Cars to Expect in 2023
Updated on February 19 2024
By: Selina Tan, for Automart.PH
2023 Toyota Innova
The Toyota Innova has become the staple of almost every Filipino household that is looking for more than 5 seats. Its spaciousness and more importantly, its efficient diesel power plant has become synonymous to practicality in the segment.
Toyota Indonesia has already launched the all new Innova. It now looks much more muscular, and SUV-like with more lines and creases instead of the blank canvass profile it used to have. The interior is much more modern now with elements such as an electronic parking brake and a massive 10” infotainment screen. The instrument cluster and center console are also similar to what you will find in a much more premium vehicle such as the Toyota Land Cruiser, and Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 is also available in some variants.
There is a big tradeoff for these upgrades, however. The all new Toyota Innova is no longer based on an SUV-like body on frame chassis, and is instead much more similar to crossover SUVs such as the Toyota Corolla Cross, sporting a unibody chassis called the Toyota New Global Architecture C (TNGA-C). Its rear wheel drive drivetrain was also dropped in favor of front wheel drive.
This may have shocked most Filipinos who swear by the Innova’s long standing setup, but another detail is even more shocking. The all new Toyota Innova is no longer available with a diesel engine.
With the dropping of its diesel engine, Toyota has instead moved towards cleaner energy, giving the Toyota Innova a choice of two engines. A 2.0 liter gasoline engine making 174 PS and 205 Nm of torque, mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is available alongside a 2.0 liter gasoline hybrid engine making 186 PS and 187 Nm of torque, plus an additional 206 Nm of torque coming from the electric motor. The hybrid option is mated to an e-CVT transmission.
While this move will surely be a risky bet for Toyota in the Philippines given Filipinos’ affinity towards the tried and tested setup of the past, there is a silver lining. The recent EVIDA law states that hybrid vehicles are exempted from number coding, and so Toyota may lose out on sales due to the lack of a diesel engine, but might make using coding exemption as a selling point.
2023 Toyota Vios
The go-to sedan for almost every single first time car owner, seasoned car owner, or even Grab driver, the Toyota Vios is simply unparalleled in terms of being the no frills reliable and practical option. For the longest time, the Toyota Vios has focused on being simple, easy to drive, and easy to maintain. This means a general lack of features and styling cues inside out. Now, Toyota has upped its game and gave the all new Toyota Vios much needed upgrades.
The fourth generation Toyota Vios has been released in Thailand as the Toyota Yaris Ativ. Just like before, this new Vios is dimensionally bigger compared to the model it replaces. It is now based on the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA), which means that it shares a similar chassis as the Toyota Raize and Toyota Avanza.
The all new Vios now sports a look that is similar to Toyota’s bigger sedans such as the Corolla Altis and the Camry. Sharper lines and extra curves adorn the exterior. Sportier headlights with daytime running lights (DRLs) as well as bumpers elevate the look, and definitely makes it look more upmarket. Interior wise, some models have been seen to be available with a two tone red and black leather interior. An electronic parking brake with auto hold, digital instrument cluster, ambient lighting, Apple Carplay and Android Auto, 6 speaker Pioneer audio system, and Toyota’s advanced driver assistance systems called Toyota Safety Sense are also available, bringing this successful nameplate into the 21st century.
Engine wise, to meet Thailand’s regulations, the all new Vios uses a 1.2 liter naturally aspirated four cylinder gasoline engine making 94 PS, and 110 Nm of torque with Dual VVT-iE mated to a continuously variable transmission.
Will we see all these exciting features and engine options that the Yaris Ativ has in Thailand as an official Toyota Vios here in the country? Only time will tell.
2023 Suzuki Ertiga Hybrid
First unveiled in the Philippine International Motor Show 2022 (PIMS), the updated Suzuki Ertiga is now appointed with various creature comforts, and more importantly, a hybrid system.
The Suzuki Ertiga Hybrid will be powered by a 1.5 liter four cylinder gasoline engine paired to an integrated starter generator with a battery pack. Power figures will be similar to its non-hybrid version at 103 PS and 138 Nm of torque.
While Suzuki officially calls the new model “Ertiga Hybrid,” in reality, it is only a mild hybrid system, similar to the likes of the Geely Okavango, and the Geely Azkarra. What this means is that the Suzuki Ertiga can now utilize the electric motor to power the vehicle’s electronics when coasting, saving fuel, and to also aid in delivering a more instantaneous acceleration. Regenerative braking and a smart stop/start system will also be in place. However, one thing worth noting here is that a mild hybrid system alone is not adequate to independently propel the vehicle, which begs the question of whether or not the Suzuki Ertiga would be covered under the new EVIDA Law’s number coding exemption.
Nonetheless, compared to before, the revamped Suzuki Ertiga now features more aggressive styling on the outside. Suzuki has now also vastly upgraded the interior to feature a massive infotainment screen, leather seats, and even wood trims. Various cameras have also been seen around the vehicle which hint of an around view camera system.
2023 Honda CR-V
The Honda CR-V has been loved for generations in the country, particularly by titos and uncles for its space and fuel efficiency. The current generation CR-V however, is starting to show its age now inside out. Luckily, the all new Honda CR-V has already been released in the US, and it is only a matter of time before it will reach Philippine shores.
So, what is there to expect? The all new Honda CR-V ditches reserved styling that was once catered towards the practical man, and instead brings forth a longer hood, a more aggressive grille, and more sporty vents. Even the rims now cater towards the younger audience by being painted black. It maintains the CR-V famed vertical taillights but improves on this by integrating it more cleanly into the flanks of the vehicle.
The interior has also been vastly updated to resemble that of the current generation Honda Civic. The big center infotainment screen no longer looks like a floating afterthought, and the same intricate honeycomb pattern runs the length of the air vents.
Engine wise, gone is the efficient 1.6 liter diesel engine that the Philippine market currently has. Instead, the all new CR-V is only available with a 1.5 liter gasoline engine making 190 PS and 243 Nm of torque, or a 2.0 liter hybrid gasoline engine. Will the deletion of a diesel engine dissuade Philippine buyers from picking up a Honda CR-V in the future? Maybe. But we have to look back in time to before the current generation CR-V, and remember that there once was also no option for a diesel CR-V in the country. Besides, with diesel prices soaring higher than ever, this might just be a blessing in disguise.
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 and 2023 Kia EV6
With electric vehicles gaining traction in the country, it is no surprise that even mainstream brands such as Hyundai and Kia will be introducing electric vehicles next year. Enter the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6.
During the Philippine International Motor Show 2022 (PIMS), Hyundai, and Kia unveiled the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and its mechanical twin, the Kia EV6. Both vehicles will be fully electric, and will be zero emission vehicles.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 goes for a conservative but futuristic approach to its design language. The Ioniq 5 may have sleek and sharp lines, but ultimately looks like a hatchback. It also features an expansive minimalist white interior that gives passengers an airy feel on the inside. The Kia EV6 on the other hand, while being mechanically similar to the Ioniq 5, has a sportier approach to things. It may have 5 doors as well, but its roofline is slightly more sloped, giving a fastback look. The interior is a stark contrast to the Ioniq 5 featuring dark colors, and a more closed in sporty cockpit with emphasis for the driver.
Excited and cannot wait to get these vehicles? Automart.PH is here to cater to your needs. We have the current generation of some of these vehicles which are made affordable for everyone. We offer installments that will make every purchase enjoyable, and light on the bank account.
Content Editor Kyle Liong contributed to this story.