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There are many pre-owned cars available, but certain models preferred by petrolheads are hard to come by. Here are several examples.

14 Jul 2022

Like many enthusiasts, I enjoy trawling Sgcarmart to browse the used car section. I'm not in the market for another car, be it new or old. I'm just there to check out the models I dream about owning.

A 'window shopping' session begins with classic models even older than my 42 years, before progressing to more modern sporty machines. What I've noticed while searching is that there are specific models preferred by us petrolheads that are hard to find. My theory is that since these models were purchased by enthusiasts who knew exactly what they were buying, few of them will ever consider selling their fine rides.

Here are several such examples.

1. Lexus GS350 

If you can't find a GS350, there's always the GS200t - if you're willing to compromise
This one is no ordinary executive sedan - it's a driver's car and everyone who owns one knows it. 
Rivals such as BMW's 5 Series may be larger, roomier and more powerful, but the GS350's lighter weight, smaller footprint and sweet drivetrain is just as irresistible. 
In an era of turbocharged this and supercharged that, the naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 emits a throaty note that titillates. With rear-wheel drive, this model remains one of Lexus' most memorable sedans. 
Power & Performance: 310bhp/380Nm, 0-100km/h in 6.0 seconds. 
Availability: Two units. 

2. Mazda 6 Wagon

We still love this estate's curvy lines and sloping roof - now that's practical and sexy
Mazda's sedans and hatchbacks are acknowledged by many enthusiasts to be fun to drive. The Japanese brand is known for producing high-quality cars with the driver in mind, and the Mazda 6 is one such model.

Enthusiasts like estates, too, and that's why the Mazda 6 Wagon is so appealing. Equally attractive is the naturally aspirated, sweet-revving 2.5-litre four-cylinder that powers it - there's no other engine variant available.

Space, practicality, flexibility, cool looks and good performance. Road tax aside, what's not to like?

Power & Performance: 189bhp/258Nm, 0-100km/h in 8.4 seconds.
Availability: One unit. There are 16 Mazda 6 2.5 Sedans listed, though.

3. Mazda CX-5 2.5

If finding a Mazda 6 Wagon is too hard, there's always the CX-5 2.5 to consider
Why is there an SUV here? Well, sometimes enthusiasts need flexibility and a larger boot. Sometimes, we can compromise, albeit reluctantly. Also, there's only one Mazda 6 Wagon for sale.

If you had to have an SUV, the CX-5 2.5 is one to consider. Mazda did a good job with the design, and of course, an even better one when it came to the drive.

For a sports utility vehicle, it really isn't bad. Plus, the 2.5-litre powerplant, which loves to be stretched, gives it decent poke as well.

Power & Performance: 189bhp/256Nm, 0-100km/h in 9.2 seconds.
Availability: 10 units. That's currently 10 times the number of Mazda 6 Wagons currently listed on Sgcarmart. And only a fifth of the Toyota Harrier Turbos currently available.

4. Volkswagen Arteon R-Line

The Arteon can easily give an Audi A5 Sportback quattro a run for its money
VW's flagship is a stylish fastback and grand tourer, with a lounge-like backseat for passengers, plus lots of room in the boot for their belongings.

Its turbocharged 2.0-litre engine is more than punchy, and not that it's needed here, but 4Motion all-wheel-drive is standard. That's extra security in wet conditions.

An updated model will supposedly arrive in the fourth quarter of 2022, but the current COE situation will make buying one a pricey proposition. Unfortunately, the lack of units in the pre-owned market makes owning one a pipe dream.

Power & Performance: 280bhp/350Nm, 0-100km/h in 5.6 seconds
Availability: Two units.

5. Kia Stinger 3.3 GT

The Stinger is the car nobody expected Kia to make, and it's a proper halo model, too
A direct rival to the Arteon, the Stinger was Kia's maiden attempt at a grand tourer, and it turned out really well. The design was a hit, and the top-end GT variant, which has a turbocharged 3.3-litre V6, is known for its tail-happy handling.
If the Arteon exudes a swanky but formal vibe, the Stinger's character is that of a manager on a Friday, with tie loosened, buttons undone and shirt sleeves rolled up.

The Stinger 3.3 is a car squarely aimed at enthusiasts, and many would undoubtedly love to own one of these rare machines.
Power & Performance:  361bhp/510Nm, 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds
Availability: Six units.
6. Renault Megane RS 1.8
The Megane RS is the hot hatch you want to whip around corners while making its engine scream
The current Megane RS swaps the previous turbocharged 2-litre engine for a smaller 1.8-litre, but its performance and practicality have swelled considerably.

Apart from greater speed, the Megane RS also boasts better handling, thanks to the standard rear-wheel-steering. The six-speed manual (still available overseas) has been swapped for a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, too.

This generation is also only available as a five-door hatchback, whereas the preceding model was a three-door. The Megane RS is also less ubiquitous than the VW Golf GTI, which makes it a bit more special.

Power & performance: 276bhp/390Nm, 0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds.
Availability: Four units.

7. BMW 540i M Sport

Sadly, the 540i, the consummate sporting executive sedan, is no longer available... not even brand-new
It's the executive sedan than enthusiasts and BMW fans alike desire. And the drivetrain beneath its bonnet is drool-worthy: a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six that drives the rear axle.

The 540i is the most powerful of the regular 5 Series models, and a more realistic aspiration than the rocket-like M5 and M5 Competition. It'll also be an easier drive on public roads.
Smooth performance meets a well-appointed cockpit with plenty of tech. And yes, the '540i' badge reflects that you, too, know what you're doing.

Power & Performance: 340bhp/450Nm, 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds.
Availability: Two units.

*Note: All information is accurate at time of writing.

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