|Read about our judges' choices and their reasons for choosing the car they think should win the Oneshift.com Car of the Year award.|
Azfar Hashim, Editor
My choice is a simple and straightforward one - the Volkswagen Jetta TSI.
The reasons are simple, really. Being the family man who wants the best out of a car, the Jetta has it all - a cavernous boot that swallows anything and everything, a spacious and welcoming cabin that can ferry five adults in comfort, good build quality that impresses, and best of all, a 170bhp 1.4-litre twin-charged engine that I'm pretty sure won't cost a bomb to run and maintain throughout its COE lifespan. Oh, and did I also mention that 6-speed DSG, paddle-shifters included? It has everything a family man needs in this one car.
The Jetta handles well on any roads, although with that excess weight in the form of a boot, makes chasing hot-hatches quite a task. My only gripe(s)? The interior design looks nothing different from the rest of the Golf and Jetta range. And that sub-90k price tag seems a tad too much for sedan-loving Singaporeans.
If you can afford it, you won't go wrong with this one...
Jarvis Seo, Writer
The choices are many, but the cars that really stand out in terms of drivability with a tinge of "fun factor" thrown in are the Mazda 6, the Ford S-Max, the Volkswagen Jetta TSI and Tiguan. However, the cherry on top of this cake goes to the Renault Clio R27 for being the feisty little terrier of the lot.
Unfortunately, the Clio is pricy for this amount of fun and not large enough for moving your family around in relative comfort. The Ford S-Max is a capable handler but the engine has its work cut out for it. The Tiguan has the edge over the S-Max but cost a good 20 grand more. This leaves me with two remaining choices - the Mazda 6 and the Jetta TSI. The Mazda 6 edges out in terms of passenger space and design, but the Jetta is a charm when it comes to the awesome TSI engine.
In the end, the head wins the struggle over the heart and my choice goes to the Mazda 6 for being the capable all-rounder car that doesn't burn a hole in your pocket.
Jeremy Chua, Writer
My personal pick is the Mazda 6. I simply like how it looks, and more importantly, it's got great handling for its size. The spacious interior and overall build quality are a marked improvement over its predecessor.
The engine is very willing, and its transmission is so responsive that it usually kicks down two gears - instead of just one. The Mazda 6 looks good (without being flashy) and easily functions as an exec's ride during the week, as well as to ferry around a family on weekends. Plus, there's the added bonus of it not being a common sight on our roads...
Colin Choo, Guest Judge
Despite early criticism about the new Mazda 6 being bland in looks, I beg to differ. The Mazda 6 is, in my opinion, an extremely good looking car. In the larger picture, the 6 has got very well-balanced proportions, and that works beautifully with its purposeful and commanding stance. On the finer details, the sculptural line works simply invites you to run your fingers along them. The intricately detailed headlights and tail lights never fail to amaze me every single time I look into them. In fact, any keen observer can immediately trace those lovely details to their origins - Mazda's recent line of exciting concept cars.
In line with the latest Mazda's undertaking to make the weight of every new model lighter than their predecessor, I would think that the Mazda's driving dynamics would be as charming as its looks. Just with those arresting looks, it has already won my heart.
Raymond Lai, Contributor
For me, it was a tough choice between the Volkswagen Tiguan and the Audi A4.
I can't believe that I've chosen a crossover SUV as my pick but the Tiguan is just such a complete car. For less than a Golf GTI, you get the same engine and more car. Although it doesn't perform as well or handle as fluidly as the GTI, the Tiguan is good enough for most in these aspects. Moreover, the interior is both spacious and practical
while the commanding driving position is excellent. I had the chance to try its off-road capabilities in New Zealand earlier this year and this self proclaimed soft-roader really impressed me with the way it took any incline and obstacle with ease. If I were nitpicking then the styling is too conservative, but aren't most German cars conservatively styled?