Changes in the last 10 years

The Miss Universe coronation night has been concluded, with Miss France Iris Mittenaere taking home the crown after an outstanding answer to the question of the night.

On the other hand, our very own Miss Philippines Maxine Medina almost made it to the top 3. Her roadblock during the event was this question: “What is the most significant change that you’ve seen in the world in the last 10 years?”

It was a beautiful question, with a lot of varying answers depending on which aspect you are looking at. Technological advancements can be an answer, as well as climate change and global warming. However, when it comes to the local automotive industry, what has really changed in the past 10 years?

Design

Generally, modern cars lean towards a common design – chrome accents. Manufacturers basically put them in the fascia to exhume class and elegance, while adding a premium feel to the car. Modern cars are also sleeker and integrated with more distinctive character lines.

Moreover, even pickup trucks have changed their design, from the slow, road-hugging workhorses to lifestyle vehicles with SUV-like ride comfort.

In addition, LED head and tail lamps are also becoming rampant among current models today. Although, halogen lamps are still more common, you’ll often see LED as the option for premium variants. LED produces a cooler light temperature than halogen lamps, and illuminates road signs better.

Another feature that most modern cars have are daytime running lights (DRL). Aside from adding aesthetic appeal to the car, these can make the cars more visible on the road, which also increases safety.

Safety

In terms of safety, cars these days are safer than equivalent cars that were released 10 years ago. Aside from added airbags, the body of modern cars are more rigid than their older counterparts. Some, like Subaru, even have breakaway engine that pulls itself out of the passenger’s way, in case a collision occurs.

Additionally, safety features such as Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist are becoming more of a necessity these days rather than a luxury. EBD reduces braking distance, while brake assist, as its name implies, assist in braking – both are essentials during emergency situations. Although, not all models have both features yet, some entry-level subcompact hatchback already comes standard with EBD.

Engine

When it comes to powertrains, there are 2 local developments in the past 10 years – the introduction of hybrid and clean diesel engines.

Hybrid models like the Toyota Prius and Honda CR-Z are sold locally, giving birth to the hybrid segment. In fact, the Chinese green-tech brand BYD also sells the Qin hybrid sports sedan, which is a great contender to the newborn segment.

On the flipside, diesel engines have also evolved through the past 10 years. They are now cleaner – local emission standard has been set to Euro 4. Although the common rail direct injection (CRDi) engine was developed more than 10 years back, it’s now common to have this technology in diesel-powered cars.

This is without mentioning that Mazda completely revolutionized diesel powertrains and introduced the clean and efficient SkyActiv-D technology.

Technology

There are a lot of high-tech features these days that are just available as aftersales accessories 10 years ago. For instance, more models come with GPS or navigational features as standard. Rear parking sensors are also common, while some having cameras instead. Some cars, like the Ford Focus, can even park themselves.

Head units are becoming advanced as well, with more and more connectivity options for users such as Aux input, Bluetooth, Wi-fi, and more. Before, those weren’t an option for many yet. Some brands also have Apple Carplay and Android Auto in their head unit, which allows seamless integration of smart phones into the car’s audio and entertainment system.

Aside from the mentioned features above, other capabilities are also available in cars these days. Cruise control is more advanced, with the word ‘adaptive’ preceding it means more driving with no hands. In addition, present-day cars can also notify the driver of safety hazards, such as seatbelt alert that warns the driver if the passenger is not wearing his/her seatbelt; and the tire monitoring system that alerts the driver if one of the tires doesn’t have sufficient air pressure.

There you go – those are some of the significant changes in the locally sold cars in the past 10 years. We have been through a lot, obviously, but rest assured, we are moving forward and that’s what makes the future more exciting.

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