CarBuyer rounds up some of the hottest sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to check out at the 2020 Singapore Motorshow
Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are the new ‘normal’ cars in today’s automotive era, and there is no shortage of them at the Singapore Motorshow. Every booth worth visiting has at least one SUV on their stand, and a couple, like Mazda’s CX-30 and Volkswagen’s T-Cross, will be key players in their respective brands’ line-ups, hence their inclusion in our Most Important Cars section of this Motorshow feature.
As for the rest, we round up the best of the new SUVs on the Suntec show floor this year:
Hyundai’s last subcompact SUV, the Kona, suffered a short lifespan here in Singapore. The 1.6 Turbo model saw its hopes curtailed by a $20,000 Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) penalty which saw its price tag edge far too close to its much-larger Tucson sibling, while the more emissions-friendly 1.0 model was only available in left-leg-unfriendly manual guise.
The Kona still lives on locally in electric vehicle (EV) form only, but Hyundai now has another contender in the small SUV class once again. The Venue fills the Kona’s void, and offers a much more palatable package for consumers, cost-wise.
Local distributor Komoco Motors is offering two versions of the Venue, with the regular 1.6 model retailing for $85,999 inclusive of COE, and the higher-spec 1.6 S model costing an extra 5 grand more, at $90,999 with COE.
For that money you get an 8-inch infotainment screen with navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, as well as the option to go for a youthful two-tone colour scheme if you choose the higher-spec S version.
Powering the Venue is a 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated engine that produces 123bhp, mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Crucially, this powertrain setup puts the Venue in the VES B neutral band, and enables it to snag a Cat A COE, allowing it to be much more price competitive than the Kona.
The other Korean carmaker’s reply to the Venue is this, the Kia Seltos. Kia is banking on the car being a hit among the youth crowd, having enlisted no less than Korean mega pop girl group Blackpink as their spokesperson for the car.
The Seltos is being previewed at the Motorshow, with the model still undergoing local homologation, and sales set to begin around March. As such, full specifications are still being firmed up, but pricing is expected to be around the $115,000 mark, inclusive of COE.
Globally, the Seltos comes with the choice of two petrol engines, a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated powerplant with 115bhp, and a 1.4-litre turbo petrol with 138bhp. However, Singapore will only get the higher-specced latter option, meaning that the Seltos will edge into COE Category B when it arrives here.
In return however, the Seltos should get a whole host of goodies, with items such as a massive 10.25-inch touchscreen that incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a 8.0-inch head-up display, and a wireless smartphone charger among the key features bound for Singapore cars.
Porsche’s highlight at the Motorshow, aside from the unique 935 hypercar, is the new Cayenne Coupe, a car that follows in the footsteps of fellow German rivals the BMW X6 and the Audi Q8 in the premium crossover coupe segment.
Pricing for the Cayenne Coupe starts from $360,188 for the base model, going up to $450,188 for the Cayenne S Coupe, and topping out at $621,888 for the Cayenne Turbo Coupe, all without COE.
CarBuyer has already driven the Cayenne Coupe, and our own David Khoo proclaimed that it is very much a Porsche with none of its DNA diluted. In top spec Turbo guise, the Cayenne Coupe features a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that produces 550bhp and 770Nm of torque, enabling it to rocket from 0-100km/h in just 3.9 seconds.
Other highlights include a panoramic fixed glass roof as standard, or a choice of a carbon fibre roof as an option, as well as an adaptive rear spoiler which pops up at speeds above 90km/h.
The long awaited Land Rover Defender is another car that is being previewed at the Motorshow this year, ahead of its official debut in Singapore in the second half of 2020. As such, pricing details are yet to be finalised, but expect it to cost somewhere north of $300,000 to start.
The new car marks a dramatic departure from its predecessor’s utilitarian roots, with local distributor Wearnes Automotive confirming that the latest Defender will be allowed to be registered on a regular car licence plate in Singapore, as opposed to the commercial vehicle registration of the previous vehicle.
Under the skin, the car now rides on the same aluminium platform that underpins the Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover Sport models, and the interior is also more modern and up-to-date with the latest tech. It even offers the capability to receive over-the-air updates to its software, a la Tesla.
A range of variants will be available, including the three-door 90 and five-door 110 versions, as well as a choice of engines including a 2.0-litre 300bhp petrol four, and a 3.0-litre 400bhp inline six. The Defender will also be highly customisable, with a range of trim levels and styling and accessory packs available for customers to choose from.