Welcome to the annual #here High 5 vehicles checklist, the place every writer picks the automobiles which have impressed them essentially the most over the previous 12 months. We’ve switched up the method this yr – we’re breaking apart the same old large roundup put up to offer the person writers the area to enter better element almost about their alternatives, and a few of them additionally get to be on digicam. Get pleasure from!
And so we’ve come to the ultimate day of 2018. It’s unthinkable how shortly time goes by – it barely seems like a lot time has handed since I compiled my prime 5 checklist for 2017. Since then, many issues have occurred, a few of which have been shockingly unprecedented, just like the third nationwide automobile challenge and Ghosn’s arrest.
However as we sit again in our reflective state to welcome the brand new yr, maybe it’s finest to cherish the pleasantries that have been. Personally, issues couldn’t have been higher this yr, and the inaugural #here Premium Auto Automotive Expo (PACE) 2018 represents the top of the Pushed household’s achievement this yr. In the event you missed it, don’t fear, there’s at all times subsequent yr.
Okay, onto extra urgent issues. This yr noticed the introduction of some extremely fascinating automobiles (headlining these is after all the Proton X70), and I’ve been lucky sufficient to have a go in a couple of. Within the spirit of constant a household custom that first began in 2012, I current to you, the 5 most spectacular vehicles I’ve pushed in 2018. Let me remind you once more that forming this checklist is rarely straightforward, so right here goes.
5. Mk7.5 Volkswagen Golf R
The Volkswagen Golf R is definitely the most effective driver’s vehicles to land in Malaysia this yr. With 290 PS and 380 Nm channeled to all 4 wheels, the German hatch is fast, insanely grippy and downright intoxicating to drive. The brand new seven-speed wet-clutch DSG additionally helps coax extra zest from the already effervescent 2.zero litre four-cylinder petrol which, not like the older six-speed unit, leaves drivers content material as a substitute of wanting extra.
Whereas the mid-life replace didn’t provide a lot by way of outright bodily modifications, the cabin has been suitably up to date with a big 9.2-inch touchscreen Uncover Professional infotainment system, in addition to a configurable 12.Three-inch Energetic Information Show digital instrument cluster. Briefly, the Golf R is maybe the closest factor to being the best day by day automobile, each for the motive force and his/her household. The synthesised engine notice might put some off, although.
four. Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design
You could or might not have seen this one coming, however fourth on the checklist is arguably considered one of Volvo’s finest vehicles so far, the XC40 T5 AWD. It’s got the entire bundle – appears, construct high quality, spacious cabin, and a peppy 2.zero litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 252 hp and 350 Nm of torque.
Within the premium compact SUV area, it’s onerous to miss the XC40’s worth proposition. Granted, it prices about RM25,000 greater than the ageing F48 BMW X1, however for the slight premium, you’re primarily paying for unrivalled security options and a distinctly unique-looking SUV that’s positive to face out.
Nevertheless, what actually impressed me was the drive. The XC40 is arms down one of the best dealing with mannequin in Volvo’s SUV vary, and the trip high quality is delightfully balanced for consolation and efficiency. In addition to the reasonably sluggish gearbox, Volvo has by all accounts delivered a fantastically well-rounded automobile. I’ve mentioned it as soon as and I’ll say it once more: Volvo goes after your cash, and shortly your youngsters’s as nicely.
Three. MINI Cooper S Hatch
Placing the MINI Cooper S facelift in third might come off as sacrilegious to some (particularly with the Golf R within the combine), however I really feel that the transfer to plonk a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission into one of many world’s most recognisable vehicles ought to considerably be celebrated.
In as few phrases as potential, the fast-shifting DCT has been a very long time coming, and it considerably modifications the way in which the Cooper S performs. A couple of tens of kilometres via the absurdly slender mountain roads of Palma de Mallorca proved that the MINI was proper in its factor, albeit drastically extra competent now with the model new transmission and management logic.
Just like the Golf R, the mid-life makeover is saved to a minimal, although the modifications are apparent sufficient to most eyes. It took MINI three full generations to fine-tune the Cooper S recipe, and I by no means for the lifetime of me thought I’d choose driving a DCT-equipped MINI over the proverbial stick shifter.
2. E3 Porsche Cayenne S
Now for the large hitters. The second finest automobile I’ve pushed this yr is the brand new E3 Porsche Cayenne S. In the event you’re judging primarily based on appears alone, it is going to seemingly underwhelm, however the cabin is constructed to an entire different stage. Each joint panel, each button, each dial, each seam and touchable floor feels so costly that it makes the earlier mannequin really feel a tier decrease by comparability.
Nevertheless, the true magic goes past pores and skin deep. This third-generation SUV is teeming with tech, all working in unison to ship a physics-defying driving expertise. I child you not, the Cayenne S drives a lot like a automobile that Porsche might simply actually name it as it’s – an SUV that truly drives like a automobile.
A part of the wizardry stems from using totally impartial aluminium multi-link suspension, together with an array of electro-mechanical parts resembling Porsche 4D Chassis Management, Porsche Energetic Suspension Administration (PASM), adaptive three-chamber air suspension, rear-axle steering and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Management (PDCC).
Oh additionally, when the necessity arises, you possibly can select to take the Cayenne off-road, though I don’t think about anybody of sound thoughts would with their close to million-ringgit SUV. Effectively, it’s best to at the very least know that the Cayenne is greater than succesful, so there’s that.
1. Ford Ranger Raptor
The honour of administering essentially the most profoundly memorable driving expertise all year long is unquestionably, the Ford Ranger Raptor. Now I’m no fan of pick-up vans, and I definitely don’t look ahead to off-road driving experiences. In truth, I’ve by no means totally skilled the unpredictability of off-road drives, that’s till I drove the Ranger Raptor. In Darwin, Australia, no much less.
I went in not understanding what to anticipate, nevertheless it’s a kind of life altering experiences that render you mum and utterly elated on the similar time. Armed with a 2.zero litre bi-turbo four-cylinder diesel that makes 213 PS and 500 Nm, the Ranger Raptor isn’t precisely highly effective by efficiency vans requirements. The proof of the pudding, they are saying, is within the consuming.
Beneath its swelled physique is a wholly totally different chassis, designed particularly to tango on among the world’s hardest terrains. The high-performance Fox Racing Shox dampers are pure mechanical genius, and a coil-sprung stable rear axle with a Watt’s linkage additional contribute to the Ranger Raptor’s elegant physique management. Nothing beats drifting a pick-up truck in comfortable, lush sand. Thank the heavens for Baja mode.
For RM200okay, many chafe at its overambitious asking value, however I can’t even start to explain absolutely the mechanical potential of the Ranger Raptor. Is it price over RM50okay greater than the highest Wildtrak? Effectively, if the Raptor is in a league of its personal, I’d say hell yeah.
In order that just about sums out the yr for me, guys. To say that 2018 has been a monumentally incredible trip is kind of understating it, as a result of issues will solely be amped up in 2019. Watch this area, people, as a result of #here is kicking the yr off with essentially the most anticipated automobile overview line-up for the Pushed Internet Collection. Until then, Comfortable New 12 months, all people!
The put up The #here 2018 High 5 vehicles checklist – Matthew Tong Auto Reviews & New Cars on Paul Tan’s Automotive Information.