In Singapore, buying cars is considered a luxury due to high taxes which may be enough to obtain exotic vehicles in other countries. Still, that does not mean that the country is short on cheap cars that people can use to move around the city without needing to take public transport.
Despite the relatively low prices, some of these cars have become a staple on Singaporean and other Asian roads, and have been known for their comfort and reliability.
The brand new car that you should look for
Here are eight of the most affordable cars in Singapore below S$100,000 — not including cargo trucks, commuter vans, sports utility vehicles, and commercial vehicles — as mentioned on sgcarmart.com, as of December 2021:
1. Mitsubishi Attrage 1.2 CVT Style (A)
With competitors’ prices on the market continuously rising, the face-lifted Mitsubishi Attrage is now among the cheapest cars in Singapore at S$83,999. The Attrage has a humble three-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 79 horsepower, mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), but it can keep you on the go.
As you won’t speed inside busy Singaporean roads, you would tend focus on fuel economy, which is the Attrage’s selling point: with a rated 20.4 kilometer per liter (km/l), it will be easy on your wallet.
The downside is, the Attrage may be underpowered in Singapore’s hilly areas: with a torque of only 106 Newton-meters (Nm), you might need to use that right foot heavily when going uphill. But at its price point, it’s hard to look for cars with the same nice features like six airbags, traction control, keyless engine start, auto headlights, cruise control, reverse camera, and an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
2. Mitsubishi Space Star 1.2 CVT Style (A)
For those who would want the Mitsubishi Attrage but in a sportier and more youthful hatchback version which you can easily maneuver with a smaller turning radius, the Mitsubishi Space Star may be what you are looking for. Priced at also S$83,999, the Space Star uses the same 1.2 liter dual overhead cam (DOHC) engine, the same transmission as the Attrage.
Despite having the same engine, the Space Star’s top speed is three kilometers per hour (kph) slower than the Attrage. But the hatchback more than makes up for it in fuel efficiency, as its fuel consumption was rated at 21.2 km/L.
Still, the top concern for both models are the underperforming engine in uphill climbs, and the road noise that creeps in at high speeds.
3. Perodua Bezza 1.3 X (A)
If you want slightly more power at a small jump in price, you could opt for the Perdoua Bezza 1.3 Premium X at a slightly higher price of S$87,999. The Bezza engine that is mated to an automatic transmission churns out 93 horses and 121 Nm of torque, for an at par fuel consumption of 21 km/L — all of that while having a bigger trunk capacity than the two entry level Mitsubishi cars.
While the primary concern among prospective buyers is the brand — as the Malaysian company is not yet a well-known company — the fact that it uses Japanese car maker Toyota’s 1NR-VE engine which is shared with the Toyota Vios may put some of the reliability issues to rest. Also, it comes with LED headlights too, so less concern for night ride
4. Honda Fit 1.3 (A) (Venture Cars edition)
A parallel-imported Honda Fit or the Honda Jazz is fourth on the list, priced at only S$89,888 if you get it through car dealer Venture Cars. While the price tag of a Fit purchased outside of Venture Cars would easily go for S$98,000, this parallel import remains a good buy considering that the Fit’s engine is capable of producing 97 horsepower and 118 Nm of torque.
Most people know about the Fit’s styling and appeal, but the fact that it uses a timing chain instead of a timing belt to move its valves is a plus, as chains would last for a longer time compared to serpentine belts. However, fuel efficiency is not the Fit’s strongest suit, as it is rated at 19.6 km/L.
5. Perodua Myvi 1.3 X (A)
Another Perodua that has a Toyota heritage, which is also good in navigating small spaces, the Myvi on the outside looks eerily similar to another hot hatch from the Japanese car maker. Priced at S$91,999, you are sure to get value for money also with the same 1NR-VE engine of the Bezza, as it also produces technically the same power and torque.
With great features like a keyless engine start and a hill start assist, the only knock on the Myvi is its lack of interior space due to it being a hatchback.
6. Honda Shuttle 1.5 G Honda Sensing (A) (Vin’s Auto edition)
The car with the most capable engine, on paper, in this list, the Honda Shuttle is a wagon that was built in Japan and released in 2020 like the model it was based from — the Fit. Buyers are sure to get every dollar’s worth from the base model’s S$97,800 price tag with the 1.5 liter, inline-four cylinder engine that produces 130 horsepower and 155 Nm of torque, mated to a CVT.
Despite the heavier curb weight of 1,130 kilograms, the bigger cargo space, and the more powerful 16-valve engine, you’d be surprised to know that the Shuttle’s fuel efficiency was rated at just 22 km/L — at par with other sedans mentioned above, and cost-effective considering the increasing petrol costs.
Also, the knockdown rear seats provide more interior space, which will be handy for carrying larger items.
7. Toyota Sienta 1.5 X 7-Seater (A) (Venture Cars edition)
Another parallel imported car, The Toyota Sienta which goes for S$98,888 with car dealer Venture Cars is the only 7-seater vehicle in the list. While slightly underpowered as a 7-seater, with its 16-valve inline-four engine only producing 107 horsepower and 136 Nm of torque, the Sienta is still sure to be well-equipped for moving around Singapore’s bustling roads.
Customers have raved about the Sienta’s unique design and the feel of premium features, as it offers sliding doors which makes ingress and egress easier, while making the second and third rows more spacious. However, there were also complaints about road noise and the small cargo space, as it is still a hatchback.
8. Mazda 2 Hatchback 1.5 Classic (A)
If you have the money to spare, but you are still looking for a cheap car with a peppier ride, the Mazda 2 Hatchback whose Classic variant goes for S$99,888 might be a good choice. Its world-famous, four cylinder and 16-valve Skyactiv-G engine produces 114 horses and 149 Nm of torque — very strong numbers considering that the Mazda 2’s curb weight is only at 1,082 kilograms.
People who have bought Mazda 2s have also praised the car for sticking with the automatic transmission rather than a CVT, as the latter, according to some, feel numb to drive due to the constant acceleration and the lack of gear-shifting action. But peppier drives come at the expense of fuel economy: while the Mazda 2 has a decent 18.5 km/L fuel consumption, it is easily the worst in the list.
Still, many Singaporeans love the hatchback, with the complaints centering on lack of boot space which is normal in a shorter vehicle.
List of best car insurance in Singapore
If you are buying a brand new car, you might as well check out car insurance. Here are some of the top performing insurance companies in Singapore:
|Insurance company||Roadside Assistance||Accidental Damage Coverage||Repair method||Other perks|
|FWD Car Insurance||24-hour roadside assistance in case of breakdown||Repair or replacement||Choice of repairer allowed||Coverage while driving in West Malaysia, Thailand|
|Singlife with Aviva Car Insurance||24/7 quick emergency assistance||Repair or replacement for cars less than 1 year old||Any repairer for Standard and Prestige plans||No additional excess for young and inexperienced drivers|
|Direct Asia||Optional addition to plan||Repair (coverage depending on type of insurance)||Optional||As low as S$0.76 per day payments on car insurance|
|AIG Car Insurance||Roadside assistance with towing||Repair, third party damage coverage up to S$5 million||Only at AIG authorized workshops||Coverage for acts of God/ Strike, riots, and civil commotions for complete plan|
If you are looking at the cheapest option, you may pick Direct Asia’s basic car insurance but if you would prefer a comprehensive car insurance coverage, you can choose between FWD and AIG. Overall, all car insurances mentioned are solid choices.
Is it still worth to buy a car amid the COVID-19 pandemic?
The quick answer is definitely, if you are working in an industry that requires mobility daily, as commuting would expose you greater to the COVID-19 pandemic. But if you are in a setup where telecommuting is a choice, you may need to think twice about buying one as the trend shows that car prices are increasing.
Cheapest cars or best cars?
To end, the obvious answer to what are the cheapest cars in Singapore is the Mitsubishi Attrage and the Space Star.
But picking the best car is subjective to a buyer’s needs: if you want a people hauler or a car with bigger space to carry items, you might be looking at the Honda Shuttle or the Toyota Sienta.
But if you want a youthful vibe and great value for money, along with durability, opt for either the Honda Fit or the Mazda 2 — both Japanese vehicles are known for their styling and long heritage of toughness. Also, these two cars have limitless customization possibilities, hence, they do not depreciate quickly.
Cheap cars and Singapore are terms that do not jive because of the high vehicle price tags in the city-state, but there are still plenty of options to choose from if you are looking for the cheapest cars in Singapore.
- The obvious answer to what are the cheapest cars in Singapore is the Mitsubishi Attrage and the Space Star.
- If you want a people hauler or a car with bigger space to carry items, you might be looking at the Honda Shuttle or the Toyota Sienta.
- If you want a youthful vibe and great value for money, along with durability, opt for either the Honda Fit or the Mazda 2 — both Japanese vehicles are known for their styling and long heritage of toughness.
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