Together with the motoring media, Isuzu has explored every nook and cranny the country has to offer. Name the exotic destination, and most probably, Isuzu were the first ones to bring in the media for a ride and drive event in that picturesque place.
Now that the Isuzu Crosswind is on its final run after a dominant presence in the AUV market for the past 21 years, starting out as the Isuzu Hi-Lander in 1997 and as the Crosswind Sportivo in 2001 with 300K units sold, Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) deemed it fit to organize a drive up to the Northern most tip of the country in Sta Ana, Cagayan.
With select members of the Motoring media in tow, IPC organized a three day drive with the 2017 Crosswind from Tugegarao up to Sta. Ana, Cagayan which is home to the infamous Port Irene. Participants of the event drove for six hours and were able to experience the dependability and consistency of one of the brand’s longest selling nameplates in the Southeast Asian region. The 130 kilometer route allowed us to experience the lush greenery of the North with its vast rice fields as we traversed the provincial coastal areas of Cagayan. We were divided into teams of four in six Crosswind units. Good roads allowed us to feel the comforts of the Crosswind with its cool climate control and double wishbone with torsion bar springs and stabilizer bar at the front with Flex Ride suspension, which was designed for local roads. The reliable 85bhp 2.5-liter 4JA1-L turbo-charged engine hummed in authority as we put the pedal to the metal to reach our destination shortly before sundown.
Exterior-wise, the very sturdy stance and looks never left the 2017 Isuzu Crosswind. The multi-spoke silver alloy wheels provide accent to its tall stance, giving it a sportier look that can withstand the toughest weather conditions. “The Isuzu Crosswind perfectly characterizes the commitment that Isuzu has and would be delivering to the Filipino market. We will continue to find more ways to make this vehicle more Filipino-centric,” says IPC president Hajime Koso.
Improvements to this year’s variants include a single in-dash entertainment system that can accommodate DVD/CD/MP3/WMA/JPG playback with front USB on the sliding cover was utilized during hour-long drives from point A to point B. The six speakers—two each in the front and rear doors, plus a pair of tweeters—evenly distributed the sound around the cabin while in transit or even after having short stops during the trip. The 2017 Isuzu Crosswind is also perfect for getaways and short weekend drives, with class-leading third row space, perfect for fitting luggage for the whole family. No package or cargo would be left behind with the Crosswind as it has ample space inside the cabin as well as the roof rails which can be fitted with a roof basket for extra luggage space.
Also known in other parts of Southeast Asia as the “Panther”, this multi-purpose vehicle started production in 1991 and was developed in Indonesia with General Motors. It was also manufactured and sold in India under the name Chevrolet Tavera, which was equipped with a gasoline engine. In the Philippines, the Panther is known as the Hi-Lander, and was later rebadged as the Crosswind in 2001. It was given a major redesign in 2005 with minor facelifts introduced in 2007 and 2009. It is now on its second generation.
It was a memorable and fitting ride and drive tribute to Isuzu’s best selling variant which Filipinos have come to love as part of the Family. The Crosswind has made a lasting impression in the local automotive scene that this writer is a proud owner of a Crosswind Sportivo XUV. IPC have also revealed that they have supplied dealers with more than enough parts and accessories for the Crosswind variants for maintenance purposes to last for the next ten years.
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