The Honda Civic – the 1.8L a/t (automatic transmission) S variant in particular – bagged three awards, including the prestigious 2006 Car of the Year-Philippines (COTY-P), during the third Car of the Year Awards held Thursday, March 8, 2007, at the Rockwell Tent (near the Power Plant Mall) in Makati City.
Once again a veritable who's who in the automotive industry and the motoring journalism world came out besplendored in their formal best to witness the Civic bag the aforementioned award, as well as the Compact Car of the Year (COTY) and the Best Value for Money special citation. Coming close (but no cigar) was MotorImage Pilipinas (exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles in the country), as its Forester 2.5L XT landed the Best Entry-Level SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) and its Outback 3.0L R was awarded the Best Luxury SUV. CATS Motors Inc. (distributor of Mercedes Benz vehicles in the Philippines) also scored a hat trick of sorts, as its ML 350 SUV was awarded a special citation in the Ultraluxury SUV category and its E-Class E280 Elegance saloon took home the Best Ultraluxury Sedan award and a special citation for toting the Best Safety Package. Mitsubishi also took home two awards, one for the Grandis MPV (multipurpose vehicle) getting the Best Luxury MPV and its Strada pickup for the Best Pickup citation.
The Japanese and Teutonic auto companies refused to be shut out during the awards night, bagging four and two awards, respectively. The Mazda 6 2.3L (the 2005 COTY-P) once again won as the Best Executive Car, while the Toyota Innova 2.5L a/t G also repeated as it got the Best Entry-Level MPV. The Nissan Murano got kudos as the vehicle with the Best Overall Design. On the other hand, the Volvo S60 2.0L T shone the brightest in the figurative automobile lap of luxury by winning Best Luxury Sedan, while the Audi A6 TDI Quattro garnered Best Technological Innovation honors. Another Korean car made waves in the subcompact category, but it was not the one with the "H" badge as the Kia Rio won the Best Subcompact Car award.
Major category winners were based on the Car Awards Group's test fests held fourth quarter 2006 and January 2007 at the Forest Hills Golf and Country Club in Antipolo (Rizal). CAGI is a non-stock, non-profit organization made up of journalists from various print, broadcast and new media, and the annual COTY-P Awards is the organization's flagship project.
Testing for determining winners in the major categories consisted of instrumented testing and subjective testing. The former consisted of a 0-60 km/h acceleration run followed by full-force braking from 60 kph; results were recorded using a GTech meter supplied by Speed Lab performance car tuning shop. For the subjective portion, journalists present during the testfests drove along a closed circuit section of Forest Hills, including long straights, sweeping curves, S-turns and an occasional dip. The journalists then scored each of the cars in multiple categories including comfort, ride, handling, and interior space. Categories were determined according to a price-based classification scheme implemented in the previous season's testfests. Applied Leisure in Sales and Operations group members Raul Asuncion, Joey Lanuza and Barry Ortiz, and outdoorsman Ernie Garcia supervised the testing sessions. The 2006 Philippine Car of the Year is supported by Philippine Allied Corporation (Bridgestone), the Automobile Association of the Philippines, Petron, Rockwell Land, Sony Ericsson, the Manila International Auto Show, Forest Hills Golf and Country Club, eStandard Insurance, SGV and Co., and the Manila North Tollways Corporation.