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The yearly Singapore Motor Show may feature the automotive industry's latest and greatest but here are five best buys for car buyers on a budget.

12 Jan 2018

The publicity around motor shows often focuses on the release of brand spanking new models or the reveal of futuristic concepts. You'd usually find photos of these cars shimmering on a stage, rotating slowly in all their glory in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

But motor shows have much more to offer than just these glitzy debuts and the stunning modelling talents accompanying them. Instead, they are a good time for car buyers to find the best deals in town, especially the Singapore Motor Show, which happens every year just before Chinese New Year.

If you're looking for a new set of wheels before the Year of the Dog comes around but aren't keen on burning a hole in your pocket, here are five best-buys, which make absolute financial sense that we've rounded up at this year's Singapore Motor Show.

The cheap-to-buy and affordable-to-run Space Star is a practical proposition for young families
1. Hatchback - Mitsubishi Space Star

The Mitsubishi Space Star is a car that needs little introduction, as it has already won our Compact Hatchback of the Year 2017 title.

As the hatchback sibling of the Mitsubishi Attrage, the Space Star offers a fuel-efficient 1.2-litre engine, a relatively spacious cabin despite its compact dimensions and an equally generous 416-litre boot.

Driven sensibly around town, as we've tested, the Space Star also returns fuel economy figures of 14km/L.

Prices for the Space Star 1.2L Elegance begin at $69,999* this motor show weekend, inclusive of a $10,000 VES rebate.

The bang-for-buck Kia K3 is all the sedan small, practical-minded families will ever need
2. Sedan - Kia K3

The K3 is Kia's answer to rivals like the Toyota Altis and the Honda Civic, and it's quickly becoming a staple in its class.

Its sportily-sculpted sheet metal, Kia's impeccable attention to cabin detailing, and its agile and light performance thanks to a chirpy 1.6-litre engine further ensure its bang-for-buck proposition.

And once you're up to speed, the K3 deals well with imperfect road conditions, sending little or no vibrations to the cabin and keeping unwanted noises well at bay, which is surprisingly refined for a car of its price.

For this motor show weekend, prices for the K3 L 1.6L begin at $79,999*, falling under the neutral VES band.

The Peugeot 2008 is everything you're looking for in a refined and sensible compact SUV
3. Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) - Peugeot 2008

The Peugeot 2008 is an affordable alternative to the Honda HR-V and the Toyota C-HR in the compact SUV trendwagon, which is based heavily on the Peugeot 208 but with more space and flexibility, a higher seating position and head-turning looks - without too much of a price premium.

More importantly, despite being powered by a mere 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder, it feels lively whether going over speed bumps or through an exciting corner.

At the same time, while it may look a bit avant garde on the outside, the 2008 is all class and refinement on the inside.

Considering a compact SUV? The 2008 PureTech EAT6 Active is priced from $95,999* inclusive of a $10,000 VES rebate for this motor show weekend.

The Toyota Sienta is a practical, functional and affordable choice for family types who aren't fussy
4. Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) - Toyota Sienta

Its popularity as a private-hire vehicle is a giveaway that the Toyota Sienta is the people-mover of choice for practical car buyers, thanks to its seven-seat configuration and decent fuel economy.

During our time with the test car, we found its 575-litre boot space (with third-row seats folded) enough for a family, and it can be tucked underneath the second row, making for a flat and easy-to-load boot.

More importantly, this MPV's fuel-sipping 1.5-litre engine affords fuel economy returns of 14km/L, which isn't far off from the listed 16.1km/L.

The Sienta 1.5 Standard can be yours to own this weekend at the motor show from $93,988*, falling under the neutral VES band.

An angry face and mean-looking slots and grilles make the Kia Stinger's go-fast intentions unmistakable
5. Performance Sedan - Kia Stinger

The Stinger is the second Kia to make this list but that's not because the Korean manufacturer's cars are cheap to look at or to the touch.

Instead, the Stinger is every bit as handsome a five-door gran turismo as its German competitors (think Audi S5 Sportback and BMW 440i Gran Coupe), but for a lot less money.

And it proves that you can have a 370bhp 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged V6, rear-wheel drive racer for just over $200,000. It's undoubtedly otherworldly value with strong performance and a roomy cabin.

If you aren't a brand snob, the Stinger GT 3.3L RWD can be yours this motor show weekend from $208,999* despite its $20,000 VES surcharge, while stocks last. Once they sell out, the Stinger GT 3.3L RWD will be an indent-only model.

Alternatively, if you're looking for something a little less racy, prices for the Stinger GT-Line 2.0L RWD begin at $168,999*, inclusive of its $10,000 VES surcharge.

*Prices listed are subject to terms and conditions, and to change without prior notice.

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