Best Quality and Affordable Vehicles to Buy

When I was young I wasn’t a fan of cars. In my mind they’re pollutants, but as I age, I begin to understand the benefit of having a car. You have the freedom to go anywhere and anytime comfortably. Hence the start of the hunt for the best affordable vehicle.

I always prefer practicality over anything else, first and foremost the car must be a people carrier. The more the merrier, haha. So my preference is MPV/SUV that is at least a 7 seater.

Aside from being low priced, it must be fuel efficient, if possible a hybrid. I firmly believed that pure electric cars are not mature enough, especially if its a chinese brand. One definitely doesn’t want to waste money on those.

Ground clearance and tire size is also important because of the floods and potholes. Below are some of my practical choices:

First let’s consider the two and three wheel options: TVS XL 100 moped is selling for 31,990 PHP only. It is utilitarian in nature, one can add sidecar made of light materials. It is an Indian brand and is one of the largest producers of 2 wheelers. A moped is a bike powered with gas, if there’s no more fuel you can just pedal, haha. It already has a crash guard! Yamaha YTX125 motorcycle is 55,900, you can also add a sidecar on this workhorse. TVS King is a 3 wheeler worth 189,900 PHP. One advantage over 2 wheels is, its covered, useful during rains and hot summers.

Car Models:
Isuzu MUX RZ4E 4×2 LS AT, 1,675,000 PHP, SUV, 7 seater. 230 mm, 17″, 148 hp, 350 nm torque. Plan to upgrade wheels to 18″ and add parking sensors.

Toyota Zenix V CVT, 1,670,000 PHP MPV, 8 seater. 185 mm, 17″, 172 hp, 205 nm torque.

Mitsubishi Xpander Cross A/T, 1,328,000 PHP, SUV, 7 seater. 225 mm, 17″, 103 hp, 141 nm torque. 21 to 24 km/L. No center arm rest.

Honda BR-V V CVT, 1,295,000 PHP, SUV, 7-seater. 207 mm, 17″, 119 hp, 145 nm torque. 24.7 km/L.

Suzuki New Ertiga Hybrid GLX AT, 1,178,000 PHP, SUV, 7 seater. 180 mm, 15″, 103 hp, 138 nm torque, 26.80 km/L.

Nissan Livina EL AT, 1,129,000 PHP, SUV, 7 seater. 205 mm, 15″, 103 hp, 141 nm torque, 18.9 km/L.

Hyundai Stargazer 1.5 GL IVT, 1,068,000 PHP, SUV, 7 seater. 185 mm, 16″, 113 hp, 144 nm torque, 20 km/L.

Toyota Raize 1.2 E CVT, 841,000 PHP, Cross-over, 5 seater. 200 mm, 16″, 88 hp, 113 nm torque, 18-21 km/L.

Suzuki New S-Presso GL AGS 660,000 PHP, Hatchback, 5 seater.

The revived Toyota Tamaraw, based on the modular IMV 0 concept will be launched in 2024. It is utilitarian in design but capable of accommodating various body types like food truck, delivery van, ambulance, RV, etc. It has a ground clearance of either 164 or 180 mm and 14-inch wheels. Length-wise it has 2 version: short wheelbase(4,970mm) and long wheelbase(5,300mm). There are 3 engines to choose from:

-2.0-liter DOHC Dual VVTi: 137 hp, 183 nm torque, 5 speed MT(Manual Transmission) only.
-2.7-liter DOHC Dual VVTi: 163 hp, 245 nm torque, 6 speed AT(Automatic Transmission) only.
-2.4-liter DOHC VN Turbo: 147 hp, 343 nm torque for MT; 400 nm torque for AT.

Already launched in Thailand, the price of the base model(single cab and chassis) translates to around PHP 788,000 for the Turbo short wheelbase version. I can’t wait to have a utility version that can carry both passenger and cargo with a body similar to the Toyota Lite Ace FX. Interestingly TopGear have an MPV concept.

As you noticed, I prefer automatic cars, it saves a lot of hassle when driving.

If budget allows its a toss-up between Toyota Zenix and Isuzu Mux. My fiancee prefers Mux, although I’m leaning towards the Zenix because of the durability and support Toyota is well known for. Plus its a newer vehicle with more high tech features.

If budget isn’t enough, I can settle for Suzuki Ertiga Hybrid, its a steal.

Aside from brand new, there’s also second-hand, bank-repossessed vehicles. However before buying, gain knowledge by reading this primer first.

In PSBank, if you search for Iloilo as Registered Area, there’s a 2022 Toyota Wigo G CVT with a low mileage of 7,567 km, that has a Floor Price of 495,000.00 PHP only. The brand new costs around 729,000.00 PHP.

There is also a 2021 Suzuki Celerio GL AGS with a mileage of 16,763 km, the Floor Price is just 405,000.00 PHP. The price for brand new is 784,000.00 PHP.

In EastWest Bank, searching under Cebu warehouse there is a 2022 Toyota Wigo G CVT with a mileage of 15,168 km has a minimum bid price of only 447,950.00 PHP.

A 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 GLX CVT with a mileage of 7,951 km, has a minimum bid price of 426,600.00 PHP. Another car with the same model and year, but lower mileage of 2,762 km, is demanding a minimum bid price is 526,400.00 PHP. The cost of brand new is 772,000.00 PHP.

There is 2023 Toyota Vios XLE CVT with a mileage of 2,205 km requires a minimum bid of  641,700.00 PHP. The brand new costs 882,000 PHP.

A 2022 Mitsubishi Strada GLS AT with a mileage of 10,631 km is asking for a minimum bid price of  984,600.00 PHP. A brand new is fetching 1,395,000.00 PHP.

Take note that banks dispose these vehicles on an “as is where is” basis. So you need to bring an experienced person with you to assess if the vehicles have any issues.

Toyota has a service called T-Sure where you can buy or trade-in pre-owned vehicles. In their latest list, in Mabolo, Cebu there’s a 2022 Avanza E AT with a mileage of 26,000 km. It has a price of 830,000.00 PHP and classed as Value Plus. The brand new is 1,004,000.00 PHP. One advantage of using this service is, they make sure the car it is in good condition and the Elite and Value Plus class have a 1-year and 3-months limited warranty on engine and transmission.

Dig this, Francisco Motors, a 100% Filipino owned business have recently introduced an all electric jeepney, costing only 985,000 PHP! The quality seems good as the electric kit is supplied by TEMBO, a NASDAQ listed company and based in the Netherlands. This is a boon to the operators that have so far not upgraded due to the prohibitive price of modernized jeepneys that can go as high as 3 million pesos.

We haven’t decided yet, it all depends on how much is the actual budget when it comes, but we hope it will be enough so we will end up buying one of the vehicles listed here.

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