CarBuyer’s Top 10 Car Reviews of 2021



Hybrid and electric cars dominated the most read reviews on CarBuyer Singapore in 2021, proving that electrification is now the new normal


SINGAPORE

It’s fascinating to see how quickly things change in Singapore. Just a year ago, CarBuyer Singapore’s ranking of our most popular reviews only contained one hybrid car among the top five. This year, hybrids make up four of the top five most read review articles for 2021.

A further three electric vehicles made our top 10 too, meaning that seven out of ten of the most read-about cars contain some form of electrification. The trend clearly shows how hybrid and electric cars have permeated the mainstream car buying market in Singapore, driven in part by new policies and legislation designed to encourage the adoption of greener vehicles here.

It’s also telling to note which brands and cars pique our readers’ interest most too. Despite soaring COE prices (or perhaps because of it), Mercedes-Benz and BMW only get one entry each in our top 10, and even then BMW’s most popular review is a car that sits in Cat A. Toyota remains a solid mainstay, securing three of the top five, but our readers also seem to have a penchant for small Japanese runabouts, with no less than four of them making the list.


Our most popular news stories of 2021: hybrids, EVs, S$25m of supercars and a bargain BMW


10. Suzuki Ignis

The Suzuki Ignis nameplate made its return to our shores after a long absence, and comes reinvented as a compact crossover that boasts funky style and a mild hybrid drivetrain borrowed from its Suzuki Swift sibling. Practical and well-equipped, the Ignis is unfortunately hamstrung by its relatively high asking price, but there’s no doubt its unique style is still enough to attract eyeballs towards its way. Check out our extensive review, as well as our walkthrough video on YouTube.

9. Mercedes-EQ EQC

Mercedes’ first electric vehicle to go on sale in Singapore takes the form of a crossover SUV, which makes it a near-guaranteed hit in this crossover-crazy era. It looks, feels and drives pretty much like a Mercedes should, with the same top-notch quality that one would come to expect from the Three-Pointed Star. The EQC marks a new electric era for the brand here, and judging by the response it got at EV Weekend, we reckon Singaporeans are ready to embrace this new future.

8. MG 5 EV

Another electric vehicle that piqued our readers’ interest this year is the MG 5 EV, which is surprising given that it takes the form of a station wagon, a body style that Singaporeans tend to shun. Nevertheless, the MG’s excellent value for money proposition made it a car that many would seriously consider as a starting point for their EV journey here. It’s a surprisingly good drive too, while the station wagon body means you get plenty of space for your buck.

7. Nissan Note e-Power

Technically more of a feature than a review, three of the CarBuyer team put the Nissan Note e-Power through a three-day test to see how efficient it really is. Our conclusion? Very. If you’re careful with your right foot (unlike one member of our CarBuyer team *ahem*) you can match or even better Nissan’s claimed fuel consumption figure. The Note impressed us with its smooth and generally decent drive, and judging by the number of units we’ve seen on the roads, it appears that Singaporeans generally agree with our assessment.

6. BMW 116i

An affordable Cat A contender from one of the big 3 German premium brands is always going to grab the attention of discerning Singaporean buyers, and this year it’s the BMW 116i’s turn to be in the spotlight. Despite its status as the entry-level model of BMW’s local lineup, the 116i comes packed with features, including the pretty cool Intelligent Personal Assistant voice activation system. The fact that its retail price easily undercuts its rivals from Audi and Mercedes-Benz adds to its appeal even further.

5. Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid

Toyota Yaris Cross

2021 is the year when Toyota went all-in on hybrids in Singapore, and it kicked off the year with one of its biggest hits, the Yaris Cross. This compact crossover is small in size but big on efficiency and features, and apparently has a waiting list that stretches well into next year, partly caused by a global shortage of semiconductor chips that has limited production supply. Nevertheless, the Yaris Cross’ popularity is clear, and expect to see more of them on our roads soon. It’s also our second most watched video on YouTube this year too.

4. Kia Cerato GT Line

The Kia Cerato only received a mid-life facelift this year, but its presence in this list indicates that mainstream family sedans still hold a place in many Singaporean car buyers’ hearts. To be fair, the Cerato’s facelift is more extensive than most, and introduces dramatically sleeker styling as well as Kia’s new logo to Singapore. It remains excellent value-for-money as ever, and in top-spec GT Line guise, comes equipped with plenty of premium features that gives the car a touch of upmarket class. Read our in-depth review of the GT Line, and check out what we liked and disliked about the car in our YouTube video.

3. Toyota Camry Hybrid

The Camry’s spotlight may have dimmed slightly in recent years in this era of crossover this and SUV that, but there’s definitely still a section of car buyers out there who appreciate the sheer dependability of Toyota’s executive sedan. Judging by its placement on this list, that audience remains pretty substantial indeed. The introduction of the hybrid variant this year certainly helped broadened its appeal, with its outstanding efficiency along with the usual Toyota qualities of comfort and reliability, while throwing in an extremely attractive price tag to sweeten the deal further.

2. Honda Jazz Hybrid

The fourth-generation Honda Jazz was one of the most anticipated new cars of 2021, and it did not disappoint. The availability of a hybrid drivetrain through official channels for the first time helped give it an edge as one of the most efficient small hatchbacks on the market today, but the Jazz has also retained all the qualities that have made it such a favourite among buyers in Singapore through the years, namely its excellent practicality and pleasant driving demeanour. It has certainly become a firm favourite among the CarBuyer crew, and you can check out our thoughts in written and video forms.

1. Toyota Harrier Hybrid

The number one most read review on CarBuyer in 2021 is a car that essentially combines all the things that mainstream car buyers in Singapore look for in a car today: Japanese, crossover, hybrid. The Harrier has always been popular among Singaporeans, but the official availability of a new hybrid version this year, in a year where hybrids are proving to be the savvier choice, has drove interest through the roof. The fact that the Harrier is also CarBuyer’s number one most watched video in 2021 speaks volumes about its appeal.


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about the author

Ben Chia
CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben