What The OneShift Team Would Buy in Category A COE That's Below $40k OMV

What The OneShift Team Would Buy in Category A COE That's Below $40k OMV

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
19 Apr 2023

We Singaporeans are known to be a calculative bunch. Sometimes we are even labelled as Jews of the East.

So when it comes down to buying a car in this high COE and high tax environment, no thanks to Budget 2023, we want to get something that’s least affected by the new tax regimes. Short of a used car (if you want those, head onto Carousell Autos!), you should be looking at new cars in the market that are in Category A (currently a hefty $22k cheaper than Category B) as well as having OMV that’s around or less than the $40k threshold (consider anything above something of a luxury tax).

Here are some of our picks to make your search easier. Let’s kiasu together!

James Wong: Suzuki Jimny (OMV: $14,889)

If you’re going to get something lighter on the wallet, why not have fun at the same time? The back-to-basics Jimny has all the right ingredients for proper street cred, yet will willingly go off-road with you any day of the week. Short of fitting a full-sized family, the Jimny can do nearly everything else, and give you rock solid reliability while at it. It doesn’t hurt that it has Mercedes G-Wagen looks, too. With the vast options for customisation available out there, it punches above its weight in style as well.

Gerald Yuen: Suzuki Swift Sport 6MT (OMV: $16,130)

Nostalgia can be a powerful tool, which is why we’re not going to miss this second bite of the cherry. We reckon that the first-gen Swift Sport (ZC31S) could have soared to heady heights within hot hatch society, but timelines weren’t too kind to it. Limelight was shared between the Mk5 VW Golf GTI and R56 Mini Cooper S, both could be yours at around S$100k brand new (with COE!). With ingredients that remain largely unchanged, the current Swift Sport will still supply the self-serviced satisfaction that enthusiasts crave.

Joel Foo: BMW 116i Hatchback (OMW: $32,002)

You may call me a snob, but if I’m going to be spending a large amount of time at the wheel it has to be behind something that feels premium to the touch. It also has to handle well, be reasonably practical and feel agile enough when navigating around our crowded cityscape. With its award winning and sprightly B38 1.5-litre engine, the BMW 116i could not fit the bill better than any of the other choices available. I was torn between the X1 and the 116i, but I personally prefer my cars to sit lower to the ground. And as a young, CBD-going executive, nothing could feel better than to be able to own Bavaria’s ultimate driving machine.

Ronald Chua: Mercedes Benz A180 Sedan Progressive (OMV: $32,450)

With COE at an all-time high, I'd maximise the value of the car I was to purchase and who can resist a 3-pointed star? I have chosen the A180 sedan for its increased practicality over the A180 hatchback and the CLA180, particularly its voluminous boot. The car is decently built and comes equipped with the MBUX infotainment system. The A180 is also an excellent start to the Mercedes brand for years to come.


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