On our cover this month we have one of our stalwart names. The Isuzu vehicles have the luxury of some of the most serious brand loyalty in the country. And we say country because their reach is outside the main city and city centers. Their trucks and such are in many ways conservative compared to others yet they clearly provide something that those others don’t. And since they have been present in their current configuration for over two decades as of this year (prior to twenty years ago Isuzu vehicles were in the Philippines via a different route, remember the Gemini?) they clearly know their stuff. They celebrate this milestone just as the country is in a quandary over what exactly government is thinking in terms of taxes and implementation. Isuzu does what all us other business people need to do, just get on with it and provide people with what helps them do their jobs and make their decisions.
The mu-X on our cover is part of what drove our intrepid team to do some explaining. A call to our office asking, as usual, which vehicle would be best for him led the guys to try and explain what makes all these tall vehicles similar and what makes them different. Nics and Nico shot each other (on video) explaining why two supposedly similar vehicles are actually very different. Check them out on our website and our Facebook page. They compared the ever-popular Fortuner and the somewhat under-under appreciated RAV-4, both from Toyota of course. Both vehicles can make you very happy, as long as you understand the strengths that each one can bring to the game. This isn’t just for those two vehicles though. On paper we have SUVs (or what people still call SUVs) based on more car-like platforms like the Subaru VX, we have the pickup-type base designs like the Fortuner and the mu-X. We have a wealth of things to choose from, it’s in our own interests to get the most intelligent information we can.
The Civic this month was an eye-opener to those of us that grew up with earlier models. The RS Modulo in this issue feels more like the premium Accords of previous generations, yet it somehow feels more energetic. We just came off the Frankfurt Motor Show, and while on one hand we have all this talk of new technologies and the changes to come, we are also seeing products that are better than ever. This Civic and the cars like it are an example of that. They look to their past as a compass and a springboard, but they draw from the present and indeed the future to produce what we want today. True, cars definitely have shorter lives because of electronics and environmental concerns and that is sad but that also is supposed to help as they are increasingly more recyclable and biodegradable (at least in countries that actually do such things. Here we just rebuild them.).
An automotive engineer and designer recently told me that he believes we are in the renaissance era of the car. I didn’t quite understand him at the time. But maybe he is right. We now have so many disciplines to draw from, so much knowledge and experience to use, so much strength in areas that are more mature than ever, that our cars are able to be as flexible and well-rounded as they are deep and devoted to their task. The simple stuff is largely done without a second thought (hopefully) so know time can be devoted to learning to do other things, take other roads, meet other challenges.