HAPPY New Year! As I wish everyone more horsepower this year, my thoughts return to that successful drag race held at the SRP on the first weekend of December last year, where the proceeds of the event were right away used for rebuilding efforts to our brothers and sisters in northern Cebu.
The people behind this fund raising event did an absolute great job: Neil Labrador, Fourth Vergara and Kenneth Mark Migrino. They made a lot of people happy this Christmas.
MUGEN EDITION. Honda has announced that they would be selling a Honda City Mugen Edition, which was specially made for the Philippine market only.
According to Honda, it will feature a sporty grille and under-spoiler in front, side spoiler and in the rear, under-spoilers and also a large wing spoiler, which is one of the more notable modifications that have been made on the car as it was the company’s effort to build on the already sporty looks of the Honda City and make it harder to miss out on roads.
Under the hood, the Mugen City will have the same engine as the current normal City. Only 20 units will be available to the public at a price of P976,000.
There is nothing in the Honda press release of the Mugen Edition City about having an uprated engine, suspension or brakes. All they added was a decorative body kit with a Mugen emblem. In short, there are actually zero modifications. What Honda Cars Philippines did was just decorate the City.
Mugen is a tuning company that specializes in modifying Honda cars and has Formula 1 heritage. I find it such a shame for Honda Cars Philippines to introduce a Mugen Edition when the only thing Mugen about it is the emblem attached to a body kit with zero performance improvements. It is like putting a V8 badge on a four-cylinder car or a turbo badge on a non-turbo car.
For the price of the Mugen Edition City, one would be better off buying a Honda Civic 1.8s AT as it is a substantially better car and cheaper at P948,000.
MIRAGE. Last year, I found it amusing that the Mitsubishi Mirage was chosen as the Philippine Car of the Year. To my mind, there are just certain cars that are not car of the year material just as there are girls who are simply just not Miss Universe material.
Being a budget car without any groundbreaking technological breakthrough, it just should not be car of the year material. It could be the best in its class as its possible highest award. All cars in the same class as the Mirage are just not car of the year material. It is an entry level car.
Anyways, it was brought to my attention that foreign car journalists have totally different opinions on the Mirage, as compared to our local car journalists. This now leads me to doubt the integrity of the Car of the Year award. It’s kind of a Korina Sanchez-Anderson Cooper difference.
The Mirage got negative reviews in Australia and Europe. Auto Express, a UK-based weekly car magazine, said, “The vague steering and poor handling place it at the bottom of the class for driving dynamics, while the interior looks and feels cheap….and lacks the refinement and practicality of the best cars in the class.” They rated the car at 2/5 stars.
Car Magazine, likewise, said, “There’s loads of wind noise and many rivals are better to drive. The interior feels cheap, there’s limited adjustment for the driver.” The magazine rated the car at 2/5 stars.
Top Gear Magazine in the UK said, “It’s truly, profoundly terrible. The steering is slow and vague. It rolls extensively. Grip levels are non-existent. Every lump and ruffle in the road is transmitted directly to your backside. It’s inexcusably noisy. Hell, there’s so much slack in the steering that you can’t tell which way the wheels are pointing…” They rated it 2/10.
On the other hand, Top Gear Magazine Philippines said, “For the single person or young couple on a budget, the Mirage is still the sweetest deal in town.” It rated the Mirage 18/20.
C! Magazine of the Philippines rated it a 9.7 /10, saying “Thrifty, peppy engine! Excellent fuel consumption. Surprisingly fun to drive.”
Autoindustriya.com said, “The fairly soft suspension made body roll quite apparent when maneuvering through corners at higher speeds. Nonetheless, it never took the fun out of driving the Mirage around the urban jungle.” The website scored it 8/10.
Either the foreign journalists are incompetent or our local journalists are incompetent. Their reviews of the same car are polar opposites. Or the Philippines, being a third world country, got the premium version of the car, while the UK, being a superpower, got the watered down version of the car.
I just find it amusing.