The sights and sounds from the 2023 Manila International Auto Show
After making its return in 2022, the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) successfully held the 2023 edition of the annual motoring event. Drawing a new record of 149,000 people over the course of 4 days, this year’s MIAS saw a total of 16 brands making their presence felt at the World Trade Center Manila.
MIAS 2023 also marked the first time Chinese auto brands dominated the list of participants, as 9 out of 15 brands present at this year's edition were from the PRC. More importantly, automakers also previewed plenty of electrified vehicles at MIAS 2023, ushering in the age of electrification for Philippine motoring.
So what did the participating automakers reveal, show, launch, or preview at the recently-concluded MIAS 2023?
At the leftmost part of the show floor is the biggest booth that was held by Ford. The Blue Oval revealed the all-new Territory to the local market as well as showed several models of the best-selling Ranger and Everest. They even quietly brought the next-generation Ranger Raptor which the automaker plans to launch in the country very soon.
Last but not least, the brand shared its new Ford Family Guarantee which is aimed at improving customer service with a bevy of additional services. From Express Service, Pick up and Delivery, and Mobile Service, Ford wants to ensure its customers get quality service.
Right beside Ford’s booth is the French Lion: Peugeot. The main highlight of their booth is the all-electric e-2008 crossover SUV. While it’s not yet an official launch, the preview of the e-2008 EV means Peugeot plans to offer electrified vehicles to the country in the near future.
Aside from that, the automaker also revealed the new entry-level Active variants of the 3008 and 5008. With the Allure serving as the top-of-the-line variant, Peugeot decided to introduce more affordable versions of the 3008 and 5008 to give customers more choices without having to resort to getting only the top-spec version.
Like Ford, Subaru is a regular participant at almost every MIAS. This year was no different as Subaru displayed its wide array of vehicles with the WRX, WRX Wagon, BRZ, updated Outback and the XV. Perhaps getting the most attention was the 2023 Evoltis. Sporting a refresh inside and out, the 6-seater three-row SUV not only looks sleeker but gets a high-tech upgrade as well.
The Forester GT Edition also made its public debut during MIAS 2023. First revealed during the Singapore Motor Show last January, the dressed-up crossover gets a four-piece aero kit that consists of a lip extension, side skirts, a roof spoiler, and a rear bumper lip extension. It’s then topped with a new set of GT 18-inch alloy wheels and diamond-quilted leather seats.
This year’s MIAS marks the first time Hyundai attended the annual auto show under new management. More importantly, MIAS 2023 also marked the official preview of the brand’s next EV with the Ioniq 6. Unlike the Ioniq 5 which has a retro-inspired and boxy design, the Ioniq 6 looks towards the future with its aerodynamic shape, sleek lines, and sports car-like aesthetic. No exact specifications are available as of now but Hyundai does plan on selling the Ioniq 6 for around PHP 4 million.
Another vehicle that caught our attention at the Hyundai booth is the 6-seater version of the Stargazer. While it’s still a preview, it attracted the interest of customers who wish to have the stylish MPV with a more comfortable set of captain’s seats on the second row. Here’s to hoping Hyundai releases it soon and makes it available to customers later this year.
GWM Philippines made a huge bang at MIAS 2023 by showing its three new vehicles to the public. These are the Haval H6, Haval Jolion, and the Cannon pickup truck. The Haval H6 currently serves as the brand’s flagship and is powered by a 1.5-L hybrid turbo. Next is the Jolion which is available with a 1.5L hybrid or a 1.5L turbocharged engine.
Last but not least is the Cannon which gets a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine. All of GWM’s offerings are packed to the brim with neat features depending on variant which include Android Auto/Apple CarPlay compatibility, automatic climate control, full-leather upholstery, wireless charging pads, and a suite of intelligent driver aids.
BYD showed off its full lineup of electric vehicles at this year’s MIAS. These include the Dolphin EV, the Tang EV and the Han premium saloon EV. That means BYD was the first auto brand to not actually have an internal combustion engine at their booth.
The BYD Dolphin is the smallest vehicle the brand has but don’t let its size fool you. The automaker claims it can do 400 km on a full charge, has a spacious cabin thanks to its EV platform, and has a 44.9 kWh lithium-ion battery.
Next is the Tang which is an electric AWD crossover. It can cover 500 km before a recharge, can go from 0 - 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds, and has one heck of an exterior/interior design. If you prefer your EV as a saloon, there’s the Han which is faster and has better range than the Tang. It can sprint from 0 - 100 km/h in only 3.9 seconds and can do 550 km on one full charge.
MG came to this year’s MIAS fully loaded after bringing its lineup of crossovers and sporty sedans to the World Trade Center. Serving as the main highlight of MG’s booth is the all-new MG GT sports sedan. Powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, it’s set to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the GAC Empow.
Also making its official debut at the booth is the MG ZS Nite Edition. It’s the brand’s latest mid-grade variant and features a blacked-out exterior, along with additional features like a power tailgate to make storing cargo faster and easier.
Nissan came to MIAS 2023 with plenty on their plate. While the automaker did not exactly launch any new vehicles, they instead displayed a tour-de-force of their lineup. From the innovative Kicks e-Power to the all-electric Leaf, as well as the stylish Terra Sport and go-anywhere Navara pickup, Nissan reminded everyone why they are one of the biggest players in the auto industry.
Nissan went to MIAS intent on demonstrating their e-Power system works thanks to a unique cutaway example which shows how the system provides the EV-like driving experience without the dreaded range anxiety. They even had a back room with an AV presentation to give customers an in depth look at e-Power.
In addition, Nissan showed how the Leaf’s V2L feature can help power external devices in times of calamity. Think of the Leaf as a big power bank that can power various appliances or machines in times of disaster.
GAC is no stranger to MIAS as they were already a participant during last year’s show. This time, however, GAC is now under the wing of Astara Philippines and they showed their newest crossover that will give other brands something to think about. It’s called the Emkoo, and it’s both eye-catching with its concept car looks. With the Emkoo setting its sights against the likes of the Ford Territory, Chery Tiggo 7 Pro, and Geely Azkarra, GAC may have a winner on their hands especially since prices will start at around PHP 1.4 million.
Also making its public debut at MIAS 2023 is the top-of-the-line Empow GE. With its matte green paint, aggressive front fascia, sporty alloy wheels, yellow exterior accents, and turbocharged 1.5L engine, the Honda Civic RS may want to keep a lookout for the Empow GE
Not to be outdone by its rivals, Changan arrived at the auto show with its own arsenal of vehicles. From the CS35 Plus, CS55, Uni-T, and Uni-K, and the Alsvin sedan, Changan has something for every discerning customer.
Also notable at Changan’s booth is a pre-facelift version of the CS35. Don’t be fooled, however, as this particular vehicle has already racked up over 100,000 kilometers on the clock. This is Changan’s way of showing that their vehicles can pile on the kilometers and keep going, providing much-needed peace of mind for customers that are interested in getting one.
Mitsubishi's display is a meeting of its past and future. On one side of their booth, they showed their latest offerings with the Xpander Cross, Montero Sport, and Strada pickup. The automaker even revealed a special 60th-anniversary edition of the Xpander Cross as a way to celebrate the brand’s 60th year in the Philippines. In addition, a Ralliart-spec Strada was also in attendance to celebrate the brand’s recent win at the 2022 Asia Cross Country Rally, as well as highlight that Mitsubishi’s motorsport heritage is alive and well after years of dormancy.
Giving nostalgic fans a taste of the good ol’ days are two examples of the brand’s finest - a 90s-era Pajero and a classic Lancer box-type. Both vehicles look like they are fresh from the factory floor with their immaculate paint and pristine bodywork. Goes to show that while Mitsubishi may be heading toward the future, they haven’t forgotten about their origins.
Right beside Mitsubishi, we have Geely. Here, the automaker displayed its full lineup of vehicles that included the Emgrand, Coolray, Azkarra, and Okavango. But the booth’s main feature is a new crossover that Geely is looking to launch in the country soon. It’s the GX3 Pro, and it will slot below the highly-popular Coolray.
Set to be the brand’s smallest crossover SUV, it will compete in the cutthroat A-SUV segment that’s currently being dominated by the Toyota Raize and Kia Stonic. With a length of just over 4 meters and a 1.5L naturally-aspirated engine powering the front wheels, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the GX30 Pro should Geely actually launch it here.
United Asia Automotive Group Inc (UAAGI) decided to bring not one, but two of its brands to this year’s MIAS. First up is Foton which showed two of its latest offerings. First is the Thunder 4x2 A/T pickup revealed at PIMS 2022 last year. The pickup truck not only gets a new 2.0-liter turbo-diesel under the hood, but it’s now available with an 8-speed automatic gearbox which is sure to attract customers.
Next is the Tornado EV which first made its Philippine debut during the Foton Big Show 2023. It serves as the brand’s first all-electric commercial vehicle and is set to change how big rigs move cargo without having to produce emissions.
Next up is Chery who is also under UAAGI. This time around, the brand previewed two new electrified vehicles. Joining the flagship Tiggo 8 Pro e+ are the Tiggo 7 Pro Hybrid and the Tiggo 5X Pro Hybrid. Benefitting from a 48V belt-starter generator (BSG), a battery pack, and a 1.5L turbocharged engine, both vehicles are set to offer better performance while also delivering fewer emissions.
For now, the automaker has yet to say when they will actually launch the Tiggo 7 Pro Hybrid and the Tiggo 5X Pro Hybrid. But given that, Chery wants to offer more electrified vehicles to its customers, we may not have to wait that long for both crossovers to eventually be launched.
Last but definitely not least is Jetour. Also a newcomer like Great Wall Motor, Jetour officially made its public debut at MIAS 2023. Actually, Jetour has had a very busy time at MIAS as it proved difficult to shoot there given the sheer number of people taking a look at their four initial offerings to Filipino buyers: the Ice Cream EV, the X70, the X70 Plus, and the flagship Dashing.
The Ice Cream EV combines fun looks and an all-electric powertrain that is set to bring zero-emissions driving to the masses. Next is the X70 which serves as the brand’s most affordable 7-seater crossover SUV. Up next is the X70 Plus which is the more luxurious version of the X70. Lastly, the Dashing is Jetour’s newest and most high-tech crossover that combines sports car-like looks with cutting-edge technology most would find on higher-end cars but without the eye-watering price tag.
MIAS 2023 was surely packed with various automakers showing the future of Philippine mobility. While the internal combustion engine (ICE) is still alive and well, we also noticed that there were more electrified offerings launched and/or previewed at this year’s MIAS. The charging infrastructure in the country may still be in its infancy, but the mere fact that automakers are already offering or showing interest in hybrids and full EVs to Philippine customers means it's almost full speed ahead towards electrified motoring.