The Ayala Corp. took over the reigns of Kia beginning early 2019, a relaunch that came with the introduction of a spate of new models, including the new Soluto sedan. Known as the Pegas in China, where the car is assembled, the Soluto is Kia’s latest entry into the subcompact sedan category.
Dubbed as the ‘Baby Kia Rio,’ all of the Soluto’s four trims (LX MT, LX AT, EX MT, and EX AT) are powered by a 1.4-liter Kappa Dual-CVVT gasoline engine that outputs 94hp and 132Nm of torque. This front-wheel drive engine pairs with either a four-speed auto or five-speed manual transmission, depending on trim. The automatic gearbox in particular, has a smart selector that offers precise and fuel-efficient gear shifts.
Though it appears small at first glance, the 2570mm wheelbase provides ample spaciousness for both front and rear occupants alike. Aside from the roominess, the Soluto’s cabin is designed to deliver ‘All Kinds Of Wow,’ as the carmaker describes it. Comfy seating for five is provided by the clever interior design that allows for plenty of room to stretch, even for full-size adults.
Circles characterize the dashboard design, starting with the rotary AC switches, 360-degree rotating airducts (EX variants only), and contemporary-looking instrument panel. An Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible audio system, 2.8-inch LCD cluster, and steering-wheel-installed audio remote control provide added ease of use for the Soluto’s many features and functions.
So what are the car models that the Soluto considers its direct competitors? Below are some of its biggest rivals on the Philippine car market.
Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) launched the 2020 facelifted version of the Toyota Vios compact car late in July last year. From the get-go, shoppers of the country’s most popular car get nine variants in all, making the Vios more diverse than ever to meet the wide-ranging needs of the Filipino car owner.
The biggest change in the facelifted Vios is the fog lamp/air vent assembly in the lower front grille, which now takes on a trapezoid shape as opposed to the reverse-trapezoid of the outgoing model. The air vent/fog lamp assembly that dimple the lower grille has also been restyled, now angled inward with a bit of curvature added up top. The LED headlights have also been updated to give the Vios front a united look.
The top variant runs on a 1.5-liter gasoline engine that delivers 106hp and 140Nm of torque, with shifting provided by a continuous variable transmission (CVT). Meanwhile, the lower trims come powered by a 1.3-liter engine with 98hp and 123Nm of output, paired with a 5-speed manual. Both are known to deliver the excellent fuel economy that commercial fleets and operators enjoy.
Inside, the infotainment system is now compatible with both Android and Apple music players. What’s more this touchscreen is available across the range, save for the two low-rung models, which still have the 2DIN audio system of old. As for advanced safety features, the Vios has hill-start assist, vehicle stability control, and a security alarm with immobilizer. The upper ranges also come with Smart Entry with wireless doorlock and speed sensing. Making it even more desirable safety-wise is a 5-rating from the ASEAN NCAP.
After dropping the Brio Amaze, the City subcompact once again becomes the smallest sedan in Honda PH’s lineup. The latest version of the City has an edgier front fascia than its predecessor, thanks to a more pronounced version of Honda’s ‘Solid Wing Face’ design language.
The new 1.0-liter gas engine arrives with more horses and torque—120hp and 173Nm to be exact, a huge improvement compared to the predecessor’s 1.5-liter i-VTEC’s 118hp and 145Nm. The added power is made possible through various enhancements in the engine assembly, including the newly introduced BorgWarner turbocharger, a more economical compression ratio, and finally, Euro 5-compliant construction.
The design of the interior receives a major overhaul, with a completely new dashboard setup that looks inspired by the Honda Jazz. In terms of size, new City is longer, wider, and lower than its predecessor. The wheelbase is also shorter on the 2020 City than the old unit, which is somewhat of a head scratcher.
Despite its regal name, this subcompact sedan actually fits the more down-to-earth working class, since it’s a stylish, affordable, and practical vehicle small enough to navigate Metro Manila’s tiny streets and parking spaces with efficiency. The Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design theme is very much apparent here, so there’s plenty of style to be found despite the car’s intentionally pedestrian looks.
This five-seater sedan comes with a Kappa 1.4 MPI engine that can churn out 94hp and 132Nm of torque–not bad, if what you’re looking after is a practical vehicle that can perform quite well in (and out of) traffic. Transmission is either a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual. Its Motor-Driven Power Steering helps optimize motor function while reducing vehicle weight. Interior features are pretty basic, as are the Reina’s safety systems.
Chevrolet PH’s entry into the subcompact sedan segment is engineered for practicality, but style points abound, beginning with the refined aesthetic of the polished chrome trimmings on the front grille, to the exciting inbuilt sunroof with slide and tilt function, and on to the rest of the exterior and interior features.
Two gasoline engines are available, one is a 1.3-liter VVT Inline-4 (100hp, 127Nm) and the other is a more potent 1.5-liter DVVT Inline-4 (109hp, 141Nm). The lone 1.3-liter variant shifts solely via a 5-speed manual transmission, while the two 1.5-liter variants come exclusively with a 4-speed auto gearbox.
Inside the Sail, buyers will find a comfortable interior with plenty of legroom in the front and at the back, ready to provide a pleasant ride regardless of distance. Standard safety comes by way of airbags, seatbelts, and anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution.
The Mirage G4’s latest version remains virtually unchanged since 2018. Dropping the number of variants from four to three, all Mirage G4s are powered by a 1.2-liter gasoline engine that delivers 77hp and 100Nm of torque. The engine is connected to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) in the top trims and a 5-speed manual in the base.
Though the Mirage G4 has some sharp styling cues, it’s starting to look dated, especially when lined among the rest of the Mitsubishi lineup that now come in Dynamic Shield. Still, the G4’s interior can be relied on to accommodate up to five average sized Filipino adults.
The trunk offers enviable storage space amounting to 450 liters in total. This means you’ll have no problem fitting five travel luggage or three golf bags in the G4’s trunk. Safety-wise, the top Mirage G4 variant comes with dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes and brake override. The infotainment system also acts as a rearview screen when the gears are in reverse.
The Suzuki Dzire is available in three variants with a starting price of PHP549,900 for the 1.2L GA MT variant. All trims are powered by a 1.2-liter gasoline engine that puts out 82hp and 113Nm of torque. The GA variant’s power mill is connected to a five-speed manual transmission, while the GL and GL Plus motors are mated to a 5-speed AGS, a type of automated manual transmission featuring an Intelligent Shift Control Actuator. Cargo space is listed as 378 liters, while safety features include a Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) body, dual airbags, anti-lock brake system, rear parking sensors, Isofix child seat, immobilizer, and security alarm.
Photos from Kia, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Chevrolet, Mitsubishi, Suzuki