5 swoon-worthy vehicles at MIAS

The Manila International Auto Show is back to its pre-pandemic glory.

The opening day of the 18th Manila International Auto Show (MIAS), the country’s biggest yearly auto spectacle, saw the crowds back at the World Trade Center Metro Manila in Pasay City.

Of course, the MIAS has typically been a favorite platform for auto brands to showcase and reveal their freshest and most relevant offerings. This year was no different, and the sights and sounds surely pointed to one immutable fact: MIAS is back to its pre-pandemic glory. In fact, not a few commented that the show seems to have outgrown its venue — due in no small part to the number of new brands seeking their place under the local automotive sun.

You’ll find a couple of these newer players in our list below. See if you agree with our choices, because, well, these vehicles certainly got our attention.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 at the MIAS
Photo from Hyundai Motor Philippines

Hyundai Ioniq 6

Though still technically a preview, Hyundai Motor Philippines did promise that the winner of the 2023 World Car Design of The Year, 2023 World Electric Vehicle of the Year and the 2023 World Car of The Year will be brought into our part of the world “toward the middle of the year.”

The Ioniq 6, even as it is a sedan, predictably shares some design cues with its bigger Ioniq 5 SUV sibling (already launched in the country). Hyundai calls this styling ethos the “Prophecy” concept, obviously denoting a futuristic intent. Like the Ioniq 5, the 6 gets interesting “parametric pixel lights” up front.

Inside, the 6 promises “class-leading… passenger comfort and cargo space because of its long wheelbase.” An integrated digital cluster and infotainment screen, plus “action-sensitive ambient lights” welcome the driver. Lots of tech toys are deployed in the name of safety and convenience – such as navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC), Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2), Remote Smart Parking Assist 2 (RSPA 2), among others. As for charging, the vehicle will support both 400V and 800V types, which can up battery life from 10-80 percent in as little as under 18 minutes.

Its claimed top speed is 185kph, but note that the acceleration of this EV is exceptionally sprightly – attaining 100kph from a standstill in 5.1 seconds. That’s, of course, one of the benefits of EVs — torque heaven.

Hyundai isn’t giving an exact figure yet, but expect to shell out around P4 million for the Ioniq 6.

Jetour Dashing at the MIAS
Photo by Kap Maceda Aguila

Jetour Dashing

The flagship release of new automotive player Jetour, the Dashing crossover was finally revealed to the general public at MIAS along with other offerings from the China-headquartered brand that’s under the ambit of the giant Chery Holdings. We heard that its booth was among the more popular ones, and that Jetour Auto Philippines, Inc., the local distributor, registered quite a number of bookings.

The five-seater Dashing, priced at P1.329 million, is expected to shake up the price segment owing to more value-for-money propositions such as six Sony speakers, headrest audio, a large 12.8-inch LED screen, wireless phone charger, sport seats, armrest box with cooling function, a panoramic sunroof, a so-called Smart Rubik’s Cube key, and other features.

The design, set off by an almost Lamborghini Urus-like front fascia, also screams dynamism and youth. All told, the Dashing is, well, a handsome vehicle for those willing to bet beyond the usual brands.

Changan Uni-T at the MIAS
Photo from Changan Philippines

Changan Uni-T

Chinese vehicles continued to get our attention at the MIAS, and this particular one was care of Changan. The curiously named Uni-T crossover is actually part of series named, yes, Uni. Reflecting its “Vision V” design, Changan bestows the Uni-T with a memorable-looking front fascia, with a trapezoidal, borderless grille that seems to make the Uni-T smile with a broad maw. “It’s a spaceship on wheels, straight out of a sci-fi movie,” admits Changan Philippines in a release.

Highly streamlined, with hidden door handles that pop out when the key fob is used, the Uni-T is finished off with a V-shaped rear spoiler and a panoramic power sunroof with UV-shielding glass. A nifty parlor trick: You can push a button on the steering wheel and bark out instructions for the air-conditioner, windows, and infotainment. Speaking of the A/C, it boasts a PM2.5 air filtration system and ionizer.

Also reflecting value-for-money tenets, the Uni-T trots out a six-speaker Sony system with Clear Phase and Live Acoustics tech.

Further sweetening the pot is a self-parking and remote valet parking function so that, well, you don’t have to sweat. The crossover’s Automatic Parking Assist (APA) 5.0 Parking System automatically looks for a slot within 20 meters and can complete a rear parking maneuver totally hands-free. Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) System consists of strategically positioned rear sensors that detect and alert the driver of oncoming vehicles while backing up.

Ford Territory at the MIAS

Ford Territory

The first Ford Territory was a hit for Ford Philippines. Its suite of offerings and the price hit a sweet spot — evidenced by the sales of more than 20,000 units since it was rolled out during the advent of the pandemic in 2020 (which makes this feat even more significant). Now, the next generation is here — taller, longer, albeit thinner than the outgoing version.

Powering either variant is a 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine good for up to 160ps and 248Nm. Drivers can access its promise via a seven-speed automatic transmission with wet-type dual-clutch engagement – said to promise fast gear changes for better handling and improved fuel efficiency.

Along with a growth spurt and the expected improvements all around, it must be noted that the SUV is now slightly more upmarket, with a P1.335-million asking price for the Titanium and P1.599 million for the Titanium X.

This is not to say that the price bump is undeserved (we’ll reserve judgment until after we’ve tested it), but it should be a notable development as we suspect that the price point is something that made the original Territory very attractive to begin with.

GAC Emkoo at the MIAS
Photo by Kap Maceda Aguila

GAC Emkoo

GAC Motor has been exceptionally busy in the country since distributorship control was assumed by Astara Philippines (which also oversees the Peugeot brand here). Astara is obviously going all in with a number of recent additions to the GAC portfolio, and the Emkoo is merely the latest contender to take the stage.

Billed as “an ultra-modern five-seater compact SUV that impresses with its future-forward design and cutting-edge technologies,” the Emkoo was first unveiled globally last year, and is said to embody the futuristic look of GAC’s SUVs. Interestingly, you can almost glean a “fang” light feature on the front fascia akin to Peugeot’s. The Emkoo rises on GAC’s so-called Global Platform Modular Architecture and wants to be known for its “pioneering styling, intelligent driving technologies and high-efficiency drivetrain.”

The crossover is powered by a gas-sipping, turbocharged 1.5-liter engine corralling 177 horses  and 270Nm, mated to a quick-shifting, seven-speed wet dual-clutch tranny. GAC quotes a fuel economy figure of 16.1kpl, “one of the lowest fuel consumption ratings among engines of the same displacement level.” Introductory pricing starts at P1.413 million for the GE trim and P1.533 million for the GL.

The new lifestyle.