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The 12 best-looking front grilles of 2013

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2014 FORD Fiesta Sport

Have you noticed lately that the front grilles of new cars are bigger and wider, shaped like a gaping mouth and/or with a bottom mouth under the front bumper? The accentuated trapezoidal, hexagonal or honeycomb mesh grille bordered by vertical or angular LED daytime running lights gives the front fascia a more aggressive, wider look without actually increasing the proportions of the car.

Posted: December 24th, 2013 in Motoring | Read More »

Alcohol discontent

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‘IF YOU’RE going to drive, don’t drink.  If you’re going to drink, don’t drive.’ File photo

The approval last May of Republic Act No. 10586, aka “An Act Penalizing Persons Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Dangerous Drugs and Similar Substances,” was hardly noticed by the general public. Private car owners and operators of public utility vehicles and commercial vehicles did not comment or react, most likely because they were unaware of the heavy penalties imposed by the new law and the potential for its abuse by unscrupulous deputized law enforcers.

Posted: July 30th, 2013 in Columnists,Featured Columns,Featured Gallery,Inquirer Columns,Inquirer Features,Motoring,Photos & Videos | Read More »

The 2013 Volvo V40: a worthy contender

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THE 2013 Volvo V40 luxury compact hatchback: clean Scandinavian lines and sculpted muscular elegance

There was a time when Volvo was only always associated with luxurious safety and nothing more. Lately, however, the Scandinavian car brand has broken tradition by producing stunningly stylish and agile as well as very safe cars. The newest model to push the envelope is the 2013 V40, which was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2012.

Posted: June 25th, 2013 in Motoring | Read More »

A deadly double standard on safety

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Is there a deadly double standard in car manufacturing when it comes to the safety of entry-level vehicles built in emerging-market nations?

Posted: June 18th, 2013 in Columnists,Featured Columns,Inquirer Columns,Motoring | Read More »

Innovating to rebound

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Does it make sense for a car manufacturer to continue investing in future growth and to increase spending on the research and development of innovations when sales are slumping due to a financial crisis? It made sense for BMW during the subprime mortgage crisis that hit the United States in 2008-2009. BMW cut production back then but expanded its factory in Spatenburg and added a second factory in China. The gamble paid off: BMW continues to post phenomenal sales growth in China, up 39 percent in the third quarter of 2012, and a more modest 1-percent rise in the United States in the same period.

Posted: May 28th, 2013 in Motoring | Read More »

Why Texas loves trucks

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A 1998 Ford F-150

Forget hybrids and small, fuel-frugal cars when you’re in Texas. The Lone Star State, where I spent five days last week, loves big, gas-guzzling pickup trucks. The number of trucks of various nameplates and ages seen on the road or parked at shopping centers is so ubiquitous that I just had to go around taking snapshots of them.

Posted: May 21st, 2013 in Columnists,Featured Columns,Featured Gallery,Inquirer Columns,Inquirer Features,Motoring,Photos & Videos | Read More »

Waiting for the return of the Lincoln Continental

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Talk about class! Landing at Dulles International Airport (IAD) to visit my ailing brother Eddie in Gaithersburg, Maryland, I was picked up by an airport limousine sent by my sister-in-law Rorie. The limo was a black Lincoln Continental driven and owned by Liz Reynolds.

Posted: May 14th, 2013 in Inquirer Features,Motoring | Read More »

Gargantuan numbers and the MMDA

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What do you think of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, more widely known as the MMDA? Is it effective? Ineffective? Basically clean? Corrupt? Trying hard? Or overwhelmed by the megapolis it is supposed to manage?

Posted: April 30th, 2013 in Motoring | Read More »

The Mirage in real-time

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THE SPUNKY little Mirage in somber grey mica. PHOTOS BY AIDA SEVILLA-MENDOZA

Sometimes you wonder why a little budget car like the Mitsubishi Mirage was tested on a big racetrack like the Bira Circuit in Thailand half a year before its launch on the Philippine market. The low-tech, low-cost, lightweight Mirage is by no means a high-performance car or sports car whose power, speed and agility needs to be proven on a racing circuit.

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 in Motoring,Photos & Videos | Read More »

Nitrogen-inflated tires: Cool!

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My car’s tires are cool—not because they shod expensive aftermarket rims, but because they are inflated with pure nitrogen. Filling nitrogen in tires helps to keep the insides of the tires cool, even at high speeds. Thus the valve caps of my tires are green, indicating cool, eco-friendly nitrogen content that enhances fuel efficiency.

Posted: February 26th, 2013 in Columnists,Featured Columns,Headlines,Inquirer Columns,Inquirer Features,Motoring | Read More »

Another good year for the auto industry

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AVID president Ma. Fe Agudo, CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez and BOI Executive Director Lucita P. Reyes are all smiles after a lively open forum on the auto industry at the third Usapan AAP. photo by aida sevilla-mendoza

What a coincidence! Last Thursday morning, when the Automobile Association Philippines held its third Usapan AAP media forum where the topic was the outlook for the automotive industry in 2013, a newspaper (not the Inquirer) leaked the contents of the government’s new roadmap for the industry.

Posted: February 12th, 2013 in Motoring | Read More »

2013 Santa Fe: matching style with driveability

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The Hyundai Motor Group has stolen the thunder from other global carmakers where outstanding style is concerned, as proven by the awards and accolades won worldwide by the Hyundai Genesis, Sonata, Elantra and now the 2013 Santa Fe.

Posted: November 13th, 2012 in Motoring,Photos & Videos | Read More »

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