You can be a first time car buyer, or that guy who changes his car like he does his smartphone. No matter which group you belong to, we at GoBear are still here to advocate for financial smarts. You would still need to consider things like COE premiums, car loan, car insurance and condition (if you are buying second-hand, that is) before you take the plunge. Here is one more important factor to mull over: reliability of the carmaker.
The more durable the car brand, the more savings you enjoy from all the possible maintenance and trade-in top up. Take this blue book as the final round of internal debate before you sign on the dotted line.
If you are not convinced that this particular Korean brand is competent on the durability front, look at the billions of dollars’ worth of sales that have made Hyundai one of the top few Chaebol in South Korea (joining the likes of Samsung), and also amongst the top automobile manufacturers of the world. Or look at the Singapore taxis you have been taking. The older models have been systematically swapped out for the Sonatas and Elantras, which boast excellent fuel economy numbers.
Just be wary of those SUA (Sudden Unintended Acceleration) tendencies.
Audi’s famous Quattro technology has carried its cars through the years to become one of the more dependable luxury brands. From the R8 supercar to the entry-level A4, being equipped with the Quattro all-wheel drive system gives drivers the much needed stability and control on any given kind of road condition. Good bye, skids and repairs.
It’s a close fight with Toyota. Similar to their Japanese automaker rivals, Honda cars are a hit in the U.S market as well as in Singapore, with models like the Accord and Civic leading the charge. According to Consumer Reports’ ‘Best Used Cars’, Japanese manufacturers have been continuously dominating the charts, and Honda is a name that keeps coming up. Even for resale cars, Honda has plenty of gas left in its tank.
It seems that Korea’s obsession with beauty has extended to the realm of automobiles. Kia has been producing curvier and more luxurious-looking cars than they ever had, and they are increasingly going continental with the ‘start/stop’ and seat cooling technologies. Beyond the surface, you can get very decent drivability for almost half the price of its European counterparts. And within the Asian market, the Koreans are fast snapping at the heels of your Toyotas and Hondas. While we were on the topic of Singapore taxis, let’s not forget the Kia Optima K5s make up a big part of the fleet too.
The guys over at Lexus would swear that their cars are ‘IDEAL’ for this list. That actually spells out to ‘Impressive, Dynamic, Elegant, Advanced and Lasting’. Toyota’s premium division has consistently won over both drivers and critics with their refined comfort and homely customer services, and their more recent forays saw them go full steam into hybrid vehicles for a more sustainable drive.
Here’s a fun fact that poses as yet another testament to its reliability: the official state car that Singapore’s very own Prime Minister rides in is also, no prizes for guessing, a Lexus.
The glut of Mazdas on the roads is not wholly due to the dip in COE at the beginning of this year. According to the 2015 edition of Consumer Reports on car brands, Mazda was ranked one of the top three best car brands in terms of reliability and for something closer to home, Land Transport Authority published 2016 quarterly figures for newly registered cars which revealed that Mazda was one of the most popular car brands among Singaporeans. Mazda isn’t just all about the Jinba ittai (being one with the car) you would experience in the MX-5 Roadster, they are also about building a long lasting impression.
In exchange for open top thrills, powerful acceleration and an image of an old timer with mid-life crisis, you’d probably have to sacrifice environmental responsibilities and practicality. Not with Porsche, or at least their new generation of turbocharged 911s. Despite making the switch to a less gas-demanding engine, they have managed to retain their sporting DNA. Compared to those glossy, ostentatious Aventadors, Porsche makes for a more sensible everyday usability on Singapore streets. But generally speaking, you can hardly to go wrong with the Germans for best of performance and reliability.
The annual Subaru WRX Impreza challenge in Singapore seems to be letting us in on something. Contestants have to go through an innocuous-looking endurance test whereby they place a hand on the car for as long as humanly possible, and the last man/woman standing gets to drive it home. Like the ultimate winner who has to literally stand against debilitating fatigue and erratic weather conditions, Subaru cars embody that very same determination and hardiness that has earned them a spot among the top trusted Japanese brands.
Like that go-to pair of jeans you have worn to death, and still are wearing, Toyota has withstood the test of time to still emerge as the most popular brand of choice among Singaporeans. Discounting the Prius, models such as the Corolla Altis can clock long running mileage and has fuel efficiency that would turn an environmentalist’s frown upside down. If you’re looking for a dependable car that you can practically drive till it falls apart at the seams, Toyota will be right up your alley.
Besides meatballs and IKEA, Sweden is known to be home to the world’s safest car brand. Volvo’s durability lies in their fixation with safety, so much so that they have embarked on their ‘Vision 2020’ campaign which promises to eliminate all deaths in their cars. Through hundreds of crash tests and numerous safety accolades awarded on almost all their sedans and SUVs, you would have reason to believe you never have to make an accident claim against your insurer, let alone last the distance.