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Car of the Year 2017

Executive SUV

 

Volvo V90 Cross Country T5

Volvo's already successful V90 Estate is a little more versatile under the Cross Country trim. Where it stands out, is its near-flawless luggage room and interior quality. We also love how it stands out on the road. Volvo may have used this formula before, but always well executed each time.

 

Land Rover Discovery 3.0 TDV6 HSE (7 Seats)

There are SUVs which are road biased, then there is the Discovery. The new car is lighter, more nimble, and does not lose any of its mud churning capabilities. Cabin space, interior and exterior design are up by many levels, and the flexible cargo area, plus how much it can swallow won us over. With one of the largest sunroofs in the business, allowing plenty of light into the cabin, the new Disco is able to accommodate seven adults, with enough space for the average man in the third row.

 

Range Rover Velar 3.0 Si6 HSE R Dynamic

A hint of coupe-like styling is certainly refreshing. While the exterior turns heads, the Velar's interior design is such a gem. The display and the user interface on the centre control deserves top marks. Technological advancements like Matrix-laser LED headlights, with laser technology, increases driver visibility by up to 550m. While it is city-chic, the Velar is equally at home away from the road, and even able to wade up to depths of up to 650mm.

 

Mazda CX-9 2.5 2WD Turbo

Finally, we get to see a force-fed Mazda! The CX-9's turbocharged 2.5 litre engine is a welcome addition to their range of power plants. While there is more-than-ample power and torque to move seven in comfort, the CX-9's interior rivals some more expensive German makes. Handling and balance is further improved with Mazda's G-Vectoring technology, keeping the car well-planted, and noticeably improving drive comfort.


Compact Executive SUV

 

Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI Quattro S tronic Sport

Audi's previous Q5 was already a success, with its cabin room, refinement and styling. The new Q5 has taken all of that, and added a few tweaks to further improve on what is already good. Features like coasting allows the Q5 to deliver better fuel efficiency, while minor increments in size, and efficient packaging delivers better comfort for passengers. Audi's wheel-selective torque control helps to make this SUV just that bit better than the previous car off the beaten path, and as for interior quality, it is hard to beat a dash this well built.

 

Volvo XC60 T6R

From the new Thor's Hammer headlamp design, to the 9” tablet style infotainment unit, the new XC60 apes its larger XC90 sibling in design language. Dash quality is very high on this one. We love how the quirky Swedes have even dared to include a little Swedish flag, which doubles as an expansion slot as part of the dash design. The added advantage of the height adjustable air suspension means better ground clearance. While it really is a road-biased car, at the back of your mind, you know you can do that little bit more.

 

Mercedes-Benz GLC 200

The GLC 200 looks the part and you could believe, does some soft-roading. But this is the milder 2wd sibling of the GLC 250. Most of us would be attracted by the bullet-proof Mercedes quality and residual value, and the GLC 200 does deliver some goodies like Keyless-Go, reverse camera, collision warning and an automated tailgate.


Compact Premium SUV

 

MINI Cooper S Countryman

Build quality of the latest MINIs have seen improvement, the Cooper S Countryman might have the underpinnings of the 1 Series BMW, but MINI has clearly made the new Countryman their own. The 2.0 turbocharged engine delivers a very punchy, 192bhp, rocketing their largest MINI ever to 100km/h in just 7.4 seconds. The dashboard is built as-good-as some of the best German cars in the market. Being larger for a MINI is not all that bad, rear passengers actually have room to stretch their legs, and those long journeys are now more comfortable with that longer wheelbase.

 

Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TSI R-Line

The top-of-the-line Tiguan features Golf GTi-rivalling straight-line performance. That turbocharged 2.0 is a gem of an engine, delivering the century sprint in just 6.5 seconds, while driving all four wheels. The car is now much bigger, while body sculpting is more angular. Build quality for the VW actually seems to be closer to some traditional Premium Luxury German brands.

 

Toyota Harrier 2.0 Turbo Premium

Smooth-driving, with a responsive turbocharged power delivery, the Toyota Harrier offers a commanding view, within a well-insulated cabin. Passenger comfort is a very important factor in this one, and the Harrier does not disappoint. Active safety systems like their Safety Sense P aids as an extra set of eyes on the road, prompting drivers when there is a potential collision, and can automatically apply or simply add more pressure onto the brakes, when it detects that there is an emergency ahead.

 

Mazda CX-5 2.5 2WD Super Luxury

Build quality and very good paintwork could rival some of the German brands in the market. The CX-5 delivers very good interior room, and the great handling is further refined by their G-Vectoring Technology. Technological goodies like the Rear Cross Traffic Alert system helps to alert drivers if there is an approaching car passing from behind, as you reverse out of a lot.

 

Honda CR-V 1.5 Turbo 7 Seater

The CRV has definitely grown in size. The new car offers seating for seven passengers, and a silky smooth drive, and not forgetting plenty of room for your cargo. For the first time, Honda has also fielded a turbocharged engine in the SUV, increasing its fuel efficiency.


Compact SUV

 

Audi Q2 1.0 TFSI S Tronic

An origami-like side profile, a customisable C pillar, and a larger-than-life front grille makes the Q2 such a quirky car to own. The innovative right-sized 1.0 3-cylinder turbocharged engine delivers a surprisingly effective 200Nm of torque, and drives through a 7-speed automatic transmission, making this little SUV very fuel efficient, while delivering punchy performance.

 

Subaru XV 1.6i-S

Famed for the stability of their horizontally-opposed engines, Subaru carries on with tradition, bringing us the XV SUV. Compared to the previous car, the XV's interior has improved. Front and rear passengers benefit from good legroom, and owners can enjoy a drive with good handing, thanks to their signature All-Wheel Drive.

 

Peugeot 3008 1.6 e-THP EAT6 Allure

A quirky exterior hints of an even quirkier interior. Peugeot's 3008 SUV brings a refreshing change to a market flooded with SUVs. From an odd-shaped steering, which is quite good to hold, to unique switchgear, which looks like it came right off a concept car, the French manufacturer has done a good job in ensuring that every inch of this car is unique.

 

Jeep Renegade Limited 1.4

Tradition meets the young (at heart). Known for things much bigger, rougher and bolder, Jeep did something unthinkable, they produced a cheeky-looking SUV, with hints of its past embedded into it, from the front vertical grille with seven slots, partially obscured round headlamps, and a bonnet with a power hump, to rear tail lamps marked with an 'X', giving a hint to jerry cans used by its rugged grand-dad during conflict, the young Renegade does not draw any conflict with its design, but rather a smile from its cheeky styling, and the little Easter Eggs left around the car for you to look for.

 

Opel Crossland 1.2

The 1.2 litre is frugal, while the interior delivers well on user ergonomics. The Crossland's dash features plenty of chrome inserts, adding an upmarket flavour, while the exterior styling will turn heads.


High Performance SUV

 

Porsche Macan Turbo Performance Package

When Porsche fielded its Macan Turbo, we all knew they had a winner. Good balance, power and coupe-like styling made this SUV such a sought-after car. In-fact the Macan makes up a good portion of Porsche's sales. How do you make the Turbo Macan even better? How about a Performance Package one? With 434bhp and a mental 600Nm on tap, and with such a tiny footprint, the Macan is blisteringly high on performance, and could surprise a few supercar owners.

 

Maserati Levante 3.0 Diesel

Italian flair, a taller ride height and a turbocharged diesel engine which delivers 600Nm of twist, the Levante delivers one more quirk. The Italians had decided to introduce an old-school hydraulic power steering, to deliver more road feel. Handling is very good, and the car even benefits from an adjustable air suspension.

 

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe AMG 43 4Matic

Oddball-licious, a 5-door coupe on stilts maybe? With a 3.0 turbocharged AMG V6 under the hood, powering all four wheels, the soundtrack this compact SUV makes, would certainly turn heads. It is road biased, but flip a switch, and raise the height and you could probably take this car down a gravel path, much quicker than most cars can.

 

Audi SQ5 3.0 TFSI Qu Tiptronic

This one does all the Q5 can do, and one thing more. While we may love the build quality and design of the Q5, the V6 3.0 in this one, makes this car an excellent sleeper on the road. You do get all the qualities in an SUV, with the performance and handling of a sports car.


Compact Executive Coupe

 

Infiniti Q60 2.0 T

With one of the prettiest side profiles we have seen this year, we certainly love the performance of the Q60. Plant the car around a bend, and you will notice that its not all about the looks. The Q60 is a well-balanced car. Equipment levels do not disappoint.

 

Audi A5 Coupe 2.0 TFSI S Tronic (Design)

Crisp, clean lines, a frugal 2.0, which allows you to coast to save fuel are just some of the things which attracts. As with other Audis, the quality of the interior is among the best in the market.

 

Lexus RC Turbo

Turn-on-a-dime driving dynamics, bulletproof engineering and drive comfort makes the RC Turbo a coupe not to be missed. It also does feel like a baby version of their newly-launched LC500 Coupe.


Compact Sedan

 

Audi A3 Sedan 1.0 TFSI S tronic

A right-sized 1.0 three cylinder, does not mean sluggish performance. The A3 does boast 200Nm of torque, while the four-ringed badge makes the baby Audi sedan an attractive buy within the compact sedan market.

 

Renault Megane Sedan 1.5 dCi Privilege

We simply love how Renault had designed the interior, with that portrait styled infotainment screen. Exterior styling is a vast departure from the previous car, with fancy head and tail lamps, and the new Megane does stand out compared to the competition. How about those shopping trolley-resistant plastic front fenders?

 

Subaru Impreza 1.6 4Dr

Solid build quality and structural rigidity from their new Subaru Global Platform means a car with very good handling, and vastly improved safety. Subaru's famed horizontally-opposed engine and all-wheel drive are standard.


Executive Sedan

 

BMW 5 Series 540i

Features-laden, including automated parking, and GPS guided adaptive gear shifting, we also love how BMW's 540i can be forwarded and backed from and into tight parking spaces. The turbocharged 3.0 straight-six delivers well on power.

 

BMW 530i M Sport

Nimble on its feet, we certainly love how the 530i takes to the corners. The M Sport suspension is a must for those who love a good drive.

 

Genesis G80

A surprisingly plush drive from the luxury Korean brand. We had to nominate this car! A potent 3.8 litre V6 sits under the hood, driving the rear wheels. Rear passengers can sit in comfort with electric reclining seats. Turn that steering wheel, and be pleasantly surprised with that one-and-a-quarter turn from centre to full lock. Build quality is also so surprisingly close to its German counterparts.


Compact Executive Performance Sedan

 

Audi S4 Sedan 3.0 TFSI Quattro Tiptronic

A sleeper always flies under the radar, and the S4 is just one of them. There are fabulous but subtle styling cues which tell of the 3.0 turbocharged V6 which lurks under the hood. Audi's famed Quattro system drives all four wheels, delivering excellent traction.

 

Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400

For those who love a purer driving experience, the Red Sport delivers almost 400bhp from a 3.0 turbocharged engine, driving just the rear wheels. Priced lower than its German counterparts, this Japanese gem is like a dark horse, and gives them a run for their money, and with just the rear wheels driven, it actually adds to the joy of driving.

 

Mercedes-Benz AMG C43

The C43 sedan drives all four wheels, and is powered by a turbocharged 3.0 V6. Body kitting makes this a definite head turner, while the compact C-Class footprint makes this car such an easy car to handle.


Executive Performance Car

 

Porsche Panamera PDK 3.0

Creamy power delivery from its 3.0 V6, the Panamera's styling is a vast improvement from the previous car. Drive it normally, and you get a plush-riding executive car. Turn on Sports mode, and all the right noises would easily put a smile on your face. The four-seater delivers excellent comfort for driver and passenger alike.

 

BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo M Sport

Today's owners can be spoilt for choice. BMW's new 640i xDrive Gran Turismo M Sport, looks like a four-door coupe, but benefits from all four driven wheels, and even gets four-wheel steering, allowing not only better steering response, but the car actually turns as tight as some smaller cars. Occupant comfort is very good, especially for those at the rear. An added plus are those electrically operated window blinds.


Compact Hybrid

 

Hyundai Ioniq 1.6 GLS Hybrid

Coupe-like styling, and a frugal fuel sipping power plant. The Ioniq looks good from many angles. The hybrid drive system ensures that you get good fuel economy.

 

Kia Niro Hybrid 1.6

Like its sister car, the Ioniq, Kia must also have a hybrid car. This time though, styled more like a crossover. The sensible fuel savings would mean plenty for those who can see the value in owning a hybrid car.


Best Engine & Exhaust Note

Special Mention
 

Audi RS3 Sedan

A wider track front and rear, plus plenty of kit differentiates this car over a vanilla A3. While we do love the styling and performance of this car, we also absolutely love the soundtrack that this high-octane firecracker is able to bellow!


Industry Trailblazer

iPerformance Range & Charging Infrastructure
Special Mention
 

BMW/Performance Motors

We would like to recognise the efforts of BMW and Performance Motors for their efforts in working with various agencies and residences to ensure that the much-needed infrastructure is installed for their iPerformance range of cars, and other future vehicles.


Compact Cabriolet

 

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet C200

Their innovative AIRCAP draught stop system which aids in reducing air turbulence for both front and rear seat passengers is a unique innovation for this cabriolet. The tight and neat styling of the Merc, matches the tight handling which the car is able to deliver.

 

Audi A5 Cabriolet

Excellent fit and finish, and very good boot space for a cabriolet makes this such an easy car to live with. We love how Audi had kept their silver trim around the passenger cabin and also around the windshield, similar to how the Audi 80 was styled years ago. Look at the car from the side, and you can see that plenty of thought has gone into its proportions.

 

Mazda MX-5 2.0 RF

Turn on a dime, get direct naturally aspirated engine response, and how about an electrically operated hardtop, turning the open top driver's car into a coupe?


High Performance Coupe

 

Lexus LC500

Innovative use of carbon fibre materials, together with the satisfying (and hair-standing) howl from a well-tuned exhaust, pumped from a naturally aspirated 5.0 V8. The coupe might come from a company, more in-tune with building silent, whisper-quiet luxury sedans and SUVs, but believe us, that it is right up there with some of the best performance coupes!

 

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe C 63 S AMG

A compact coupe housing a potent turbocharged 4.0 V8, driving just the rear wheels. The hand-assembled AMG engine is the responsibility of just one man, who torque wrenches the whole thing together, to squeeze out every ounce of power from these wonderful German V8s. A serious driver's car… Launch Control included.