Category Archives: Reviews

Review: 2011 Nissan Teana 250XL V6 – Luxury, Prestige & Power at a Reasonable Price

On Philippine roads, rarity gets you attention. Never mind if your car costs PhP 4 million or 100,000. If it’s not too common on the streets, you’re definitely in for head-turning scenarios. That’s what Nissan Teana 250XL v6 gave us for the extended weekend we had the review unit.

[We’ve updated the post to reflect the model # as 250XL V6 and not 250XV. Apparently, the 250XV model was a limited release sold before the 350XV was available. This writer’s lazy eye didn’t quite catch the fact that the model we reviewed was an “XL”a nd not “XV.”]

Nissan Philippines lent us the midrange model of its flagship Teana a few weekends back, which came in Deep Amethyst Purple. This being the most expensive car I’ve reviewed so far, I was wowed when the car was delivered. It seemed like a treasure cove of gizmos, gadgets, bells and whistles.

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Mayor Bistek tests e-Trikes

With the interest of his constituency in Quezon City, Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista is trying out e-tricycles, or better known as e-Trikes, and is thinking of replacing its current roster of gas-guzzling, smoke pollution emitting tricycles.

Here are some details on the e-Trikes:

  • It costs PHP 117,000 per unit.
  • It can travel 100 to 130 kms on a single charge
  • It can carry up to four persons
  • It takes eight hours to charge
  • The charger is solar-powered, using 2,500-watt tiles

Transportation fares should be similar to how much the operators charge with four or two-stroke engines.

The e-trikes were developed by the Kasangga Party-list and Netherlands-based Technostrat Design and Research Corporation it also includes Winace Holdings Philippines as project partner.

Article via: Manila Bulletin |

Review: Hyundai i10 1.2 AT

I started writing this review a year ago but never really finished it. Shame, really. Laziness and procrastination aside, I decided to put off a review of a car straight out of the casa and be blinded by the new-car blinkers. A year ago, after being all too anxious about replacing my old clunker, I decided to go against conventional financial wisdom and get a car loan for a new car.

With a meager budget, the only cars that fit my finances were the Hyundai i10 and Getz and the Suzuki Celerio and all that’s cheaper (like the Suzuki Alto and the Chery). Wanting a compromise of a hint of creature comforts and performance, I decided to go with the i10.

The i10 was first introduced locally with a 1.1L GL (MT and AT) and a 1.2 GLS (MT and AT) variants. Seems pretty redundant since Hyundai still had a small car offering in the Getz. Now, there’s a new i10 but it’s basically the same machine underneath aside from revisions in the front and back ends with new lights and bumpers. A rear spoiler seems to come standard on the 1.2L as well and they seem consistent with Hyundai’s aggressive design language.

Since it’s been almost a year since I drove it off the dealership lot, I’ll focus more on how it is as a car to own. I haven’t really done hardcore power tests and since it’s my car, I won’t even dare try to give it the full beans. Not that I haven’t tried having some fun in it.

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Philippine Car of the Year 2010/2011: Chevrolet Cruze

As we reported last time, the Philippine Car of the Year will be taken from the Category Winners. And the winner is the Chevrolet Cruze!

The Chevrolet Cruze

The Chevrolet Cruze was chosen by the Car Awards Group (CAGI). According to CAGI president Ferman Lao: “It makes a good choice. It’s more pro-consumer and I don’t think there’s another car in the local market that is relatively affordable with all the gadgets it has. It really has a lot of things going for it,”

It might not be the fastest, nor technologically-advanced as most cars, but it certainly is the most affordable from the other finalists.

[Article via: Top Gear PH | Image via: ChevroletCruze (CC by 2.0)]

Honda Jazz 1.3S AT 2nd Generation Review (First Impressions)

I haven’t even had the chance to sit down and finish my review for the Nissan Sentra 200 CVT, and another car has honked its horn on the driveway asking for a write-up: the Honda City 1.3S AT. Well, I actually had to take a cab to pick it up from the Honda marketing office, but that’s another story.

The second-generation Honda City 1.3S AT was actually released in 2009, and so this review might come in a bit late. But as they say, better late than never. These are actually just first impressions, as I still have to make a verdict much later, after I take this little pocket rocket out for a spin in these next few days.

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Nissan Sentra 200 2.0 CVT Review (First Thoughts)

Today, I’ve had the pleasure of driving the 2010 Nissan Sentra 200, courtesy of Nissan Motor Philippines, Inc. I get to keep the Sentra 200 for a weekend (and more)–something that was supposed to have happened last December, but delayed due to scheduling conflicts. Nissan delivered the car at my driveway this afternoon, and boy was I greeted with a spacious surprise.

The Nissan Sentra 200 is a rarity in Philippine roads these days, which is a huge disparity from how numerous its older brethren are, ranging from the so-called B13 LEC or ECCS models, the B14 “Series 3,” and the more recent B15 and N16. In fact, Nissan is still selling the N16 alongside the B16 “200” model, as a lower-cost variant.

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Review: Toyota Vios 1.3E (2nd Generation)

2009 Toyota Vios 1.3E (2nd Generation)

In this day and age of economic difficulty, you can’t help but be practical with just about everything. You try to minimize costs, and you try to stretch each and every Peso as much as you can. The same idea trickles down to just about anything from grocery shopping, eating out, buying clothes, and even buying cars.

If you’re on a tight budget, going for a second hand auto might be one option, with a lot of five to ten year old cars going for PhP 200 thousand to PhP 350 thousand and so forth. But when you think of maintenance costs, nothing beats a brand new car. You might be better off putting that money into the down payment. Paying the monthly dues would probably be better (and sometimes cheaper) than monthly repair and maintenance expenses you would be shelling out regularly with an older car.

In terms of practicality, there are three things you would usually look for: utility, ease of maintenance and fuel consumption. In the local market, there are usually two main competitors, which are the Honda City and the Toyota Vios. They are in the same price range (although the City retails a bit higher), have similar fuel consumption ranges, and similar carrying capacity. Both are offered in 1.3 and 1.5 liter displacement engines: VTEC engine for the City and VVT-i engine for the Vios. What’s great is that both brands carry high resale value in the local market.

The past few weeks, I’ve been able to review the E variant Toyota Vios. Featured in review photos is the “Azure” Blue variant. The E variant in the Philippine market is basically similar to the entry-level J variant in that they both run on a 2NZ-FE 1.3 liter engine, but unlike its spartan sibling, the E variant has the following features:

  • power windows,
  • central door locks,
  • 14″ alloy wheels,
  • Anti-lock braking system,
  • protective side mouldings,
  • driver’s-side airbag,
  • Toyota Vehicle Security System,
  • a different stereo head-unit.

2009 Toyota Vios 1.3E (2nd Generation)

The higher-end G variant gives you 15″ alloy wheels, foglamps, side-mirror turn signal lamps, rear disc brakes, and leather-bound steering-wheel with stereo remote-control. And of course, the G variant comes in manual and automatic transmission. You also have a choice of leather vs. fabric seats in the A/T variant. The Vios also comes in the S variant, which comes stock with sporty body kits ducktail spoilers, ten-spoke 17″ wheels and HID headlamps.

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