SG Motorshow 2018: Top 5 Crossovers



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If you wanna get high (riding) at the Singapore Motorshow 2018, then these are the cars for you

SINGAPORE — The buyers have spoken and the manufacturers have listened – the crossover market is more crowded than ever. If you’re bewildered at the sheer variety on offer though, fret not, for we’ve compiled a list of the top five crossovers you should take notice of in 2018.

BMW X3
From $245,888 with Certificate of Entitlement (COE)

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The car that kick started the mid-size luxury SUV genre is back with a new look and a new platform. With 1.5million units sold since its introduction in 2003, this is one of the more important cars counting toward BMW’s bottom line.

Its introduction mirrors that of the current ‘G30’ 5 Series from a year ago, in that the initial launch versions will be the more expensive ones – the X3 xDrive30i and M40i. An entry level sDrive20i model will arrive later in the year. In addition, the X3’s platform is based off the 5er’s, which means a lot of tech has been carried over, and there’s a longer wheelbase for more space.

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For now, the range starts off with the xDrive30i, a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder with 252hp. This comes in either xLine trim (yours for $245,888 with COE) or M Sport (pricing TBC). We drove the X3 with this engine in Australia last year and you can read our impressions of it here.

The M40i is the one we’re most interested in, as it’s the first ever performance-oriented X3 variant, costing $315,888 with COE. It shares its 3.0-litre turbo’d straight six with the rather brilliant 540i, although tweaked with extra boost to make 360hp and 500Nm, giving it a 0-100km/h time of 4.8 seconds. The Great Wise One drove this at the X3’s global press launch last year, and came away from it suitably impressed.

Hyundai Kona
From $86,999 with COE

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The Kona is the smallest entry on our list, and an absolute bargain at under $90,000 with a COE, making it the cheapest crossover in Singapore. There’s a catch though, and it’s this – you’ll have to shift your own gears at that price.

Yup, the Cat-A friendly 1.0-litre Turbo packs a competitive 120hp and 172Nm, and a good old-fashioned six-speed manual. First impressions? The gearlever and clutch pedal actions are pretty light, so that should take some sting out of having to remember how to half-clutch.

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The other model is a 1.6-litre Turbo with a first seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, a powertrain combo shared with (he larger Tucson) with 175hp and 265Nm, and costs $128,999 with COE.

For a little car, the Kona is big on safety tech, with a radar-based forward collision-avoidance system, lane keep assist, blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert all fitted as standard.

Lexus NX
From $230,800 with COE

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Borneo Motors managing director Jasmmine Wong and Lexus AP vice-president David Nordstrom 

The Lexus small-mid luxury SUV offering, which kickstarted the brand’s transition from staid to sizzling and introduced turbo Lexus power to the world, has just undergone its mid-life facelift.

There’s a new grille, triple projector headlamps which ape those on the LC Coupe, and elongated taillamps on the rear – these frame a revised bumper cover with a new underbody spoiler.

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The interior sees a much enlarged infotainment screen (from 7 to 10.3-inches) and touch pad for easier operation. Occupants will also enjoy some of the revisions to the car’s dynamics: While power and straight-line speed remain the same

The engine line-up remains the same, a 2.0-litre turbo and 2.5-litre hybrid, making 234hp and 196hp respectively. Performance figures are identical to before, but Lexus says that both driver and occupants will enjoy the dynamics of the facelifted model, as significant improvements have been made to the suspension to improve ride and handling.

This includes re-tuned springs, stabilised bars and bushings, with new shock absorber units in the form of Adaptive Variable Suspension, as found in the range’s F Sport and LC 500 cars. There have also been reductions in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) with the addition of more sound insulation.

Toyota C-HR
From $119,988 with COE

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Toyota’s Coupe-High Rider had its official launch right on the eve of the Motorshow, and CarBuyer was of course on the scene: Read the whole thing in our news story, and watch our video mini-review by clicking on the image below, where Borneo explains why its C-HR is better than a parallel import hybrid one.

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For the motorshow, Borneo Motors brought out a little something extra to Suntec City. The two C-HRs on display sported aggressive-looking bodykits: the turquoise car sports a TRD kit, which costs $4,388 including painting and installation.

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The white car meanwhile, features a TGA (Toyota Genuine Accessories) kit with a slightly milder aesthetic, but that won’t be available till end-April.

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The bodykits are only a garnish on the exterior, leaving everything underneath unchanged. That means a 1.2-litre turbocharged engine, CVT gearbox and the Toyota Safety Sense P bundle of safety tech, all of which makes the official C-HR, like the official Harrier, a strong force of attraction for the wallets of crossover buyers in Singapore.  

Volvo XC40
From $190,000 with COE

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The XC40 is a cheeky, chunky little thing, sized to compete directly with other premium offerings like the Audi Q2, Mercedes GLA and forthcoming BMW X2. More significantly, it’s the first model to use Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture, which will go on to underpin all upcoming ‘40’ series Volvos.

In keeping with Volvo tradition, the XC40 will swallow a surprising amount of stuff despite its diminutive size. The door pockets are claimed to be large enough for a laptop or several bottles, the front centre armrest can hold a small handbag, and there’s under-seat storage for a mini tablet.

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Being a Volvo also means safety is a big priority, and the XC40 debuts a couple of world-firsts. For starters there’s Oncoming Lane Mitigation, which can help steer away from an oncoming vehicle if the car drifts over the lane marking driver takes no action; there’s Run-off Road Mitigation, which uses evasive steering manoeuvres and braking to help keep the car on the blacktop if an unintentional road departure is imminent.

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The sole engine option for now is the 2.0-litre T5 unit with 250hp and 350Nm of torque. While that gives the XC40 impressive performance for its size (0-100 in 6.4 seconds and top speed of 230km/h), it also means it’s stuck with a Cat B COE. In future though, a 1.5-litre three-cylinder is expected to join the line up, both as a conventional motor or with hybrid assistance.

The Singapore Motorshow 2018 runs from January 11th to 14th at the Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre. Tickets cost S$6. The show closes daily at 10pm

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Jon Lim
CarBuyer's latest addition is its fourth historical Jonathan. Old-fashioned in all but body, he thinks car design peaked in the '90s. He also strongly believes any car can be a race car if you have a sufficient lack of self-preservation, which explains why he nearly flipped a Chinese van while racing it.