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The Singapore Motor Show is back and there are gorgeous cars aplenty to check out. These 10 cars, however, are the ones you should have a second look at.

13 Jan 2023


The Singapore Motor Show has finally returned after a two-year hiatus, and everyone from petrolheads to regular consumers is eager to see what the brands will be presenting to the public.

However, rather than just listing 10 automobiles that we found cool, we considered cars that most people might be looking for, such as SUVs, mass market models and high-performance machines.

We have not reviewed any of these cars, but nevertheless, they gave us such strong first impressions that they merited a second-look. So, if you're heading down to the Motor Show, which is on from 12-15 January, here are the cars we feel you should be checking out!

SUVS TO VIEW

Nissan X-Trail e-POWER e-4ORCE

The X-Trail looks more 'adventurous' this time around, and it has an e-POWER powertrain for better efficiency and drivability
The all new X-Trail looks bolder and more rugged than before, with elements such as the large V-motion grille and 'floating' roof giving the SUV greater presence.

Inside, the X-Trail features a neater and more upmarket cabin, with standard equipment that includes a digital instrument panel with selectable layouts, and ambient lighting. Just like its predecessor, the X-Trail has a seven-seater layout.

Motivating the X-Trail is Nissan's e-POWER powertrain with two electric motors (one on each axle). However, unlike a regular electric car, the batteries are charged by a three-cylinder engine acting as a generator. Therefore, drivers don't have to charge the car - they only need to pump petrol.

Subaru Solterra

The Solterra displayed at the Motor Show is a Taiwan-spec model, but you can expect the same level of refinement in Singapore-bound models
The Solterra is Subaru's first-ever electric model, and if it looks familiar, it's because the SUV is actually based on the Toyota bZ4x. Subaru, together with Toyota, developed the e-Subaru Global Platform, which underpins the Solterra.

Hop onto the driver's seat and you'll find a futuristic-looking cockpit with a 7.0-inch cluster and 12.3-inch infotainment display, a swivel knob gear selector, and a wireless charging tray hidden by a translucent cover. Thanks to the 2,850mm wheelbase, even passengers over 1.8m tall will find the backseat to be relatively roomy.

Zipping the Solterra about are a pair of electric motors that can put out a total of 214bhp. Fitted with a 71.4kWh lithium-ion battery, the Solterra has a claimed range of 460km. A single-motor variant, with the same battery capacity, can supposedly cover up to 530km.

MASS-MARKET PICKS

Skoda Octavia 1.0

Octavia 1.0 is relatively well-equipped for an 'entry-level' model and its performance is respectable as well
The Octavia is one of the most practical runabouts one can consider. Though it resembles a saloon, the model actually has a fastback body style, with 600 litres of boot space. Fold down the rear seats and this expands to 1,555 litres, making it a useful load-hauler.

Utility aside, the Octavia is also well-equipped. Standard kit includes Virtual Cockpit, a 10-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus a raft of safety features that include Front Assist with City Emergency Brake, and Lane Assist.

Now making the Octavia even more appealing is this Cat A model, which has a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine. Capable of 109bhp and 200Nm of torque, this fastback does the century sprint in a respectable 10.5 seconds, while averaging up to 23.3km/L.

Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid

Corolla Cross Hybrid is arguably the car that Toyota fans have been looking for - it has a crossover body and a flexible interior
Given the Corolla's solid reputation and enduring popularity, along with buyers' love for SUVs and crossovers, it's surprising that Toyota didn't launch this model sooner. Nevertheless, the Corolla Cross is here, and it's likely to be well-received.

What'll undoubtedly make this car even more attractive is its 196bhp 2.0-litre petrol-electric powertrain. Given the Japanese carmaker's expertise in hybrids, the Corolla Cross averages 18.9km/L. Oh, and there's a 425-litre boot (rear seats up) for luggage.

The crossover's interior is spacious and functional, and those who've owned Toyotas will find the control layout comfortingly familiar. Speaking of comfort, the Corolla Cross has strategically located sound-deadening materials that reduce engine noise and road chatter.

PERFORMANCE MACHINES

BMW M3 Touring Competition with M xDrive

M3 Touring Competition will give would-be buyers of the Audi RS 4 Avant plenty to think about
BMW's first high-performance estate, a car that many enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating, is finally here. And the official model we're getting is the most powerful Competition variant with M xDrive.

Beneath its bonnet is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six that kicks out 503bhp and 650Nm of torque. Mated to an eight-speed automatic, the M3 Touring demolishes the 0-100km/h sprint in just 3.6 seconds, thanks to the traction from the M xDrive all-wheel drive system.

In the cockpit, the driver gets BMW's Curved Display, which is powered by the brand's latest Operating System 8, and sports seats to hug the front passengers during bouts of spirited driving.

Volkswagen Golf R

Golf R doesn't have a loud design, but its stout performance and optional Akrapovic exhaust will give its owner plenty to shout about
VW's ultimate hot hatch is back and it's hotter than ever. The famed EA888 unit, a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder, now pumps out 316bhp and 420Nm, or 30bhp and 40Nm more than its predecessor. Paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the Golf R goes from zero to 100km/h in just 4.7 seconds.

Speed aside, the Golf R sounds right, too, especially when it's specified with the optional Akrapovic titanium exhaust system to give it rortier vocals. And if sportier looks and increased athleticism are desired, there's another option just for you.

Tick the box for the R-Performance package and the Golf R will come with 19-inch wheels, a larger rear spoiler that provides more downforce on the rear axle, plus two extra driving modes: Special, and Drift.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Hyundai IONIQ 5 'First 100'

IONIQ 5 drew plenty of interest when it first arrived, and it's likely to attract even more EV buyers now that it's locally made
This electric vehicle (EV) is arguably the star of this year's Motor Show, as it has the distinction of being the first EV that's made in Singapore. Produced at the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre in Singapore (HMGICS), the IONIQ 5 is also the first car in over three decades to be produced here.

The IONIQ 5 is a mid-size CUV (crossover utility vehicle) that is available in three versions: Exclusive, Prestige, and Inspiration. The former two are available with either a 58kWh or 77kWh battery, while the latter variant can only be had with the 77kWh battery.

Neat and high-tech interior is just what today's buyers expect to find in a snazzy EV
To celebrate this milestone, the first 100 IONIQ 5 units will come with unique badges, Gravity Matte Gold paintwork and Dark Pebble Grey interiors, 'First 100' badges and seat emblems, and commemorative number plates from EVS 1L to EVS 100L. EVS stands for 'EV made in SG'.

The First 100 IONIQ 5 cars are only available through a charity auction, in conjunction with the President's Challenge. The bidding, which began at 2.30pm on 12 January, ends on 19 January at 6pm.

Nissan Ariya

Nissan's electric flagship comes in either 2WD or 4WD, but whichever drivetrain is chosen, buyers will be treated to an elegant cabin
Nissan's new flagship is the brand's first all-electric crossover that boasts a design philosophy called 'Timeless Japanese Futurism'. Sleek lines feature all around, and the interior is both classy and minimalist in nature. It's punctuated by a large display panel, few physical buttons, and a two-spoke steering wheel.

Built on an all new electric vehicle platform, the Ariya features a flat rear floor that improves both occupant space and comfort. For safety, the Ariya is equipped with Nissan's ProPILOT 2.0, a suite of driver assistance systems that include Intelligent Emergency Braking, e-Pedal, and Remote Park. Firmware updates are available over-the-air.

The Ariya comes in two-wheel drive (2WD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) models, and can be specified with either a 65kWh or 90kWh battery pack. With the larger capacity battery, the Ariya 2WD can cover up to 610km, while the 4WD version has a maximum range of 580km.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz

The ID. Buzz can put a smile on bystanders' faces, but it's the owners and passengers who will really be grinning from ear-to-ear
The Singapore-made IONIQ 5 is making waves, but Volkswagen's all-electric MPV, the ID. Buzz, is well, making a huge buzz. Considered the modern and spiritual successor to the Kombi, the ID. Buzz offers spaciousness and practicality in a very stylish package, that never fails to put a smile on peoples' faces.

Currently available as a five-seater, the ID. Buzz features a 2,988mm wheelbase and a commodious interior built with a high percentage of recycled materials that accommodates both passengers and their belongings, thanks to the 1,121-litre boot. A seven-seater version will be available at a later date.

Aimed at corporate buyers and business owners, on the other hand, is the ID. Buzz Cargo, the commercial version of this electric van. Both models are fitted with a 201bhp electric motor, which is powered by a 77kWh battery.

DREAM MACHINE

Mercedes-AMG SL 55 4Matic+

The SL's swanky character and sporty lines have caused many petrolheads to give it longing looks
The SL is a car that fantasies are made of. One glance at Mercedes' all-new flagship fills your mind with images of blue skies, cool breezes, and stress-free days. The office doesn't exist in this world.

Indeed, work is the last thing on your mind when you picture yourself driving this topless machine. Its key design elements include a long bonnet, short overhangs and a soft-top, which is lighter and has a lower centre of gravity compared to a folding hard-top.

Packing nearly 470bhp, the SL 55's shapely rear end is what most drivers will see - especially if the convertible is driven in anger
With the roof open, you are exposed to the elements and closer to the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine that pumps out 469bhp and 700Nm of torque. Mated to a nine-speed automatic gearbox, the SL 55 hits the century mark in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 295km/h.

One can only imagine what it would be like to drive this car along a coastal road with an ocean view, or on a twisty mountain pass framed by snow-capped peaks. With prices currently starting from $860,000, the SL 55 is truly a dream machine beyond the reach of many. But that's also what makes yearning for it so achingly pleasurable.


Heading to the Singapore Motor Show? Read these stories first!

Singapore Motor Show 2023: 12 cars you shouldn't miss

Singapore Motor Show 2023 Shopping Guide

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