The Philippine automotive market’s best-selling standard midsize SUV, the Toyota Fortuner and Lexus’ luxury compact SUV, the RX350, earned the prestigious “Automobile of the Year” title in their respective categories at the Awards Night of the 2016-2017 Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards (AFPCA) held Friday evening, October 13 at the Valle Verde Country Club Ballroom.

The AFCPA scoring system was organized and operated by Sunshine Television and Marketing Service Inc. (STV) since 2005. It's a unique scoring system which comprises 80-percent value to public votes from April 1 to September 30. The other 20-percent, on the other hand, comes from its unit sales.

The combined tally of both constituted the consolidated total score from which the rankings in 22 (11 Standard and 11 Luxury) individual Model of the Year and the separate Automobile of the Year categories emerged from over 140 models in the Official Entry List.

The Toyota Fortuner, 5-time Model of the Year winner, topped the Standard category with 3,601.2 points consolidated from sales of 16,774 units and 308 public votes. The RX350, 3-time Luxury Compact SUV of the Year, topped the luxury model roster with 842.4 points from sales of 149 units and a vote count of 993.

Meanwhile, the Toyota Vios remains the industry’s top-selling model with nearly 25,000 units sold year-to-date. The car again, however, bid farewell in this year's contest by virtue of its 2015 elevation to the AFPCA Hall of Fame as the first and only 3-time winner of “Automobile of the Year” honors in the Standard Category.

The Lexus RX350 winning this year's luxury automobile of the year

Aside from the Fortuner, Toyota also nabbed 3 other Standard Model of the Year titles with the Innova (Multi-purpose Vehicle – MPV), Hi-Ace (Van), and Hilux (Pick-up).

Th other 7 Standard Model of the Year titles were snatched by the following:

  1. Honda City (Subcompact)

  2. Honda Civic ( Compact Seda)

  3. Honda Accord (Midsize Sedan)

  4. Ford EcoSport (Compact SUV)

  5. Jeep Wrangler (Large SUV)

  6. Mazda MX-5 (Sports Car)

  7. Nissan Juke (Open)

The Luxury Models of the Year awards, on the other hand, were dominated by Toyota Motors Philippines (TMP) wherein they nabbed 6 other models apart from the Lexus RX350:

  1. Lexus ES350 (Midsize Sedan)

  2. Lexus RCF (Sports Car)

  3. Lexus IS350 (Luxury Compact Sedan)

  4. Lexus GS460 (Midsize Sedan)

  5. Lexus LX570 (Large SUV)

  6. Lexus NX200t (Open)

Meanwhile, Mercedes Benz bagged 2 other titles through the A-Class (Subcompact) and the B-Class (MPV). Honda also came away with 2 awards with the Legend (Large Sedan) and Odyssey (Van).

Also recognized during the event were winners of the “2016-2017 Auto Focus Media’s Choice Awards” (AFMCA), a second but equally important component of STV’s Automobile Industry Merit Program. The AFMCA aims is to further recognize the automobile industry’s continuing efforts to provide car owners and motorists with the best on-board features, styling, performance and overall value.

To earn a Media’s Choice award, a particular model must receive at least 51% or more the total votes cast in that model’s specific performance category. The strict rule accounted for the fact that only 48 of the 88 award categories yielded winners.

2016-2017 Auto Focus Media's Choice Awards

Best in Safety Features

Best Safety Features, Standard: 2 Awardees

Mitsubishi Montero Sport (Midsize SUV); Hyundai Grand Starex (Van)

Best Safety Features, Luxury: 7 Awardees

Volvo V40 (Luxury Subcompact); Volvo S60 (Luxury Compact Sedan); BMW 7-Series (Luxury Large Sedan); Volvo XC90 (Luxury Midsize SUV); Mercedes Benz B -Class (Luxury MPV); Mercedes Benz V-Class (Luxury Van); Volvo V60 Cross Country (Luxury Open)

Best in Value for Money

Best Value-for-Money, Standard: 7 Awardees

Suzuki Ciaz (Compact Sedan); Mazda MX-5 (Sports Car); Isuzu mu-X (Midsize SUV); Isuzu D-Max (Pickup); Nissan Urvan (Van); Suzuki Ertiga (MPV); Nissan Juke (Open)

Best Value-for-Money, Luxury: 9 Awardees

Volkswagen Golf GTI (Luxury Subcompact); Lexus IS350 (Luxury Compact Sedan); Volkswagen Passat (Luxury Midsize Sedan); Lexus LS460 (Luxury Large Sedan); Ford Mustang (Luxury Sports Car); Volkswagen Touareg (Luxury Midsize SUV); Toyota Land Cruiser 200 (Luxury Large SUV); Volkswagen Touran (Luxury MPV); Lexus NX200t Luxury Open

Best in Engine Performance

Best Engine Performance, Standard: 7 Awardees

Honda Civic (Compact Sedan); Subaru WRX STI (Sports Car); Mitsubishi Montero Sport (Midsize SUV); Isuzu D-Max (Pickup); Toyota Innova (MPV); Toyota Hiace (Van); Peugeot 308 (Open)

Best Engine Performance, Luxury: 7 Awardees

Volkswagen Golf GTI (Luxury Subcompact); Volkswagen Passat (Luxury Midsize Sedan); BMW 7-Series (Luxury Large Sedan); Porsche Macan (Luxury Midsize SUV); Volkswagen Touran (Luxury MPV); Toyota Alphard (Luxury Van); BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe (Luxury Open)

Best in Design

Best Design, Standard: 5 Awardees

Mazda 6 (Midsize Sedan); Mazda MX-5 (Sports Car); Ford Explorer (Large SUV); Hyundai Grand Starex (Van); Nissan Juke (Open)

Best Design, Luxury: 5 Awardees

Volkswagen Golf GTI (Luxury Subcompact); Lexus IS350 (Luxury Compact Sedan); Porsche Macan (Luxury Midsize SUV); Toyota Alphard (Luxury Van); Lexus NX200t (Luxury Open)

The Awards Night was graced by top officials of the country’s car manufacturers and distributors, the auto industry’s two lead organizations, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Association of Vehicle Importers & Distributors (AVID), as well as motoring media professionals.

Official sales volume data for the AFPCA was furnished by Stradcom Corporation with the official sanction of the Land Transportation Office (LTO). The data covered only “Completely built” and “New imported” units that were put in for new registration with the LTO from January-September 2016. Gray market imports however were excluded

“The Auto Focus People’s and Media’s Choice Awards are not just recognition programs allow car owners and car buyers to become more informed, and also provide them a channel of communication through which their voice and preferences may be openly expressed and heard by industry players. From such feedback, better products and services can continuously be offered,” said Ray Butch Gamboa, STV Chairman & CEO.