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From a new Palisade to electric cars: Why this year’s Manila International Automotive Show did not disappoint

A launch pad for many automotive brands in the Philippines, the MIAS last week was a showcase of exciting new cars and impressive innovations. Here are the launches that caught our attention.
Vince Pornelos | Apr 09 2019

Metro Manila is actually #blessed with two major motor shows. One is the Philippine International Auto Show that takes place every other year and the other is the annual Manila International Auto Show, or MIAS, which took place last week.

The biggest and highly anticipated auto show, MIAS 2019, opened yesterday and is on-going until April 7 from 10am to 10pm at the World Trade Center Metro Manila.

The Manila International Auto Show is the launch pad for many of the major automotive brands in the Philippines like Hyundai, Ford, Subaru, Chevrolet, Foton, and more. It's also a major sales event for the car companies, with many brands that typically participate at PIMS like Nissan, Mitsubishi, Kia, Volkswagen and Suzuki showcasing their new vehicles at MIAS given its timing for the summer season and the turnout of people. In fact, according to the organizers, this year's show was able to garner over 140,000 visitors.

If you are not one of the 140,000, here's a recap of what we saw at the show, as well as the special deals that were on offer.


From Hyundai: a new Palisade and two electric cars

The distributor of the biggest selling Korean auto brand in the Philippines was out in full force at the MIAS with not one, not two, but three major new car launches. The first of the trio is the massive Hyundai Palisade; a seven-seat crossover SUV. Apart from the striking and rather muscular design, the Palisade maximizes space and comfort.

Foreign versions of the Palisade seat eight people with two in the front, three in the middle, and another three in the very back. The version that Hyundai is launching in the Philippines sacrifices the three-passenger middle row in favor of captain's seats. The Palisade retails for PhP 3,240,000.

Hyundai Palisade

The other two vehicles are interesting because both are electric. One is the Ioniq EV, which is a fully-electric version of the compact liftback that's similar to the Prius. The Ioniq EV retails for PhP 1,868,000. The other vehicle is the Kona EV, an electric version of the now-popular Kona small crossover. It retails for PhP 2,388,000.

Both of these EVs can be charged at home with a charging cord that will come with every purchase, though we expect Hyundai to set up EV charging stations at their dealers in the future.


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Ford showcased a performance version of the Ranger Raptor

The American automaker actually didn't have a new car launch at the Manila International Auto Show even though we expected them to introduce the upgraded version of the Everest SUV. But the company went full force with a display of nearly all of their available vehicles such as the Ranger, Everest, Expedition, Explorer, EcoSport, and even the Mustang GT convertible. But perhaps the biggest show at Ford's booth was the Ranger Raptor; a performance version of their popular pick up truck with its striking looks, beefed up chassis, powerful 2.0-liter twin turbo diesel, four wheel drive, and Fox suspension system.

Ford Ranger Raptor

The real highlight of the show was the special offer from Ford for their customers as over Php 2 million worth of prizes were up for grabs. Customers who reserved a vehicle were able to draw a prize from apparel, free servicing for three years on their vehicle, as well as cash discounts from PhP 10,000 all the way up to PhP 100,000.


Chevrolet featured the Corvette

The Covenant Car Company, Inc. (TCCCI) was also very much a big draw at MIAS with several launches of special editions and new models. The show served as the launch pad for the new Chevrolet Trailblazer Phoenix edition, a kitted version of their popular SUV. The new model features several upgrades and updates, including decals and other accessories. The Traiblazer Phoenix is only available in 4x2, and retails for just under PhP 1.8 million.

The stars of the Chevrolet booth, however, has to be the Corvette which was just recently launched in the Philippine market, as well as the debut of the new generation Chevrolet Camaro. The new Camaro, the direct competitor to Ford's Mustang, has a turbocharged engine, and will sell for PhP 3,298,888.


Kia and its Forte GT

Kia was a massive draw at the show as the new custodian of the brand, Ayala's AC Industrials, wanted to make their presence felt after acquiring the rights to be the brand’s exclusive distributor.

Kia Stinger

Kia launched two models at the show: the first one being the Forte. The new version of the compact sedan has enhanced styling, new features, and an overall new package. The Forte GT is the most desirable of the trio, and has a punchy 204 horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter engine. The Forte starts at PhP 1,095,000 up to PhP 1,650,000.

The showstopper at the Kia booth is undoubtedly the Stinger GT; the brand's performance sedan. The stylish and striking Stinger GT has an impressive list of features and, more importantly, has a 370 horsepower twin turbo V6 motor that drives the rear wheels. The car comes at a price though; Kia is only launching the GT variant, and it costs PhP 3,235,000.


Jeep launches a new generation Compass

The iconic American brand known for their off-road capabilities brought all their latest 4x4s. It is fitting as many really enjoy having the Trail Rated prowess, even though there are quite a few who drive a new Jeep but do not go off-road.

Nevertheless, the appeal is there, and Jeep Philippines launched the new generation Compass into the market. The new model has a very distinct look with the Jeep 7-bar grill, the black roof, and more. The new small 4x4 may be a crossover, but Jeep makes sure it's capable wherever you take it. The new model is powered by a variety of engines, but Jeep Philippines has yet to finalize pricing and specifications of the model.

Jeep Compass

The model that Jeep fans were drawn to at the show was the Wrangler Rubicon, the more extreme and adventure-ready version of the Wrangler. The new Wrangler Rubicon is lighter and more capable with some new off-road features that we've come to know from Jeep like Rock-Trac, the new transfer system, and the locking front and rear differentials. Engine choices for the Rubicon include a 268 horsepower turbo 2.0-liter and the naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 that makes 290 horsepower.

The Rubicon starts at PhP 3.99 million up to PhP 4.49 million.


MG is reintroduced

After being managed by a different group for years, the MG brand from Great Britain is now being handled by the same company that distributes Chevrolet, and they went to the show to give the public a proper re-introduction to the brand.


At the Manila International Auto Show, MG Motor displayed all of their available models in the country such as the MG ZS and RS crossover SUVs, and launched the new MG6 sedan. All of their models showcase the renewed styling and vigor of the MG brand, as they position themselves as a different, but striking option in the Philippine automotive market.