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Less Explored Used Cars We Would Buy In Singapore at S$1,000 Depreciation Per Month

Can “cheap” and good come from less examined origins?
Gerald Yuen
Gerald Yuen
23 Nov 2022

We’ve heard of horror stories derived from used car purchases, in particular from less mainstream brands that dangle attractive financial carrots like negligible upfront costs, lower interest loan rates or “reasonable'' depreciation. And while we are in full agreement that a handful of used cars are best left without the responsibility of ownership, there are still a couple of cars from less conventional origins worth considering in Singapore. This shortlist stems primarily from a financial standpoint for an aspiring car owner willing to fork out S$1,000 worth of depreciation per month (or S$12,000 annually). But do they need to be plain obvious choices? Not necessarily - logic can be injected with oddball preferences, too!

SEAT Toledo 1.4 TDI

With SEAT now seemingly spending most of their effort reigniting its Cupra performance arm, it comes as little surprise that previous models have since slipped under the radar - none more so than the relatively pedestrian SEAT Toledo. It wasn't the car to bring SEAT back in the limelight after more than a decade of inactivity in the Singapore market, but we reckon 6 years down the road its passivity played to its advantage - an efficient diesel motor with a claimed 25km/l hauling a utilitarian sedan shell with a boot space larger than a Toyota Corolla Altis. It might not be embellished with the best curves, but all is forgiven if we bring into focus its sensible, honest charm.

Peugeot RCZ 1.6 Turbo

The Peugeot RCZ in pre-facelift guise might have just crossed the 1 decade mark, but its aesthetics still looks highly relevant today. A double bubble roof, sloping roof line and low centre of gravity make it look like no other on local tarmac. It’s not as impractical as first perceived - 384 litres of boot space makes it more functional than a Mazda 3 hatchback. It is punchy too - 156bhp and 240Nm gives it a century sprint of 9 seconds, while obtaining a decent fuel efficiency of 13.6km/l. An equally attractive Audi TT of similar age sets you back S$3,000 more per year in depreciation, and a MINI Cooper S running a similar 1.6-litre turbo motor might be priced similarly to the RCZ but is comparatively more conventional. The RCZ might not be dynamically sublime, but its dashing looks at this price range makes it a tough sample to ignore.

Honda Crossroad 1.8 L (A)

It was often labelled as the Japanese Hummer, or a Toyota FJ Cruiser without off-roading credentials. But the 2nd-gen Honda Crossroad never intended to mimic anyone - it can be argued that it played a part to spark the wildly popular urban compact crossover / SUV category. It has come a long way given that its predecessor was a rebadged Land Rover Discovery (and remains the only Honda-badged V8 till today). The Crossroad ceased production in 2010, making way for an even more quirky first-gen HR-V, before evolving to one synonymous with compact crossovers. The Crossroad was literally at the crossroads - its bold decision to be tagged as a subcompact urban SUV yielded risks but we knew how significant this classification has evolved in hindsight. That alone deserves full respect in our books.

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