Automotive

All-new Kia Forte is finally in the Philippines

The little sibling shines on its own

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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.

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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.

Automotive

Honda’s 2019 Brio RS variant is a sporty subcompact

Dibs on Carnival Yellow!

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Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. has introduced the second generation of the Brio. This establishes their entry to the A-segment passenger car category in the country while adding a twist of modern sportiness at the same time.

Being a small vehicle, it could be challenging to make it look sporty. But Honda was able to transform what one would usually call “cute” into something that looks like this.


The 1.2 RS variant boasts a Piano Black front grille, 15-inch alloy wheels, side sill garnish, rear bumper garnish, and tailgate spoiler. Inside, there are noticeable orange accents that go with its black fabric seats with the same highlights — all exclusive to this model.

To top that off, its 7-inch audio system is paired to a six-speaker setup including tweeters. This should ensure that you get a high-quality listening experience.

1.2 RS Black Top

Now, if you want something more flashy, you can opt to go for the two-tone 1.2 RS Black Top variant. This Brio comes either in an exclusive Phoenix Orange Pearl or Carnival Yellow — both appealing in their own ways.

Apart from the RS and RS Black Top variants, there are two more models in the lineup: the 1.2 V CVT and 1.2 S MT. They’re the same Brio in essence, although they don’t come with most kits and some bells and whistles of the upper-tier models.

The front grille also has a honeycomb design and multi-reflector halogen headlights which then come with LED parking light guides. At the rear, they now have a redesigned tailgate that allows for better rear visibility and also adds to the rigidity of its body. Meanwhile, its tail and brake lights stretch to the edge of the vehicle and highlight the wide stance of the Brio.

Inside, tech features include manual air conditioning with a digital display, Bluetooth connection, and a 7-inch touch display for the 1.2 V CVT. The 1.2 S MT, on the other hand, comes with a 1-Din audio head unit.

In terms of capacity, packing the vehicle shouldn’t feel too cramped with its 60mm extended wheelbase compared to the first generation, in addition to the 90mm extended cargo area. This simply translates to more legroom for the passengers. And if you need to move numerous items, fold down the back seats and you have space big enough to fit a couple of big boxes.

Under the hood of all variants is a new 1.2-liter SOHC i-VTEC engine mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Like the 2019 Civic, the transmission is based on the company’s Earth Dreams Technology for better acceleration and efficient fuel economy. For drivers who still stick to driving stick, there’s the five-speed 1.2 S MT variant for you to consider.

The available colors are:

  • Taffeta White (all models)
  • Modern Steel Metallic (1.2 RS CVT, 1.2 V CVT, 1.2 S MT)
  • Rallye Red (1.2 V CVT and 1.2 S MT)
  • Carnival Yellow (1.2 RS Black Top CVT and 1.2 V CVT variants)
  • Phoenix Orange (1.2 RS Black Top CVT only)

To further sweeten the deal, Honda is offering a special introductory SRP that will last until the end of June 2019:

  • 1.2 S MT – PhP 585,000
  • 1.2 V CVT – PhP 646,000
  • 1.2 RS Navi CVT – PhP 727,000
  • 1.2 RS Black Top Navi CVT – PhP 732,000

The new Brio also achieved a Four Star ASEAN NCAP safety rating, thanks to the company’s G-CON technology. This should enhance impact absorption in case of collisions. It also has dual SRS airbags for the driver and front passenger, while an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) comes as standard.

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Automotive

2019 Honda Civic now with updated style and features

Comes in two engine options

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The 2019 Honda Civic is here and it’s sleeker than ever before.

Civic’s 10th-generation sedan comes with a sportier vibe thanks to modifications on its exterior. Up front, it has a newly designed bumper and full LED headlights with integrated Daytime Running Lights (DRL). Overall, it still has that familiar front fascia by the Japanese company.


2019 Honda Civic RS Turbo

There are three variants for the 2019 Civic. The top-of-the-line Civic RS Turbo stands on exclusive 18-inch Belrina Black RS alloy wheels. This variant also has leather seats and leather interior trims, adding a premium feel inside to complement its stylish exterior. Meanwhile, the 1.8 E CVT model comes next with a 16-inch Shark Gray Metallic alloy wheels.

2019 Honda Civic 1.8 E CVT

Both these models sport a 7-inch touch display that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. They make calls, navigation, and in-car entertainment easily accessible even while driving. Additionally, the instrument panel in front is customizable to show relevant information to the driver.

2019 Honda Civic 1.8 S CVT

The last and final variant is the 1.8 S CVT. It is the entry-level offering of Honda that aims to give customers one of the best value for money in the C-segment category. It comes with halogen projector headlights with integrated DRLs, 16-inch two-tone alloy wheels, and a 7-inch touch display audio system.

Under the hood, there are two engine options for the new Civic. A 1.5-liter turbocharged DOHC i-VTEC engine runs the RS Turbo, while a familiar 1.8-liter SOHC i-VTEC engine can be found on both the 1.8 E CVT and 1.8 S CVT variants.

Needless to say, both engines are partnered with a CVT which is based on Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology for responsive performance, acceleration, and efficient fuel economy.

Boasting a Five Star ASEAN NCAP safety rating, additional features include an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Vehicle Stability Assist, Hill Start Assist, Electronic Parking Brake with Auto Brake Hold, and dual front driver and front passenger SRS airbags. The RS Turbo CVT variant takes it a bit further with additional front driver and passenger side airbags.

The New Civic is priced at PhP 1,608,000 for the RS Turbo CVT, PhP 1,185,000 for the 1.8 E CVT, and PhP 1,115,000 for the entry-level 1.8 S CVT.

The 2019 Civic will come in five colors depending on the model:

  • Cosmic Blue Metallic
  • Lunar Silver Metallic (1.8 E and 1.8 S only)
  • Modern Steel Metallic (RS Turbo and 1.8 E only)
  • Rallye Red (RS Turbo only)
  • Platinum White Pearl (additional PhP 20,000)

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Automotive

Ford Ranger Raptor: A gentle beast

Power that comes with comfort

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When I began learning how to drive, I practiced with a bulky, under-powered pickup truck. Needless to say, it wasn’t a joyride. However, the added difficulty made driving smaller and simpler cars a breeze down the road, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

If I were to replicate that experience today, it would be near impossible. Not only are pickup trucks more advanced and comfortable than ever, they are also comparable to premium sedans and SUVs. Case in point: Ford’s newest Ranger Raptor is a gentle beast.


My unit came in Arctic White; other options are red, black, gray, and blue

There’s nothing subtle about the Raptor. Its towering build and robust front have an imposing presence no matter where it’s taken. Ford claims it’s the first factory-ready, high-speed off-road performance truck. In other words, you can go straight from the dealership to the mountains if you’re itching for action.

For comparison, the Raptor is 150mm wider and 50mm taller than the regular Ranger. This leads to a ground clearance of 283mm and a water wading capacity of 850mm. Combined with the 33-inch all-terrain tires and 2.5-inch Fox racing shocks, you don’t have to do much customization to make this machine battle-ready.

The massive FORD logo is part of the Raptor’s DNA

While all these make for a powerful ride, what’s even more impressive is how the Raptor babies its driver and passengers. Never have I felt this comfy in a truck before. Prior to this, I drove an Everest which I’d confidently consider on par with the Raptor’s ease of use — that says a lot.

In addition, Ford’s SYNC system is in place for music playback from any phone, navigation, and simple voice commands. If you need more functionality, you may connect your smartphone through Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Every other feature is reachable through the vast number of buttons on the steering wheel.

The 8-inch touchscreen is at the center of all your controls

The red mark at the top of the steering wheels acts as a guide when you’re busy driving

With 213PS from the 2.0-liter bi-turbo diesel engine, accompanied by 500Nm of torque and a 10-speed automatic transmission, Ford isn’t kidding when they call this a “super truck.”

I had several days to put this machine to the test, and keeping it on safe asphalt wouldn’t do it justice, so my team took it to off-road trails fit for, well, a Raptor.

BFGoodrich’s all-terrain tires are equipped on every unit

We crossed rivers, handled 35-degree inclines and declines, and sped up whenever we could. Unsurprisingly, nothing fazed the Raptor. It always felt like it had more power to deliver, asking me to challenge it even more. It was certainly tempting, especially since the truck made me feel so safe throughout the drive.

On top of the standard 2WD and 4WD modes, the Raptor offers six presets that can be activated depending on your needs. There’s normal mode, sport mode for improved steering response and acceleration, Baja mode for high-speed off-road driving, grass/gravel/snow mode for slippery terrains, mud/sand mode for better handling, and rock mode for increased control over unpredictable rocks.

Engaging any of the performance modes takes only a few button presses

At the same time, the Raptor is such a smooth ride on city streets. I logged in hundreds of kilometers on it, and there wasn’t a single stretch that I wished I was inside another car. Sure, parking wasn’t a breeze in this thing — although it does come with a handy rear camera assist — but its imposing height and bright LED headlamps kept the Raptor visible from any distance.

If I were to nitpick, my only gripes would be the finicky Bluetooth connectivity for smartphones and lack of compartments around the cockpit. These, however, are common issues with most vehicles I’ve had the pleasure of driving.

More than anything, the Raptor is simply a stunner. I had never felt this confident going from point A to point B, and looking good while doing so. Every stop along the way deserved its own photo shoot.

My team can definitely attest to that.

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