Story & photos by Patrick P. Tulfo
TRUST Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) to organize an event that not only showcased the capabilities of their products but made them stand out, as well.
On July 26, despite the monsoon rains enhanced by a typhoon, Honda gathered members of the motoring beat to drive to the City of Pines in order to reacquaint them with three of its most popular models—the chic City, the snazzy Jazz and the family-oriented Mobilio—all refreshed for 2017.
The event started early Tuesday morning with a breakfast at 7107 Culture and Cuisine restaurant at Bonifacio Global City, which was followed by a short briefing on car assignments presided by George Ramirez, who also served as the chief marshal with his crew for the entirety of the event. Sherwin Kuan of HCPI, meanwhile, gave a talk on the features and changes on the three models that we drove.
Baguio City was a logical choice to conduct such drive, as the way to the acknowledged summer capital of the country represents different driving situations for the participants.
All sporting the same reliable, fuel-efficient 1.5-liter SOHC I-VTEC engine and mated to the company’s trademark Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) developed under Honda’s patented Earth Dreams technology, all rated at 120 hp and a healthy 145 N-m of torque, the three vehicles performed splendidly, the rotation of drivers and vehicles gave participants the opportunity to savor each model and find out firsthand what it offers to buyers.
The City, for example, deserves its name as it showed excellent driving dynamics within the city limits. The traffic that our convoy encountered along Edsa on the way to the North Luzon Expressway showed it was the perfect vehicle of choice for the city dwellers. As it was very comfortable to drive in stop-and-go traffic, lessening the stress, on the driver. Coupled with a powerful cooling system, all passengers were cocooned in comfort.
Meanwhile, the Mobilio MPV, which received a much-needed face-lift to address the soft look of the previous model, somewhat struggled on the way up to Marcos Highway, which is perfectly understandable as it was a seven-seater vehicle. It was heavier compared to its brothers. But I assure all buyers that the good-looking MPV can haul all its passengers and their things without any problem. The description above is centered mostly on the way the vehicle was driven on the way up to Baguio rather than the engine performance.
The Jazz, on the other hand, with its ideal power-to-weight ratio, provided the liveliest performance among the three vehicles as expected. It didn’t have any problem with Baguio City’s meandering roads and varying ascents, as well.
All three models basically share the same chassis and suspension setup, so handling is almost the same.
The convoy of Honda vehicles, which also included other models on its stable, was a pretty sight on the highways and the zigzag roads en route to the summer capital.
It took our convoy five hours to reach Baguio, with a couple of driver change along the way and not to mention the bathroom breaks in between. But there was no fuel stops even though we were averaging triple-digit speeds (within the speed limit, of course) for most of the time.
Baguio has retained its quaint charm despite the traffic congestion, among other things that have been hounding the city for quite some time now. The cold weather was further enhanced by a tropical depression passing up north at the time.
The restyled Hondas made a perfect backdrop in places we went to for a photoshoot. The interiors—which also received upgrades—provided all passengers, not to mention the driver, a stress-free ride.
In his speech before the flag off at Grand Sierra Pines Hotel, newly minted HCPI President and General Manager Noriyuki Takakura said, “The stylish exterior, interior and features upgrades, spacious and flexible interior and advance safety features of the new City, Mobilio and Jazz aim to serve the needs of the Filipino customers.”
The new City, Jazz and Mobilio are now available in all Honda dealerships nationwide.