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…

Ferrari 812 Superfast - Official Video


Surprising insights into vehicle safety

I am currently in the process of picking a 7 seater automobile for road trips. From the getgo, my heart was set on two cars, the Volvo XC90 and the Chevrolet Suburban.

So while I have been going back and forth on the model and engine for the XC90 mainly because there were more options,  for the Chevy it was simply a question of what year I could afford. Of course I would have wanted the next to the current model but my the prospect of buying two for the price of one appealed to me.

The bottom line though was that as far as I was concerned, the safety of both cars was a given. The XC90 by reputation and the Chevy by sheer size.

It was quite a shock when I found out today that I was dead wrong about the Chevy. It seems that in a report by the well respected IIHS or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Chevy was a deadlier car to be in compared to a Mini Cooper!

I know right? Who would have thought that such a behemoth could be a a softie in collisions. But how can one argue with…

FREE Nissan Skyline History PDF download

Just saw this awesome photo of the Skylines from 1957 to 2007 which includes the R35.

Turns out, you can download, ABSOULUTELY FREE, a high resolution PDF version that can be printed and framed.

You just have to visit Cockram Nissan and sign up for their email list (you can opt out anytime) and they will send the links to the Skyline History as well as a Navarra History PDF.

Personally I am staying on their mailing list because from their site and Pinterest account, they are clearly true blue enthusiasts.

Here is the link to the free poster offer

Here is the JPG version, albeit a smaller one.

Volvo XC40 - A new contender in the compact SUV market

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.

POWER: 248 hp / 258 lb ft torque


Length: 174.2 inches

Width: 73.3 inches

Height: 65 inches

Weight: 4960 pounds



Reinvention of the marque, the 2018 Toyota Camry

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

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…