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The Japanese hatch battle

  • May 14, 2019
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You must know Japan as the Land of the Rising Sun. However, there are a number of other things as well that this country is known for. Japanese are well-known for their punctuality, amazing work ethics, and of course, their love for automobiles. Perhaps, the latter one of the many reasons why Japanese bikes or cars have got so much respect and admiration across the world. Car brands like Suzuki, Honda, Toyota, and Mazda have been a part of the global automobile industry for decades now. They have made some of the finest cars that we have ever seen.


The Japanese Hatch Battle


And the competition amongst them leads to the development of newer and better products. These brands have left their impression in many parts of the world and we are also lucky to have them here in our country. The hatchback segment in the Philippines has become very crowded and there are some Japanese cars that stand against each other. These are the Suzuki Swift, Honda Jazz, Toyota Yaris, and Mazda 2 Hatchback. All of them have the same origin but a different approach towards our market. Let’s get to know a bit more about them and try to find a winner of the Japanese hatch battle.


Suzuki Swift


Suzuki Swift


Suzuki Swift is undoubtedly one of the most popular hatchbacks in the world. This little car has really caused a stir in the segment in every country it has been launched in. With the latest model of the Swift, Suzuki has tried to make it as modern yet affordable. Suzuki Swift is now more European in terms of its design and style. Features like LED projector headlamps, LED daytime running lights, LED signature taillights, etc. have been added to meet the modern standards. Its interior is also together very well put and offers a good amount of space. There is a touch screen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility for convenience and entertainment. The Suzuki Swift specs have three variants for us and all of them are powered by the same 1.2-litre engine that produces 82 hp at 6,000 revs and 113 Nm at 4,200 revs. You do get an option of having either a 5-speed manual or a CVT. The Suzuki Swift price starts at Php 755,000 for the base model and the hatch is available in six colours - Metallic Mineral Gray, Metallic Speedy Blue, Metallic Star Silver, Pearl Ablaze Red, Pearl Pure White, and Pearl Super Black.


Honda Jazz


Honda Jazz


This is another Japanese hatchback that has been around for many years now. It is known for its cabin space that is one of the largest in the segment. With the recent midseason upgrade last year, the Jazz now gets a new RS variant which comes with features that make it sportier than ever before. The Honda Jazz specs reveal a 1.5-litre unit that produces 120 PS of max power at 6,600 rpm and 145 Nm of peak torque at 4,800 rpm. This is the only engine option available across the board. As far as the transmission is concerned, there is either a 5-speed manual or Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology CVT on offer. We are expecting to see an updated version of the Jazz at the upcoming 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. The Honda Jazz price for the available models starts at Php 857,000 and goes up to Php 1.08 million. 


Toyota Yaris


Toyota Yaris


The Yaris is Toyota’s take on the hatchback segment in the country. The 2019 model has been one of the most anticipated cars that we have seen in recent times. To be honest, Toyota has done an impressive job with this one. The Yaris offers a very attractive and youthful design. Some of its main elements of attraction include its large headlamps, sporty front bumper, large taillights, and a rear roof-mounted spoiler. On the inside, there is ample amount of cabin space and a number of features. However, what impresses us the most is the safety rating of this car. It comes with 7 airbags as standard across all the variants which is quite commendable. The Toyota Yaris price starts at Php 880,000 and it is available in 5 colours - Freedom White, Attitude Black Mica, Grey Metallic, Orange Metallic, and Citrus Mica Metallic.


Mazda 2 Hatchback


Mazda 2 Hatchback


We think that the Mazda 2 Hatchback stands out among all the aforementioned cars when it comes to design and style. We mean, just look at it! It wears the ‘KODO - Soul of Motion’ design language perfectly. There are some elements that are very unique like the front grille and the design of the headlamps. The interior of this car doesn’t disappoint either. The all-black treatment with the red stitching on the seats, dashboard, and centre console looks gorgeous. The space available is also decent. We do like how Mazda has come up with its unique instrument cluster. There are two variants of the Mazda 2 Hatchback available in the country. The Mazda 2 Hatchback specs say that both the variants are powered by a 1.5-litre engine with 106 hp of power and a peak torque of 139 Nm. You only get single 6-speed automatic transmission as there is no option of manual. The Mazda 2 Hatchback price in the Philippine market starts at Php 965,000.


Being Japanese, all these hatchbacks are extremely good. They have got their own character and list of features. You will need to make a decision based on your needs and budget. However, no matter which one you pick, you would not be disappointed.

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