- Published: Thursday, 12 January 2017 18:34
We pick the greenest of the litter at the Singapore Motorshow 2017
While diesels, hybrids and plug-ins stil make up a minority of the car population here, 2016 saw non-petrol cars in these categories hit all-time highs in terms of sales and population. With talks of economic downturns and penny pinching, who wouldn't want a car that can go as far as possible on the fewest pennies? Well the Singapore Motorshow 2017 brings good news, since it saw a healthy number of new vehicles that could help invigorate what has traditionally been an overlooked segment here.
1. Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid $118,888 with COE
Hyundai’s first stab at a Prius-battling, global hybrid begins with the Ioniq hybrid. It’s a 141hp sedan-looking hatchback with a 1.6-litre engine, lithium ion battery pack and official fuel efficiency of less than 4.0L/100km. We’ve tested it and found it to pose a strong challenge to the supremacy of the Toyota Prius, but possibly the best thing about it is the price: It’s $118,888 with COE now and enjoys a motorshow promo package that chucks in free servicing and other goodies.
2. Kia Niro $109,999 with COE
3.8L/100km, 88g/km CO2
Kia’s hybrid contender is closely related to Hyundai’s, as both share the same technology underpinnings, but the Niro has the added advantage of a popular bodystyle, it being an SUV. We previewed it just before its debut at the Singapore Motorshow and found it to be a great-looking, generously-specced machine, even if you consider the sub-$110k price, on paper it’s a great deal for a car of any sort, and not just a hybrid. Between them, the two Koreans could really push hybrids to the mainstream.
3. Renault Megane GT-Line $104,000 with COE
This car was a bit of a surprise, since we expected the new Megane sedan here at the Motorshow but the hatchback slunk in at the last moment. The sporty GT hatch, with 200bhp and a sport chassis is interesting, but the GT Line model is likely to be the mainstream seller thanks to its eco and wallet-friendliness. If the efficiency claims hold up, the car is able to do 1,270km on its 47-litre fuel tank.
4. Mitsubishi Space Star $81,999 with COE
Mitsubishi’s new compact hatch is basically a five-door version of the popular Attrage sedan, so while it has very modest performance numbers, such as a 167km/h top speed, 0-100km/h time of 13.8 seconds and just 78bhp from its 1.2-litre, three-cylinder engine, it’s also an economy champ, able to travel a staggering 816km on its tiny, 37-litre fuel tank. That it also packs six airbags into its compact body, and is pretty inexpensive, means it’s the polar opposite of an Imperial Death Star.
5. Nissan Note E-Power $N/A
You can’t actually buy the Nissan Note E-Power, but it’s already on sale in other countries, and it has a damned interesting concept under the hood: It uses its 1.2-litre engine as a mobile generator to power the motor and batteries, kind of like a BMW i3 or Chevrolet Bolt, the reason being that a generator running at constant, optimal speed is more efficient than a combustion engine that has to rev up and down. We tested it and found it to be quite useful, especially in urban settings. Nissan is currently investigating the feasibility of selling the Note E Power in Singapore eventually, and it could truly work as an affordable hybrid since it’s less complex than a conventional hybrid.