These Used Performance Cars Have Increased In Appeal Over Time, And You Can Still Buy Them In Singapore Today

These Used Performance Cars Have Increased In Appeal Over Time, And You Can Still Buy Them In Singapore Today

Gerald Yuen
Gerald Yuen
26 Feb 2024

While we very well know that the future of cars is heading towards an all-electric future, some instances in this pursuit for progress indicate that public opinions still hold value. Logic would point towards BMW’s facelifted X5 having a larger kidney grille, but they’ve stuck with a pair that’s more familiar - perhaps after hearing feedback on the iX and XM’s overzealous design cues.

Approaches that favour conventional over unorthodox seem to be gaining momentum. Steering wheel sliders on Volkswagen’s Mk8.5 Golf have now switched back to physical buttons. Hyundai’s pair of Ioniq 5 and 6 siblings seem eager to quell our worries about a future filled only with screens - knobs and physical switches abound in an interior that still looks far from outdated.

These implementations are not a must, but manufacturers know that we humans still crave for tactile, visceral sensations. That’s great news, but the fight to conform to what is seen as the “best” way to build a car still exists. No emissions, no buttons in the cabin, no hands on the steering wheel - is this where all of us are eventually heading?

It’s a scary thought for millennial me, but at least for now we can still enjoy cars in the market that made us like cars in the very first place. Relish them while we can…

2018 Kia Stinger GT

The Kia we knew back then might not be recognised as cutting edge, which makes the Stinger GT a proper iron fist in a velvet glove. 3.3 litres and two turbos supply it with monumental levels of twist, all while transporting 5 in comfort. It’s based on the Hyundai Genesis after all.

The 2.0-litre turbo equipped Stinger GT Line is no slouch, but you know where we’re leaning for that full whack of performance, delivered during a time where Kia didn't need to invest in a performance variant. Which is why we like it - a final sting in the tail before Kia’s corporate identify shift in 2021.

2014 Porsche Macan Turbo

It seemed like ages ago when the Macan was first launched. It might be tagged as the decked out Audi Q5, but its tremendous sales figures over the decade suggest that Porsche knows how to do business - letting this compact SUV generate revenue, while still fortifying the brand’s sport appeal with niche GT sports cars. But what if you want a practical Porsche with searing pace to match? In steps the turbo V6 powered Macan Turbo.

394bhp and 550Nm are numbers not to be scoffed at, even more so when they are done without electric assistance. The all-electric Macan Turbo might have landed with twice the torque, but the OG Turbo with its rockstar appeal still knows how to throw a party.

2011 Volkswagen Polo GTI

EVs with zero emission status are very relevant zipping around town. The issue now lies in the fact that there are not many small EVs to choose from in Singapore. The Ora Good Cat could qualify, but park it beside a Yaris Cross and it’ll force you to do a double take. BYD’s Dolphin comes close to a compact hatch, only if it doesn't ply its trade with Suzuki Swifts and Mazda 2s. That’s where the VW Polo makes sense in Singapore.

Sure, it’s long in its tooth and we can count how many are left on our shores, but find one in GTI-spec to reignite your love for simple, fun point-and-squirt performance hatches. It never quite lived up to its billing dynamically (Renault and MINI hatches spoiled the party), but give us a twin-charged pocket-sized car for city runs now - we’ll choose it over a high-riding, broad-shouldered EV anyday.

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