motoring

Less Fuel, Maximum Power | Isuzu mu-X RZ4E LS 4x2 AT

March 20, 2019

Photos by Kit Pilla   While the popularity of SUVs is on the rise, most people who buy them don’t necessarily intend to going on off road expeditions. Rather, it is the urban jungle that these machines will likely be taking on. More than anything else, a vehicle that will spend most of its service life in city traffic should be fuel efficient. That is what you can expect from the mu-X RZ4E.      Fitted with Isuzu’s 1,898 cc Blue Power Diesel engine, the mu-X RZ4E delivers maximum fuel efficiency without compromising performance. It is, after all, an SUV. You get 150 PS @ 3,600 rpm and 350 Nm @ 1,800-2,600 on tap, minus the worry of over-spending on fuel costs. After a week of city driving I was able to achieve 11.4 kilometers to a liter, without much effort. I suppose it is quite possible to get even better mileage if I have kept engine revs low. I found that the mu-X RZ4E will happily cruise along at 60 kilometers per hour at 1,500 rpm. Yet, I couldn’t resist stepping on the accelerator pedal whenever a clear road presents itself. The six-speed automatic transmission has a manual mode so you can work through the gears yourself to have a more engaging driving experience.        I enjoyed the performance of the mu-X RZ4E as much as my kids appreciated its creature comforts. It is now the onset of summer season and yet the mu-X’s air conditioning system kept the entire cabin temperature arctic all the way to the back as there are air-con vents up to the third row. I had them watching movies on the 8-inch touch screen display, which was strategically placed to minimize glare during daytime driving. You can access the third row by pulling a lever on top of the second row back rest, which folds the seat to allow entry.       The ride is smooth and comfortable, huge potholes are barely noticeable. The 220mm ground clearance inspires confidence when rolling over obstacles. More importantly, it has the capability to wade through monsoon floods up to half a meter in depth. I like the high seating position as it gave me an excellent view of the road ahead. One would think that maneuvering such a hefty vehicle in congested city streets would be a challenge but on the contrary, the mu-X’s commanding road presence kept other cars at bay. The daytime running LED lights also makes it more visible to other road users. The Bi-LED projector headlamps gives excellent illumination so you can go out for a drive anytime you like.       The mu-X RZ4E can shift duties from ferrying people to hauling cargo. The third row seats have a 50/50 split and fold function while the second row seats have 60/40 fold and tumble function. It is also possible to fold both rows to have a completely flat cargo bed. I was able to load my bicycle and there is still plenty of room to spare. There’s no need to bother with bike rack attachments. Just imagine the savings you can get on delivery fees whenever you buy home appliances at the store.       At P1,300,000, the mu-X RZ4E is one of the most affordable SUVs in the market today. Isuzu also claims that the RZ4E engine requires lower service fees and it is cheaper to run too. Factor in Isuzu’s renowned reliability and you get a practical SUV with a long service life. To know more about the Isuzu mu-X RZ4E, you may visit www.isuzuphil.com.

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Kawasaki PH Launches the Rouser Dare Venture, a Reality-based Web Series

March 20, 2019

The first ever motorcycle-centric reality show is finally here in the Philippines! Kawasaki Motors (Phils.) Corporation (KMPC) invited members from the media and representatives from the various Rouser clubs to their plant office in Muntinlupa City for the launch of the online reality show that is sure to rouse the hearts of all riders, and motorcycle enthusiasts in the country – the Rouser Dare Venture!      The Rouser Dare Venture is a digital reality show in the Philippines where Rouser riders can participate in adventurous tasks that will test Rouser’s endurance and power.      Present during the official press launch are the executives of KMPC; headed by Senior Manager for Sales, Marketing & Customer Support Divisions, Ms. Ruby Macalintal, Brand Manager, Mr. Dan Reynald A. Darang, Marketing Communications Supervisor, Ms. Mitch Ticzon, and Technical      Product Consultant, Mr. Antonio Arnel Juco, together with Bajaj Auto Limited’s Regional MarketingManager for ASEAN Countries, Mr. Shashank Golani      With a roster of followers from different countries such as Nepal, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka; the Philippines’ own version of the Rouser Dare Venture aims to deliver a whole new Dare Venture experience that focuses on the fun, challenging and intriguing day-to-day life of the Rouser      Riders, mixed with elements of humor, drama, action and suspense.      Ten (10) specially selected riders will battle it out in a series of demanding dares that will challenge our riders both physically and mentally, and will test their skills as riders on the Rouser NS160. At the end of every webisode, 1 to 2 contestants will be eliminated. The last rider standing will win PHP 100,000 and have the honor to be declared as the Grand Dare Venture Winner!      Asides from showcasing the Rouser’s extreme capabilities, the Rouser Dare Venture also aims to flaunt the extraordinary and untamed beauty of the province of Pampanga, particularly Sapang Bato & Haduan Falls in Mabalacat and the Lahar Areas around Mt. Pinatubo in Butolan.      The Rouser Dare Venture officially airs on the Rouser Philippines Youtube and Facebook Pages on the Summer of 2019.

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Petron-sponsored IAME Series Asia heads to the Philippines

March 20, 2019

IAME Series Asia (formerly known as X30 SEA) is once again breaking new ground with Round 1 of their 2019 race season to be held at the newly built Clark International Speedway Kart Track on March 23-24. Located within the Clark Freeport zone, this 13-turn, high speed circuit boasts world class amenities and is a stone’s throw away from Clark International airport and several 5-star accommodations. With karting interest on the quick rise in the Philippines, the arrival of a world-class kart race series to the island Republic will further fuel the sport within the community.      Petron Blaze 100 Euro 6, acknowledged as the best gasoline in the Philippines, is the official fuel sponsor the 2019 IAME Series Asia, which will consist of six rounds, as follows: (1) March 23-24 Philippines; (2) May 11-12 Thailand; (3) May 25-26 Thailand; (4) July 6-7 Malaysia; (5) August 3-4 Malaysia; (6) September 14-15 Malaysia.      According to Mr. KC Chong of the ISA organizing team, “We are expecting to see karters from all over Asia, from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea and of course, the Philippines! This is going to be a very exciting race to kick start the season, with drivers from so many nationalities battling it out on the beautiful circuit of Clark International Speedway. Competitors in the respective categories in the Championship will once again stand a chance to win invitations to the IAME International Finals in Le Mans, France. These invitations will be supplemented with Euro 2,000 cash and race tire packages each, making them truly attractive prizes!”       2019 sees the implementation of new technical regulations to the series, like the newly developed exhaust system that will give the already potent X30 engines a further performance boost. This is another example of IAME’s constant endeavor to improve the level of racing in their one-engine-make race series.

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Suzuki Philippines Launches the Jimny All-Grip Pro

March 8, 2019

Suzuki Philippines unveils another surprising innovation for the Filipinos—the All-New Jimny All-Grip Pro. The fourth generation of Suzuki’s trademark 4x4 boasts a simple, rugged design that exudes tough strength that guarantees real off-road adventure across any terrain, trail and even thick forests.      “Our determination to provide simple, straightforward, and functional vehicles such as the Suzuki Jimny All-Grip Pro underscores our commitment to continuously provide innovation that Filipinos can rely on. Every detail of the fourth-generation Jimny—from the body to the engine—is designed to deliver the maximum performance and durability required by serious off-road travelers. With this newest addition to our lineup of vehicles, more Filipinos can now enjoy the Suzuki Way of Life as they explore more challenges and adventures,” said SPH Director and Automobile Division General Manager Keiichi Suzuki.      Designed to deliver authentic 4x4 experience, the all-new Jimny features All Grip Pro for high off-road capability that allows instant response and maneuver through difficult terrain.       The fourth iteration of this popular Suzuki SUV uses a ladder frame that is more resistant than a monocoque body to torsion and is therefore better suited for off-road, rough terrain. Compared with many SUVs today with independent suspensions, the Jimny uses a long-stroke 3-link suspension and rigid full wheel axles on both front and rear for strong traction on uneven terrain.      The Jimny can climb over obstacles and steep hills without scrapping its bumpers or underbody. The vehicle’s 37-degree specialized approach angle, 28-degree ramp breakover angle and 49-degree departure angle allow it to maneuver over ridges and verticals.      With its part-time 4WD with low-range transfer gear, the Jimny can switch between 4WD and 2WD to achieve optimal off-road performance and better fuel economy and enhanced cornering on paved roads, respectively. The SUV also has extra torque in the 4L mode for rough terrain.      Whether the day calls for multiple projects off site or unplanned long trips outside the metro, the all-new Suzuki Jimny can handle the challenge by combining hill hold control, hill descent control and brake limited slip-differential (LSD) traction control. These systems allow both wheels to maintain speed and better control in rough road conditions      The fourth-generation SUV sports a square body for better situational awareness.  Its compact dimensions allow the Jimny to maneuver through narrow mountain trails and thick forests, a clear advantage over larger off-road vehicles. It’s light weight lets you conquer mud, sand and up steep slippery slopes where heavier vehicles tend to get stuck.       The Jimny’s look and body express off-road functionality in every detail, from the tough square form to the 15-inch alloy wheels painted in dark-metallic gray. The angled bumper is optimized for off-road terrain while the square wheel arches allow for easier tire changes. Molded black bumpers, wheel arch extensions and side sills help block pebbles from scratching the body panels. The iconic round headlamps inherited from past models are completely separated to allow independent replacement.      The interior mirrors the simple and straightforward exterior. Black is used to minimize distraction, with functional parts such as center switches and dials in metallic colors for easy use. The instrument panel and surrounding parts have scratch- and stain-resistant grained finish while the circular steering wheel has a leather cover to withstand rough handling.      The multimedia audio unit features a bigger 9-inch capacitive touchscreen with large icons and soft buttons for easy control. It features off-line GPS navigation system and off-road audio guide.      The all-new Jimny accommodates 53 liters more luggage than the previous model. Small items can be stored in a removable luggage box for easier organization.      The all-new Jimny uses a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder K15B engine that delivers stronger torque at all rpm than the previous Jimny. It features a specially designed flywheel for engine flexibility and improved NVH and a lightweight resin belt cover and fuel tank. The optimized intake system and long nozzle injector enhance fuel efficiency.      The Jimny All-Grip Pro also features Suzuki’s Total Effective Control Technology (TECT), which scatters collision energy across the vehicle frame to mitigate damage to the car and passengers.      To reduce driver stress and fatigue, one of the top design considerations for the new Jimny, the SUV’s ladder frame rigidity was increased and the body mounts redesigned for lower vibration. The front seat cushion frames are 70mm wider and 50mm taller for better shock absorption. Unpleasant noise inside the cabin was reduced through the strategic placement of sound-absorbing material throughout the body.       For greater dependability, the Jimny All-Grip Pro use zinc-coated steel more extensively and has a more effective floor undercoating and seater coatings at panel edges to protect it against rust caused by salt from river crossings. The Suzuki Jimny All-Grip Pro GL MT is priced at P975,000 while the GL AT is available at P1,035,000. A GLX AT variant is available in monotone and two tone colors priced at P1,085,000 and P1,095,000 respectively. Tha all-new Jimny All-Grip Pro is now available for reservation through all authorized Suzuki dealers. Those who want to experience real 4x4 adventure can choose from Solid Kinetic Yellow, Metallic Brisk Blue, Metallic Chiffon Ivory, Pearl Bluish Black, Solid Medium Gray, Metallic Silky Silver, Superior White and Solid Jungle Green.

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IPC Announces Winners of the 2018 Dealer of the Year Awards

February 27, 2019

Isuzu Philippines Corporation held its 14th Dealer of the Year Awards (DOYA) on February 22 at the Grand Ballroom of Hilton Manila in posh Newport City in Pasay City. Through the DOYA, which IPC has been holding annually since 2004, the outstanding performance of Isuzu dealers and its sales force, both in sales and aftersales operations, are recognized.      The 2018 edition of the DOYA has been especially meaningful for the leadership and the tireless men and women of IPC. Despite the challenges faced by industries in 2018 resulting in the dip in sales for the automotive industry, IPC still emerged as the country’s leading truck brand, extending its winning streak to 19 years, prompting IPC Executive Vice President Shojiro Sakoda to declare, “We are all here, standing, and celebrating our success.”      In the presence of dealer principals and operators, branch, sales, and service and parts managers, supervisors and sales executives, IPC President Hajime Koso said in his welcome speech, “Now that Isuzu has already 43 dealerships operating nationwide, we know that all of you are doing your best to achieve our goals each year, and we appreciate each one of you. We are working as one team, we are one Isuzu.”      The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the main awards.      Hailed as the 2018 Dealer of the Year Champion was Isuzu Iloilo, with Isuzu Cabanatuan and Isuzu Cagayan de Oro 1st and 2nd runner up, respectively.      The Most Improved Dealership of the Year award was handed to Isuzu Bulacan.      The Sales Team of the Year was the Isuzu Pasig.      The Sales Executive of the Year in the LCV Category was Mr. Gabriel Joshua Corro Jr. of Isuzu Iloilo, while the Sales Executive of the Year in the CV Category was Ms. Caren Pearl Gaspar of Isuzu Pasig.      2018 DOYA Awards were also given to Isuzu Pasig for being Best in Sales Operations, Isuzu Bulacan for being Best in Parts Operation, Isuzu Alabang as Best in Service Operations, and Isuzu Sto. Tomas Batangas as Best in Customer Service Operations.      IPC President Hajime Koso congratulated the winners and reminded them of their special roles in IPC: “We couldn’t have done it without you. This is the night of becoming an inspiration—an inspiration to do something different, something bigger, and something remarkable.”

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All Kinds of Wow with more to come - Kia Soluto’s Mindanao Launch in Cagayan de Oro

February 26, 2019

The Power to Surprise: Kia’s tagline has never failed to deliver beyond expectations. For instance, for the Mindanao Launch of its new Kia Soluto, Kia Philippines chose Cagayan de Oro. “We chose Cagayan de Oro because it is the gateway to Mindanao,” said Manny A. Aligada, Kia PH President in an exclusive interview at the sidelines of the Mindanao launch. Since Ayala Automotive took over the reins for Kia in the Philippines from Columbia Motors Corporation last December 5 under the business style Kia Philippines, it has quietly implemented upgrades to the existing lineup without much fanfare. “We’re rationalizing the lineup. We reviewed the segments, and when we saw the Soluto is gonna be available, then we said that is the main driver of the lineup that we will be carrying here in the Philippines this time. So it’s a totally new model for the small sedan segment,” Aligada said. In another surprise departure from the usual industry launch, Kia PH chose not to roll out the top of the line variant of the Soluto for its Mindanao launch, choosing instead to exhibit all four available trims: the base 1.4 LX manual, 1.4 LX automatic, 1.4 EX manual, and 1.4 EX automatic. “This is a good first car or second car if you already have regular cars for the family. So we priced it at a level that would be so accessible. We are excited and we think this is gonna be about half of Kia’s sales this year,” Aligada added confidently. Introduced just last January 30, the Soluto is a vivid demonstration of how AC Automotive’s subtle yet aggressive strategy to refresh the excitement of Kia PH lineup. For its entry level 1.4 LX manual model priced at P625, 000. none of its competitors at this price range can match its standard features such as steering-wheel audio controls, Bluetooth, USB Port, auxiliary port a seven-inch touch screen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, four speakers and two tweeters plus a reverse camera. All kinds of wow indeed! Aligada said this is indicative of the enhancement Kia Philippines will be making in all its base models that it is now offering. Besides the Soluto, the lineup now includes the Picanto, Rio hatchback, new Sportage, new Sorento and new Grand Carnival.  “While it is Korean technology, it is very European in style,” Aligada said of the new Soluto. The CBU units from Kia’s factories in China also take advantage of the Philippines’ existing free trade agreements which enables Kia PH to bring it in at a better value. Another wow the new Kia PH has implemented is the accessibility of buyers to bank financing. “Before the banks refused to finance or even required unusually high down payments for the Kia Brand,” Aligada disclosed. “Before the down payment was moving up to 30-40 percent and there was even a model they refused to finance. But now it’s back to 20 percent.” And that’s not the end of surprises coming from Kia PH this year. “We have committed to Kia to bring in three new models that have never been introduced in the Philippines. All I can tell you the next ones will not be like the Soluto or in the same range. It will be an entirely new model not yet introduced in the Philippines and it is also very popular outside the Philippines. And its name starts with the letter S,” Aligada teased. “In a matter of two weeks, we will be introducing the second surprise. And after that, within the third quarter, we will unveil the third new model.” Tsoy Daniel B. Hipolito, Kia Cagayan de Oro Marketing Manager revealed that the Kia Soluto  is already available in Kia Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Ozamiz  and Zamboanga dealerships where interested buyers can test drive their preferred units. As a climax to an already exciting evening, Aligada and Greencars Mindanao President Tony dela Fuente turned over the ceremonial key to four new Soluto owners who took advantage of the P78, 000 down payment launch offer and bought their units on the spot. For a closer look at this new Kia Soluto, look here here. Would wonders never cease! Indeed Kia’s Power to Surprise remains strong as ever! (Mike Baños)

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