Want to ride in higher style? Forget crossovers, CarBuyer picks the best executive sedans from the Singapore Motorshow 2019 that have everything you need and drive much better
Photos: Faiz, Bruno Sng
Once upon a time in the land of no crossovers, sedans were the most popular thing around, and the only thing more popular than a mainstream sedan was an executive one.
We’ve already introduced the best mainstream sedans of the Singapore Motorshow 2019, and now here are the four-doors we’ve chosen on display at Suntec as most worthy for you to check out.
This island-state has traditionally overlooked Audi’s big sedan, with the BMW 5 series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class being the best-selling cars in the segment, and in the past, even overall.
But the future looks optimistic for Ingolstadt-based Audi: Its managing director here, Jeff Mannering, notes that the past six-years have all been consistently better, record-breaking ones, here in terms of sales.
Editor Derryn Wong was certainly wowed by the technology on his Audi A6 test drive in Portugal mid of last year, leading him to proclaim the seventh-gen ‘C8’ A6 as a proper contender to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 series.
The new 3.0-litre V6 engine, as seen in the A7 and A8, has 340hp and brings you from 0-100km/h in 5.1-seconds with top speed of 250km/h. The other big news is that the car’s a mild hybrid, so despite having more power it’s more efficient and less polluting, at 7.2L/100km and emitting 164g/km of CO2, though sadly it still nets the same C1 VES band as the previous A6 3.0
The A6 shares the same engine and interior tech as its sportier cousin, the Audi A7 – We drove that too at its international debut in Cape Town, South Africa.
The A6, like the A7 Sportback, seems very high-specced for the local market, hence the relatively high price tag. Besides the big 3.0-litre V6, there’s all-wheel steering, sunroof, the new Audi MMI Touch Response infotainment system, HD Matrix LED headlights and more.
BMW’s most popular model is back at the forefront again.
This time, the seventh-generation ‘G20’ 3 Series is bigger (+76mm to length, +41mm to wheelbase, widened track and body for the 330i shown above) and lighter (-25kg for the same 330i) for more power and speed. Carbuyer took this very vehicle for a spin late last year in Portugal, and it really changes the game about what you should expect from an executive sedan, while still preserving most of the 3er’s key attributes of driver-centric fun and overall capability.
Judging from the rush to the BMW stand when the show opened to the public on Thursday afternoon, the preview at the Singapore Motorshow 2019 shows the 3 Series hasn’t lost its appeal in Singapore in a crossover-mad era.
They will be offering two new clunkily-named but very useful functions; BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant (Siri in the car, if you will) and the optional Driving Assistant Professional (hands-off level three autonomous driving at speeds below 60km/h, which is sadly not an option in Singapore), both not crucial, but certainly intriguing, value-adding features for the tech-inclined (there’ll be more time for you to fiddle with your phone with Apple CarPlay integration at least).
The 2.0-litre turbocharged 258hp 330i is the first gasoline variant of the line and will be expected on Singapore roads in Q2 2019. The 374hp M340i performance model and 330e plug-in hybrid will follow globally in July, with a late 2019 or early 2020 Singapore debut. The 320i is also confirmed but no official launch dates have been confirmed.
Lexus ES From $208,800 with COE
The new Lexus ES boldly goes where Lexus hasn’t been before – it’s now positioned to challenge the likes of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series. Launched last year, we’ve test driven the ES 300h model and conclude that it’s certainly able to do that. How? It looks far more exciting than it ever has, for one, and it’s packed with a whole lot of goodies like ventilated seats and a new infotainment system.
Even better, it’s made vast strides in terms of driving ability, and we’ll not mention the most convincing thing: the price. It’s significantly less expensive than a 5 Series or E-Class, and doesn’t make huge compromises to get to that sticker price either.
Mercedez-Benz’s leading model in sales (one in five Mercs sold is a C-Class) may look roughly the same despite having gone through a facelift, but it’s the inside that matters. Cliched lovey-dovey exclamations aside, over 6,500 components (approximately 50 percent of the whole car, including new electronic control units transplanted in from the S-Class) have been changed.
The 1.6-litre turbo, 156hp C 180 model packs 250Nm of torque and utilizes the latest 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission – for more on the C-Class, check out our coverage of the launch in December 2018.
The C-Class is available in three body styles – sedan, coupe ($192,888 with COE) and convertible ($222,888 with COE). Opt in for the AMG Line package at an average of $10,000 for any one of the three styles.