Finding a car with panache, technology and usefulness that won’t break the bank isn’t easy, but here are five you’d be proud to parade on a night out – or anytime else
Photo: Eric Chen www.ericchenrr.com
SINGAPORE – Buying cars can be a headache. Here’s a way to make it simple – instead of pounding your brain with lists and figures, each of these vehicles has a blend of style, technology and practicality, plus a little extra je ne sais quois that makes you smile a little each time.
The most important thing is, these cars won’t cost an arm, a leg or your to-be-first born on mortgage to own. Given their OMV, or Open Market Value is each less than S$20,000, it means they’re eligible for the maximum loan amount. To cut a long story short, you can own any of these babies for a down-payment that doesn’t look like a Justin Bieber photo – if you need to do some sums now have a look.
1. Best Car To Bring On A Date – Scirocco
Dates are all about first impressions so you need to have a ride with visual character to spare. The smooth lines of the three-door coupe suit the brief perfectly. It’s impossible to tell someone why something looks good, but the Scirocco’s low, sleek form (taken straight from a sensational concept no less) is already considered by some a future classic. Turbocharged torque means it also delivers hefty acceleration that belies its efficient and tax-friendly engine size.
Photo: Eric Chen www.ericchenrr.com
2. Best Car To Do Hip Things In – The Beetle
Farmer’s produce, craft fairs, open-air acoustic musical performances and old-new-cool flea markets. Some might call things like that ‘hipster’, but the best way to enjoy something is not to put labels on it. The Beetle shows you exactly why: Like the current rage for retro clothing and accessories, it’s imbued with old-school cool (80 years of history and countless units made) but unlike those things, it’s fully modern under the skin so you still enjoy the efficiency, performance and safety of a new car.
3. Best Car To Meet The In-Laws With – Jetta
Honestly a lot of people think sedans are boring because of the uncle association. But if you’re on the cusp of a new stage in your life, then this solidness of image might actually help. We’re talking about meeting your future Other Parents, who may in fact be impressed by a sensible young person driving a sedan. On the other hand, never underestimate the usefulness of a 510-litre boot (it’ll earn you much free beer and pizza) or the fact that the Jetta is actually just as quick as a Scirocco.
4. Best Car For Outdoors Types – Golf TSI
Sedans have massive boot space, as the Jetta proves, but hatchbacks like the Golf TSI show that it’s just as important how you use what you have. The great thing about the Golf hatch is that you can fold one side of the seats down and easily stick a bicycle in. There’s more headroom too, so you can throw a towel on the seats and have your furry friends along for the ride. And given the super-frugal 1.2-litre engine sips petrol at only 5.0 L/100km, it doesn’t matter if you’re hitting a mountain bike train in Malaysia or just visiting a dog run on Pasir Ris.
5. Best Car For A Shopping Trip – Polo
If you’ve ever gone for a spree in town, then you’ll have faced the Ultimate Dilemma: Take public transport and come back feeling like your arms have stretched down to your knees, or drive and face parking and tight spaces on and off the road. The compact Polo solves the latter problem for you, it being the ultimate city slicker. Small, zippy and easy to handle, be able to canvass shopping centres across the island with ease. The fact that modern malls have carparks shaped like labyrinths won’t matter, since the excellent visibility and compact dimensions will make sure you spend less time parking and more time actually shopping.
This feature is brought to you by Volkswagen Singapore