The 15th edition of the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) provided yet another slam-bang four-day spectacle at the World Trade Center. It attracted yet another record 142,000 attendees over the show’s four days.

Like in previous years, the 2019 MIAS showcased a number of genuine showstoppers. I count at least eight this year, from Kia, MG, Chevrolet, Hyundai, and Jeep. Other crowd favorites included the delightful Suzuki Jimny, the snazzy new Subaru XV GT Edition, the awesome Ford Ranger Raptor, and a whole host of affordable new Volkswagens.

What are those eight? Here they are in no particular order:

1. Kia Stinger

The Kia Stinger is the visionary product of the Kia GT Concept. Designed by Peter Schreyer and developed in the Kia Design Studio in Frankfurt, the Stinger remains faithful to its original inspiration. It needs to achieve a perfect balance of ride, handling, and comfort. It must be capable, with each prototype undergoing a minimum of 480 laps at the grueling Nürburgring circuit in Germany. The result is a nimble, fast, spacious, balanced, luxurious, and quiet gran turismo—all wrapped in an aggressive stance with a muscular fastback form.

The rear-wheel drive Stinger, Kia’s most ambitious project yet, is powered by a 3.3-liter twin-turbo direct-injection petrol V6, developing 370ps and 510Nm, and mated to an 8-speed automatic. Acceleration from 0-100kph is at 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 270kph.

The Stinger has electronically controlled Dynamic Suspension integrated with Drive Mode Select, which adjusts steering boost, shift points, throttle, and suspension mapping. Dynamic Torque Vectoring system comes standard. Braking is powered by 4-piston Brembo caliper discs on the front and rear. The 225/40R19 front and 255/35R19 rear performance tires, Auto Cruise Control and Blind Spot Detection, 360-Degree Around View Monitoring System, and Parking Sensors are likewise standard. The Stinger tops off the driving experience with a Harman/Kardon Sound System incorporating an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Stinger is expected to have a retail price in the P3.2- to P3.3-million range.

2. MG 6

“Fast is Back” at the 2019 MIAS with the launch of the MG 6 fastback sedan—a compact sedan that offers a new take on sport-luxury and enjoyable driving dynamics that MGs are traditionally known for—without breaking the bank.

The MG 6 is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that produces 164hp and 250Nm of torque and is mated to a 7-speed automatic. It comes with a host of driver assists including Cornering Brake Control, Electronic Brake Distribution, Hill Start Assist, and Traction Control.

The spacious and stylish cabin is finished in soft-touch materials for a more luxurious and comfortable drive. The MG 6 also features large trunk space, split-folding rear seats, an 8-inch LCD infotainment unit equipped with Apple CarPlay, a push start/stop button, a multi-function steering wheel, and a sunroof.

The MG 6 retails for P1,068,888 for the TST Alpha variant and P1,188,888 for the range-topping TST Trophy.

3. Chevrolet Camaro 2.0 Turbo RS

The P3,298,888 Chevrolet Camaro combines thrilling driving dynamics and fierce sporty design. The sculpted hood, aggressive grille, piercing LED headlamps, and muscular flanks all come together to exude pure muscle on the road. Five-spoke gray 20-inch alloy wheels with machine finish add a touch of sophistication to the sporty look.

Light yet power-dense, a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection VVT all-aluminum engine couples with an 8-speed automatic for maximum responsiveness and efficiency. To cope with Manila heat, it’s equipped with a heavy-duty cooling package and high-performance Brembo brakes.

A head-up display informs the driver with a projected image of the vehicle speed, RPM, fuel level, gear selection, G-Force, audio info, turn signals, exterior air temperature, and more.

Enjoy scintillating drives with a premium 8-inch Bose 9-speaker infotainment system with built-in reversing camera and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that lets you access your phone with just a touch or voice command.

Chevrolet’s Stabilitrak suite of driver-assist systems heightens safety with its stability control, traction control, and brake assist while the rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and side blind zone alert help to keep a safe and protected drive.

Up the muscle car ante with a complete Rally Sport package that includes an RS grille, decklid spoiler, black Bowtie emblems, and illuminated Camaro sill plates.

Keyless entry with remote engine start-stop adds ease and convenience by letting you pre-cool your car, especially on hot days. Other luxury cabin touches include power driver and passenger seats with memory.

4. Chevrolet Corvette

Like a true supercar, the P8,546,888 Chevrolet Corvette looks absolutely stunning, even if it is actually on the last few laps of its current model run. More importantly, it has the firepower to shame many much more expensive super cars—thanks mostly to its all-aluminum 6.2-liter V8, which generates 455hp and 621Nm of torque. The iconic small black V8 is mated to an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

That much go power needs equal stopping power—huge vented discs clamped by equally huge Brembo calipers. That fabulous Corvette roadholding, meanwhile, comes from Magnetic Ride Control, which reads the road every millisecond and adjusts damping forces in just 10-15 milliseconds. Staggered-size wheels (19 inches up front and 20 inches at the back) and sticky rubber help keep the car glued to the pavement.

This kind of performance needs its own black box. The Corvette’s performance data and video recorder lets drivers log in their sessions with real-time date so they can analyze their driving techniques on a racetrack and improve their driving skills. There is even a valet mode that lets owners record video and vehicle data when another driver uses the Corvette. 

Inside, there is an 8-inch touchscreen and voice-activated Chevrolet MyLink 10-speaker Bose SurroundStage infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a head-up display that shows color readouts for street mode, track mode g-meter, vehicle speed, and engine RPM. The Corvette’s occupants also benefit from premium competition sports seats that look as cool as they are comfortable and supportive.

5. Hyundai Palisade

The name “Palisade” refers to the picturesque and affluent Pacific Palisades community in Southern California. The 2020 Palisade has taken the world by storm ever since its global debut four months ago at the L.A. Auto Show.

The P3,240,000 Palisade is powered by a 2.2-liter 200ps CRDi e-VGT engine mated to an eight-speed automatic. It offers Hyundai’s HTRAC AWD System for driving stability with variable power delivery to the rear wheels to optimize traction over diverse road surfaces. Also a first among Korean SUVs, the dial-type HTRAC Multi-Terrain Control adjusts between driving modes so you can cruise over the roughest terrain or along city streets with equal ease.

Reflecting the premium values of a flagship SUV, Palisade’s bold lines are a statement of pure elegance. The ample hood and a large cascading mesh-type grill emphasize the strength and luxurious quality, while its cargo room is cavernous at 509 liters. This means that the Palisade’s seven-seating capacity, complete with second row captain seats, won’t just indulge your passengers with luxurious comfort and ample personal space: you can also fold the 60/40-split third row composed of power-activated seats down for effortless convenience and versatility.

Inside, the 2020 Hyundai Palisade combines advanced display technology and a wide layout—a visual treat that complements its high bridge console, enhancing the futuristic and luxurious image of the vehicle. Its fully automatic airconditioning system allows the front, second, and third row seats to independently control their desired cabin temperature, while seven USB ports (six charging ports and one multimedia terminal) are distributed around the cabin.  A powerful audio system equipped with six speakers is sure to set the perfect ambiance for passengers who can also sit back and gaze through the sunroof, while those at the front can access the AVN system equipped with a 10.25-inch screen.

The Palisade employs Advance High Strength Steel (AHSS) in key suspension and crash areas for increased tensile-strength and lighter overall vehicle weight. The 7-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster allows you to view key driving data without losing focus on the road ahead—made smarter with a Head-Up Display (HUD) that projects your GPS navigation information onto the windshield. The Palisade also boasts of the class-exclusive Blind View Monitor with Blind Spot Collision Warning and Blind Spot Monitor that is activated whenever the turn signal is on.

6. Hyundai Kona Electric

Known as Hyundai’s first-ever electric SUV, the award-winning Hyundai Kona Electric is bound to bring you an all-electric adventure. Engineered with a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Electric Motor, it has a maximum power of 204ps and 40.3kg-m of torque. It is also geared with a lithium-ion polymer battery for higher energy output and efficiency versus the nickel-hydride batteries used in other EVs. The P2,388,000 Kona’s battery pack is also much lighter in weight and takes up less space.   

Outside, the 2020 Hyundai Kona Electric hasn’t lost the Kona’s captivating design identity. Its futuristic 17-inch alloy wheels and unique closed-off grille will make this Hyundai stand out on the road.

Inside, the Kona Electric puts everything right at your fingertips: the wireless charging that keeps your smartphone conveniently electrified, the leather steering wheel with audio remote control, the drive mode select, and the Super Vision instrument cluster with 7-inch TFT LCD.

The generously equipped Kona Electric boasts six airbags, Reverse Parking Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Cruise Control, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, and Electronic Parking Brake.

7. Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

The launch of the highest Jeep Wrangler variant was a follow-through to the launch of the all-new Jeep Wrangler Sport and Unlimited Sport held in March. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon’s profile is unmistakable with its defining attribute, well-sculpted lines, and muscular stance. The Rubicon carries the tradition of the iconic 7-slot grille, which is now improved with a more aerodynamic design.

Drive through uncharted terrain with the LT255/75R17C tires with alloy wheels and enjoy more open-air driving as the Wrangler’s lightweight aluminum hood, fenders, swing gate, doors, and hinges remove easily in less than 20 minutes. The windshield can easily be folded down while retaining the rearview mirror in place. Never get lost with the GPS Antenna input equipped on the Rubicon.

Additionally, the Rubicon comes with an outside temperature gauge, front and rear fog lamps, body color 3-piece hardtop, and body color fender flares. The Unlimited Rubicon also offers a longer wheelbase than its two-door counterpart.

The modern yet iconic design of the Wrangler continues inside the vehicle, defined by sculptured forms, signature Jeep design elements, soft-touch high-quality materials, and state-of-the-art technology that make it equal and comparable to luxury SUVs.

Everything in the driver’s cockpit—from the new steering wheel to the reconfigurable driver cluster—is designed for intuitive use.

Smartphone integration has never been easier for the Rubicon with the UConnect 4 system with NAV and an 8.4-inch touchscreen equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Rubicon also offers a 230V auxiliary power outlet.

For the Rubicon, Jeep brings back the ever-resilient 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with Engine Stop-Start (ESS) with a power output of 286hp and 353Nm of torque. Also offered is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with Engine Stop-Start (ESS), which produces 268hp of power with 400Nm of torque. Both engines are mated with an 8-speed automatic.

Equipped with a Trail Rated badge, the legendary Wrangler Rubicon features Jeep’s Rock-Trac 4×4 system with a “4LO” ratio of 4:1 and Tru-Lok locking differentials as standard. The Rubicon is also equipped with skid plates, front and rear tow hooks, an all-new front fascia, and available front and rear steel heavy-duty off-road winch-ready bumpers with removable end caps for water fording and towing.

The Wrangler Rubicon receives a huge upgrade on safety and security with more than 75 available active and passive safety and security features, which include blind spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, parkview rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, electronic stability control, and multiple airbags.

The prices for the four Jeep Wrangler Rubicon variants are as follows: P3,990,000 for the base Rubicon 2-door with the 3.6-liter V6, P4,090,000 for the Rubicon 2-door with the 2.0-liter turbo engine, P4,390,000 for the Unlimited Rubicon 4-door with the 3.6-liter V6, and P4,490,000 for the top-of-the-line Unlimited Rubicon with the 2.0-liter turbo engine. 

8. Jeep Compass

The all-new Jeep Compass offers a combination of attributes that includes legendary and best-in-class 4×4 off-road capability, advanced fuel-efficient powertrains, premium and authentic Jeep design, superior on-road driving dynamics, and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology offerings.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s (FCA) “small wide architecture,” a fully independent suspension, segment-exclusive frequency damping front-and-rear-strut system, and precise electric power steering combine to deliver superior on-road driving dynamics in the new Compass.

The Jeep Compass boasts a rigid foundation and features a premium, sculptural design aesthetic. The upper body structure and frame are engineered as a single unit for a stiff and more mass-efficient structure. It’s designed and built with an extensive use of high-strength steel and liberal use of structural adhesives.

The exterior design is expressive and emotional with a wide stance and exceptional glass-to-wheel proportions. The all-new compact SUV is immediately recognizable as a Jeep with its distinctive traditional Jeep 7-slot grille.

Inside, the new Compass showcases a premium interior design highlighted by sculptural surface elements and precise technical detail. From the driver’s cockpit and center console to the seats and multiple storage solutions throughout the cabin, the interior is thoughtfully designed with characteristic Jeep design cues and accented with a color and finish that complements a lifestyle of adventure.

The new Compass starts rolling off Jeep’s showroom floors this August. Variants, colors, and pricing will be revealed soon.