Though less hectic than last year, the 2016 Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) was not short on new car launches. This year, we saw new cars from Chevrolet, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Ford and Subaru. 2016 also marks the return of SsangYong in the Philippines. As with every MIAS event, there were aftermarket parts, custom and classic cars on display.
SsangYong makes its Philippine comeback
Korean automaker SsangYong returns to the Philippines after a lengthy hiatus with Berjaya being the new distributor. SsangYong Philippines will now be offering three new models, the Tivoli, Korando and Rodius.
The range starts with the Tivoli and has the distinction of being available in two wheelbases. All Tivolis are powered by a 1.6 liter engine, mated to either a six speed manual or automatic transmission.
Up next is the Korando which is available in four trim levels. The range starts with the 2.0 liter gas powered model with a manual transmission, all the way to a 2.0 liter turbodiesel with an automatic.
At over five meters long, the Rodius is the biggest offering from SsangYong. Unlike most MPV's, the Rodius is available with all-wheel drive if the seven seat model is chosen. The Rodius is also available in nine or eleven seat configurations. All variants are powered by a 2.0 turbodiesel engine.
Chevrolet expands their B-Segment lineup
Out to get a bigger share of the B-Segment market, Chevrolet has debuted the Sail. Smaller than the Sonic, the Sail is slightly bigger than the Mitsubishi Mirage G4, pushing the Chevrolet to the B-Segment.
Following the current design language of Chevrolet, the Sail features the brand's signature dual port grill design. In addition, the upcoming Sail also gets wraparound headlights, circular foglights and a low front lip spoiler. The side gets a distinct character line, slightly flared wheel arches and multi-spoke alloy wheels.
In addition, Chevrolet introduced a new variant for the Colorado. For 2016, Chevrolet has added an automatic transmission for the 4x2 Colorado. In LT trim, it gets a 2.8 liter Duramax Diesel under the hood and the six speed automatic lifted from the 4x4 models. A new color also joins the Colorado and Trailblazer lineup and is called Blue Mountain.
Hyundai Veloster officially arrives in the Philippines
After years of being sold only through the gray market, Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. has officially launched the sporty Veloster in the Philippine market.
For our country, we get the range topping Veloster powered by a 1.6 liter direct injection turbo putting out 207 PS. The engine is then mated to a seven speed dual clutch transmission. The Veloster was recently updated with the exterior and interior getting mild revamps. Inside it gets a two tone interior finsh along with a touchscreen infotainment system.
Hyundai also used MIAS as a launchpad for its updated Santa Fe. First shown at the 2016 Chicago Motor Show, the Santa gets a revamped exterior, slightly more standard equipment and new wheels.
Mitsubishi brings in the updated Mirage
After its launch in the Los Angeles Auto Show, the refreshed version of the Mitsubishi Mirage makes its way to the Philippines.
Most noticeable are the exterior revisions made to Mitsubishi's volume-seller. It gets a new front fascia with a new bumper, a wider air intake with chrome finish, new wheels, and new tail lights. It gets a mild refresh inside with new gauges, redesigned seats and rearranged steering wheel controls. Range topping models get HID projector headlights with daytime running lights.
One small change was made under the hood as now features a roller type camshaft for a quieter, more refined drive.
Redesigned Subaru Forester debuts
Fresh from its debut in the 2016 Bangkok Motor Show, the redesigned Subaru Forester was officially launched by Motor Image Pilipinas, the country's official distributor of Subaru vehicles.
For 2016, it gets a new grill, tail lights and and wheels. New technologies in the Forester include PIN code access, directional headlights and an updated X-Mode system. Changes were also made to the underchassis of the updated Forester. The front cross member of the Forester was stiffened while the coil springs and dampers have been retuned. Like the current model, the Forester is powered by a 2.0 liter flat four that is either naturally aspirated or turbocharged.
Mercedes-Benz displays the revamped A-Class
The baby Benz gets a mild makeover for 2016. Exterior and interior changes are rather subtle with its new tail lights, new colors for the interior, a new infortainment system with Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink as standard and new wheels.
The biggest news for Mercedes-Benz Philippines this year is the expansion of the A-Class lineup. Two new variants join the range, namely the A160 and the A180d BlueEfficiency. Meanwhile, the A220d, A250 Sport and A250 Sport 4MATIC get slightly more power for 2016.
Ford expands Ecosport and Everest line-up
2015 was a banner year for Ford Philippines and sales continue to pick up. Ford hopes to maintain its momentum this year with a new variant for the EcoSport and the Everest.
For 2016, Ford introduces the limited edition EcoSport Black Edition. As the name suggests, the EcoSport gets black trimmings throughout its exterior such as the wheels, the lower grill surround, roof cross bars, a rear spoiler, sport pedals and illuminated scuff plates. This being based on the Titanium variant, it gets a push-start button, rear parking sensors and Ford's SYNC 2 infotainment system. The headlights are also blacked out while the foglight bezels get gloss black trim.
The 4x2 Ford Everest gets a new top of the line trim. The Everest 2.2 is now available with the Titanium and the Titanium Premium Package, bringing in the features from the top-spec 3.2 Everest.
Jeep shows off its most affordable Wrangler
Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, Jeep Philippines has unveiled a new variant for the Wrangler Unlimited (5-door). Simply called the Sport, it slots below the Sport S and removes the step boards and alloy wheels.
Being a Jeep, it does retain its off-road capability and keeps its off-road driving aids such as hill decent control. It also has a skid-plate standard for those feeling a little more adventurous. The Wrangler Sport starts below Php 2,000,000 and is powered by a 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 mated to a five speed automatic.
Peugeot gives show goers a history lesson
Peugeot Philippines did something rather different this year. Rather than showing the full model lineup, Peugeot treated show goes to a history lesson, showing the brand's heritage and its journey to being France's number one automaker. Seen inside are the humble origins of the French automaker, moving on to its first car and current offerings. Also featured in the French cafe themed booth is Peugeot's hot-rod hatchback, the 270 PS 308 GTI.
Foton features its latest model line up
Foton went full force in this year's Manila International Auto Show by displaying its latest passenger and commercial vehicles. On display were several units of the Toplander, View and Toano, as well as Foton's commercial vehicles.
Maserati offers driving experience
Those interested in a Maserati were treated to a driving experience around the venue with Georges and Stefan Ramirez riding shotgun. Potential clients got to drive the Maserati Ghibli, which is available in the Philippines with a twin-turbo gas or turbodiesel guise. Other show goers were also given the change to ride the Ghibli with the Ramirezes behind the wheel.
Russ Swift continues to thrill
With a full arsenal of Subarus at his disposal, precision driver Russ Swift wowed the crowd for the tenth year running of the Subaru Stunt Show. Using Foresters, BRZs, WRXs and STIs, Swift made each car dance with his display of daredevil stunts. From pulling handbrake turns in the BRZ to sending Foresters on two wheels, Swift even treated some show goers by inviting them to ride with him as he did the stunts.
And that wraps up our show report for this year's Manila International Auto Show. As the Philippine motoring industry grows, MIAS previews what we will be seeing on the roads soon. With the launches made this year, it looks like we're on the way to another banner year in auto sales.