Automotive

2019 Suzuki Jimny: A little monster on steroids

We took it to where it truly shines

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What is cute and adorable but also fierce and beastly when set loose? No, the answer is not a rabid puppy — it’s the all-new 2019 Suzuki Jimny.

When we talk about extreme off-roading, normally we would think of big, bulky, expensive SUVs with massive tires, monstrous lift kits, and a gas-guzzling engine. No one will think of a small, Japanese kei car to be a good off-roader, but that’s where most are wrong.

The 2019 Suzuki Jimny is probably one of the most anticipated 4x4s this year and is one capable off-roader in the market today. We were given the chance to bring the 2019 Jimny All Grip Pro to our favorite off-road testing grounds at Jungle Base in Tanay, Rizal — a renowned playground in the off-road community.

Let’s begin with the looks. The styling will not fit everybody’s taste. There is not much to look at with the exterior since it’s basically a box on wheels. Though it stays true to its styling heritage and looks more like a modern second-gen Suzuki Samurai.

Personally, though, I like it. It’s simple, rugged, and I actually find it kind of cute. Being the way it is, there is so much potential to personalize it to your preference and needs and it excites me to see differently customized Jimnys on the road. It’s a blank canvas waiting to be modified.

The interior is also pretty basic and really has no luxury features but we can easily overlook that since this small SUV is not built for luxury; it’s built to be tough. Mounted on the center is a very decent infotainment system. It spans nine inches across but it does not support Android Auto and Apple Car Play.

Other features include Cruise Control, Hill Descent Control with Hill Hold, Traction Control, and Power Windows. You have loads of headroom, decent legroom for the front but a bit cramped at the back. Seats are also fairly comfortable.

On a personal note, I really liked how the B-pillar is placed behind the driver giving you an unobstructed panoramic view of the side of the car — advantageous for offroading.

Driving the Jimny on paved roads felt bouncy and jiggly, while cornering had to be done carefully. Body roll is an issue and being a narrow and tall car, you kind of feel like you could roll when taking on tight corners with speed. It also struggles to gain speed even with a new and more powerful engine. This means you sometimes need to catch the right timing when overtaking.

No one will be buying the Jimny for racing, anyway, as speed is not its best asset. This car truly shines when the pavement ends.

Once we got to the dirt road, we were amazed by how smooth it suddenly felt. Driving at around 40kph on soft gravel felt like driving on butter. It was unbelievably quiet and smooth, gliding through the trail and absorbing the bumps.

Switching to 4-Low when the trail got tougher impressed us even more. The little Jimny tackled large rocks, ditches, and mud effortlessly. Thanks to its trailing arm coil spring suspensions up front and at the rear, as well as its improved approach and departure angles, articulation was beyond impressive.

On paper alone, it even has a better approach, departure, and break-over angles than a stock Jeep Wrangler and I honestly did not expect that much wheel travel.

Its new 1.5-liter K15B DOHC VVT engine produces only 101 horsepower and 130nm of torque which may seem small. Although you have to remember this car weighs only a little over a thousand kilos giving it a better power-to-weight ratio than most SUVs out there.

Even on engine idle speeds, this little monster on steroids crawls without even having to step on the throttle. It has solid axles both front and rear but it lacks any type of locking differentials. However, the vehicle will sense when a wheel is losing traction and will automatically apply the brakes to distribute power to other wheels. It’s not as good as differential locks but it will still get you going.

Its rigid ladder frame can handle any twists and uneven terrain without having to worry. Water wading is a downside, however. Being very light, the Jimny can easily be swept away in strong currents when river-crossing and is highly discouraged. Rollover angle is also very limited since it’s tall and narrow, but not to worry as you get a digital clinometer display to make sure you don’t exceed the limits.

An important note to remember is that the Jimny has quite a small tank. When over landing, make sure you bring enough extra fuel for the trip the back. Consumption on average is 12-15 kilometers per liter and around nine kilometers per liter when offroading.

Priced at PhP 1,095,000 pesos for the GLX All Grip model, the Suzuki Jimny is probably the most affordable off-road SUV that is truly capable. Now that I’ve driven and tested it, I want one for myself more than ever. It’s extremely fun, tough, efficient and I highly recommend it.

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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