A cou­ple we’re good friends with is look­ing for a new ride. We’re more than glad to help!

Top Gear (Philippines) - - The Garage - BOTCHI sAN­TOs E-mail us at topgear@sum­mit­media.com.ph

‘The cou­ple asked if we can help them find the right ve­hi­cle’

A few years ago, we re­ceived an e-mail from a per­son who was in­quir­ing about a few cars and what we thought of these. He was in­ter­ested in pur­chas­ing a ve­hi­cle, so we im­me­di­ately in­vited him to be fea­tured in the WC/RC sec­tion, and he said yes. That was AJ Hara, a Ja­panese na­tional who had semire­tired in the Philip­pines. He was with his wife Jen. Af­ter our photo shoot, we stayed in touch and be­came good friends. AJ would in­vite us out for din­ner, and Jen and my wife Erica also be­came good friends.

Fast-for­ward a few years and things have changed some­what. The cou­ple now spend most of their time in Guam, where Jen is pur­su­ing a sec­ond de­gree in Nurs­ing, hop­ing to con­tinue on to be­come a doc­tor while AJ is en­joy­ing his re­tire­ment. But de­spite liv­ing in Guam for eight to 10 months a year, the cou­ple still spends time in the Philip­pines, tour­ing the coun­try when­ever time per­mits.

They had sold AJ’s MercedesBenz A45 AMG and C300 when they started spend­ing less time in Manila and more time in Guam, but they still need a ride for when they’re here. Now, AJ is a keen driver, while Jen wants some­thing roomy and com­fort­able. So, the cou­ple con­tacted us again to ask if we can help them out in find­ing a ve­hi­cle that meets both their wants and needs. Well, of course we say yes— be­cause that’s what friends are for!

What eas­ily comes to mind are com­pact yet ver­sa­tile crossovers, so we check out a few.

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