For car buyers - Top 5 most underrated used cars in the Philippines

Updated Apr 05, 2021 | Same topic: Best Advice for Car Buyers

We present to you a list of what we think are some of the most underrated vehicles in the used car market! Read on to find your next car and stand out from the crowd!

If you browse through Philkotse.com’s used car listing section, I’m sure you can’t help but wonder if there are any other options out there for you other than the usual Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. Today, we give you some examples of some great cars that have been forgotten for one reason or another but are still great choices for car enthusiasts on a budget.

Cars for sale section on Philkotse.com

Cars for sale section on Philkotse.com

1. Chevrolet Optra SS Wagon

The Optra SS Station Wagon is the perfect used car for anyone who wants to have an affordable and modern option to the classic body type. Powered by a 1.6-liter E-tec engine, acceleration is brisk but can only be described as adequate. If you compare it to its contemporaries -- high-revving Japanese sedans -- you would be disappointed.

Chevrolet Optra

The Optra SS Station Wagon is the perfect used car for anyone who wants to have an affordable and modern option

What it’s best used for is as a Grand Tourer, a cruiser that has suspension characteristics mimicking European models. Pair that with generous rear space, and it can give you the same versatility of a crossover but the low-ride height of a performance sedan.

The SS model had an upgraded body kit to give it a more aggressive look. The interior is more spartan than luxurious as hard, cheap plastics abound. But that shouldn’t worry you as you start driving this wonderful machine which gives you the confidence and precision of a tuned European car.

Specifications
Engine
1.6-liter E-TEC II inline-four
Power
110hp@5,800rpm
Torque
150Nm@4,000rpm
Fuel economy
6-7km/L (city), 9-11km/L (highway) (estimate)
Transmission
five-speed MT, four-speed AT
Suspension
(F) McPherson Struts; (R) Multi-link Suspension

>>> Find great deals on the Chevrolet Optra SS Station Wagon for sale right now!

2. Ford Lynx RS

The Ford Lynx RS was released in 2003 with much fanfare. There finally was a legitimate contender to the king of the hill, the Honda Civic SiR.

Because of a new tax structure, car companies were then able to release cars above 1.6 liters without having to price the model out of the market. The powerful two-liter engine is sourced from Mazda, borne of the Ford-Mazda partnership. In fact, this very model is known as the Mazda Protege MPS in other markets.

Ford Lynx RS on the Road

You can never go wrong with combining a 2-liter engine and a good, solid manual transmission

Handling is just amazing as it features a fully independent suspension system and it even comes with a front strut bar as standard. You also get sport-inspired fabric seats with RS badging.

Parts are plentiful and you can find tons of support online. You can never go wrong with combining a two-liter engine and a good, solid manual transmission. The reason you don’t see this very often on the road is that this was only available on a limited run.

Specifications
Engine
2.0-liter FSDE inline-4
Power
143hp@6,000rpm
Torque
192Nm@4,500rpm
Fuel economy
7-8km/L (city), 9-10km/L (highway) (estimate)
Transmission
five-speed MT
Suspension
(F) McPherson Struts; (R) Independent Dual Link

3. Mazda 3 2.0R

This is the car that started it all for Mazda in the Philippines; the model that introduced the company’s “Zoom-Zoom” marketing campaign, inviting car journalists at the time to just go crazy with it. This Mazda 3 does not just have a powerful two-liter engine but also a finely tuned suspension system which enables you to cut through mountain passes whatever the condition.

Mazda 3 2.0R on the road

Mazda 3 2.0R is the car that started it all for Mazda in the Philippines

Inside you will be treated to plush leather seats and trims as well as soft-touch plastics for the dash and door panels. NVH levels were also class-leading at the time. You wouldn’t even notice the speedometer breaching the triple-digit barrier.

The bestseller for this model is the 1.6-liter model but I’ve always known and owners agree that the model to have is the two-liter R variant. Pulling all that weight around required a more potent engine than the 1.6 and they attest that this top-of-the-line model can even have better fuel economy than the lower variants.

Specifications
Engine
2.0-liter MZR inline-4
Power
147hp@6,500rpm
Torque
187Nm@4,500rpm
Fuel economy
6-7km/L (city), 10-11km/L (highway) (estimate)
Transmission
Four-speed AT
Suspension
(F) McPherson Struts; (R) Independent Multi-Link

4. Nissan Cefiro V6

Before the introduction of the Teana, Nissan had one of the most prolific and luxurious land-yachts available, the three-liter V6 Nissan Cefiro. The A33 model featured every luxury amenity you could think of at the time: leather seats, dark wood trim, rear AC vents, a sunroof, window blinds for privacy. It even has the most 2000s thing you can think of, a VCD player.

Nissan Cefiro

Nissan had one of the most prolific and luxurious land-yachts available, the three-liter V6 Nissan Cefiro

The Nissan Cefiro had it all. What it didn’t have was a good residual value. Nowadays you can get a good specimen for a quarter of the original asking price.

There is nothing wrong with the engine if that’s what you’re worried about, as it is powered by the reliable VQ30DE V6 engine. What you do have to look out for are the aforementioned luxury features. It just has so many of them that in time they might not function as they are supposed to.

If you are willing to take the plunge you will be treated to one of the most luxurious and stately vehicles in the market.

Specifications
Engine
3.0-liter VQ30DE V6
Power
220hp@6,400rpm
Torque
301Nm@4,000rpm
Fuel economy
5-7km/L (city), 8-10km/L (highway) (estimate)
Transmission
Four-speed AT
Suspension
(F) McPherson Struts; (R) Independent Multi-Link

5. Hyundai Coupe

The Hyundai Coupe for sale, or Tiburon as it is known in the US market, is the predecessor of the Hyundai Veloster. It is a front-wheel-drive coupe powered by a ridiculous 2.7-liter V6 engine that was released in 2004 that put Japanese brands on notice. 

For a fraction of whatever was available at the time, you had the chance to own one of the most exciting weekend fun machines ever to have rolled off Hyundai’s car lots.

I can’t stress enough how much fun this car was, I first drove this a few years back when a friend told me about it. I was skeptical at first as I knew that only Honda can make a fun two-door, front-wheel drive engine.

Hyundai Coupe

The Hyundai Coupe, or Tiburon as it is known in the US market, is the predecessor of the Hyundai Veloster

To my surprise, as soon as I turned the ignition key, the stock exhaust system greeted me with such an intense exhaust note, that I swore there was a VTEC engine under the hood.

I took the Hyundai coupe down up some twisty roads and the power was well-mated to a precise manual transmission and suspension system. Sure the ride was really stiff, but this was meant to be a sports car and it had no apologies for how rough it felt inside. The entire time I was behind the wheel, there was a smile I couldn’t erase -- even over the next few days.

Get yourself the Hyundai Coupe if you want something different and fun to take along with you on weekends. You might find this to be your next favorite car.

Specifications 
Engine
2.7-liter G6BA V6
Power
172hp@6,000rpm
Torque
245Nm@4,000rpm
Fuel economy
6-7km/L (city), 9-10km/L (highway) (estimate)
Transmission
Five-speed MT, four-speed AT
Suspension
(F) McPherson Struts; (R) Independent Multi-Link

There are more cars on that you never even thought could be worth your hard-earned money. It’s always best to do your research first before buying your next car. If you broaden your field of view and browse through our listings page you might just find the next car of your dreams! 

Roy Robles

Roy Robles

Author

Sleek, Sexy, Athletic and Fast. These are words that were never used to describe our resident claustrophobe Roy Robles. After spending 10 years counting other people's cash in banks, he is just happy to be at Philkotse.com. Catch his articles everyday and make sure to honk if you see him.

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