Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted September 25, 2007 00:00
More than just your daddy-o executive car
The first impression one gets from an executive car is it's something for the ‘seasoned' owners. But the Teana begs to differ from the rest once you give it a closer look and step inside. It's not your run of the mill daddy-o executive car. The luxuriously designed minimalistic interior is inspired by modern Zen, equipped with leather seats, faux wood and aluminum colored accents. Continuing the Zen atmosphere is the quiet interior which is well insulated from NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), and the smooth ride comfort. The spacious interior also translates to a spacious cargo area with the author being able to put three golf sets inside the trunk with more than enough space for a foursome.
Modern creature comforts come in the form of an electronically adjustable driver's seat with two memory buttons, an automatic rear sunshade that activates and deactivates with the touch of a button. The LCD information system (Human Machine Interface) displays the climate control system, entertainment system, fuel economy, and trip info. The LCD also acts as the display monitor of the wide-angle back-up camera which is mounted just above the rear license plates which aids in parking the car. Seat heaters were also included in the package, the use of which is irrelevant in a tropical country like the Philippines. The Teana also features one of the better sounding original equipment audio systems for its entertainment system although a DVD player would have been a good addition since it already has an LCD screen.
The exterior design of the Teana features strong lines that exude authority and sets it apart from the mainstream with a unique youthful character. Something you'll appreciate as it grows on you. The lines are well adorned with chrome trimmings in just about the right places. The conservative wheel design keeps everything in order as the car is still after all an executive sedan.
In the performance department, the V6 2.3-liter engine packs just about enough power for the heavy vehicle but could use a bit more considering the hefty pricetag in comparison to its rivals. The 173-ps engine is mounted to a 4-speed electronically controlled transmission which seamlessly shifted through the gears. But an extra gear would have probably improved its fuel economy figures as frugality is certainly not one of the car's characteristics.
Handling-wise, the car feels stable and refined going through bends and curves. The suspension absorbs bumps and small potholes well providing a solid feel as you run through them on the road. The 205/65R16 tires give a good compromise of the comfort and performance for the car. The VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control) stability system which is switched on by default keeps the vehicle within control at all times. A little fun can be achieved by turning it off, but is not recommended for the faint of heart.
Overall, the Teana is a well packaged car with class leading features. The Intelligent Key System not only functions as the keyless entry system but also as a transponder wherein the doors can be unlocked by pressing a button on the door provided the key is within 80cm range of the car. The electronic seats also move 40mm backwards once the engine is switch off for easy exit. The downside is its hefty sticker price at Php1.98 million which is almost as much as a rival car with a more powerful engine.