FOR some, it’s a well-practiced Lunar New Year tradition to drape in new threads and bling out for the promise of good fortune. For others, it’s a good enough reason to make some new purchases. Whether it’s for tradition sake, or to feel more at ease for a new Cartier Santos you’ve been holding out for, you feel better knowing it’s “auspicious money” well spent. And if you’re in the market for a new ride, the Feng Shui master will caution you on the dos and don’ts when it comes to bigger ticket items. We are not experts in fortune telling, but when it comes performance, luxury and comfort, these are Singapore’s top 4 new sport utility vehicles to own in 2019.
The new Q3 is a stylish take on Audi’s small SUV. Blending the best features of many of their other models, the Q3 is set to be a strong contender in the market.
Here, the two and four-wheel drive options will be mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission, but if you fancy a bit more performance, there’s always the option of the sportier SQ3 variant. All models get LED lights as standard and fancy sweeping rear indicators, with matrix lights being another option for added “futuristic” flair on the roads.
Now the Q3 might be regarded as Audi’s little luxury off-roader, but it’s actually big on space. Now that there’s more distance between the front and rear wheels, interior space has grown adequately. The boot — at 500 litres — is larger than many of its competitors, and the rear seats can be folded to make room for more. Even the floor is adjustable.
If you plan on doing some off-roading, hill descent control is available (like the Range Rover’s). This can all be accessed via a hi-res 10-inch display, although the geeks should opt for the Audi Virtual Cockpit. Other impressive gadgets on board include state of the art autonomy features that help the car park itself, move in slow traffic on its own, and navigate motorways with laser guided cruise control.
Range Rover Evoque
The SUV that changed the market seven years ago is back with an all-new version.
Freshly launched in London, the go-anywhere small SUV is still clearly recognisable as the Evoque, except Range Rover has managed to move the design language forward to be even more on par with its award-winning Velar.
Technology is prominent throughout the new compact SUV, with systems in place that allow the car to memorise even the smallest details, from who you call most often on your mobile to your preferred massage settings on the seats. The Land Rover app also allows the activation of many of the car’s settings via your phone; there’s even a tracking device in case you’ve managed to lose the Evoque at the carpark.
If you do find yourself on tight city streets or a rocky mountain pass, a system called Clearsight Ground View is there to ensure you don’t scuff those fancy wheels. Cameras on the front grill and door mirrors also project an image of the exterior front and beneath the vehicle on the centre cabin screen, which could save you a very expensive trip to the garage.
Like the Velar, the cabin also features three digital screens within the cabin. A head-up display will be available for the first time to assist the driver with trips on dark country roads. If you’re transporting some rather tall occupants in the rear or have the boot stacked with goods, then a smart rearview mirror turns into a digital screen at the flick of a switch, showing a video image instead through a rear-mounted camera.
In keeping with a more eco-friendly ethos, Land Rover has decided to build 33 percent of the SUV with recycled material. Vegans who don’t want to use leather within the interior can opt for a material made out of eucalyptus.
Although it appears to be designed for city driving, the Evoque comes equipped with four-wheel drive. It’s mated to an automatic transmission with additional hybrid technology to help with improving fuel economy (a plug-in hybrid will follow at a later date). Alongside the Terrain Response system — featuring hill descent control and different terrain setting — the Evoque should be able to keep up with the best of off-roaders in the market now.
Look closely and you’ll recognise that beyond that familiar face, Porsche has actually injected even more racing DNA into its popular compact SUV this year.
In continuing its new design code, the new Macan now sees a sportier three-dimensional rear LED light strip with integrated ‘Porsche’ lettering, while wheel sizes now range up to 21-inches, giving the car a more performance-driven purpose. Inside, Porsche ups the ante with a new 11-inch touchscreen (from 7-inch previously) and an optional GT sports steering wheel brings the spirit of the 911 to the SUV.
While the Macan Turbo has yet to be revealed, Porsche has let us on the figures for the base model and the Macan S. The former comes with a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that’s good for 252hp and a 6.5-second century sprint if you opt for the Sport Chrono Package. Top speed is a respectable 227kph. With the same package, the latter charges to 100kph in just 5.1 seconds and has a top speed of 254kph.
One of the most successful models in the X line-up, the new BMW X5, has returned with a few modest upgrades and all the familiar luxury trademarks of the brand. New styling cues included a striking front end with a more sizeable and prominent kidney grille, standard LED headlights, and an optional Laserlight assembly, among others.
The new Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) also sits larger than the outgoing model with the body pulled tauter over the edges making it look more athletic. The ride has also been enhanced by the Dynamic Damper Control system, with electronically controlled dampers to sharpen the car’s handling dynamics while increasing ride and suspension comfort. The driver can choose from two performance configurations – for a more comfort-oriented or sportier driving style – using the Driving Experience Control switch. Powered by BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, the 3.0-litre unit with direct petrol injection setup generates a maximum output of 340 hp to complete the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in just 5.5 seconds.
There’s also a new 12.3 inches Control Display unit, the latest-generation display, and control concept comprises of a high-resolution instrument cluster behind the steering wheel. Other new innovations include the BMW Digital Key, expected availability in the second quarter of 2019. The Digital Key employs Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to allow the vehicle to be locked and unlocked from a smartphone, removing the need for a conventional car key. All the driver has to do to open the vehicle is hold their smartphone up to the door handle. Once inside, the engine can be started as soon as the phone has been placed in the Wireless Charging or smartphone tray.
This article was first published on Lifestyle Asia.