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Jan 3, 2013
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The year 2012 was a banner year for the local motoring industry, with four major car shows and a slew of new-car launches. FHM looks back at some of the biggest and most significant models to be launched in the country last year.

Warning: The following pictures might cause you to drool...


SUBARU XV

The Subaru XV is practically the fourth-generation Impreza riding on a higher suspension system. Yet, it's still a tad lower than the current-generation Subaru Forester, which utilizes the platform of the third-generation Impreza, so getting on and off it is much easier. Top Gear Philippines' associate off-road editor Beeboy Bargas however mentioned that, despite the XV's urban-centric orientation, its symmetrical all-wheel-drive system and clearance height can allow it to tackle the shallower parts of what used to be the deep, wide rivers that flowed down Mount Pinatubo. Now that's something we'd like to see.


SUZUKI KIZASHI

Long known for making motorcycles and small vehicles, Suzuki surprised everyone when it decided to make a large, sporty sedan in the Kizashi. Though packaged as a midsized sedan, the Kizashi actually straddles the size—and price—barrier between a standard midsize sedan and a four-door subcompact. Though a late arrival to the local market, having been in production since 2009, its driving dynamics is still at par or perhaps even better than today's newer models. The monastery-like silence within the cabin is also a revelation, even when you're going over the nationally-mandated speed limit by over 40 percent.


TOYOTA 86

Practically no other car has captured the attention of everyone than the 86. Driving one for the better part of a week had us witness motorists and passersby either pointing at it or craning their necks just to get a good look of Toyota's latest two-door coupe. That it looks like a million bucks isn't its only selling point (because it actually costs more, from P1.55 to P1.86 million, which really makes it a bargain); that it handles like a dream is. Letting its tail kick out with a short blip of the throttle and a quick flick of the steering wheel is easy; let go of the wheel and the gas pedal and its built-in electronic nannies quickly brings the car under control. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face even when you're just driving slow in a straight line.

NEXT: A car that can park itself!


WORDS: PATRICK TADEO
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