The whole world may have gone crazy for crossovers, but these cars at the Singapore Motorshow 2019 give us reason to be siow about sedans
SINGAPORE — Crossovers and Sport Utility Vehicles might be all the rage right now, but don’t rule out the seemingly humble sedan. That’s if you remember what it is, of course: Four doors, low to the ground, three-box shape, usually nice and stable… ring a bell now?
Whatever you think of sedans, there are plenty at the Singapore Motorshow 2019 to consider. These five might even make you want to reacquaint yourself with the breed.
We’ve said a lot about the new Mazda 3 — how it’s sleeker outside and higher quality inside, how its new platform is a crucial piece of architecture that will underpin Mazda’s future product portfolio, and how it has a new Skyactiv-X engine that combines diesel frugality and torque with petrol power.
We’ve even driven a prototype (pictured below) of it, with the new platform, at Mazda’s own proving grounds in Japan.
You’ll be able to see it in the flesh at the motorshow, and in the process become only the second group in the world to get a close look at the new Mazda 3, after its debut at last November’s LA Auto Show.
Its early appearance here says something about Mazda importer Eurokars; the company has sold off its stock of the current Mazda 3, so has nothing to lose by displaying the new one (even though launch dates, prices or variant availability have yet to be confirmed).
It’s worth noting though, that Eurokars is Mazda’s distributor in Indonesia, meaning dozens of individual dealers procure their cars from the company instead of from Mazda. Many of those dealers are in Singapore for a conference at the new Tanjong Penjuru complex, presumably to talk about the new 3. Having it here in Singapore so soon after the global debut is handy for reminding car shoppers that it might be worth waiting for, but it also tells you that Eurokars has enormous clout.
Skoda Octavia 1.4 TSI
A glance at the Skoda Octavia might not suggest anything new, but there’s been some right-sizing under the bonnet: the 1.0 TSI has been replaced by a new 1.4 TSI with 150 horsepower. Other attributes of course remain unchanged, so it’s still the same roomy family car with a giant boot. It’s just faster now and, presumably, more fun to drive as a result.
Thing is, the 1.4 TSI costs no more than the 1.0 did — prices start at S$99,900 with COE. That’s down to pollution taxes (the 1.0 incurred a S$10,000 penalty that the 1.4 doesn’t), but it also fits quite nicely with Skoda’s value-for-money principles.
Anyone who’s ever thought of a Camry as an uncle’s car can be proven wrong at the motorshow, where the latest model is making its Singapore debut. It’s far sportier than before, and switching it to the Toyota New Global Architecture platform has allowed engineers to make it lower, with sleeker proportions.
It’s also bigger; Toyota lengthened the wheelbase by 5cm to create an enormous cabin, particularly in the back.
Uncles, that is, buyers can choose from two versions: a 2.0 model priced at S$141,988 with COE with a carryover engine, and a Camry 2.5 (S$149,988 with COE) with a highly efficient new engine and an eight-speed transmission. The latter comes with Toyota Safety Sense, the brand’s suite of useful driver aids.
Borneo Motors managing director Jasmmine Wong told us the Camry has a loyal following, so much so that some buyers are willing to get a new one without even seeing it first. Boy, are they in for a surprise…
What’s interesting about the new Volvo S60 is under the skin. Volvo’s ongoing revival all began with something it called Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), a flexible platform that moved its cars away from Ford underpinnings (long story) and effectively gave the Swedish company the chance to reboot its technical direction.
The first SPA car was the XC90, and at Suntec you’ll be able to see the latest (and likely last) one, the S60. You can think of it as a junior S90 of sorts, with the same clean lines and Scandinavian interior.
It will likely go on sale in half a year’s time, with a 254hp T5 version as the launch model. Our guess is a price tag in the region of S$170,000 at today’s COE prices. Much will depend on the value of the US dollar then, because that’s where the S60 will be built.
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