The latest round of COE results have just been released, and we are once again facing increases across all categories. Even Category A is not spared, hovering close to the S$70k marker.
For those still determined to buy a car in these challenging times, we’ve got you covered. We have compiled a list of recommended Cat A vehicles of various body types, selecting them based on the bells & whistles offered, the level of practicality and fuel consumption, and how price-competitive they are against rivals.
This Hiroshima-based manufacturer has been on a roll for several years now with superior design and driving dynamics in their cars, and their new 3 aims to keep this successful formula going.
We love the latest Mazda 3’s distinctly posh aesthetics inside and out. Not only is it good-looking, it’s also light on the wallet, with the 1.5 litre SKYACTIV-G engine returning an impressive 18.1 km/L, thanks to its mild hybrid system. Mazda has also given it 7 airbags across all trim levels along with a suite of active safety features, so safety is assured.
The new 3 manages to shake away the Grabcar-special image that the previous generation suffered from, while still being a practical saloon car for family saloon. Prices start from S$111,888, but we recommend the Elegance trim (S$127,888) as its equipment list is pretty much on par with the range-topping Astina, while still undercutting the Toyota Corolla Altis (which starts at S$132,888 for the base-spec model). If this is anything to go by, we reckon that the Corolla’s reign as king of midsize saloons is effectively over.
Here at Motorist, we love it when carmakers fully exploit a small-capacity engine and make it as peppy as its larger siblings. We also love cars that are fuel efficient, because paying $3.00 per litre is not fun.
Which is why the new Kia Stonic Mild Hybrid is our recommendation. Powered by a 1.0 litre turbocharged engine outputting 118 horses, this Korean hatch is a pretty brisk city runabout. Not content with already having a fuel efficient motor, Kia’s engineers have given it a 48V mild hybrid system, bringing fuel consumption to 21.2 km/L, thus saving you plenty of money in the long run.
The well-packaged Stonic is also capable of protecting its occupants in the event of a collision, with 6 airbags equipped as standard. The top SX variant adds on to this by including a collision warning system, which helps to lower the chances of an accident happening. Prices start at S$105,999, and as we've reviewed, this is definitely a hatch that you should consider.
Does it really surprise you that we have selected the Kia Niro Hybrid as the preferred Cat A SUV? It ticks all the right boxes - good build quality, incredible fuel efficiency, and a comprehensive list of equipment.
Its Kappa 1.6 litre engine and hybrid system provides 129 combined horses, and returns 25 km/L, which is mighty impressive for a car this size! The interior is well-appointed too, with leather upholstery (and a leather-wrapped steering wheel for the SX range-topper), an Apple Carplay & Android Auto-compatible infotainment system, and 7 airbags as standard.
Kia is pricing the Niro Hybrid from S$127,999, which is lower than many of its fiercest rivals. And because the Niro uses a hybrid powertrain, you are getting one of the most frugal and most value-for-money SUVs in Category A today.
In light of the recent insane fuel and COE increases, we strongly believe that the market is shifting towards hybrid cars. The abovementioned recommendations have shown consumers that it is possible to be frugal and still get a well-equipped vehicle. Now, if only the powers that be can come to their senses and make petrol prices affordable once more...
Read More: Several Mainstream EVs Reclassified To Category A COE, Expected To Be More Affordable From May 2022
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