December 26, 2014 @ 11:58 AM

Friday Fives: The Top Five Cars that Chris Ng drove this year

Here are the top five cars that Chris Ng reviewed and talked about all year. We wish he’d shut up.

Here are the top five cars that Chris Ng reviewed and talked about all year. We wish he’d shut up.
 
Picking out my most memorable drive this year is actually quite easy; the Mazda3 truly deserves to be my Number One for so many reasons. But it is filling up the list that took a bit of burning of the grey matter. Not that the cars are rubbish just that some cars deliver what is expected and not much more. Some that I’ve driven this year didn’t feel as if it improved much over the last generation and some are just purely an exercise in marketing.

In any case, I have picked my five this year. If you do not agree with the list, air your arguments below or on our Facebook page. I’ll make sure to answer them all. Without further ado… 
 
No.5
Mercedes-Benz S 500 Plug-in Hybrid 

Let’s face it, plug-in hybrids are the future and the system need not only exist in tiny, manatee-inspired compact cars. This S 500 is proof that you can be frugal with fuel and do it in style and class. And with oodles of luxury. This limo uses less drops of fuel by going into electric mode every opportunity it gets. And if you decide to keep your commute to less than 33km, with a charging port waiting for you at every destination and travel around 90kph, then you may not need to ever fuel up again. 
 
No.4
Ford EcoSport
Of all the cars I’ve driven this year, this one is the most relevant to our current situation. While its performance may be found wanting and the dual-clutch gearbox can be unconvincing, there’s just no way to pooh-pooh the peace of mind this compact SUV offers. As Klang Valley is under-going massive infrastructural upgrades, roads can go from bad to horrible within a span of the day. And then, there’s the rain, which when heavy, will cause flash flood. The high ride height and the half-metre wading depth of the EcoSport mean that you don’t really need to worry about all of these. Its compact size also gives it the ability to scamper in and around tight spaces, making it useful in the city on so many levels.
 
No.3
Porsche Macan
This is Porsche’s baby SUV, which also just happens to be Cayenne Jr. But before you think that the Macan is a shrink-rayed Cayenne, it isn’t. The Macan has enough design elements and driving characteristics to set it apart from the bigger guy. Four engines are offered on Malaysian shores with the 2.0-litre turbocharged being the more interesting one. While it may not produce so much power, it is enough to squeeze fun out of B-roads. And the Macan’s lighter weight makes it that much more chuckable around the corner. Quite good, this one.
 
No.2
Honda Jazz
Cheap and clever. Yes, that is really what the Honda Jazz is all about. Again, this is a car on the list that isn’t uber on power but it is very savvy on space. Don’t be fooled by the Jazz’s small shell, its interior is so much bigger than that. You need to get in to know what I mean. Add that with Honda’s Magic Seats and you get very configurable space that will fit almost anything from bicycles to plants, and maybe even that bookshelf from Ikea.
 
No.1
Mazda3
Ask me which car that sits on top of my mind this year and I’ll definitely say the Mazda3. The reason is simple: it ticks all the right boxes. It looks really good on the outside and well-appointed on the inside. It’s got a good 2.0-litre engine under the bonnet, smooth and punchy power delivery, rides flat through the corners and steers like laser. This is Zoom-Zoom at its best.  
 

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