What did cars in the Philippines look like 10 years ago?

We’re about to end the first month of 2019, and some of us are still reeling from the year that was. It’s hard to believe that the automotive landscape has changed so much in almost two decades since the turn of the 21st century, and trends have definitely come and gone, some even having a lasting impact on car manufacturers even until now. We’ve seen the entry of new car manufacturers from different countries, and we’ve seen the strengthening of mainstay vehicle offerings from established brands.

Interestingly enough, 10 years ago saw the start of 2009, and, for me personally, was the start of my college years. The cars I saw in my college parking lot were way different then, and I hadn’t begun my journey into automotive writing yet. At the time, I had a 2007 Toyota Vios, so it wasn’t necessarily the latest or most expensive vehicle for a college student. Looking back, here at AutoDeal, we’ve decided to come up with something pretty fun; our own version of the #10YearChallenge, covering a number of cars from different manufacturers. From boxier designs to more swooping shapes and character lines, daytime running lights almost being non-existent, and radically new design languages, some cars from ten years ago have aged gracefully, while some haven’t changed a single bit. Some cars have even grown over the years, with the market dictating bigger cabins and more seating capacity.

Check out our list below and be surprised at just how far our Philippine car market has come in ten years, and just how much older we’ve gotten throughout the years. Chances are, you’ve had at least one of these cars in your garage, and these pictures are sure to trigger some memories.

The soap bar shape has stayed, but the addition of LED lighting, sharper edges, and a completely new design language have made the Toyota Vios a mainstay.

The compact crossover battle was very heated back in the day, and the Nissan X-Trail won over a good chunk of buyers. Powerful, capable, and handsomely boxy, the newer X-Trail carries over most of the good bits, but with much more swoopiness (yes, that’s a word now).

If it works, why change it? The perennial small truck of Mitsubishi, the L300, has served Filipinos for many years, being a people carrier, delivery truck, and even an emergency vehicle for first responders. If there was a job that needed doing, the L300 would rise to the occasion, so much so that they haven’t found the need to change it in quite some time.

The Honda Civic has always been a car enthusiast’s choice, offering sporty performance in everyday sedan proportions. The Civic of later 2000s started the whole sweeping look for the family, becoming a safer option for even mainstream buyers. Compared to the current-generation Civic, you’ll see that Honda has tried going back to its sportier roots.

The Ford Everest of yesteryears was loved for its boxy and almost wagonlike proportions. This was at a time when the midsize SUV market was still pretty young, and the trend of shifting to bigger vehicles was a few years away. The new Everest is now a technological powerhouse, offering top creature comforts and safety systems.

Suzuki’s lovable Swift hatchback has always spawned aftermarket and performance related goodies. Fun to drive and good-looking for its time, the current generation Swift is no different. The Swift’s shape hasn’t changed much, but the nip and tuck and additional design elements have brought it into the present.

Talk about radical. The 2009 Lexus ES was extremely comfortable and stately, but a little bit lacking in character. Understandably, It was often regarded as just a spruced up Toyota Camry. Not so for 2019, however, as the Lexus ES 350 embraces the new Lexus design language, becoming a step above its contemporaries.

The Hyundai Santa Fe adopted the midsize crossover trend early on, selling well in international markets. While the 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe was already a safe and non-offensive choice that catered to a wide array of buyers, the 2019 Santa Fe is the edgiest and most aggressive one yet.

Mazda sure has come a long way with its designs, and the latest iteration of the Mazda3 proves that. Much more dynamic and premium styling have dominated Mazda’ products, a far cry from their previously safe and unassuming offers. 

In the realm of city cars, the Kia Picanto has always held a place in first time and urban-focused car buyers. Through the years, the compact dimensions have grown ever so slightly, but the design has improved immensely, much in part to the hiring of designers from certain European manufacturers.

Unfortunately, some good things have to come to an end.

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