Cars to look forward to in 2018 » Manila Bulletin Newsbit

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SUVs in various sizes

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By Chris Van Hoven

2017 was a great year for the automotive industry. We saw innovations on autonomous driving, ways to make engines more efficient, and better safety measures for all new cars.This year promises to herald even better advancements in design and technology for automobiles, and we’ve already seen some teasers of what to expect. With another year behind us, we now open a brand new book and check out some of the cars we’re excited to see this year.

Mazda CX-8

Mazda CX-8

Mazda CX-8

Already Mazda’s best-seller in their home country, the three-row, seven-seater CX-8 slots in between the CX-5 and CX-9 crossovers, being 175mm shorter, 129mm narrower, and 17mm lower than the CX-9, offering a more spirited, sporty drive than the full-sized CX-9. Possible engine choices to power the CX-8 include Mazda’s 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D diesel engine with 187 horsepower and 450Nm of torque, or their 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G petrol engine with 190 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque. The CX-8 is seeing massive success in Japan, so it’s no surprise that Mazda has confirmed that they’re bringing the CX-9’s slightly smaller brother to ASEAN markets, including the Philippines.

Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester hasn’t seen any major updates since its introduction in 2013, and is starting to show its age alongside more refined offerings in the form of Mazda’s CX-5 and Honda’s new CR-V. That’s all about to change soon, however. Following Subaru’s five-year life-cycle, the upcoming fifth generation Forester will see itself riding on Subaru’s new Global Platform architecture, bringing numerous improvements with it, such as reduced vibrations, sharper steering response, reduced body roll, and heightened safety features.

Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40

The Volvo XC40 is already making waves in other territories where it’s been introduced, and we can’t wait for it to get here. It’s the first vehicle to be built on Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture, allowing Volvo to easily scale the platform to their needs. Slated to compete against Audi Q3, BMW X1, and the Mercedes GLA, the Volvo XC40’s compact looks bely an abundance of interior room comparable to larger crossovers such as the BMW X3. We’d love to see the XC40 powered by Volvo’s 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder T5 engine with 248 horsepower and 350Nm of torque, which would give it a serious performance edge over the competition.

Mitsubishi Xpander

Mitsubishi Xpander

Mitsubishi Xpander

The Mitsubishi Adenture is dead. Long live the Mitsubishi Xpander. The shift to Euro 4 emission standards has unfortunately spelled the end of the line for Mitsubishi’s much-loved Adventure MPV. Fortunately for us (and our environment), Mitsubishi was quick to answer with an all-new replacement in the form of the Mitsubishi Xpander. Already released in Indonesia, Mitsubishi confirms the Xpander’s debut in Philippine markets by early this year. The Mitsubishi Xpander sees itself battling it out with the likes of the Suzuki Ertiga, Honda Mobilio, and Toyota Avanza, while boasting of a much larger interior. The seven-seater features a 60/40 split second row and 50/50 split third row, both folding down completely flat for an abundance of cargo space. The Indonesian market sees the Xpander powered by a 1.5-liter petrol engine which outputs 105 horsepower and 141 Nm of torque, mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Time will tell if we’ll see the same powertrain applied to our local market, but chances are high that we will.

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