2015 was the year of the pick-up, with significant launches from Ford, Nissan, Toyota and many more. Crossovers also made their mark this year with the mini-crossover creeping towards the popular compact sedan market.
As we approach 2016, we are set to see more high-riding vehicles to enter our market. Kicked off by the Ford Everest earlier this year, we are about to witness the second wave of crossovers and PPVs entering the market.
All-new for 2016
This, perhaps, is the launch everyone has been waiting for. After eleven years in the market with just revamps to keep it fresh, the all-new 2016 Fortuner is set to debut early next year. It's not just the exterior that has received a major redesign, the second generation Fortuner also gets an all-new IMV platform, first used in the Hilux.
The popular PPV also gets a new powertrain lineup with Toyota's new GD diesel engines finding their way into the engine bay. Available in either a 2.4-liter diesel, 2.7-liter gas and 2.8-liter diesel, the 2016 Fortuner promises to be more efficient than its predecessor with its six speed automatic transmission. Power ranges from 150 PS for the 2.4 diesel, to 177 PS for the 2.8 liter diesel. At the time of writing, the full lineup has yet to be confirmed.
Key competitors include the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Ford Everest, Isuzu mu-X and the Mitsubishi Montero Sport, also new for 2016. It's safe to say that 2016 will be a battle royale for the PPV market, with five brands all wanting a piece of the pie. As for the Fortuner, expect it to arrive in the first quarter of 2016.
With the second generation of the IMV platform out, it was inevitable that Toyota's popular MPV would soon get a major makeover. The all-new 2016 Innova promises to offer more kit for the ever-growing Filipino family.
Like its platform mates, the Innova gets the new 2.4 liter turbodiesel GD engine that produces 150 PS and 330 Nm of torque and the automatic transmission gets an upgrade to six gears. The 2.0 liter gas engine has been carried over from the previous generation, along with the five speed manual transmission. There is also a possibility that the new range-topping 'Q' variant will arrive in the Philippines.
The 2016 Innova is set to go head to head with the likes of the Chevrolet Orlando, Mitsubishi Adventure and the Isuzu Crosswind Sportivo. Expected arrival will be first quarter 2016.
Mitsubishi Montero Sport
Making its debut in Thailand last August, the third generation Mitsubishi Montero Sport heats up the PPV market by offering loads of standard kit, and a new, clean burn diesel engine. To greet 2016, Mitsubishi Philippines has opened up a for those interested in the new PPV, allowing potential buyers to place a reservation.
The 2016 Montero Sport packs a 2.4-liter MIVEC turbodiesel, producing 181 PS and 430 Nm of torque. Mitsubishi also brings in a host of safety technologies such as Forward Collision Mitigation system (GT), a Blind Spot Warning system, 8 SRS Airbags, Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist, Mitsubishi Active Stability and Traction Control and Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brake-force Distribution.
Deliveries for the all-new Montero Sport start in January, and at the moment, the waiting list is now at two months long. Along with the 2016 Fortuner, the PPV wars will spill over to 2016. For those curious as to how the new Montero Sport performs, check out our first impression on the all-new PPV.
Honda is also cashing in on the people-mover market with the high-riding BR-V. Based on the Mobilio, it also seats seven, with the bonus of extra ground clearance.
Under the hood is the 1.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC inline-four that produces 117 PS at 6,000 rpm along with 146 Nm of torque available at 4,700 rpm. It is then mated to an Earth Dreams-developed CVT that drives the front wheels. Standard safety features and other amenities aboard the new BR-V include: dual SRS airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution (EBD), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and Hill Start Assist (HSA).
The BR-V faces the Ford EcoSport, Chevrolet Trax, Nissan Juke, Kia Soul and Hyundai i20 in the subcompact crossover class. Among its competitors, the BR-V has the distinction of being the only one in its class to offer seats for seven.
After its debut in the Frankfurt Motor Show, the all-new Kia Sportage should be arriving in the country sometime this year.
The engine lineup has yet to be confirmed, but one look at the initial range sees the new 1.6-liter GDI gasoline engine that delivers 132 PS and 161 Nm of torque; a 1.6-liter T-GDI that generates 177 PS and 265 Nm, and a 1.7-liter CRDi that produces 115 PS. The larger 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine is available with two power outputs: 136 PS and 373 Nm; 184 PS with 400 Nm.
Along with its cousin, the Hyundai Tucson, the 2016 Sportage will do battle with the likes of the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan X-Trail.
After a seven-year hiatus, the Outlander makes a comeback in the Philippines. Now on its third generation, the Outlander expands Mitsubishi PH's crossover and SUV lineup to four vehicles.
It is highly likely that the 2.4-liter engine will make its way to the local Outlanders. It puts out 170 PS and 220 Nm of torque. Drivetrain options are yet to be confirmed, but the Outlander is available in either all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive.
It too joins the Sportage in the crossovers that will enter the market in 2016 and faces competition from Honda, Toyota and Nissan.
It's not just high-riding vehicles that will be in the limelight for 2016. Another significant debut for 2016 is the all-new, tenth-generation Honda Civic.
With covered-up test cars driving around Thailand, it is perhaps a sign that we might not have to wait much longer for its regional launch. At the moment, it is unknown if the 2016 Civic will get the 1.5-liter turbocharged VTEC engine or if the ASEAN market will retain the 1.8-liter, naturally aspirated engine. If so, it will be the first time Honda will be offering a turbocharged gas engine for the Civic in our region. This particular engine produces 176 PS and 220 Nm of torque. In the US, Honda still offers a naturally aspirated engine, now with dual overhead camshafts (DOHC). The 2.0-liter inline four puts out 158 PS and 187 Nm of torque.
The 2016 Honda Civic will go bumper to bumper with the Nissan Sylphy, the turbocharged Ford Focus, Subaru Impreza, and its longtime rival, the Toyota Corolla Altis.
Suzuki will also be unveiling a new sedan, this time in the subcompact or B-Segment category. Called the Ciaz, Suzuki PH has confirmed the new car's arrival next year.
What hasn't been confirmed is the Ciaz's engine lineup for the Philippines. The SX4's replacement is available with a K12B 1.25-liter VVT MPI inline-4 engine rated at 91 PS and 118Nm along with a 1.4-liter gas or 1.3-liter diesel. Transmission options include a five speed manual or a Continuously Variable Transmission.
Being a subcompact sedan, the Ciaz joins the crowded segment that includes the Honda City, Toyota Vios and the Mitsubishi Mirage G4.
While not fully confirmed just yet, our interview with Mazda PH president Steven Tan said the chances of this compact crossover arriving in the country is “better than 50%".
Tan didn't mention any more than that, leaving a question mark over engine lineup. For those who are curious, the CX-3 is available with either a 1.3 liter SkyActiv-G Turbo, a 2.0 liter SkyActiv-G engine, or a 1.5 liter SkyActiv-D turbodiesel.
If slated for the Philippines, the CX-3 will be a welcome addition to the ever-growing subcompact crossover market. With the Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax and the Nissan Juke as its key rivals, the once niche class is shaping up to be a highly competitive segment.
Minor Model Changes for 2016
For 2016, it gets a restyled front-end with a new grille, bumper, headlights and fog lamps. The rear bumper has also been revised as well as the rear spoiler. A new set of wheels finishes off the exterior revision. The 1.2-liter, three cylinder engine also gets a mild retweak while the brakes have been upsized for stronger stopping power.
Honda's hybrid coupe also gets a revamp for 2016 with a host of cosmetic changes inside and out.
The 2016 Honda CR-Z features a restyled fascia as seen in the new LED headlights, revamped bumper and revised grill. The CR-Z is also fitted with redesigned side skirts and a new, more sculpted rear bumper. New wheels designs will also be seen in the revamped CR-Z. Other additions to the 2016 CR-Z include a push button ignition, an electronic parking brake, an armrest and an upgraded audio system. The CR-Z also comes with an active noise cancellation technology which reduces road noise.
Hot on the heels of the newly launched 3.0-liter D-MAX, Isuzu PH may soon bring in the revamped 2016 D-MAX pickup by next year.
Changes include a new front fascia, new headlights, new grille, and foglight housings. While the 3.0 liter is a given for the refreshed D-MAX, there is currently no confirmation whether or not the 1.9 liter turbodiesel will make it to the country.
Looking for something more premium? Here's the more upscale cars coming in 2016.
NOTE: This article makes forward-looking statements based on market data and various inside sources. Details, dates and other information may or may not change at the distributor's manufacturer's discretion.