Why the marketing team of Chevrolet Philippines went out of its way to bring in David Pomeranz to serenade the motoring media in a cold night at Tagaytay Highlands was, in a way, predictable.
Pomeranz’s hit song of old, “Got to Believe in Magic,” had a special message.
As the competition gets stiffer with better cars coming out one after the other, Chevrolet is taking the battle for market share seriously and is buckling down to work early with the media launch of the Chevy Sonic compact sedan and notchback as well as the All-New Trailblazer midsize SUV.
“We brought in these models because we wanted our buyers to hold on to their Chevys for a long period,” said Chevrolet Philippines-TCCCI marketing director Lyn Buena.
The launch event put motoring journalists into short driving spins with the Sonic and an off-road drive with the All-New Trailblazer.
The All-New 4-wheel drive variant Trailblazer was put to test in a construction site in the Tagaytay property and earned positive reviews with the way it performed on the steep roads and dry powdery soil that should send a warning signal to the market leaders, Toyota Fortuner and the Mitsubishi Montero Sport.
At P1,718,888, this SUV has more legroom especially on the third row (this is a seven-seater ride), has a powerful 2.8-liter Variable Geometry Turbo Intercooled diesel engine that generates 180 HP tow up to P3,000 kg load.
It’s the first in its class to sport a 6-speed automatic transmission. The SUV already features a Hill Start Assist, which prevented the vehicle from rolling backwards—up to 3 seconds—whenever the road got too steep (a gradient of 3 or more). The All-New Trailblazer is also equipped with Hill Descent Control (activated via a button on the console) that enables the vehicle to descend without the driver needing to touch the brake pedal (the SUV employs the ABS to control each wheel’s speed).
A 4X2 variant (P1,368,888) is a 5-speed manual equipped with a 2.5-liter turbo intercooled diesel engine that generates 150 HP.
The All-New Sonic drive was designed to highlight the All-New Sonic’s naturally aspirated (99 HP) 1.4-liter engine and upgraded 6-speed automatic transmission.
At P828,888 (the manual variant costs P778,888), the All-New Sonic (either in sedan or notchback style) is an interesting choice for those looking beyond Toyota Vios, Hyundai Accent, Honda Jazz and Ford Fiesta.
The All-New Sonic’s aggressive stance, dynamic lines, upscale appearance and expressive wheel arches make it a standout from the competition.
It’s also one of the safest compact cars thanks to its dual front airbags, ABS, rear parking sensors, adjustable headrests, keyless entry, engine immobilizer, a collapsible and tilt-type steering column, antitheft alarm system, center high mount stop lamp, and several areas strengthened with high-strength steel and impact beams.
The way the bowtie brand has made a remarkable recovery with its refreshed models over the past years is one success story to tell. Maybe that Chevrolet Philippines—facing the tall odds in its fight against the Japanese giants—believes in magic.