• Toyota Fortuner is 2016 Auto Focus People’s Choice Automobile of the Year

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    Executives of Toyota Motor Philippines receive the Automobile of the Year award for the all-new Fortuner SUV from Auto Focus host and producer Ray Butch Gamboa (far left).

    Executives of Toyota Motor Philippines receive the Automobile of the Year award for the all-new Fortuner SUV from Auto Focus host and producer Ray Butch Gamboa (far left).

    The all-new Toyota Fortuner SUV, launched earlier this year, bagged the Automobile of the Year trophy in the 2016 Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards, given last week at Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig City.

    The Fortuner’s higher-end cousin, the Lexus

    RX350, won the award in the luxury category.

    Based on a press statement released by Sunshine TV, the Fortuner topped the standard category with 3,601.2 sales-based points (courtesy of 16,774 sold units) and 308 public votes. The RX350, for its part, came out on top of the luxury class with 842.4 sales-based points (149 sold units) and 993 votes.

    The AFPCA is an annual public poll that “aims to determine the country’s most popular automobile brands and models.” The perennially best-selling Toyota Vios was no longer qualified for this year’s top honors after having been elevated to the awards’ Hall of Fame in 2015.

    “These awards allow car owners and buyers to be more informed, and also provide them a channel of communication through which their voice and preferences may be heard by industry players,” said Sunshine TV chairman and CEO Ray Butch Gamboa. “From such feedback, better products and services can be offered.”

    In the standard category, Toyota also picked up three other Model of the Year awards for the Innova (MPV), the Hi-Ace (Van) and the Hilux (Pickup). Honda received three citations for the City (Subcompact), the Civic (Compact Sedan) and the Accord (Midsize Sedan). One award each went to the Ford EcoSport (Compact SUV), the Jeep Wrangler (Large SUV), the Mazda MX-5 (Sports Car), and the Nissan Juke (Open).

    In the luxury category, six other Lexus vehicles secured Model of the Year titles: the ES350 (Midsize Sedan), the RC F (Sports Car), the IS350 (MPV), the GS460 (Midsize SUV), the LX570 (Large SUV) and the NX200t (Open). Mercedes-Benz got two awards for the A-Class (Subcompact) and the B-Class (MPV). And then Honda added a pair of luxury awards with the Legend (Large Sedan) and the Odyssey (Van).

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