Nov 10, 2016 (updated : Feb 9, 2021)

Best Cars in the Philippines in January 2021

Has the new year brought something new to the top 10 list? Or have the constant best models continued to reign? Find out which vehicle brands and models made the cut in Priceprice.com's January 2021 best cars roundup.

It's 2021, and one would expect some changes especially since new vehicles have been launched late last year. Not that it's any surprise, but our January list of 2021 cars is still nearly consistent with our previous top 10 list, with Toyota having the most number of best models. For January 2021, 8 out of 10 in our best cars' roundup are Toyota vehicles. From the smallest Wigo to the midsize SUV Fortuner, up to the pickup truck Hilux, Filipinos are clearly fond of this leading Japanese carmaker.

(Image credit: nissan.ph)

Mitsubishi has one entry, the Mitsubishi L300, which means the Japanese carmaker is still engaged in the market competition despite the Mitsubishi Xpander's absence from our list for months now. It is obvious that Filipinos continue to appreciate and depend on the L300 as a dependable people and cargo hauler, for personal or business needs.

The Nissan Navara has been hanging tight in the top 10 list for three months now, and if it continues its upward streak, we might see it perched high above the list in the coming months.

Read on to see our complete January 2021 top 10 cars list and check out the vehicles' best features.

Read Related Articles:

Best Cars in the Philippines in January 2021

10. Mitsubishi L300

Pros

  • Practical and versatile
  • Low price point for a purpose-oriented vehicle
  • Decent payload and hauling capabilities

Cons

  • Outdated exterior and interior design
  • Only one engine option
  • Safety features are limited to front impact and side impact beams, disc brakes, and engine check warning

After months of being absent from our best-selling cars roster, the Mitsubishi L300 starts 2021 with a good traction. The versatile but affordable hauler from Mitsubishi rejoins the top 10 list in January 2021—an indication that Filipinos just can't let go of this proven-and-tested practical and ever-reliable workhorse.

The L300 cab is designed to be purpose-driven hence it comes in a number of body configurations. Its FB body configuration accommodates up to 17 people with extra space for luggage. This configuration can also be replaced with a freezer-type body which can be used to deliver ice, frozen goods or perishable food produce to name a few.

The latest iteration of the Mitsubishi L300 is powered by a 2.2L 4-cylinder inline 16-valve DOHC diesel engine equipped with a turbocharged intercooler system that can deliver power output up to 98hp at 3,500rpm and 200Nm of peak torque at 3,500rpm. This Euro 4-compliant mill is hooked to a 5-speed manual gearbox. These figures allow the L300 to produce 40% more power and torque than its previous models which translates to improved pull and payload capabilities.

Its suspension system is made up of a front independent wishbone and coil spring with stabilizer and a rear semi-elliptic leaf spring. Its two-spoke polypropylene steering wheel is paired with a ball-and-nut gear type with power steering. Braking power is ensured by the front ventilated discs and rear leading and trailing drums equipped with Master Vac brake boosters.

The Mitsubishi L300 has two configurable variants. The 3-seater Mitsubishi L300 Cab & Chassis, which is referred to as Exceed 2.2 Diesel Euro 4, sells for PHP 804,000, while the 17-seater Mitsubishi L300 Exceed with FB Body with dual AC sells for PHP 998,000. If you're wondering why you only see white L300s around, that's because it is available in that color only.

Mitsubishi L300

Mitsubishi L300

Lowest Price in the Philippines P804,000

9. Nissan Navara

Pros

  • Powerful but fuel-efficient diesel engine
  • Unparalleled ride comfort for both driver and passenger
  • Balanced and effortless handling
  • Off-road capabilities

Cons

  • The display screen's resolution could be improved
  • Black plastics that get easily scratched on some parts of the interior

The Nissan Navara is also having a good start in 2021 as it goes up a notch to the 9th place, from its 10th position in December 2020. This midsize pickup truck from Nissan, which is the fruition of the Japanese automaker's around 80 years of truck-making experience and expertise, is considered as among the best pickup trucks not just in the Philippines but globally.

The Nissan Navara's current generation sits on a new platform and new engine options that have set the bar higher for the local pickup truck segment pickup.

The current iteration of the Nissan Navara looks daunting with its LED headlights and daytime running lights (DRLs). A rear spoiler adds to the truck's daunting profile. The Navara's base model rides on a set of 15-inch alloy wheels, while the midrange variant gets 16 inches, the top-of-the line trim 18 inches.

The pickup truck is powered by a 2.5L 16-valve DDTi diesel engine that yields up to 161hp of maximum power output and 403Nm of highest torque for the base variant. With the range topper, you get a boost in performance with its turbocharged mill, churning out up to 187hp and 450Nm of output and torque, respectively. A 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic tranny pushes power to the rear wheels of the 4x2 drivetrain configuration or to all four wheels of the 4x4 configuration.

The Nissan Navara sits atop Nissan's F-Alpha Platform and has a full-length and fully boxed ladder chassis. It utilizes an independent double-wishbone with coil spring and stabilizer bar suspension layout up front and a rigid 5-link rear suspension with coil spring and stabilizer for a comfortable ride even on imperfect roads. Front ventilated discs and rear drums brakes take care of the pickup truck's stopping power. The high-end trim gets ABS with EBD and brake assist for an extra safety net.

For a pickup truck, the Nissan Navara gets a handful of tech features, including an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-adjustable seats, and an 8-inch touchscreen display system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Moreover, it has been equipped with the Nissan Intelligent Mobility―a suite of advanced safety features, which include the around-view monitor that gives the driver a full 360-degree view of the vehicle.

The current version of the Nissan Navara in the Philippines has many variants for each drivetrain configuration. The Nissan Navara 4x2 MT comes with a PHP 929,000 price tag; 4x2 MT Calibre that sells for PHP 999,000; 4x2 EL MT Calibre for PHP 1,159,000; 4x2 EL AT Calibre for PHP 1,219,000; 4x2 EL Calibre MT N-Warrior for PHP 1,249,000; 4x2 EL MT Calibre Sport Edition for PHP 1,255,000; 4x2 EL Calibre AT N-Warrior for PHP 1,309,000; 4x4 EL MT PHP 1,309,000; 4X2 EL AT Calibre Sport Edition for PHP 1,315,000; 4x4 VL MT for PHP 1,479,000; 4x4 VL AT for PHP 1,539,000; 4x4 VL MT N-Warrior for; 4x4 VL AT N-Warrior for PHP 1,629,000; and the 4X4 VL AT Sport Edition for PHP 1,635,000.

Nissan Navara

Nissan Navara

Lowest Price in the Philippines P929,000

8. Toyota Hiace

Pros

  • Spacious interior
  • Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) insulation
  • Sufficient power output and torque
  • Practical and functional Commuter variants
  • Comfortable cabin of the range toppers
  • Decent safety features

Cons

  • Handling can be jittery
  • There's body roll at higher speeds

Falling down one slot in our best 10 cars for January 2021, the Toyota Hiace now sits on the top 8. Having been among the top models for some time now, the Filipino-favorite minivan continues to be an indispensable companion of many individuals, families and companies alike.

All of the Toyota Hiace's trims are powered by a 2.8L inline 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC diesel engine, same as that of the Toyota Fortuner, which is paired with either a 6-speed automatic or same-speed manual gearbox. The powertrain's output and torque however vary per Hiace variant, with the Commuter Deluxe generating up to 176hp and 420Nm, respectively; the GL Grandia up to 176hp and 450Nm; the GL Grandia Tourer up to 163hp and 420Nm; and the Super Grandia up to 168hp and 450Nm.

The ever-dependable Toyota van's suspension layout consists of MacPherson struts up front and rigid leaf-spring combination setup at the rear. Whereas ventilated front disc brakes are standard across all trims, rear brakes are variant-dependent, fitted with either disc brakes or drum brakes.

The Toyota Hiace Commuter now has three trims with TMP revealing a new Commuter Cargo variant with an MSRP of PHP 1,101,000 in July. The other two are the Commuter Pre-FMC priced at PHP 1,480,000 and the Commuter Deluxe priced at PHP 1,634,000.

The price of the Toyota Hiace GL Grandia depends on its transmission, with the MT variant's price tag at PHP 2,070,000; the AT variant at PHP 2,145,000. Same goes for the Hiace GL Grandia Tourer, with the MT version retailing for PHP 2,244,000, the AT trim for PHP 2,319,000.

The Toyota Hiace Super Grandia comes in an automatic option only, and price varies according to cabin materials, with the standard fabric costing PHP 2,533,000, while a more premium-feel leather material costs PHP 2,623,000. The price of the range topper, the Hiace Super Grandia Elite, depends on its paint scheme: the Dark Grey Metallic for PHP 2,983,000 and the Luxury Pearl for PHP 2,998,000 SRP.

The all new Hiace offers low levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) courtesy of its completely new body that is based on the brand's TNGA platform. Overall, the new iteration of the Toyota Hiace makes for decreased driver fatigue when driving over extended distances, and at the same time provides a high level of safety, as proven by its ratings that is equivalent to five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test.

Toyota Hiace

Toyota Hiace

Lowest Price in the Philippines P1,101,000

7. Toyota Innova

Pros

  • Spacious cabin with lots of cubbyholes
  • Large trunk space that can be expanded by folding the third-row seats, and further by folding the second-row seats
  • Has gasoline and diesel engine options
  • Has manual and automatic transmission options
  • Range topper has a handful of safety and ride-assist features

Cons

  • Base models' driver-assist and safety features are very minimal
  • Low level of NVH insulation
  • Not-so-engaging handling

In December 2020, the Toyota Innova, which proudly rolls out of Toyota's Sta. Rosa, Laguna assembly line, began to plummet, and it seems the downward streak has continued in January 2021. The well-loved Toyota MPV slid down two notches from number 5 to number 7. There's a refreshed 2021 iteration of the Toyota Innova that has made its Asian debut but there's no word yet from Toyota Motors Philippines yet on the updated MPV's local launch.

Sitting on Toyota's Innovative International Multi-purpose Vehicle (IMV) platform, the current model of the Innova is powered by two engine options: the diesel-fed 2.8L turbocharged mill and the gasoline-fed 2L engine, with both attached to either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic tranny that pushes power to the rear wheels. The Euro 4-compliant 2L gasoline powertrain can cough up a maximum 136hp of output and 183Nm of torque. The bigger diesel powerplant's power output and torque differ slightly between the manual and the automatic transmission, with the former producing up to 167hp of output and 343Nm of torque; the latter 171hp and 360Nm.

The compact MPV's suspension system consists of an independent coil spring and double-wishbone with stabilizer up front and a four-link coil spring at the rear. Stopping power is taken care of by front ventilated discs and rear leading-trailing drum brakes. Unlike many of its competitors, the Toyota Innova still uses hydraulic power steering instead of electronic power steering (EPS).

The current iteration of the Toyota Innova has four variants with 2L gasoline engine, namely the Toyota Innova J MT (PHP 1,036,000 SRP), Innova E MT (PHP 1,178,000), Innova E AT (PHP 1,248,000) and Innova G AT (PHP 1,320,000).

There's a wider range of trims that sport the 2.8L diesel mill, viz the Innova J MT (PHP 1,146,000), Innova E MT (PHP 1,250,000), Innova E AT (PHP 1,320,000), Innova Touring Sport MT (PHP 1,320,000), Innova Touring Sport AT (PHP 1,390,000), Innova G MT (PHP 1,452,000), Innova G MT White Pearl color variant (PHP 1,467,000), Innova G AT (PHP 1,522,000), Innova G AT White Pearl color (PHP 1,537,000), Innova V (PHP 1,680,000) and the Innova V AT White Pearl (PHP 1,694,000).

Toyota Innova

Toyota Innova

Lowest Price in the Philippines P1,186,000

6. Toyota Avanza

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • LED headlights are standard across the range

Cons

  • Uncomfortable, rough ride, especially with few passengers or less cargo
  • Engine needs to work harder with heavy load
  • Steering feedback is not so good
  • Rear-seat space is cramped

While the Toyota Innova slipped from its high perch in the top 10 list, the Toyota Avanza meanwhile is climbing up gradually. Toyota's mass-market-oriented multipurpose utility vehicle (MPV) has gone up two notches in January 2021 to settle at the top 6. This indicates that the ever-affordable MPV continues to be one of the leading Japanese auto manufacturer's popular offerings in the country despite its age (arrived in 2006). Reports have it that a new-generation 2021 Toyota Avanza model is bound to arrive, which would likely further boost the Toyota Avanza's marketability.

The latest iteration of the Toyota Avanza shares the same Daihatsu Terios platform with the Toyota Rush, and a refresh last year gave the aging MPV's design a more contemporary look and feel. It has however retained its dual VVT-i inline 4, 16-valve DOHC powertrain that comes in two type and sizes. The 1.3L 1NR-VE chain-drive mill fires up to 95hp and 121Nm of torque, while the 1.5L 2NR-VE motor can fork up a maximum of 103hp and 136Nm of torque, with both being paired to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic tranny.

A MacPherson strut with stabilizer in front and a four-link with lateral control rod at the rear make up the Toyota Avanza's suspension setup. Front ventilated discs and rear lead-trailing drum brakes take care of the MPV's braking power.

The current-model Toyota Avanza comes in several variants, and some dealers have lowered the price for 2021. Toyota's official website, however, still show the following prices for the 2021 variants: the 1.3L trims being the Avanza J MT (PHP 743,000), the Avanza E MT (PHP 876,000) and the Avanza E AT (PHP 919,000). Those preferring the 1.5L versions can choose from the Avanza G MT (PHP 969,000), the Avanza G AT (PHP 1,012,000) and the top-of-the-line Avanza Veloz (PHP 1,077,000). The Veloz comes with an exclusive paint scheme Dark Red Mica Metallic, while the rest are available in White, Gray Metallic, Black Metallic, Beige Metallic, Silver Mica Metallic, and Dark Blue SE colorways.

Toyota Avanza

Toyota Avanza

Lowest Price in the Philippines P743,000

5. Toyota Vios

Pros

  • Adequate trunk space
  • Decent level of NVH insulation
  • Decent power output and torque
  • Steadier and firmer steering
  • Safety features are adequate especially on the top trims
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • No front armrest
  • Back seats are not too comfortable for long drives

The Filipinos' all-time favorite Toyota subcompact sedan Toyota Vios once again started its downward streak, after a good climb in December 2020. The 2021 Toyota Vios that was launched back in July this year fell down a notch to perch on the top 5.

The 2021 Toyota Vios boasts a lot of external updates. The cosmetic changes have evolved the Vios into a sleeker, more charming car. Some gizmos are now available such as a rear camera for the G variant and improved infotainment system on the top trims. The G variant has also been fitted with power-folding mirrors, smart entry with push-to-start button, automatic climate control and lots of leather.

The 98hp-output and 123Nm-torque generating 1.3L gasoline mill and the 106hp-output and 140Nm-torque capable 1.5L engine remain intact in the 2021 iteration, as well as the 5-speed manual and CVT gearbox options that rams power to the front wheels.

Sitting on Toyota's B platform, the Toyota Vios sports MacPherson strut for its front suspension and torsion beam for the rear. The range toppers are equipped with disc brakes, while the J and other base variants have drum brakes for the sedan's stopping capability.

Like other Toyota vehicles, the Vios has received a 5-star safety rating from the ASEAN NCAP. All trims are equipped with electronic stability control and hill start assist. Three airbags are standard across the lower-end variants, but there's an option to upgrade to seven airbags. The range toppers get seven airbags as standard.

The 2021 Toyota Vios' many variants are still affordably priced, with the Vios 1.3 Base MT selling for PHP 671,000, the Vios 1.3 Base MT (7 airbags) for PHP 681,000, the Vios 1.3 J MT for PHP 697,000, the Vios 1.3 J MT (7 airbags) for PHP 707,000, the Vios 1.3 XE CVT for PHP 747,000, the Vios 1.3 XE CVT (7 airbags) for PHP 753,000, the Vios 1.3 XLE MT for PHP 791,000, the Vios 1.3 XLE CVT for PHP 841,000, the Vios 1.3 E MT for PHP 841,000, the Vios 1.3 E CVT for PHP 891,000, the Vios 1.5 G MT for PHP 997,000, the Vios 1.5 G CVT for PHP 1,056,000. The White Pearl color scheme is available for PHP 15,000 more as with other Toyota models.

Toyota Vios

Toyota Vios

Lowest Price in the Philippines P671,000

4. Toyota Fortuner

Pros

  • Striking and sporty appearance
  • Powerful output
  • Loads of safety and ride-assist features
  • Premium cabin feel

Cons

  • Stiff and bouncy ride quality

Looks like the SUV prevailed over the sedan as the Toyota Fortuner takes the top 4 best car slot from the Toyota Vios. The Fortuner continues it upward ascent—from the 6th spot in December 2020 to the 4th position in the new year. Looks like the popularity of this handsome and muscular midsize SUV from Toyota, which has been around even longer than the Avanza (arriving in the country in 2004), never fades. It remains much coveted by SUV enthusiasts and customers looking for power, sportiness, premium feel and comfort in their vehicle.

The 2021 Toyota Fortuner was launched in October 2020, bringing with it impressive updates and the new, powerful top-of-the-line LTD trims. The well-loved SUV has replaced the former 2.7L engine for a power-boosted 2.8L one. It also now dons a new distinctive design and has been fitted with hi-tech amenities and features. Moreover, the latest iteration of the Fortuner has been given a 5-star safety rating by the ASEAN New Car Assessment Program (NCAP).

There are now two turbodiesel engine options powering up the 2021 Toyota Fortuner. One is the 147hp-output- and 350Nm-torque-producing 2.4L that was carried over from the previous iteration; the other is a 201hp- and 500Nm-torque-capable 2.8L mill that it shares with the also-recently-launched 2021 Toyota Hilux. The gearboxes remain the same as the previous model: a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic.

There are six variants in all: the Toyota Fortuner G, V, Q and LTD, with only the base model G getting a manual gearbox. The 2021 Toyota Fortuner 2.4 G MT's SRP is at PHP 1,633,000; the 2.4 G AT at PHP 1,723,000. The mid-rangers 2.4 V AT and 2.8 Q AT retail at PHP 1,827,000 and PHP 1,998,000, respectively, with additional PHP 15,000 each for the White Pearl Crystal Shine and Sparkling Black Pearl Crystal Shine colorways.

The premium variants 2.8 LTD 4x2 AT and 2.8 LTD 4x4 AT sell for PHP 2,244,000 and PHP 2,414,000, respectively, each with a top-up of PHP 10,000 for the White Pearl Crystal Shine color option.

The cabin amenities are variant dependent, with the G variant not getting much except access to Eco and Power driving modes (like that of the V trim) and a 7-inch infotainment screen with smartphone mirroring capabilities. The Q and LTD get an additional Sport driving mode.

The V, Q and LTD variants all get a smart entry and push-to-start ignition system, automatic climate control and an 8-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The top-ranging LTD gets a 9-speaker audio system. Both Q and LTD are fitted with 8-way power-adjustable front seats. The LTD gets a front-seat ventilation.

All variants of the Toyota midsize SUV come with SRS airbags, but the top-ranging LTD variants get 7 in all including side curtains. Other features across the board are three-point ELR seat belts, ABS with EBD, traction control, vehicle stability control, hill-start assist control, and clearance and back sonar sensors. The G variant now gets a reverse camera as standard, while the V, Q and LTD variants get a panoramic view monitor.

As with almost all vehicles, the top-ranging variants get all the best stuff, and in the case of the 2021 Fortuner, the Q and LTD trims have been equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) technology with features such as a pre-collision alert system, lane departure alert, and adaptive cruise control, among others. The 4x4 LTD variant also gets downhill assist control.

Toyota Fortuner

Toyota Fortuner

Lowest Price in the Philippines P1,633,000

3. Toyota Rush

Pros

  • High ground clearance
  • Spacious interior especially in the 5-seater configuration
  • Infotainment system is smartphone compatible
  • Has adequate safety features

Cons

  • Cramped driver's seat
  • The rear row of the 7-seater is cramped
  • Limited performance of the 4-speed AT
  • Interior is mostly hard plastic

After holding the pole position as the top 1 and best-selling vehicle for 2020, the Toyota Rush concedes to one of its Toyota siblings in January 2021. It went down two slots from top 1 to top 3 in the first month of the new year. The SUV needs to stay on track, as there are other competitors such as the Ford Territory inching their way into the market. TMP is reportedly planning to update the 2021 Toyota Rush, which is a good move, to make it all the more formidable in the local subcompact SUV segment. Recent reports have it that TMP is going to equip the E MT and AT variants with third-row seats and a reversing camera, similar to the top-spec G variant. This tweak will however necessitate a PHP 15,000 markup in the SUV variants' SRP.

Slotting between the Toyota Innova and the Toyota Fortuner, the Toyota Rush is available in two seating-capacity configurations: a 5-seater and a 7-seater with a 1.5L 2NR-VE dual VVT-I gasoline engine under the hood, which fires up power of up to 102hp and torque that tops at 134Nm. A 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels.

The best-selling Toyota SUV is easy to maneuver especially in the crowded and traffic congested urban streets courtesy of its high ground clearance combined with its compact body form. Its suspension setup is similar to most of its Toyota siblings, with front MacPherson independent struts and rear live axle with coil springs.

Compact as it may seem, the Rush offers decent legroom especially for the 5-seater trim. The 7-seater on the other hand also provides plenty of room in the first two rows.

The cockpit and the cabin of this sporty Toyota SUV boast a fair share of technologies decent enough to satisfy even the millennial drivers. An Android- and iOS-compatible digital infotainment system with integrated 2DIN audio and Bluetooth and other media connectivity is found on the dash along with a digital odometer, electronic trip meter, digital clock and a tacho meter. Advanced features such as a push-to-start ignition button, an eco-indicator, and steering wheel audio controls are also offered. The best part is, like most Toyota vehicles, the Rush comes with standard safety features including a complete set of airbags, vehicle stability control, ABS with EBD, and hill-assist control.

The Toyota Rush comes in three variants: Toyota Rush 1.5 E MT (PHP 983,000), Toyota Rush 1.5 E AT (PHP 1,023,000) and Toyota Rush 1.5 G AT (PHP 1,100,000).

Toyota Rush

Toyota Rush

Lowest Price in the Philippines P983,000

2. Toyota Hilux

Pros

  • Powerful engine options
  • Fuel-efficient
  • Ample interior space
  • Good towing and hauling capabilities
  • Good safety features

Cons

  • Tough ride especially on long trips
  • Cabin materials of the base variants are average

Toyota's contender in the Philippine pickup truck segment, the ever dependable Toyota Hilux, continues to demonstrate its sturdiness and strength as it still hasn't budged from its top 2 ranking in our top 10 best cars selection. It has been holding this number 2 slot since October. Just one slot short of the pole position, this beefy, off-road-capable vehicle is well-renowned not just in the Philippines but all over the globe for being one of most reliable and toughest workhorses.

The Toyota Hilux has been around since 1968 but is still widely popular and preferred by many. Throughout the years and generations, the Toyota Hilux's appearance has evolved, and it sports powerful engine options. It made its way to the Philippines in 2015 with the Hilux Conquest added to the lineup in 2018. The 2021 Toyota Hilux has finally been launched in September bringing with it much-needed updates in styling and features as well as a boost in performance of the top-ranging Hilux Conquest.

A restyled bumper, a larger grille, sleek-looking headlights, restyled taillights and a new set of wheels are among the notable aesthetic changes in the latest iteration of the Toyota Hilux. The top-of-the-line Hilux Conquest looks more aggressive, with black trimmings on the large grille extending to the bumper. The fog lights' bezels integrate into the front fenders. The lighting system is fully LED, 18-inch wheels now come standard, and the "Conquest" nameplate on the tailgate was moved to the bed side.

There are two powertrain options under the hood of the Toyota Hilux. The smaller of the two is a 2.4L 2GD-FTV that churns out 147hp of maximum power output and 343Nm of peak torque, which was retained but fine-tuned to be more fuel-efficient in the 2021 model. The bigger 2.8L 1GD-FTV turbo-diesel engine that used to thump out 174hp of output and 450Nm of torque was given a performance boost of 26hp and 50Nm. This means that all 4x4 Hilux Conquest variants can now fire up as much as 201hp and 500Nm of power and torque, respectively. The boost doesn't affect fuel economy according to Toyota; rather, it has been boosted by 4%. The powertrains remain mated to either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission that sends power to either the rear wheels or to all four wheels.

The Hilux sits on Toyota's IMV platform, which it shares with the Fortuner and the Innova. Its chassis features a suspension setup of a double-wishbone in front and a rigid axle with leaf springs at the rear.

The cabin of the 2021 Hilux is also refreshed with an 8-inch infotainment system with hands-free function and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.

Most importantly, the Hilux now gets techie, with new driver-assist and safety features such as a reverse camera, hill-start assist, downhill assist control, tailgate assist, traction and stability control, and trailer sway control.

The SRP of the 2021 Toyota Hilux has understandably increased given the updates. The Toyota Hilux Cab & Chassis now sells for PHP 843,000 SRP, the Toyota Hilux 4x2 Cargo MT for PHP 936,000, Toyota Hilux 4x2 J 2.4L MT for PHP 952,000, Toyota 4x2 FX 2.4L MT (Single AC) for PHP 1,029,000, Toyota Hilux 4X2 FX 2.4L MT (Dual AC) for PHP 1,057,000, Toyota Hilux 4x4 J 2.4L MT for PHP 1,148,000, Toyota Hilux 4x2 E 2.4L MT for PHP 1,113,000, Toyota Hilux 4x2 G 2.4L MT for PHP 1,220,000 and Toyota Hilux 4x2 G 2.4L AT for PHP 1,295,000.

The top-of-the-line 2021 Toyota Hilux Conquest 4x2 MT retails at PHP 1,380,000, Toyota Hilux Conquest 4x2 AT at PHP 1,455,000, Toyota Hilux Conquest 4x4 MT at PHP 1,755,000 and Toyota Hilux Conquest 4x4 AT at PHP 1,830,000.

Toyota Hilux

Toyota Hilux

Lowest Price in the Philippines P843,000

1. Toyota Wigo

Pros

  • Fuel-efficienct
  • Easy maneuverability
  • Sporty looks especially the TRD-S variant
  • Affordable price point
  • Decent cabin space in spite of its compact stature

Cons

  • Internal features are limited
  • Cabin material is made of hard plastic
  • Safety features are anemic
  • NVH insulation needs to be improved

Small but reliable. The Toyota Wigo claims back the pole position, which it held three times in 2020, until the Toyota Rush nabbed it from this ever-popular Toyota subcompact hatchback. This cute urban commuter was consistently in our best-selling 10 cars in the Philippines for 2020.

It is easy to see why the Wigo is popular: this sporty cutie is budget friendly, a fuel saver, and compact enough to squirm its way through the crowded metro ― characteristics that make it unbeatable in the local subcompact hatchback market.

The facelifted 2021 Toyota Wigo model looks more attractive and boasts a host of modern features as well as safety and ride-assist qualities. There's no change under the hood though. A 66hp-output- and 89Nm-torque-producing 1L inline 3-cylinder 12-valve DOHC gasoline power plant still fires up the top-selling 5-seater Toyota hatchback. A 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels.

Based on the Daihatsu Global A-Segment platform, the Wigo sits on a MacPherson strut with coil spring front suspension and a semi-independent torsion axle beam with coil spring on its rear. Braking capability is supported by the front ventilated discs and rear drum brakes.

Ride-assist and tech features are variant dependent but safety features such as airbags, seatbelt warning and ABS come standard in the 2021 iteration of the Toyota Wigo. Top variants are fitted with an immobilizer and alarm system for better security.

The 2021 Toyota Wigo trims are the Wigo E MT (PHP 568,000 MSRP), the Wigo G MT (PHP 623,000), the Wigo G AT (PHP 658,000) and the Wigo TRD-S AT (PHP 700,000). As with other Toyota vehicles, the White Pearl color is available for an additional PHP 15,000.

Toyota Wigo

Toyota Wigo

Lowest Price in the Philippines P568,000

Conclusion

Looking at our top 10 list for January 2021, it is easy to see which car brands and models dominate the market—and it's almost always the same ones every month. Toyota is in the forefront as always, with fellow Japanese carmakers Mitsubishi and Nissan trailing behind in the list. If Toyota continues with its foolproof and leading strategies, as well as quality vehicle offerings, we can expect the brand to continue to lead.

With 2021 being a year in which everyone is expected to try to recover losses, or at least, get better traction compared to 2020, we'll see a lot of efforts coming from other big players in the local automotive market such as Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Suzuki, MG, Geely, and a lot more. Toyota should not get complacent, to avoid changes in market dynamics going forward.