The sedan segment, in which machines like the Toyota Corolla Altis and Volkswagen Jetta are popular, is about to get a new challenger from Chevrolet in the form of the latest Cruze. It has sportily rakish styling and is based on the platform of the excellent new Opel Astra, and could do much to accelerate Chevy’s ongoing revival in Singapore.
A new and improved version of Suzuki’s bestselling car will arrive here later in the year. Almost everything about the Swift has been updated; it has a new platform that promises sharper handling, better rear legroom and more luggage space. There are turbo and hybrid versions in Japan, making it clear that the Swift has come a long way from its humble origins.
An old favourite returns, and with it, Nissan’s answer to the Volkswagen Golf (which itself is receiving an update this year). It is based on Renault’s Megane (Nissan and Renault have a longstanding alliance), so expect European-style agility and driver involvement, along with a frugal 1.2-litre turbocharged engine from Nissan.
MORE THAN FOUR
Other vehicle genres have increased in popularity over the four-door saloons that dominated Singapore roads for decades. Why not consider these?
Honda Civic Hatchback
Honda’s major new cars this year have five doors. A redesigned CR-V crossover (one version of which will have seven seats) could be big news for family buyers, but for someone who enjoys a sporty lifestyle, the return of the Civic Hatchback is good news. It has a larger, more versatile boot than the popular saloon, and a racier body shape that pairs well with the sharp looks of the current Civic.
South Korean gadgets are considered top-notch, but unfortunately, Korean cars do not enjoy such an image. Perhaps the Kia Niro could change that. It runs on cutting-edge petrol-electric hybrid technology, and should deliver the fuel consumption of a tiny car. This is in spite of it having a mid-sized crossover body, and the roomy cabin and large boot this entails.
The Honda HR-V has become an ubiquitous sight on Singapore roads, and its success has catapulted Honda past Toyota to the top of local sales charts. The C-HR is Toyota’s riposte. It is a slightly larger car and will feature either a 1.2-litre turbo engine or the advanced 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid system that powers the Prius. But it is the C-HR’s concept car-like looks that are likely to captivate buyers most.
Another way to avoid the humdrum existence of life with four doors? Subtract two of them! And if you want even more glamour, lose the roof as well.
Audi R8 Spyder
It is likely to be a crowd favourite at the Singapore Motorshow 2017, and with good reason. The Audi R8 Spyder seems to have it all: Storming performance from its V10 engine, well-sorted handling, and good looks. It will only go on sale in the second half of the year, but you can still drool on its bodywork at the motorshow.
Mazda MX-5 RF
The Mazda MX-5 shows how a big engine (and serious money) are unnecessary if all you want is to have fun behind the wheel. The new RF model adds a folding roof that brings a bit of hard-top solidity to the car. See it for yourself at the motorshow.
As always, buyers with a bigger budget are the most spoilt for choice, and this year will have plenty to offer them. Here are two standouts.
BMW 5 Series
Often the best-selling BMW in Singapore, the 5 Series gets a revamp and raises the stakes in the connectivity game — it is the first car on sale that offers Apple CarPlay wirelessly. The basic model will be equipped with a diesel engine, so it will be interesting to see just how prepared executive car buyers are to make the switch.
Already in Singapore awaiting approval for sale, the Levante is Maserati’s long-anticipated answer to Porsche’s Cayenne. It applies the same recipe: Take a glorious name (Maserati ruled F1 in the 1950s) and attach it to a large, luxurious and speedy off-roader.
Source: http://www.todayonline.com/lifestyle/ca ... rward-2017
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