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Top 5 Bestselling Pickup Trucks in the Philippines 2018

Gone are the days when pickup trucks were used solely for hauling and carrying things around. Today, some modern pick-ups have extended their life’s mission, even giving passenger cars a run for their money when it comes to comfort and convenience.

And it’s that mixture of rough-neck utility and luxury that makes them such popular vehicles today.

Not all pick-up trucks are the same, but once in a while, there are those that become a must-have for many Filipinos.

And they’re also the ones that sell well.

Here are the bestselling pickup trucks in 2017 according to the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI), Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA), and Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID):

5. Mitsubishi Strada

The third-generation Mitsubishi Strada (or Triton) has grown up and become more muscular than ever. And their models are expanding as well. In fact, Mitsubishi recently launched a new Strada variant: the Strada GLS 2WD.

Whichever model it is, the Strada knows how to ooze with grit. Interestingly, its soft suspension makes rides feel more “refined” and almost “car-like”– something that contradicts its rough, exterior persona. Just think of Rambo dancing ballet, with a perfectly-executed plie .

Strada’s cabin is also  quiet, which can be a welcoming feature if you’re used to those strange, mechanical noises that seem to crop up whenever your mother-in-law rides the car. Its off-road capabilities are also good, especially the four wheel drive.

However, its weakness is its shorter wheelbase, which can increase those rear overhangs, particularly the off-road ones. The engine power (and handling) are also a bit anemic — something you feel vaguely when you’re really stepping hard on the pedal.

The Strada comes with a 2.5-liter 16-valve DOHC Common Rail Direct Injection (five-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission), while 4×4 models offer a Super Select 4WD or Easy Select 4WD.

4. Isuzu D-Max

Isuzu D-Max
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This Isuzu D-Max has a no-nonsense, workhorse attitude that makes the word “workaholic” sound like a relaxing, meditative retreat in Bali. And while it can adjust decently well to more refined settings, it really shines in situations where brute strength and toughness are needed. So don’t flinch when it picks up a couple of bruises and scrapes along the way.

What we like about the D-Max is its great overall visibility, allowing for better control and vision on the road. And since its gearboxes have high and low ratio functions, it also offers greater traction when you drive it off-road.

This car’s reliability is inspiring. Here’s how we can sum it up: the D-Max competes in the brutally challenging British Cross Country Championship–largely unmodified. This should give you an idea of how tough they’re really built.

However, there are times when that same ruggedness can extend to the engine, which can be quite strong in the steering wheel and gear lever.

It can also get noisy from time to time, but it’s quieter compared to its predecessor’s 2.5 liter diesel engine. Still, if the noise irritates you more than life itself, then make things easier by purchasing the Strada, instead.

Now here’s a tip for you: Choose the lowest of its premium double-cab models, and you can have a good number of features, such as height-adjustable steering wheel, driver and passenger reading lights, air-conditioning, plus a stereo with Bluetooth connectivity and USB-iPod interface while saving money.

The D-Max has a 3.0-liter 4JJI-TC (HI) diesel power plant together with a VGS turbocharger and intercooler. It is paired with either a five-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift. Both come in 4×2 and 4×4 options.

3. Nissan Navara

Nissan Navara
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Nissan Navara is the only pickup truck that sounds more “earthy” than the others mentioned on this list. In fact, you can even mistake it for an exotic, Andalusian red wine or a Castilian dessert if you’re not paying attention.

But who would ever overlook a Nissan Navara that has been around for 21 years? Not us. In fact, we’ll keep looking at it, because it’s really an attractive pickup. It would probably take us a long time though, since it looks like it has no plans of retiring any time soon.

There were some upgrades made to this model; but they’re not as obvious. However, if you look closely, you’ll see cameras scattered everywhere, such as at the bottom of the Nissan badge, the tailgate handle, and even its side mirrors.

This is Nissan’s Around-View-Monitor camera technology, which provides a virtual 360-degree scene of your car in bird’s-eye view. This feature allows drivers to park easily, check for obstructions around the vehicle, and even simultaneously check the rear and front-side views of the car when doing parallel parking.

Now with better comfort, handling, and faster steering response, it’s also tougher outside–thanks to  a fully-boxed ladder frame compared to the typical three-sided open C-shaped rails that are used in some trucks.

What we don’t like? The steering wheel lacks reach adjustment, and their cabin should be tweaked more for added comfort.

The Navara offers a 2.5-liter engine paired to a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic and is available in either 4×2 or 4×4 configurations.

2. Ford Ranger

Ford Ranger
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The Ford Ranger is the first compact pickup truck that was designed by the Ford Motor Company. So as you can see, it’s something close to their hearts and minds, which is probably the reason why the U.S. keeps resurrecting it from the dead.

The Ranger version in the Philippines, however, has a more consistent presence in the country.  It has been in the market since 1998, and was first manufactured by Mazda under the Mazda B-Series. Its partnership with Ford allowed them to sell the same vehicles using two different names: the Mazda B-Series, and for Ford, the Ford Courier. It was eventually renamed to Ranger in 1998.

The present generation Ford Ranger promises better safety features, greater maneuverability, and a beefier power-train. And of course, there’s that smooth ride and great towing and hauling capacities that it’s quite known for.

Now here’s a tip for you: If you want to buy the cheapest variant without sacrificing quality, then go with the 4×2 drive train, single cab chassis manual. They are the only ones that have low riders, or those with conventional height suspensions.

If you’re into a more luxurious and refined Ranger, then try the “Wildtrak.” This model has actually catapulted the Ranger as Europe’s biggest selling pickup truck in 2015. The newest Wildtrak is impressive, but if Ford can just organize its gauge clusters and work on faster downshifting response, then we’ll be mighty pleased.

The Ranger comes with a turbocharged 2.2-liter Duratorq TDCi diesel (turbocharged) mated with either a five-speed MT or six-speed MT, or six-speed AT. Its top offering, the Ranger Wildtrak 4×4, offers a turbocharged 2.2- or 3.2-liter engine, either in 6-speed MT or 6-speed AT.

1. Toyota Hilux

Toyota Hilux
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Toyota Hilux remains the stoic, indomitable truck that it’s known to be. And it remains firmly rooted in everything it touches–especially its rank as the number one pickup truck in the Philippines.

This vehicle has been abused beyond recognition–so much so that it firmly etched some form of vehicular trauma in our wretched souls (or something to that effect).

We remember one particular episode in Top Gear U.K., where Clarkson and his team annihilated a 1988 Hilux. It really made Ivan the Terrible’s torturing methods look like he was counting sheep.

So you really got to give Toyota credit for this. The Hilux has been subjected to wrecking balls, bulldozers, drowning, 200-mile speed crashes, long drops, and anything else near borderline-to-extreme sadism. And yet it remained standing, like a mountain that has seen worthier challenges in its lifetime.

Now on its eighth generation, the newest Toyota Hilux is still built like the intimidating beast it’s meant to be. However, it now has a smaller engine compared to its predecessor’s 3.0-liter 1KD-FTV.

Don’t be fooled by its size, though–its 2.8-liter 4-cylinder 1GD-FTV engine has more torque and power, and can churn out 9 percent more power and 31 percent more torque than its previous engine.

The Hilux also remains consistent in its robust design, with good safety features, excellent front visibility, and a more efficient engine.

So what’s the biggest change in the Hilux? Its off-road skills. The new Hilux has a better rear suspension and ground clearance, which makes it an extreme bad-ass even on challenging terrain. One thing, though: this might cause the back of the truck to feel extra bouncy over bumpy roads in the city. So unless you want a pickup to serve as a moving trampoline, then go easy when driving around the Metro.

The Hilux offers a 2.4- and 2.8-liter four-cylinder VN Turbo Intercooler diesel engine mated to either a six-speed sequential automatic or a six-speed manual transmission.

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3 Comments

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  2. July 20, 2018 at 6:49 pm — Reply

    As a pest control company, we are happy to have both Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux. Both trucks are great driving experience.

  3. Anonymous
    August 14, 2018 at 10:52 am — Reply

    this is not updated, Navara is now Top 1

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