Words by Jade Lu | Photos by Hans Gerald Chua
Last Saturday, January 26, 2013, was the final day of the qualitative testing for the 2012 - 2013 Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P). It was a day for big brutes once again, as Hyundai sent the Santa Fe R-2.2 GLS 6AT 2WD and Premium 4WD, which were matched by Toyota’s Fortuner 4x2 G DSL AT and Hilux 4x2 G MT and Mazda’s CX-5 and BT-50. The Honda CR-V made its reprise with the 2.0 S and 2.4 SX variant, this time made in Thailand with local specs (Honda sent the Japan-made CR-V last time).
It was the fitting ending for this chapter. The cars weren’t too exciting to leave us done and fulfilled at the end of the day; they were mellowed down to leave us wanting more. Of course, “more” would come to us during the technical testing at the Clark International Speedway on February 25 to 27, when the cars will once again converge for the acceleration, braking, and handling tests. But until that comes, we were satisfied enough with the cars we’ve driven to keep us at ease until the end of February. Hopefully, the sky will stay clear of rain clouds and strong winds until then.
With that last hurrah, here are some final words from our writers about the cars of Day 9: