Toyota Corolla Cross HEV Toyota Corolla Cross HEV


How the Toyota Corolla Cross HEV made me look like a reliable driver

The speed maniac in me finally slowed down



If you’ve been my passenger, you’ve probably stayed on high alert or got impatient. I barely find the sweet spot; the balance between slow and fast.

I’ve always been dubbed a speedster and an overtaker. Perhaps, being young, wild, and free made me look like I was driving a getaway car most of the time.

Even on the busiest city roads, I’m one to throw a fit inside a car whenever motorists abruptly cut me off or exhibit a blatant disrespect for road rules.

However, having the Toyota Corolla Cross HEV allowed me to change my and other people’s perceptions of me.

Suit up so you’d look like a reliable guy

The Corolla Cross HEV didn’t give a tough impression. Its facade looks more like a trustworthy vehicle that you can rely on. Think: Meeting a person with green flags. It didn’t make my heart race but gave me a soothing feel. Yes, this feels nice.

When you’re accustomed to red flags, you’re unsure how to approach someone or something that looks calm and collected.

The same goes when I saw and drove the Corolla Cross HEV. It was the first hybrid crossover in Toyota’s lineup in the Philippine market and has a reputation that we all know of.

Just one look and you know it’s a killer. The double trapezoid front grille exudes a wide appearance, like a man’s broad shoulders that you’d want to cry on.

Its side and back profile emanate a sophisticated air. Having the Corolla Cross HEV meant needing to step up my game. I thought to myself, “I need to look sleek, reliable, and worthy of driving this hybrid vehicle.”

So, yes, we did play dress-up while driving between the business districts of Metro Manila.

Everything within reach

On days when we don’t have a choice but to brave a horrible traffic jam, having creature comforts inside your vehicle would be a great relief.

Toyota Corolla Cross HEV

Luckily, the Corolla Cross HEV comes with cozy features for both the driver and its passengers. On the driver’s seat, it was easy to tailor my seat to my preference through its 8-way power adjust driver’s seat.

Most features and controls are also accessible with just a single press. For instance, Smart Entry, Push Start System, Power Adjust for side mirrors and power windows, Speed-sensing Door Locks, and even Rain-sensing Windshield Wipers.

Toyota Corolla Cross HEV

The steering wheel also has quick controls that adjust Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) features. For instance, when reversing, you can watch what’s on your rear through the camera installed, which is previewed through the 7-inch multi-information display.

Other than that, you also get to connect your smartphone to navigate Maps or play your favorite tunes. It’s compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so pick your poison.

Toyota Corolla Cross HEV

If you struggle with Bluetooth connectivity, there’s a USB-A port that allows you to connect your smartphone to the vehicle. It will simultaneously charge and connect the device to the multi-information display.

Sadly, I’ve been using USB-C to USB-C cables or Lightning-to-USB-C for most of my devices. I just used my power bank to recharge my device and rely on Bluetooth connectivity so I can play the whole folklore album while driving in the rain.

What do the passengers say?

With my all-black get-up inspired by Taylor Swift’s reputation era, I looked like a high-end chauffeur. I picked up and drove my friends Rodneil, Vikka, and Nicole when we attended an event at Blackbird at the Nielson Tower.

It’s an elegant, art deco restaurant serving grilled meat, seafood, pasta, and curries.

Playing dress up paid off since our outfits matched the sophisticated vibe of the hybrid vehicle. Moreover, they had a good time as my passenger.

The cabin is wide and spacious and there’s ample legroom for the backseat — my friends found it cozy to sit and share their stories. Funny enough, they all know I’m a bad driver with a penchant for being a little bit reckless and aggressive. Still, they found the whole ride to be quiet and comfortable.

Toyota Corolla Cross HEV

They can feel how the electric motors make no to little noise while running, and how powerful the vehicle is to have a smooth acceleration even when I step on the pedals hard.

With an optimized front and rear suspension, my passengers didn’t find themselves rolling inside whenever I sped up and drove in curves.

While I have yet to prove that I’m a driver who prioritizes safety and security, the Corolla Cross HEV showed me that it has my back.

Peace of mind when going out for a drive…

Every trip with the Corolla Cross HEV gave me control of how my adventure should look like. I had the option to choose between three available driving modes: Eco, Power, and EV. Of course, I chose EV.

We’re here to consume less fuel so that there are fewer CO2 emissions. I already contribute enough CO2 emissions when flying, so let’s try to lessen it when driving. We’re not going to follow in the footsteps of our mother dearest Taylor Swift, also the patron saint of carbon emissions.

The blue Toyota logo indicates a hybrid vehicle.

I like how a hybrid vehicle doesn’t fully rely on charging stations to power it up. Every step on the brake recharges the vehicle.

Through the information display, you’ll be able to see if the vehicle switches between battery and gas. Having that hybrid system allowed it to be fuel-efficient.

In three consecutive days of driving back and forth from East to South and back, I didn’t have to worry about running out of fuel.

And more peace of mind

The Toyota Corolla Cross HEV is equipped with 7 SRS airbags, an anti-lock brake system (which is incredibly helpful for a forgetful person like yours truly), two front and four rear clearance sonars, a reverse camera, and more safety features across all variants.

I also got a glimpse of its active safety features which fall under Toyota Safety Sense (TSS). The Pre-Collision System (PCS) was always in play as I entered Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati since a lot of motorcycle riders cut me off just when I stepped on the gas pedal.

Toyota Corolla Cross HEV

The Lane Departure Alert (LDA) and Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) were also helpful when I was driving on highways since I’m still struggling with navigating major thoroughfares in Metro Manila. It helps me stay on my lane when needed and assists me in changing my lanes gracefully whenever I need to exit.

The Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RTA), though helpful, can get a bit annoying when driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Its system detects vehicles approaching from the rear and continuously alerts me through visual and audio signals.

I had to put it on mute every time it alerted me, especially when I knew I was in the middle of a traffic jam. Nevertheless, I welcome the advanced safety features. It’s added security for both new and seasoned drivers — something you’d appreciate if you come across certain incidents on the road that could be prevented.

Made to make you look reliable

The way we present ourselves gives an impression of what kind of person we are. Driving the Toyota Corolla Cross HEV, with its reliable and trustworthy look, made me look like a reliable driver for once.

Toyota Corolla Cross HEV

Even my passengers felt how the hybrid vehicle tamed me down from doing a wild ride. I honestly would prefer to be a bit more daring, but it feels nice to give peace of mind to the people you love.

The Toyota Corolla Cross HEV makes for a great daily driver, especially when braving Manila traffic. It’s got everything you’d expect that would suit you and your personality. An elegant interior, a sophisticated exterior, an exceptional riding experience, and an environment-friendly and fuel-efficient technology that would make for a quiet, comfortable drive.

For more information about the Toyota Corolla Cross HEV, visit its page and follow Toyota PH.


Honda launches CONNECT app: Safety and security at one’s fingertips

Enhancing the ownership experience




Honda Cars Philippines has officially launched Honda CONNECT. It’s an app that automates customer service and offers Honda car owners a full package of safety, security, and convenience.

The app is available as a free three-year subscription for owners of the all-new Honda CR-V. Owners will get a telematics-based (TCU) version of Honda CONNECT that connects the phone of the owner with their car.

Some features include Automatic Collision Detection, Security Alarm, Remote Diagnostic Support, Speed Alert, Geofencing, Vehicle Dashboard Information, and Remote Vehicle Control.

The new service also supports Find My Car to make it easier for drivers to locate their parked vehicle.

For owners of other Honda models, the app is also available as a non-TCU platform, allowing owners to make emergency calls for 24/7 roadside assistance and browse location search for places of interest such as gas stations, ATMs, convenience stores, and more.

The Honda CONNECT app is downloadable from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Huawei App Gallery.

SEE ALSO: How I discovered my love language through Honda Sensing


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Everyday hero: HATASU HERO ebike now official

Multi-ride, easy go




HATASU ebike has launched the HATASU HERO, the company’s latest three-wheeler model and sixth product offering overall.

The latest addition to the company’s growing lineup of e-bikes is a multi-use, easy-go e-bike that can cater to daily riding needs such as household use, service, business, and more.

All-in-one hero

Designed to help users save their respective days, the HATASU HERO has a 250-kilogram capacity to support up to three adults or have someone fetch a bunch of kids from nearby schools.

It has top speeds of up to 20 to 25 kph and can cover 60 to 70 kilometers in one full charge.

Stylish design

The HATASU HERO comes in virtually an all-black design, sporting a splash guard in front, along with eagle-eye headlights that resemble a superhero mask.

The three-wheeler comes with a patented leather roof and back cover similar to a superhero cape, so users won’t have to worry about purchasing attachable roofs as add-ons

The e-bike also has an under seat and back compartment for riders to be able to load more goods such as groceries.

Inside is a high-powered 650W differential motor and an upgraded controller for better acceleration.

Accompanying the setup outside are dual and reverse horns and a motorcycle suspension fork, as well as a stainless front fender and large front wheel.

Price, availability

The HATASU HERO is priced at PhP 64,990 and is available in HATASU ebike dealers and online via Lazada.

Customers who purchase from November 15 will also receive a limited gift box worth PhP 1,790 and five raffle entries to HATASU’s Holiwheels Raffle Promo.

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Honda Holiday Deals: Choose your own promo package

For the BR-V, Brio, City, and Civic



Honda Cars Philippines is offering customers several promo packages on participating models as part of its Honda’s Holiday Deals promotion.

Customers interested in availing of the All-New BR-V, New Brio, New City, and New Civic may choose their preferred promo – each coming with freebies or discounts:

  • Package 1: Additional PhP 5,000 discount
  • Package 2: Promo discount plus one year PMS
  • Package 3: Promo discount plus PhP 7,000 accessory voucher

Downpayments for the BR-V, City, and Civic start at PhP 55,000.

Honda CR-V: Special insurance package

Meanwhile, customers may also be interested in getting a special insurance package offered for a purchase of any variant of the newly-launched All-New CR-V.

As part of the package, customers may enjoy benefits such as a waived PhP 2,000 deductible on first claim or an upgraded personal accident coverage, depending on the insurance partner (Standard Insurance, MAA, or AXA Philippines).

The latest iteration of Honda’s midsize SUV comes with e:HEV full hybrid system, Honda CONNECT, and Honda SENSING.

Flexible financing options

Honda is also offering low cash-out rates of just 15% to 20% downpayment and low monthly amortization bundles for up to 60-month payment terms.

There are several banks participating in this offer but customers will have to be approved first to push through with their car purchases.

Downpayments for the BR-V, City, and Brio start at just PhP 10,000 while all-in cash-outs for the City Hatchback, HR-V, Civic, and CR-V range from PhP 60,000 to PhP 142,000.

Honda Genuine Accessories package

Lastly, Honda car owners may enjoy up to a 90% discount on selected Honda Genuine Accessories, such as spoilers, trays, tailgate garnishes, covers, and more.

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