Market Watch: Fun Used Cars We Can Buy In Singapore At S$1,000 Depreciation Per Month

Market Watch: Fun Used Cars We Can Buy In Singapore At S$1,000 Depreciation Per Month

Gerald Yuen
Gerald Yuen
23 Aug 2023

By the time this story is published, launch of the limited edition Polestar 2 BST edition 230 will be only a couple of weeks away. While we can’t wait to gather some seat time in it, that also got us thinking - why do we like cars, and of equal importance, what makes us crave for an early Sunday morning drive? Chasing the sunrise will be a priority of course, and the destination that almost always involves a warm cup of double shot iced Americano makes for a perfect combination.

But it’s often the journey rather than destination that register the best memories. And cars that qualify as fun serve as brilliant ammos to load up on a traffic-free memory lane. Placing fun in the forefront helps, and thankfully we still have a bunch of comparatively affordable cars that are engaging to drive. Well, we are living in this transitory stage that needs no reminding - the 476bhp Polestar 2 boasts blistering pace, but it’s also caught in a numerical arms race some could find wearying.

In steps three cars that are no stranger to petrolheads, but deserve their time in the spotlight simply due to the fact that they were overshadowed by more popular brands at launch. They might not be in the first flushes of youth now, but a small-ish price tag at less than S$1,000 monthly depreciation is a tempting proposition…

Skoda Octavia RS

Cat A-eligible cars from VW Group have proven to fare much better than their numbers suggest, but what about their cars equipped with more potent powertrains? Skoda as a brand fits the bill of cars that could have flown under the radar, and the 2nd-generation Octavia RS wasn’t afraid of initiating this effort almost two decades ago. Platform sharing from VW Group meant it could gather expertise from all the best bits including the Mk2 Audi A3, Mk2 Seat Leon and the most popular of the lot - Mk5 Golf GTI.

197bhp and 280Nm from a 2.0-litre EA113 force-fed motor was familiar stuff, but this unit was mated to a 6-speed manual. That’s rare for a Singapore-spec VW Group car, let alone a Skoda. Spring and damper rates are far from aggressive for a performance variant, so it could double as a family hauler too, as every Skoda should.

Fiat Bravo T-Jet

We had to endure waves of uncertainty in the late noughties - the financial crisis did nothing to spur motivation. But at least the price points of cars incentivised some to venture a couple of ranks up the segment. The tail end of 2008 saw Cat A and B COEs record prices at less than eight grand each! This also coincided with hot hatch boom - the last few batches of Mk5 Volkswagen Golf GTI sold for less than 100 grand, and the R56 MINI Cooper S mixed a healthy blend of performance and style at an attainable price.

That might have left the Fiat Bravo T-Jet in the shadows, but that’s precisely why we feel it has increased in appeal. That Q car, iron fist in a velvet glove charm is exemplified in this relatively inconspicuous, approachable styling. A 8.3 seconds 0 to 100km/h sprint is no slouch, and the turbocharged motor should still feel fizzy and exciting. All the fun to be had without asking for a king’s ransom…

Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart Version-R

A Mitsubishi that isn't an Evo, and equipped with a CVT? Not off to a good start, mate. But hear us out - numbers suggest that this deserves a second showing. The Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart Version-R features a turbocharged 1.5-litre motor producing 152bhp and 180Nm (210Nm for the manual variant), in charge of pushing a package that weighs a sliver over one tonne.

Sure, the driver will have a more natural path of progression in a manual-equipped Version-R. But one that doesn’t require left legwork, cling-wrapped in a form factor so petite is still a good enough reason to plan for your next B-road hooning, all dialed in on boost with a clenched jaw attitude - without breaking the bank.

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