Words by Jade Lu | Photos by Hans Gerald Chua
 
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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:
Published in Car of the Year
Words by Christopher Kho | Photos courtesy of Hyundai Motor America 
 
santafe_01
The great minds at Hyundai can no longer contain their excitement over the Korean automaker's upcoming crossover SUV, that's why they had to publish online teaser images of their all-new 2013 Santa Fe just to keep themselves from going crazy. And after taking a good look, we're now just as giddy as they are. 
 
Scheduled to make its world premier at the 2012 New York International Auto Show in April, the third-generation Santa Fe is the latest model to be shaped from Hyundai's “Fluidic Sculpture” design philosophy. And to prevent it from looking like the rest of its siblings, they've adopted a new design concept called “Storm Edge”, which will also be the trend for their future SUV's. But even with all their hard work, we still think it looks like a super-sized Tucson.
Published in Concept