It's no secret that we've driven the Alterra practically everywhere around the country. From pavement to mud to dried lahar river beds, the Alterra has seen it all, but with the launch of the new Urban Cruiser variant, Isuzu Philippines gives us a new way to rediscover the joy of biking.

Members of the motoring press got together and drove to Hamilo Coast in Batangas to get reacquainte d with Isuzu's Alterra SUV. It's no secret that the Alterra is fast becoming one of the veterans of the Philippine car market, having been on sale since 2005, but to be honest, they've refused to let the Alterra show its age. Over the past 6 years, the 7-seat Alterra has been continuously improved with better design details like wheels, headlamps, and a multitude of value added features. For 2011, Isuzu gives us the new Urban Cruiser version of the Alterra, coming fully equipped with a DVD entertainment system, coupled with other goodies such as Bluetooth, iPod connectivity

For the event, Isuzu Philippines sourced the expertise of Andy Leuterio, also a motoring journalist and avid athlete, as well as the equipment of All Terra in Ortigas Home Depot, one of the best equipped bike shops in Manila. To showcase the excellent versatility of the Alterra, the vehicles have been outfitted with bike racks in the back, so that participants can bring their own trail-conquering rigs to Hamilo Coast.

The Alterra has always been one of the most comfortable of the current SUV lot, and the drive up has been pleasant indeed. The engine, still the venerable 4JJ-1 turbo intercooler CRDI diesel, shows decent legs on the highways, making for easy and convenient overtaking.

Once at Hamilo, event organizers gave us the challenges we would be encountering. First, we were to assemble a bike, and then ride up the trail, relay style, and finish within a particular time. Organizers mapped out a challenging route amongst the hills of Hamilo, consisting of rough terrain lined with rocks, mud and everything in between.

Scrapes were common, but at the end of the day, all participants got a taste of how the Isuzu Alterra Urban Cruiser is as an active lifestyle vehicle, able to carry everything you need, want, or more.