Automotive

New Subaru XV GT edition is a sportier crossover

Giving the already sporty XV a sleeker look

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Subaru’s XV crossover is already a looker on its own — on top of the fact that it also performs well. But Subaru understands the demand for style and their answer to this is the new Asia-exclusive XV GT edition.

To produce this special variant, Motor Image, the exclusive distributor of Subaru in the Philippines, worked with renowned engineering company Giken Co. Ltd and Masahiko Kobayashi who made the head-turning design of the popular WRX STI.


The special edition XV comes with aero kits which give the already-sporty XV a more agile look. It now owns a front bumper lip extension with integrated canards for added stability, side skirts, roof spoiler, and rear bumper extension.

To go along with the added kits, the XV GT stands on a set of fresh 18-inch bespoke alloy wheels. Inside, leather seats inspired by the cabins of European and British grand tourers will greet you along with carpeted flooring.

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Together with Motor Image’s understanding of the market, Mr. Kobayashi’s expertise, and Giken’s experience, the GT edition was born to cater to the demanding needs of customers and looking good while doing it.

The XV GT is now available for booking at any of the Subaru showrooms in the Philippines.

Automotive

The Range Rover Evoque is a luxury SUV to beat

Making driving so much easier

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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.

It’s not only taller, but it also has wider and longer dimensions

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.

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Automotive

A Father’s Day drive up north

Story time!

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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.


That’s Dad, my brother Kiefer, and me on the road

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.

“Guarding” the floating nipa huts

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.

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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.

These koi quickly gather around you as you go near the water

Caught this little guy trying to nibble on his watch

Can’t leave the place without this obligatory shot!

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.

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Automotive

Mazda Smartphone Mirroring Upgrade Kit now available

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible

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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.

ALSO READ: Mazda 6: Not your ordinary mid-size sedan

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