2012 Ford Escape finally revealed

The new Escape (Kuga in EU) measures 178.1 inches (4.52 m) in length, 72.4 inches (1.84 m) in width, 66.3 inches (1.68 m) in height, while it rides on a 105.9 inch (2.69 m) wheelbase.

Since this is a USDM model, engine choices are:
1) A normally aspirated 2.5-liter four cylinder unit delivering 168HP and 167 lb-ft of torque
2) A turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost inline four with 173HP and 177 lb-ft of torque that will be offered both in front- and all-wheel drive versions.
3) A turbocharged 2.0-liter Ecoboost that produces an output of 237HP and 250 lb-ft of torque and like the 1.6, it will also be available in FWD and AWD.

We’re not sure what the PH model engine specs will be but the 2.0L Ecoboost sounds tempting.

Other features available are a hands-free power liftgate that uses a motion sensor placed under the rear bumper, an active parking assist and a blind-spot information system (BLIS) to warn the driver about objects in the vehicle’s blind spots.

Ford is on a roll. We expect the next gen Escape to be launched by Ford Philippines after it has introduced the next gen Ranger and the Focus. So this might come in late 2012 or early 2013.

2012 Honda CRV

Another new model launched at the 2011 LA Auto Show.

At 178.5-in. long, 71.6-in. wide and 65.1-in. tall with a 103.1-in. wheelbase, the new model retains the same width and wheelbase measurements with the previous CR-V, but is 0.8-in. shorter in overall length and 1-in. in height.

Underneath the skin, the 2012 model introduces an updated 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine with 185 horsepower and 163 lb-ft. of torque (up 5HP and 2 lb-ft over the previous engine) paired with a standard 5-speed automatic transmission.

Still no news on when the PH release will be but we expect it to be late 2012 or early 2013.

Click here for more details and pics.

The New Kia Rio is Coming

The new Kia Rio, which is expected to be available by January 2012, is currently on display at the Autofocus Motorshow in SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds from Nov. 10-13. Both the sedan and hatch are present.

Want to know more? Click here

2012 Car of the Year (Europe) Nominees

Most of the cars below won’t even be sold here in our beloved country but its interesting to note those in the list that will be. Something to look forward to next year.

Last year’s winner was the Nissan Leaf, the first electric car to ever win the contest. With a score of 257 points, the Leaf barely beat the Alfa Romeo Giulietta’s 248 points. The Opel/Vauxhall Meriva came in at a very close third with 244.

Only cars launched or presented in the 12 months before the contest are eligible. They have to be entirely new models, not just aesthetic and/or mechanical updates of an existing car. They also have to be on sale in at least five European countries at the time of the competition, and they must have a projected sales volume of at least 5,000 cars a year.

Below is a list of the 35 cars that will compete in this year’s contest.

Audi A6 and Q3

BMW 1-Series and 6-Series

Chevrolet Aveo and Orlando

Citroen DS4 and DS5

Fiat Panda

Ford Focus

Honda Civic

Hyundai i40 and Veloster

Kia Picanto and Rio

Lancia Ypsilon

Lexus GS

Mazda CX-5

Mercedes-Benz B-Class, M-Class and SLK-Class

Opel Ampera/Chevrolet Volt

Opel Zafira Tourer

Peugeot 508 and 3008 HYbrid4

Porsche 911 (991)

Ranger Rover Evoque

Renault Kangoo Z.E. and Fluence Z.E.

Ssangyong Korando

Toyota Verso S/Subaru Trezia

Toyota Yaris

Volkswagen Beetle, Jetta , Up!

House OKs bill vs defective brand new cars (Lemon Law)

The House of Representatives has approved a measure giving consumers the right to demand the replacement of brand new vehicles found to have factory defects.

The lower chamber unanimously passed on third and final reading last week House Bill 4841 or the Philippine “Lemon Law of 2011.”

The bill gives consumers a year to report and demand repairs on defective brand new vehicles, colloquially termed as “lemons.” Brand new vehicles that have covered 20,000 kilometers or less are also covered by the measure.

HB 4841 gives manufacturers or distributors four separate attempts to repair the defective vehicle.

If the vehicles’ makers fail to address the defects, the buyer may already file a complaint before the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), provided that he or she has formally informed the manufacturers of availing the rights stated in the bill before demanding any repair.

The consumer may also opt to have the defective vehicle replaced with a similar or comparable model, or to have the money he or she used to buy the vehicle back with corresponding collateral damages.

The measure, however, allows manufacturers to sell the defective vehicle again, provided that there is disclosure about the vehicle’s past defects and current condition.

Manufacturers, dealers and distributors caught violating the bill’s provision on disclosure are required to pay a minimum of P100,000 in damages to the aggrieved buyer.

Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, one of the authors of the measure, lauded the passage of HB 4841, which she said will ensure the safety of motor vehicle users.

“Passage of an anti-lemon law is long overdue… Riding in a vehicle with factory defects jeopardizes the lives of both the driver and passengers,” she said in a statement Tuesday.

A similar measure, Senate Bill 1310 authored by Senator Manuel Villar Jr., is still undergoing committee deliberations at the higher chamber.

The Senate will have to approve its own version of the bill or adopt the House version of the measure. Both chambers will then ratify the measure, after which it will be submitted to the President for signing into law.

Source: http://www.gmanews.tv

2012 Honda Civic for SEA Market

Although pictures of the new Honda Civic have been out for some time now, these are mostly from the US or Europe. With the first release of studio photos of the new sedan that will be introduced in Malaysia, we now have an idea what the next gen Civic will look like in our domestic market.

Its main differences with the USDM Civic are:
1. Taillight extensions onto the bootlid (like Accord)
2. Clear turn signals
3. Front grill and bumper design

The 2012 Civic will have a shorter wheelbase compared with the current. Its now 30mm down to 2,670mm. Hopefully this doesnt affect interior space that much.

Mazda CX-5 Revealed

The CX-5 is Mazda’s first production model to adopt the new “KODO – Soul of Motion” design theme that we saw in the Minagi and Shinari concept cars. The highlights of this new theme are a prominent front fascia and a more dynamic styling which the company says conveys “a strong sense of vitality and agility”.

It is also the first Mazda model to adopt the full range of the firm’s SKYACTIV technologies. Depending on the market, the CX-5 will be available with gasoline and diesel engines hooked up to manual and automatic transmissions. The European version will be offered with the SKYACTIV-G gasoline 2.0-liter engine and the SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter diesel in two configurations, Standard and High Power, which emit less than 120 g of CO2 per km.

Can’t wait to see the CX-5 battle it out with the Mitsubishi ASX and the Kia Soul.