During the 16th Manila International Auto Show (MIAS), Kia hyped the audience with the all-new Kia Forte before unveiling its big brother, the Kia Stinger.
The Forte is a C-type sedan with three variants: The LX and EX variants both have a 6-speed automatic transmission (AT) with a 1.6L Dual CVVT gasoline engine with 128PS and 155Nm of torque while the GT variant has a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) coupled to a 1.6L turbocharged gasoline direct engine with a more powerful 204PS and 265Nm of torque.
The exterior reminds everyone of its bigger brother. It reveals a sporty outlook with sleek, sharp, and dynamic lines that lead the eyes toward the rear. Kia’s signature tiger nose grille is also dominant which translates into a bolder, more muscular appearance of the car — not to mention it shows a symmetrical balance with its overall design.
This sedan has a sporty interior equipped with an ergonomic steering wheel and spacious seats. A 4.2-inch instrument cluster provides vehicle information for the driver while driving. Front airbags, an anti-lock braking system (ABS), and rear cameras are present for the passengers’ safety.
It is also equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen display integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for all the hands-free infotainment needs.
The official pricing for the three variants of the Kia Forte are as follows:
- 2019 Kia Forte 1.6 LX AT – PhP 1,095,000
- 2019 Kia Forte 1.6 EX AT – PhP 1,195,000
- 2019 Kia Forte 1.6 GT DCT – PhP 1,650,000
There will be several color options available: Clear White, Aurora Black Pearl, and Runway Red for the GT and EX variants, while the LX variant will be available in the same Clear White color, plus Steel Gray and Gravity Blue.
The Range Rover Evoque is a luxury SUV to beat
Making driving so much easier
Coventry Motors Corporation, the sole authorized importer and distributor of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles in the Philippines, introduced the All-New Range Rover Evoque. This is Land Rover’s luxury SUV blended with sweet looks and packed with safety tech.
The British car manufacturer takes craftsmanship to the next level with how details all have a purpose to make the Evoque as pleasing to the eye as possible. There’s a sense of familiarity when you first look at the SUV. But at the same time, things are somewhat different — better kind of different.
Up front, sports slim LED headlamps instantly grab your attention. There are prominent wheel arches that shelter its 20-inch wheels and now stands taller while being capable of wading through high waters.
According to the company, the Evoque now as a new chassis that makes the body stiffer and, in turn, offer that signature Range Rover ride comfort.
With a longer wheelbase, there’s now more room inside for passengers and luggage. The seats are dressed in two-tone Perforated Windsor leather for the top variants and come with 16-way seat controls.
The interior is described as minimalistic and straightforward luxury cabin designed to be more intuitive during drives. Its main hub is a 10-inch touchscreen system connected to a Meridian sound system for an immersive and detailed audio experience.
Land Rover says the Evoque is now smarter than previous models thanks to an updated software sitting behind its infotainment system. The basic idea is to be able to offer class and comfort for modern city living but still able to go off the paved road with its all-terrain characteristics.
This is achieved through the same Terrain Response technology seen on the full-size Range Rover that automatically detects the surface being driven on and adjusts how it acts accordingly.
It’s also complete with Hill Descent Control, Autonomous Emergency Braking, and Lane Keep Assist that all contribute to help you when driving gets a little bit trickier.
The tech features don’t stop there. Introducing as a segment-first is the ClearSight Rear-View that transforms the rear-view mirror into an HD video screen in case passengers and bulky items block the view of the driver for the rear.
To top it off, the Evoque is also introducing the world’s first ClearSight Ground View technology. In a nutshell, it makes the hood or bonnet invisible by projecting camera imagery onto the upper touchscreen to show the driver a 180-degree view under the front of the vehicle. This, along with its 360-degree surround camera, should come in handy when you literally find yourself in a tight spot!
While we’re on the subject of firsts, the Evoque is the first in its segment to offer a Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) option. It runs on an efficient 48V mild-hybrid powertrain which is designed to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy with no plug-in charging required.
Pricing for the four variants in the Philippines are as follows:
- SE 2.0 Diesel – PhP 5,090,000
- R-Dynamic HSE 2.0 Diesel – PhP 5,490,000
- R-Dynamic HSE 2.0 Petrol – PhP 5,590,000
- R-Dynamic HSE MHEV 2.0 Petrol – PhP 6,190,000
If you want something more exclusive, the Evoque is also available in Black Limited Edition on the three R-Dynamic models, for an additional PhP 100,000.
A Father’s Day drive up north
We recently got the Ranger Raptor for the second time to use at this year’s STV ARCC and represent Ford Philippines. And since we had a free day before the event itself happened, I decided to use it and take out my dad along with my brother for a road trip. Good thing Mom had an errand to do that day!
Dad wanted to visit a certain theme park restaurant north of Metro Manila so I agreed and went for it. We already brought the Raptor to a 4×4 route for some off-road action, so now we go for long, paved roads with hungry stomachs.
After four hours of driving from the south, past the traffic metro, and all the way up north, we reached our destination. The place is called Isdaan Floating Restaurant and it’s at the municipality of Talavera in Nueva Ecija in the Philippines. “Isdaan,” when translated, means “fishery” so it already paints you a picture of what to expect. The restaurant is hard to miss as it has a wide, inviting facade fronted with sculptures.
The staff greeted us with a warm welcome and led us to our private floating nipa hut with koi fish swimming around and under us. Looking at the menu, there were lots of choices from appetizers, meat, seafood obviously, and even specialties that you don’t usually see in city restaurants.
We got Bicol Express (spicy stew), Sinigang na Liempo (pork belly soup), and Binukadkad na Plapla (butterflied fish) from the menu. One of their signatures is a Boat Special. Basically, they offer select dishes in a long sizzling plate mounted on a wooden counter-top that resembles a boat. This was how Bicol Express was served which greatly added to the presentation value.
Food was really great especially the soup. While the service wasn’t too snappy and could definitely be improved, the food compensated for it. It has that home-cooked taste that hits the spot after a long drive.
After eating, we decided to walk around the area and check out the theme park side of the place. There were giant statues everywhere — from the Charging Bull similar to New York’s, Big Buddha of Phuket, and even prehistoric dinosaurs. It does make for great photo opportunities as you’ll see in the following photos.
Apart from the gigantic and humorous characters, another attraction to find here is a corner to vent out all your pent-up emotions. For a reasonable price, you can choose objects like those plates or coffee mugs that you can smash onto the wall. If you ask me, I feel it’s a bit out of place in this family-friendly restaurant but it still does make the place unique.
Those are all fun but what usually entices people to visit this place is the fact that you can dip your feet in this shallow pond and have large koi fish swimming in between your legs. It might sound weird and it’s probably not for everyone, but the novelty of being able to do it was actually fun.
After all the photos were taken and a few minor mishaps (one of us slipping trying to get in with the fish, not telling who), we were ready to go back home. It was another four hours inside the Raptor and we ended up exchanging stories and laughing our way through the expressways while the truck was mostly on cruise control. It was definitely a trip to remember.
Mazda Smartphone Mirroring Upgrade Kit now available
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible
Both Waze and Google Maps are proven navigation apps. This is why vehicles that support Android Auto and Apple Carplay — mirroring smartphone functionalities — are pretty much preferred these days over built-in navigation systems in the car.
Mazda in the Philippines is one of the latest to adapt in integrating smartphone mirroring to its Mazda Connect infotainment system. Through a hardware upgrade kit, your favorite apps like Waze and Spotify are now easier and safer to access while driving.
The upgrade kit can be retrofitted to Mazda vehicles all the way back from 2014 onwards as long as it has a Mazda Connect system. Aside from the new system module, the kit includes higher-capacity USB ports that can not only accommodate smartphone charging, but also transfer data for displaying relevant information on the touchscreen.
An official software update also comes with the kit for seamless communication between the smartphone and onboard system.
The Mazda smartphone mirroring upgrade kit may be purchased for PhP 17,500 plus VAT at all 21 official Mazda dealerships in the country. The price includes installation by trained Mazda technicians to ensure proper fit and integration and comes with a one-year warranty for the newly installed hardware.
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