I didn’t like the first generation Everest. To me, it was too much like a truck. Compared to the Pajero and Fortuner, the 1st Gen. Everest looked uninspired and quite dated. I somewhat get this feeling that around 10 years ago, Ford was just desperate to offer an SUV alternative cheaper than the Expedition or Explorer that they took the Ranger Pick-up and fused a campershell to make it resemble a wagon. The result was a “Sport Utility Vehicle” which was a lot more “Utility” and not really that “Sporty”.
Then came the 2nd Gen. Ford Everest. This one is a much better designed vehicle. Smooth, rounded where it counts, and still massive like a Ford SUV should. It still has a truck feel, but this truck is a fashionable one.
Being a “sedan” guy all my life, I found this vehicle initially hard to handle. Driving a car which is long, wide, and tall, I couldn’t see a good part of the road right in front of me; I can barely fit on the narrow side streets in Project 4, QC; and I am sure to scrape a pipe or the ceiling in many of the parking lots in the metro. And don’t even think of parking in Shangrila Edsa Plaza, Citibank Eastwood, or Rufino Tower — the side walls of the parking ramp will most likely be covered with your paint color before you get through. Honestly, for a while then, I was afraid that if I ever lose control of the vehicle, I would literally squash a few cars beneath me. But when i got the hang of it, it totally changed my view on SUV’s.
The Mazda 2 straddles two worlds — on one end of the spectrum is a sporty pocket rocket, while the other, a practical starter car. We were able to review two variants of the Mazda 2, taking both for a spin through hills, pockmarked city streets and there’s one thing Mazda owners and I would agree on: zoom zoom, indeed!
I’ve been busy these past few weeks, but we’ve been fortunate enough to have test-driven a handful of cars during that time. So far, we’ve been through the usual review rounds with a Ford Fiesta S, Mazda2 and Hyundai Tucson. These next weekends, we have the Hyundai Santa Fe and Chevy Spark.
Checking out fuel efficiency, carrying capacity, proper inflation of car tires, different engine displacements, trims, features and models does take some time, especially for writers like us with deadlines and assignments. Reviews are coming soon, so watch this space.
A growing family has growing needs. And that’s just what my family and I are experiencing these days. This includes the need for growing space in the family car. Kids are in grade school. Baby is now a toddler. Strollers have given way to big school bags. Moving to the city’s outskirts has necessitated bringing more stuff in the car than before.
And so it’s just the right timing that Honda has decided to lend us the new CR-V to take out for a weekend spin. It was short-notice, but I didn’t say no when Honda’s marketing manager called me to say the car was ready for pickup within a few hours’ time, even if it meant an hour’s drive in bad weather.
Let me begin this review of the Honda City 1.3S AT with the disclaimer that prior to picking up the review unit at Honda’s Ortigas office, I came fresh out of my weekend-long test drive of the Nissan Teana 250XV V6. Big car to small car. That’s just like my Honda Jazz experience, which came right after reviewing the Nissan Sentra 200 CVT.
With this in mind, I guess I should resist comparing the two review units, as these are on opposite sides of the size spectrum (not extreme, but still opposite). The 2011 Honda City sits smack at the bigger end of the subcompact class and almost nearing the compact class with its dimensions (it measures largest among its contemporaries). And while the City is meant to be a small, fuel-efficient car, it delivers just the right level of performance that you would expect from a car this size. With the City, you won’t be afraid to weave in and out of Metro Manila traffic. But you won’t feel out of place with bigger and more expensive cars on the street, either, with its sporty arrow-inspired look and clean lines.
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.
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.