warnings, and lane departure warnings. These features just give you better confidence while driving. Lastly, it’s nice that the Civic is quiet in city driving, but there are times when you set free some horses, and a vicious engine grunt would be nice. Maybe a better sounding exhaust system?

At the end of the day, the 10th generation Honda Civic is still not perfect but is no doubt a fun all-around car.  Going back to my initial question: Is this the comeback of the Civic? In my opinion, the answer is, almost. It still has so much more to offer and we will be expecting more from Honda in its upcoming Civic models.

Want to see more of the Civic RS Turbo? We have a video!

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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