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Welcome to the Motoring Soapbox!

In the old days, people would take a big wooden soapbox, drop it down on a street corner, step up on it, and begin talking about anything they had on their minds. Hence the term soap box became THE expression to describe the process of shouting out to the world whatever it was that one wished to share.

Ever since I was a very little boy, as early as 2 years old, I was into reading magazines about cars. Of course I don't think I could read at that time yet but I would browse through them looking at the photos. 
It helped that I grew up surrounded by car enthusiasts and for as long as I can remember, and even to this day, I would hang out in the garage and sit inside a car. When I was a little boy I would sit only in the drivers seat of a stationary car and pretend to drive, complete with a radio for my driving pleasure. I was notorious for running down car batteries then but being the first male child and grandchild has its perks, one of which was the adults would just let me indul…

Volvo XC40 - A new contender in the compact SUV market

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The new Volvo XC40 is gaining quite a bit of attention in the motoring world. Many industry analysts feel that the XC40 just might be what the doctor ordered to fast track the growth of the compact SUV  market.





In the Philippines, if the Volvo could be imported at its US price point where the fully loaded XC40 is just about 200,000 PESOS more expensive than the fully loaded Honda CRV, it would definitely make waves in the market.
However, Volvo Philippines might opt to keep the image of the brand as a premium marque and price it a bit higher which would be a shame. Because as the specs below show, the Volvo would clearly perform quite well in the market at the US price point.
Here are the relevant specifications comparing the Volvo XC40 to the Honda CRV. All data taken from their respective corporate website.
VOLVO XC40PRICE R DESIGN T5 AWD - $38695

POWER: 248 hp / 258 lb ft torque


DIMENSIONS:

Length: 174.2 inches

Width: 73.3 inches

Height: 65 inches

Weight: 4960 pounds

POWER TO WEIGHT

20…

Reinvention of the marque, the 2018 Toyota Camry

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This video along with several more from the Toyota YouTube channel, show that Toyota has totally reinvented the Camry. This is most certainly not your Dad's Camry. 
This Camry comes with either a 2.5 liter engine with 203 hp or a 3.5 liter 6 cylinder with 301 hp engine.  If this makes it to the Philippines in a relatively unadulterated form, its going to shake up the executive saloon market and go toe to toe with the local Euro sports sedans. 

Initial thoughts about the 2018 Honda CR-V

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The 2018 CR-V was launched in the Philippines recently. This version was quite special because it marks the first time that the diesel version appears in the country.

This however, was not the first time that a diesel engine was put in the CR-V. The second generation CR-V was the very first one that had a turbo diesel engine, so it took quite a while for the Honda brass to decide to bring this type of powerplant to our shores.

I drive a 1st generation CR-V, the ubiquitous RD1 which is my car of choice in the Metro. But whenever it was time to gas up, I find myself thinking about how much more practical this car would be if it had a diesel powerplant. In fact, I was looking at the availability of the diesel engine in the surplus market but I had not found one yet.

So I looked forward to the new CR-V diesel with much anticipation but when it was finally announced, I had mixed feelings.

Prior to hearing  about the impending arrival of the diesel CR-V, I was looking at the Ford Everest a…

Cars from my childhood - Post 2

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1965 Volkswagen Beetle


I was not going to feature this car yet because I thought it should be in another section, but I figured that given the big part that this VW played in my life, it deserves more than one post.

This was the very first car my Dad bought and while I remember Dad driving it occassionally, its my Mom driving that is etched in my mind forever. For the longest time, this was the car Mom drove to bring me to school in Ateneo.



Since we lived in Cubao that time, our route was to bring my sisters to Holy Spirit School in Lantana then on to Ateneo. I entered Ateneo in 1969 and road conditions then were totally different. Because our house was on E. Rodriguez (which was Espana Extension then), we could either take Aurora Boulevard all the way to Katipunan or New York then Ermin Garcia then onto Aurora. I believe we already came out in Ortanez then since the other corner, the one with Carag lumber, was already one way. Not sure though. Traffic was unheard of then and even w…

The New Rolls Royce Phantom

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Rolls Royce is probably one car that will be on the shortlist of every car enthusiast. Its almost always  part of the mythical endgame garage that we enthusiasts dream about.  
Its not the fastest, nor is it the best handling. But this is probably this marque is known to produce the some of the most luxurious and elegant automobiles in the world.
A couple of days ago, Rolls Royce launched the new Phantom and here's the video of the launch. I don't know about you, but this one's already parked in my dream garage.





Wigo vs Jeepney. A tragic and alarming outcome

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The video below from ABS CBN news shows the tragic result of a collision between a jeepney and a Toyota Wigo.
Both occupants of the Wigo died while those in the jeepney survived.
This result led me to wonder why a newer car with safety equipment to boot, would result in such fatalities. Clearly the crumple zones of newer cars would appear to sustain more damage in order to absorb energy that would otherwise be transferred to the occupants. But why did it kill those in the car?
I suddenly remembered a video from NCAP which does crash testing for auto manufacturers worldwide and they tested two identical cars, manufactured in two different plants. In one car, the occupants would have survived while in the other one, both sustained life threatening injuries. The only difference was the country of manufacture.
Could it be a factor in this crash?
I know the Wigo has been crash tested with relatively decent results. Perhaps crash testing the Wigo's being sold in the Philippines should …