Summer has arrived, and while we may complain about the heat, we also look forward to the fun to be had over the next couple of months. With just a few days until Holy Week, when we make our annual pilgrimage to whatever summer spot suits us best, we've put together this list of rides you can consider when you take that drive with your pals or your gal.
The Quickest Way to Subic
Forget about bringing your friends. The GT-R, aka Gojira, isn't a barkada ride even though it has a rear bench. At a mere PhP 7.4 mil, it's the cheapest way to hit 311 km/h on four wheels, so worth selling all your organs for. If the road to Subic were a straightaway, you and your date could get there in just over half an hour. Just remember to slow down and drive nice when you enter the base premises.
Di Baler Na Lang Kaya?
Isuzu D-MAX 3.0 4X4 LS A/T
If you're hitting the waves with your best buds this Summer, you'll need a ride that can haul your boards, beer, and rowdy buds to your beach of choice without breaking a sweat. With its spacious cargo bed, 5-seat cabin, and torquey 3.0L turbo engine, Isuzu's D-MAX should be up to the task. Factor in its 4WD Terrain Command, even rough roads and slippery slopes shouldn't be much of a problem. Hey, if it's good enough for Derek Ramsay, the D-MAX should be good enough for you.
Make Your Way to Mayon
Mitsubishi Montero Sport GT 4WD 2.4 A/T
If you're willing to drive some ten hours to get from Manila to Bicol for a morning view of Mayon Volcano, you might as well do it in style and comfort. The Montero Sport is pogi as hell, provides a smooth ride that can handle rough spots. The 7-seat cabin isn't just luxurious in leather, it also provides a safe space for its occupants thanks to the many safety systems in place.
From Binondo to Ro-ro
Ford EcoSport 1.5L
When you're navigating the tight alleys of Manila's Chinatown or crossing the Verde Island Passage from Batangas to Mindoro, you'll appreciate the Ford EcoSport. This compact SUV can fit where its bigger counterparts dare not go, while enjoying a ground clearance that lets it roll on or off an inter-island ferry with ease. Oh, it can wade in water up to 550mm as well, for those flash floods that summer sometimes inflicts on us.
Sagada Adventure on Three Wheels
Ural Gear-up 2WD
Forget about going up to Sagada by bus; three wheels is the way to go! The Ural Gear-up lets you release your inner Indiana Jones as you motor up the Halsema Highway with the wind in your face and the sun on your back. Stow your luggage in the sidecar or, better yet, pack a friend who doesn't mind the bumpy ride. The bike's 750cc engine provides a steadfast pace, not so fast but can take the weight, while its on-demand 2WD takes you through the thick. It's a different way to travel that lets you enjoy the journey way before you hit the destination.
Barangay to Baguio
Toyota Hiace Super Grandia LXV 3.0 A/T
Big families are pretty commonplace in our country. Chalk that up to the lack of an effective nationwide family planning program and our inability to move out of our parents' home, even though we may have kids of our own. When you've got a family, that also includes titos, titas, pinsans, lolo and lola, going on vacation, you'll need something with the space to accommodate. Enter the Hiace Super Grandia LXV, a longer, taller version of the popular people carrier. Seating 10, probably more if you tried hard enough, the current LXV is available with a more powerful 3.0L engine, the better to bus you to Baguio this Holy Week.
Daily Driver, Worthy Weekender
Honda Civic RS Turbo CVT
Hype for the Honda Civic Type R slated to appear at the Manila International Auto Show next week notwithstanding, the Honda Civic has been a favorite daily driver for many Filipinos since the '80s. Now in its tenth generation, the Civic continues to be a popular choice for many motorists. With more oomph than the stock 1.8 E CVT version, the RS Turbo has goodies like 17-inch RS alloy wheels, a spoiler that perfectly complements the rear lights, a badder blacker grill, plus a VTEC turbocharged engine paired with a CVT with paddle shifters. It does the daily drive well, but when the weekend comes, you can let it loose on the road up to Tagaytay.