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With the year coming to a close, the sgCarMart Editorial Team look back on the year and the 10 standout cars that have delighted us in 2019.

27 Dec 2019

Another year has whizzed by, and with it brings a raft of developments and changes for the sgCarMart Editorial Team. Teammates have come and gone, we've made many changes to the site, and we're even dabbling in video reviews now!

Of course, the one thing that hasn't change is our deep passion for cars. And, 2019 has seen us driving a whole host of cars of all different types. Unsurprisingly, SUVs have dominated the conversation within the industry, with supercar manufacturers now getting into the game as well.

And yet, there have also been all sorts of interesting, unique and deeply exciting cars throughout the last 12 months. Here, we pick 10 stellar models from 2019 that have truly excited us, and made the car industry a better place. There won't be an SUV on this list, we promise. 

1. Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

The Giulia QV's dramatic design, engaging dynamics and rampant power make it an Alfa to truly love
When it comes to a fiery compact sport sedan, an Alfa Romeo wouldn't spring to mind. And why would it? The last time Alfa had a rear-wheel drive four-door sedan model was almost 30 years ago.

And yet, this new Giulia is drop-dead gorgeous, dynamically captivating, and deeply desirable. This Quadrifoglio model ratchets it up with a riotous 503bhp 2.9-litre V6, and handles in a delightfully agile manner.

Are there compromises? Certainly. Cabin equipment isn't great, long term reliability is a question, and the overall build quality can't quite match up to the Germans. But, and this is important, the Giulia QV has a level of desirability that the Germans just can't match. This is an Alfa Romeo to truly love, and we cannot overstate just how much we want one.

2. Alpina B5

The Alpina B5 offers a different take on exquisite performance - subtle, refined and sublime
In the performance saloon segment, two cars reign supreme - the BMW M5 and the Mercedes-AMG E63 S. This year, we again find ourselves captivated by a left-field choice - this Alpina B5.

It delivers a refreshing take on performance - subtlety, refinement and understated confidence. With its mellow exterior design, highly-crafted cabin and abundant power and speed, the Alpina is an easy match for its shoutier competitors.

Yes, it's not quite the track machine the others may be, but how many of us have access to a track? For sensible and capable everyday driving with the occasional full throttle madness, the Alpina B5 is definitely our choice.

3. Alpine A110

The Alpine A110 focsues on lightness and purity to deliver a singular driving experience unlike any other
With cars nowadays getting bigger, more complicated and more powerful, a car like the Alpine A110 really shouldn't exist. And yet, it does, and the world is a better place for it. With its dedication to lightness and purity, the Alpine delivers a singular driving experience quite unlike anything else in the market.

With its lightness, balanced chassis and sharp steering, the A110 dances across the tarmac with graceful and balletic agility. The well-judged suspension also means that it is pretty forgiving when going over bumps. 

The ultimate joy of the Alpine A110 is just how old school it feels. It's a sports car without many of the sports car compromises. It's just a fantastically simple, straightforward car focused on one thing - sheer driving joy. 

4. BMW 3 Series

Packed with technology, immensely capable and fun to drive, the 3 Series is arguably all the car anyone ever really needs
When it comes to the consummate do everything modern executive sedan, the 3 Series pretty much has it all. The new generation model gets all the latest tech goodies, such as a digital dashboard, voice control, and a plethora of safety and assistance systems.

The ample technology augments a highly competent dynamic package. Expectedly, the 3 Series is still class-leading when it comes to driving dynamics. The handling is sharp and tidy, power is plenty, and the car is certainly involving and rewarding to drive.

Unless you desperately need humongous boot space or seven seats, the 3 Series will comfortably accommodate most drivers' needs. In fact, we reckon that if there's just one car to have that will do just about everything you want, the 3 Series might just be that car. 

5. BMW M2 Competition

The BMW M2 Competition is certainly our favourite car out of the current stable of M models
BMW M cars have always been a little bit special - souped up editions of the standard series models that deliver greater performance, sharper dynamics and more drama. And right now, the M2 Competition is the cream of the M crop.

Part of it just comes down to size - the M2's compact size makes it much more fun (and manageable) to chuck around. This Competition variant sharpens up the car is a multitude of ways, and buffs out some of the standard car's 'softness'.

The result is a car that is as potent a track weapon as you will find in the market right now. Yes, its intensity, aggressiveness and potency may be a little much for daily use, but hey, that's why you buy an M car, right? 

6. Mazda3

The new Mazda3 impresses with its driving refinement, good looks and stellar overall quality
The new seventh generation Mazda3 is a real testament to how far Asian cars have come. In both Hatchback and Sedan variants, the new Mazda3 ranks high on style, comfort and quality.

We especially like the new mazda3 Hatchback - its svelte lines and flowing sheet metal are certainly eye catching, but its inside the car that really impresses. Materials are high quality, build quality is stellar, and the car is packed with technology.

The Mazda3 also finds a delightful balance between sportiness and comfort on the road. The new Mild Hybrid system also helps to boost fuel efficiency as well. All in all, the new Mazda3 is a highly competent and well-rounded package that delivers European quality.

7. Suzuki Jimny

The Jimny embraces its rugged personality and is an SUV quite unlike any other
Ah, we said there wouldn't be a SUV in this list, and that's sort of true. Yes, the Suzuki Jimny is technically an SUV, but one unlike all the others in the market.

The Jimny is all about character. It's not particularly big, powerful or very practical, but it just reeks of character and it's cool. Part of this is a sense of defiance - flying in the face of all the commonplace crossovers in the market, the Jimny embraces its rugged, off-road personality to the fullest.

On the road, the Jimny puts a huge smile on your face. It gets up to highway speeds without fuss, and because its small and light it never feels cumbersome to drive. And, the Jimny is in fact a highly competent off-roader, but in Singapore it'll likely never see a mud track. No matter, we still want one. It's cool. We like cool. 

8. Toyota Supra

The new Toyota Supra is a genuinely engaging, capable and fun sports car
There's no getting around the fact that this new Supra is a pretty divisive car. Purists will complain that it's too much of a BMW (which it certainly is), and lacks the raw character of the previous generation models.

What they are forgetting is that without BMW, the new Toyota Supra wouldn't exist at all. And now it does, and then some - Toyota has injected the car with its own aggressive styling and sharp driving dynamics, making it an entirely different animal from its BMW Z4 counterpart.

The new Supra is cleverly-developed and well-built sports car that is just undoubtedly fun to pilot. It also doesn't hurt that it looks stunning. Most importantly, the Supra still manages to make you feel special when you are behind the wheel. Anyone that says they wouldn't want one would be lying. 

9. Toyota Camry

The Camry continues to deliver trademark comfort and practicality while also being notably better to drive
The Toyota Camry has been a stalwart for the Japanese manufacturer for over 30 years. This new eighth generation model continues to deliver the key qualities that customers want - space, comfort, practicality.

However, this new Camry also does some things a little differently. For starters, it's been styled pretty progressively, with a prominent front grille and bold lines creating a fresh and edgy look. Inside, the spacious cabin is also big on features and equipment.

Where the new Camry most impresses is the way it drives. There's an elevated sense of refinement that creeps into Lexus territory, and the car is supremely comfortable riding. However, it also now handles a lot tighter, a departure from the vague handling of earlier models. The new Camry has taken notable steps forward, and is a highly impressive overall package. 

10. Volvo V60

Need plenty of space, practicality and comfort for the family? Don't buy a crossover, buy the Volvo V60
Rounding out our list this year is a car that's a little out of left field - a stationwagon! Yes, we love our stationwagons, and right now the new V60 is perhaps our favourite of the lot.

Practical, spacious and packed to the brim with technology, the V60 is a compelling family car. With its impeccable ride comfort, gutsy powertrain and assured handling, the V60 also never disappoints on the road. And, it's certainly got much more character and personality than a crossover, that's for sure. 

Where the new V60 (and S60) most impresses is the overall sense of quality and refinement. And, with its keenly judged pricing compared to its German competitors, we think it's a highly sensible choice for the family man.

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