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Spoiled for choices: New car launches a boon for consumers

Spoiled for choices: New car launches a boon for consumers

Mikko David

The local car market is heating up, and we’re just halfway through the year. June ended with two 2024 model launches – the 2024 Toyota Zenix MPV and the GAC GS3 Emzoom subcompact crossover. Unveiled just a week apart, the two new models represent popular segments in the Philippine car market.

The 2024 Toyota Zenix is essentially the next-generation Innova. But the differences between this model versus the one it replaces are so fundamental that “all-new” would be an understatement. Even Toyota Motor Philippines dropped the Innova name from its press releases when it officially announced the Zenix’s availability.

For starters, the Zenix utilizes the TNGA-C platform, which underpins a number of its sedan models as well. As such, it also adopts a front-wheel drive layout, ditching both the ladder frame IMV chassis and the rear-wheel drivetrain.

Moreover, there will be no diesel engines for this generation, leaving a 2.0-liter mill and a hybrid version as the only two choices.

Diehard utilitarian MPV fanatics will have to contend with the older generation Innova if they want a diesel and the sturdy “pang-harabas” ladder frame chassis, as this will remain on sale in our market.

The 2024 GAC GS3, on the other hand, is the latest addition to the competitive subcompact crossover category. If you’re familiar with the Geely Coolray, the GAC GS3 is the newest entry against it. With its price starting at P 998,000, it even undercuts some established subcompact sedans by a hefty margin.

Very well-equipped and packed with features, the 2024 GAC GS3 picks up from where the Coolray left off – a well-appointed, cool-looking, and, most importantly, an affordable small crossover that packs a punch.

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Meanwhile, hovering underneath the launch radar is the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Hybrid. Already available in Chery Auto Philippines dealerships, the compact crossover contender from the Chinese automaker gets a 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain designed to save some fuel and add a little kick in acceleration. Chery even took P100,000 from its launch price, making it an affordable and well-appointed mild-hybrid crossover at P1,250,000.

But these aren’t the only models car buyers can choose from. If they wait a couple of weeks more, they will see three new and all-new models becoming available.

The Covenant Car Company Inc., the distributor of Chevrolet vehicles in the Philippines, will officially unveil the 2024 Chevrolet Trax on July 4th. Larger, bolder, and a true beauty, the new generation Trax changes everything you didn’t like about the old one.