Isuzu, the country’s leader in commercial vehicles, is up for the challenge of changing the way the Filipino people are transported. With the goal of benefitting the riding public at large, Isuzu has teamed up with the country’s leading tuck body builders, Almazora, Centro, and Santa Rosa to produce five examples to choose from.
These modern PUVs are built with the following goals in mind: safety, security, reliability, comfort, and environmentally friendly Euro-4 emissions standards.
In order to consistently provide these qualities, no matter the operator, the Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Philippines Standards (DTI-BPS), together with automotive industry representatives have come out with a Philippine National Standard (PNS) for PUVs: PNS 2126:2017.
This standard rationalized PUV sizes and dimensions in order to organize their classification and properly configure them for their intended use. The modern PUV is divided into four classes with dimensional limits for the vehicles’ size, strict limits on the seating arrangement and capacity, as well as maximum mass. The specifications for the front and rear overhang, cabin, seat and seat lay out, step board, service door and emergency exit are also included in the dimensional limits.
These are classes I to IV, with each class catering to various route lengths and areas of operation, from just a couple of streets, to intercity, inter-province, or even inter-island travel.
Regardless of the class, these modern jeepneys from Isuzu are built upon the venerable QKR77 cab and chassis as the base truck. The QKR77 is Isuzu’s most versatile truck platform, serving as the favored transport vehicles for small, medium or large enterprises. It makes up the bulk of many companies’ logistics arm, whether for last mile transport, or as the primary transport vehicle.
The QKR77 features a strong steel chassis and a 4JH-1 TC engine; an engine that falls under the same J engine family like the ones used in the mu-X and D-Max. The 3.0-liter Euro4 BluePower direct injection turbo intercooler makes 106 PS with 230 Nm of torque and paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox. The powertrain and reinforced frame let the QKR77 to move a maximum G.V.W. of 4,490 kilograms.
For safety, all these PUV models are limited to 80 kilometers per hour and have a whole suite of CCTV cameras to monitor the cabin and the road ahead. The primary doors are on the right side of the vehicles, for safer entry and egress. There is also an emergency door at the back. All models are airconditioned can even be equipped with WiFi for the passengers’ convenience.
PUV Class 2 Models
Class 2 PUVs are meant to fulfill the role of traditional Jeepneys, carrying passengers along a main road and crossing city boundaries in some instances.
First among the models is the models offered is one built by Almazora. This PUV features a D-Max/mu-X inspired grill up front, paired with the QKR’s standard headlights. It features side-facing seating, along with plenty of standing room. There are two more forward facing individual seats up front. There is also an LCD TV behind the driver that shows the route and even some video advertisements. It can also be fitted with a wireless payment terminal system near the door. It features comfortable standing or walking room for passengers. The engine can easily be maintained thanks to a locked lid inside the main cabin.
Another model is from Centro. This PUV retains the QKR’s original cab, but features a higher roofline for the benefit of passenger headroom. Upon entry into the main cabin, there is a BEEP wireless payment terminal; a reloadable prepaid value card that you can also use to pay your bills, buy items at convenience stores, and even ride the LRT systems. Despite retaining the original cabin, the cab and the passenger area are merged and is fully airconditioned. There is an LCD television screen that separates the forward cab and the main passenger cabin. The main cabin has two side-facing benches with seat padding. Two passengers can also sit in front with the driver, like the Almazora model. The interior height was designed with a 5’10” (175 cm) Filipino in mind. There are also plenty of poles and grab handles for standing passengers.
PUV Class 3 Models
Class 3 PUVs are intended for longer routes, connecting large cities with a route that often traverses expressways or national highways, similar to a mini bus. It is imperative that passengers have proper seating.
The example made by Santa Rosa Motors is built to meet these requirements. Its entire exterior is custom built featuring round headlamps and a minimalist grille.
The model boasts of forward-facing seats, and a more powerful roof-mounted air-conditioning unit with vents for each row for comfort. It can fit 23 passengers in total, each one of them can sit. There are seat restraints for safety.
Centro’s version features a similar design to its Class 2 PUV, with the main difference being forward-facing seats for its passengers.
With these exceptional designs that put safety, reliability, comfort, and cleaner emissions as priority, the only challenge is the selection of which vehicle to ferry passengers in. The future of Philippine public transportation looks bright, convenient and comfortable.
By the Manila Bulletin Drive team