Words by Jade Lu | Photos by Hans Gerald Chua and Christopher Kho
 
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If there was one thing the Kotse.com crew looked forward to when the New Year started, it was this. On the very first Saturday of 2013, the boys and girls of the Car Awards Group, Inc. (CAGI) gathered at the Eton Centris parking lot for the sixth round of the 2012 - 2013 Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P) Test Fest.
 
The first models on the chopping block for 2013 looked like they were ready to take us a long, long way from home. We’d be ready to take these fine examples on a road trip at the drop of a hat. Chevrolet was first to arrive with the Trailblazer LTZ 4x4 A/T and the Orlando LT A/T. Toyota sent us the Avanza 1.3E, Avanza 1.5G, Prius C, and Camry 2.5V. Hyundai’s dynamic duo of the Sonata 2.0 GLS 6AT Limited and Tucson Theta II T2.0 Limited 4WD left us all wondering what new treats these models have in store.
Words and photos by Christopher Kho
 
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My occupation allows me to drive almost all the new cars you see on the road. We typically test them for performance, handling, and fuel-efficiency. Of course, it’s also good put these set of wheels through our daily routines to see just how practical they are. But nothing assesses a car's comfort quite like doing errands outside our comfort zone. And to prove a point, Ford Philippines turned us burly men into Mr. Moms for a day with the all-new Focus.
Words and photos by Elmer Maniebo
 
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Paris is, without a doubt, the most romantic city in the world. Its culture, cuisine, and bright spirit are representative of its native language, which is quite possibly the most beautiful language known to man. It is home to some of the most iconic structures to have ever been built - the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe. Nothing prepares you for its charm, nostalgia, and chic. Its effervescent warmth makes it the most visited city in the world. So when the chance to go to the Mondial de l’Automobile 2012, otherwise known as the Paris Motor Show, popped-up, I didn't think twice to grab it. It’s only five hours away from where I live, and kids go free. So, what the heck!
Words by Jade Lu | Photos by Hans Gerald Chua
 
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We have finally reached the final day of the 2012 - 2013 Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P) qualitative testing for 2012! It was our privilege to test the latest car models from different manufacturers, and that made each test day special. Last Saturday’s was quite unique, as all the cars we tested were from Ford: Explorer EcoBoost 2.0 XLT, Fiesta 1.4 AT Sedan, Focus 2.0L Sport + and Titanium +, and the Ranger 2.2L Duratorq 4x2 AT and MT.
 
With only six cars to drive that day, we were relatively more relaxed and could take each car for a leisurely ride, especially the Explorer. There was even time to demonstrate the Ford Focus’ Active Park Assist feature. There were much ooh’s and ahh’s. It goes without saying: A day testing a one-make lineup really makes one understand the brand as a whole a bit better.
Words by Christopher Kho | Photos by Hans Gerald Chua and author
 
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Now that we've finished a third of the Qualitative Tests, it's finally time to take on the big boys of the 2012 - 2012 Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P). At the break of dawn, nine behemoths lined up at this year's official test venue at the Eton Centris, Quezon City last October 20, 2012. It was a tough battle between the Americans, Japanese, British, and surprisingly, the Chinese. Summing up all their values, we had more than P20 million worth of sheet metal to play with that day. 
 
CATS Motors, Inc. returned with their luxurious Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited and Dodge Durango Citadel. Also making their second appearance at testing this year is Honda, this time bringing the all-new CR-V 2.0 LX and 2.4 EX. And despite being a Japanese automaker, the Odyssey 3.5 V6 AT and Pilot 3.5 V6 AT that Honda brought with them were undoubtedly American. Meanwhile, all eyes were on the firenze red Range Rover Evoque. Priced at well above P5 million, this compact crossover was a toy we all couldn't get our hands off. But the real surprise of the day were the Great Wall Hover H5 and Wingle H5. First tested in 2010, the two Chinese utes came back after a fresh facelift and a new CRDi engine.
Words by Christopher Kho | Photos by Hans Gerald Chua and author
 
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Honda and Subaru are no strangers to the Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P). In fact, both Japanese automakers have won the prestigious award twice in the past. The Accord took the prize in 2004, followed by the previous generation Civic in 2005. Then, it was Subaru's turn to take a back-to-back title with the Impreza STI in 2008 and the Legacy 2.5L GT in 2009. So, it was a chance for these Japanese giants to face-off once again at the third day of the Qualitative Testing for the 2012 - 2013 COTY-P, last October 13, 2012 at Eton Centris in Quezon City. Of course, we didn't forget about the trio of American brutes brought by CATS Motors Inc.
 
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Short on cash? Why not buy second-hand? That seems to be a great idea if you're buying appliances, furniture, or maybe even articles of clothing. But would you really buy an imported, converted second-hand truck for your business? 
 
It might seem cheap at first, but it could be like adopting a 10-year-old dog. Before any of you animal activists air out your opinions, hear me out. While an old pooch may only have a few years left and cost extra for frequent check-ups at the vet, at least it will love you unconditionally. A second-hand truck's low price, on the other hand, might look enticing, but the risks could outweigh the benefits
 
Thankfully, the country's diesel expert, Isuzu Philippine Corporation (IPC), has listed down these Top 10 reasons why you should buy Trucks brand new.
Words and photos by Christopher Kho
 
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Blessed with good weather, the members of the Car Awards Group Inc. (CAGI) once again assembled at Eton Centris, Quezon City for yet another day in the search for the 2012 - 2013 Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P). Last week's test proved that traffic around the designated test route stayed light throughout the day, which gave us the liberty to drive and enjoy each of the cars a bit longer, knowing that we wouldn't be wasting so much time in a standstill. So, with only six beautiful cars on the list, the second day of the Qualitative Testing was one worth enjoying. 
 
Dominated by the Koreans, the day's list included lightweights from both Kia and Hyundai, plus one rather luxurious Scandinavian sedan from Volvo. Kia brought all three variants of their Rio: the 1.2 LX MT sedan, 1.4 EX AT sedan, and the 1.4 EX AT hatchback. Not to be outdone, Hyundai finally went public with their long-awaited Accent 1.6 GLS CRDi VGT hatchback. They also brought along the cute little EON 0.8 GLS that will go up against last week's Alto K10. Finally, Volvo spoiled us in absolute luxury with their new turbo-diesel-powered S60 D3.
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