The move to Ayala ownership brought a lot of changes in the Kia camp, among them the streamlining of vehicle offerings. This streamlining meant the dropping of the Kia Rio sedan, with the hatchback version staying put.
Kia launched the fourth generation Rio back in 2016, further improving the hatchback’s comfort, safety and convenience. Offering two variants to choose from, this five-door comes powered by a 1.4-liter Kappa Dual CVVT engine that outputs 99hp and 133Nm of torque, and links to a 4-speed automatic with manual mode.
The Rio's smart exterior styling extends inside. Now cleaner and more streamlined, Kia used more upscale materials this time around to make the cabin look more luxurious. And yes--even the plastic materials used inside looks upmarket than most. A 7-inch touchscreen rounds out the plush accoutrements with its Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Voice Control functionality.
The Japanese automotive giant recently unveiled the fourth-generation Toyota Yaris late 2019, marking many improvements that fans have been longing for to see in the car. Toyota Motor Philippines though, is taking its sweet time bringing the model here, and so the Yaris that we have locally is still a carryover from that year’s model.
Sharper, prettier, and larger—these are the three words that perfectly sum up the new Yaris exterior. Up front, the fog lamp/air vent assembly is relocated to the lower front grille, which now takes on a curvy trapezoidal shape as opposed to the reverse-trapezoid of the outgoing model. The change actually mirrors the revised Vios in a way.
Inside, the Yaris is roomier than ever, starting with the slightly lower seating position that raises the car’s headroom a tad. Even surprising is the amount of legroom and headroom at the backseats. For infotainment, the Yaris relies on a 6.75-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.
Powering the base E variants of the2019 Yaris is a 1.3-liter, inline-four cylinder engine producing 97hp with torque output at 121Nm, mated to either a continuously variable or 5-speed manual transmission. As for the 1.5-liter variant, it retains the same inline-four cylinder engine (106hp and 141Nm of torque) as its pre-facelift predecessor, though the G variant has been replaced with the S variant which boasts of a push-button start/stop system, six speakers, an eco-drive mode and a sport drive mode. Mated solely to a CVT gearbox, the 1.5 S variant now has a Toyota Vehicle Security System with alarm and immobilizer as well as Smart Entry with speed-sensing door lock.
The Mazda2 hatchback has certainly carved a strong reputation for itself, earning a lot of awards and accolades since its release. Imbued with Mazda’s renowned Kodo: Soul of Motion, this Japanese hatch is easily among the prettiest catches in its segment. “The Mazda2's devotion to detail speaks highly about the brand's premium leanings. Bold and beautiful, with a touch of fun,” the carmaker describes.
Powering the Mazda2 is a 1.5-liter SkyActiv-G engine that dishes out 108hp and 141Nm of torque. Shifting is managed by a SkyActiv-Drive 6-speed automatic transmission system with Sport Mode for robust gear changes.
Inside, the Mazda2 abides by fabric upholstery, but the material plushly textured, enough to put other leather seat coverings to shame. The dashboard offers up a seven-inch MZD Connect with CD/MP3/AUX/USB/Bluetooth infotainment system that provides easy access to phone-based apps. There's also a voice command for menu switching, a navigation system, plus Bluetooth and Audio Controls on the steering wheel.
The Honda Jazz (aka Honda Fit in its home market) is widely known to have an immense fun-to-drive factor. What's more, it manages to balance performance, functionality, and safety like a Chinese juggler. This 5-seater comes in three variants, all equipped with a Chain Drive, Gasoline, SOHC i-VTEC four-cylinder, 16-valve engine good for 118hp and 145Nm of torque. Honda dropped the manual-equipped model sometime ago, leaving only the CVT as the only transmission option.
Like the Yaris, the Jazz also already has a new generation available in other markets, but we’ll have to wait and see when the new model will arrive here. For now, all trims include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility through a high-res 7-inch touchscreen. The system also allows for standard USB input and Bluetooth Hands-free Connectivity for audio streaming plus phone functionality.
As part of the vehicle’s third generation, the locally available Honda Jazz showcases an aerodynamic shape carried over from its predecessor. New added features include newly-designed LED daytime running lights and alloy wheel designs, aggressive front and rear bumpers, and a sportier, Solid Wing Face grille. The rear, which remains largely unchanged, has a sportier bumper as well.
Well, the Mirage is actually entry level, but you won’t know it because this five-door from the Three Diamond brand is smartly packaged.
Exterior-wise, the Mirage boasts a simple yet stylish exterior that gives it a subdued attractiveness without calling too much attention to itself. The top-of-the-line Mirage GLX CVT variant is fitted with more chrome accents at the front, dressed up by swept-back headlights and an angular front bumper with integrated fog lamps. A wide lower grille that runs the entire length of the bumper gives it a smiling quality. The rear end gets a similarly well-defined bumper, large distinctive taillights, and slim horizontal reflector lights.
Inside, the 2019 Mirage has a pretty straightforward interior layout. There’s piano black trims all around, highlighted by a few silver highlights here and there. Though the use of hard plastic prevail, the Mirage's interior is as upscale-looking as it can get, for the price point at least.
The 2019 Mirage comes with a touchscreen infotainment system with GPS Navigation, push start button, and control buttons laid out in ergonomic fashion. The 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback comes in only two trims, with the top-ranging GLX CVT variant available with standard safety features such as dual front airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS), and brake override system (BOS). The infotainment system also turns into a rearview monitor when the gear is in reverse.
Here’s another offering that’s cheaper than the Rio but just as well packaged—the all-new Swift now utilizes the HEARTECT'platform that delivers a highly-rigid frame combined with a smooth and curving form. Ultimately, this enhances the Swift’s passenger safety, dispersing energy during collisions and making the Swift body lighter by a whopping 840kgs compared to its predecessor.
Owing to the new platform and smarter design choices this time around, the aesthetics of the new Swift is immediately more mature and confident than the older model. The fascia of Suzuki's hatch features a wide honeycomb grille along with LED DRLs, a shapelier bumper, and wrap-around windows. At the sides, shallow dimples and blacked-out pillars lend the Swift contemporary allure. Out back, distinctive LED taillights, a large bumper, and a spoiler complement the stylish sportiness seen upfront.
The interior of the all-new Swift features a black color theme overall, highlighted by silver accents on the dashboard, center console, and door panels. The cabin takes a minimalist approach—a welcome sight to those who want less clutter in the interior. It features a D-shaped (or flat-bottom) steering wheel that's integrated with audio and phone controls, lending the Swift some racing smarts. The Swift cabin also gets an automatic air conditioner, easy-to-read white-on-black instrument cluster, and an 8-inch infotainment system that sadly comes without Android Auto or Apple CarPlay connectivity.
For power, the Swift relies on a 1.2-liter gasoline engine that delivers 82hp and 113Nm of torque. The engine is connected to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) or 5-speed manual transmission. It is available in two variants, with each also sold with a pricier Special Edition model that adds PHP49,800 to the price tag.
Photos from Kia, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Honda, Suzuki