Car buyers in the Philippines are spoiled for choice as there are many vehicle options to choose from up and down the pricing spectrum. Those who want an affordable vehicle of any kind will be able to find it well below the P2,000,000 mark, while those who want are more luxurious ride can spend millions to get the car they want. There is also the premium segment that is a happy medium between both extremes.
While entry-level premium cars sound like an oxymoron, there are models out there that fit that description. These are vehicles that are out of reach for some but still within the P3,000,000 price bracket. With that said, here is a quick list of the 5 best entry-level premium vehicles you can buy today. This list will be arranged by vehicle body type to make it easier for you to find out which one will best suit your needs. The list will also be in no particular order.
Jeep Compass (P1,480,000)
If you want a premium compact SUV, then look no further than the Jeep Compass. It carries with it the same brand heritage found in its bigger brother the Wrangler all while retaining a more modern look. It carries with it cutting-edge technology and features that both the driver and passengers will enjoy. Along with that it also comes with a spacious interior made with quality materials that are both durable yet pleasing to the eye.
While the only model in the Philippines is the FWD 1.4-liter variant, it still does pack quite the punch. The small form factor makes 162 hp and 250 Nm of torque which is more than enough to rocket the vehicle up to highway speeds in a couple of seconds.
MINI Cooper 3-Door (P2,750,000)
Moving on to the premium hatchback section is the MINI Cooper 3-Door. While this is the nameplate’s entry-level variant, it still comes with all the right amount of features that make it unique and worth the buy. You get the brand’s heritage of making fun little cars that are built to allow nimble maneuvering through narrow streets and heavy traffic and access to MINI’s twin power turbo engines that supply immediate torque to get you off the line fast. It packs a 1.5-liter engine that produces 136hp and 220 Nm of torque that is sent to the front wheels via a 7-speed Steptronic DCT.
While it may not have the mighty power of its MINI Cooper S brothers, it still is a great hatchback for those who want an agile runabout car that comes with a unique interior seen only in the brand’s lineup of cars.
BMW 318i Sport (P3,190,000)
If you are in the market for a great entry-level premium sedan, the BMW 318i Sport could be the one for you. The seventh generation of the 3-Series sedan marks a new chapter in the automaker’s design language as it comes with a more sculpted face that still evokes a muscular yet sporty look. Even if this is the entry-level variant it still has a great amount of power under its hood as its 2.0-liter TwinPower engine develops a healthy 156 hp and 250 Nm of torque which is sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.
As the base for its more powerful M counterparts, the BMW 318i still comes with many of the same features and luxurious one would expect from a sedan of its caliber. It comes with a host of safety features, as well as other convenience features that make the vehicle easier to drive. Aside from that it also comes with the latest version of BMW’s iDrive system along with the brand’s Live Cockpit 8.8-inch touch display and instrument cluster. With that in mind, the BMW is definitely worth the purchase especially if you want to stand out in a sea of traffic.
Nissan Patrol Royale (P3,988,000)
While the Nissan Patrol Royale is an older model SUV in the country, it still delivers on its tag line of letting you drive in luxury on any terrain. It comes with elegant styling that carries on a heritage of being a rough and tough off-road-ready vehicle that can take on the road less traveled. It comes with an All-Mode 4X4 system that utilizes electronics to ensure that no matter how severe the driving conditions, the SUV will be able to grip the road by transferring power between the wheels and axles. Variable 4X4 Mode allows you to effortlessly switch between four drive modes for ultimate off-road capability.
Just like the outside, the inside of the Nissan Patrol comes with an elegant interior. It comes with soft leather seats, tasteful wooden panels, and chrome trim that is strategically placed to give you a pleasing cabin to be in. It is also equipped with a triple-zone automatic climate control system that makes sure that the temperature is just right for all of its occupants.
Under the hood of the Nissan Patrol is a 5.5-liter naturally aspirated V8 motor that develops 400 hp and 560 Nm of torque. It sends power to all four wheels via a 7-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode. If you want a capable yet premium off-roader then you might want to consider this SUV as it comes with all the features you would want and more.
Mazda MX-5 (P1,980,000 - P2,265,000)
If the top-down, wind in your hair, sporty fun is what you are looking for then you might want to consider getting the Mazda MX-5. It can be had as either a soft-top or as a hardtop with both versions of the vehicle delivering a nimble and stable ride. It also comes with the award-winning Kodo design language that gives the vehicle a muscular stance with an aggressive design that maintains fluid symmetry. Aside from this, the MX-5 is also a great driver’s car as it offers an open-top experience well-balanced chassis and a well-tuned 2.0-liter motor. Its engine pushes out 184hp and 205 Nm of torque which is sent to the rear wheels via either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission.
While the inside of the Mazda MX-5 is compact, it does come with premium materials that help give the interior a more luxurious look and feel. All the controls are easily within reach and are easy to operate even at a glance. The vehicle also comes with a 9-speaker Bose sound system to further enhance your music listening experience. With that said, the Mazda MX-5 is worthy of your consideration as it is a great driver’s car that can be your daily vehicle as well as your Sunday drive partner if you are looking to go out and hit the road for fun.