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Upsized Sedans

8 min read
Nothing beats the comfortable grandeur of a full-size, four-door saloon. Here are three that are worthy of a closer look.

HONDA ACCORD

The current Accord may have been launched just before the pandemic, but it continues to spearhead a new Honda direction of putting the driver first. This is already the Japanese brand’s 10th generation of the popular sedan, and the groundbreaking steps taken to reinvent a lighter, stronger body speaks well of the company’s technological prowess.

The Accord body structure uses 29% ultra-high-strength steel for a lighter, more rigid build. Overall, 54.2% of the body is constructed of high-strength steel. This latest rendition of Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure consists of a crash stroke front frame, tailor-tempered rear frame parts for improved crash-energy absorption, and extensive use of structural adhesives for higher rigidity, reduced cabin noise, and weight reduction.

Driveability is also greatly enhanced, with the new Macpherson strut front suspension with L-shaped aluminium control arms mated to the new chassis. The new, more space-efficient rear suspension is a multi-link design mounted to a more rigid, floating rear subframe. Fluid-filled compliance bushings at all four corners further improve ride comfort and absorption of road irregularities.

Honda has gone out of its way to make sure that the cabin is as quiet as can be. The sound insulation package includes full underbody covers, front and rear fender and engine compartment insulators, alloy wheels with Honda-proprietary resonator technology, sound-absorbing carpet, acoustic laminated windshield glass, front door acoustic glass, and a new three-microphone Active Noise Control system.

While the lack of noise is a key consideration in building the Accord, few stones were left unturned when it came to providing an engine with oomph. The new 1.5L turbo 16-valve DOHC direct-injected turbo with dual Variable Timing Control shares many design features of the race-ready 2017 Civic Type R. Immediate power and responsiveness is the result of new technologies, including high-efficiency low-inertia turbos, variable valve timing, low-pressure-loss air intake, and high-accuracy direct injection.

The model features a suite of Honda Sensing safety and driver-assistive technologies that include Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBSTM), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Following (LSF). Other useful features include 360-degree Camera with Smart Parking Assist and Cross Traffic Monitor, Lanewatch, Remote Start Engine, and Walk Away Auto Lock so you won’t ever leave your car unsecured.

The Accord has always impressed with its stately stance, and the latest version doesn’t break the mould. Low and wide, the Accord sports an athletic disposition and has expansive visibility and a sporty seating position. Lower, wider and lighter than the previous version, the interior is positioned further back on the body for a new proportion that offers a sportier look accentuated by shorter overhangs, and a long, low hood.

The Accord pulls out the stops with the refined and tech-savvy interior. Lower cowls and narrow front roof pillars offer a wider view from the driver’s position. New seats have taller shoulders for improved lateral support. Furthermore, the driver’s seat now comes with eight-way power adjustment with lumbar support.Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available in the Accord’s infotainment system, as is wireless charging, Bluetooth connectivity, and two 2.4A USB charging ports. The new HMI includes an ultra-slim seven-inch TFT driver’s meter, and a new premium eight-inch Display Audio touchscreen interface to control all your tech gizmos and audio system.

The all-new Honda Accord comes in five colours — Lunar Silver, Platinum White, Modern Steel, Crystal Black, and Brilliant Sporty Blue — and is covered with an exclusive five-year unlimited mileage warranty by distributors Kah Motor.

PRICE  $196,999 (WITH COE)

ENGINE  1,498CC 4-CYLINDER DOHC VTEC TURBO, DIRECT FUEL-INJECTED

TRANSMISSION  CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION (CVT)

POWER  201PS @ 5,500RPM

TORQUE  260NM @ 1,600–5,000RPM

0–100KM/H  9.1 SECONDS

DISTRIBUTOR  KAH MOTOR SINGAPORE (Tel: 6840 6888)

VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT

If driving a full-size sedan means asking for the best in comfort, in-cabin luxury, and technology to help make getting around town a cinch, then the Passat has the bells and whistles that tick all your boxes!

In the first place, this is one sedan you’d want people to see you get in and out of. The handsome stature has “Executive” written all over it. The LED lights enhance the front grille, and the panoramic sunroof (Elegance variant only) lets the outdoors in while you enjoy the comforts of the air-conditioned interiors. And since the brand is all about usability and practicality, the hands-free boot (Elegance variant) that you can open by kicking your feet under the rear bumper is ideal when you literally have your hands full.The interiors of the Passat cover almost all the bases with its offerings. Luxury features include Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated seats with ergoComfort design seats (Business variant) that allow you to adjust position ergonomically with a massage function to relieve stress on the back, and VW’s Air Care Climatronic system that includes an active biogenic filter to keep allergens at bay.

You can choose and adjust the ambient lighting to your preference, and if the glare of the mid-day sun is too strong, a touch of a button is all it takes to activate the rear window sunshade (Elegance variant) to keep the glare out and the cabin’s environment comfortably cool.

The Discover Pro Navigation system (Elegance variant, Business variant uses Composition Media radio with eight-inch touchscreen display) is a step up for Volkswagen, and the 9.2-inch display offers gesture control that allows you to change radio stations and settings of the car with a single swipe and without having to touch the screen. App-Connect lets you hook up to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the Voice Control function lets you choose music or help you find the way to your designation by simply speaking your mind.

The Passat is as safe to drive as it is luxurious to behold. Side Assist warns you of vehicles on your blind side when you’re changing lanes, and Rear Traffic Alert lets you know if there is something behind as you are reversing. Front- and rear-parking sensors with a rear-view camera, the Rest Assist Fatigue Detection System, and the Multi Collision Brake system further ensure driveability and safety.

In the belly of the Passat sits the ever-reliable turbocharged TSI engine that churns out power without busting your petrol bills. You can choose from three driver modes, while features such as regenerative braking and the start-stop system are aimed at improving fuel efficiency.

Volkswagen prides itself with the Passat’s claim to “make life easier”. Given the ensemble of features and accoutrements, few will refute that claim.

PRICE  FROM $179,900 (WITH COE)

ENGINE  1,984CC 4-CYLINDER, 16-VALVE, TSI PETROL ENGINE WITH TURBOCHARGER

TRANSMISSION  7-SPEED DUAL CLUTCH AUTOMATIC

POWER  190PS @ 4,180–6,000RPM

TORQUE  320NM @ 1,500–4,180RPM

0–100KM/H  7.5 SECONDS

DISTRIBUTOR  VOLKSWAGEN SINGAPORE (Tel: 6474 8288)

TOYOTA CAMRY

The Camry takes a step towards the future with a new hybrid engine that is the most powerful to date. The 2.5L Dynamic Force Engine with Toyota Hybrid System uses both direct and port fuel injection for power and fuel economy, and a Variable VVT-iE and Electric Water Pump for overall performance.

Toyota’s Hybrid System is self-sufficient and self-charging, and helps the Camry achieve up to 4.4L/100km in fuel efficiency. Apart from reducing emission by half on your everyday commute, the cabin ambience is also enhanced with minimised engine noise and vibration.

Apart from performance, the Toyota Camry Hybrid also stands out in its powerful lines and sporty accents. The roofline is lowered, and the front and rear spoilers, together with 18-inch aluminium rims and dual exhaust pipes (Elegance model), help the car put its flash foot forward.

Toyota sedans have always been known to be more spacious than its exterior hints, and the Camry exceeds the expectations here. The cabin is cavernous, and the versatile 60:40 rear folding seats further expands on this functionality. With boot space at 524L, you’ll have no problem filling it with a golf bag plus bags for a nice weekend trip.There are also little things that help make the Camry a difficult choice to pass up when looking for a sedan. The head-up display offered is similar to those on more premium cars, and the dual-zone air-conditioning with rear vent ensures that all are comfortable on a long drive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and wireless charging complete the comprehensive in-cabin experience.

The Camry Hybrid provides a comprehensive list of driver assistance and safety features through the Toyota Safety Sense suite and Blind Spot Monitor System. The Toyota Safety Sense features include Pre-Collision system with automatic braking to prevent or mitigate collision; Dynamic Radar Cruise Control that uses a radar sensor, camera sensor, and steering sensor to maintain distance from the vehicle in front; Lane Tracing Assist to help keep your vehicle centred; and Lane Departure Alert that gives audible and visual warnings when you veer off your lane.

Toyota has a goal of building a full line-up of electrified vehicles by 2025. The Toyota Camry Hybrid is an excellent milestone in the brand’s journey towards that goal.

PRICE  FROM $162,388 (WITH COE)

ENGINE  2,487CC VVT-IE/VVT-I, 16-VALVE DOHC WITH 3NM PERMANENT MAGNET SYNCHRONOUS MOTOR

TRANSMISSION  E-CVT

POWER  175HP @ 5,700RPM / 118HP (ELECTRIC MOTOR)

TORQUE  221NM @ 3,600–5,200RPM / 202NM (ELECTRIC MOTOR)

0–100KM/H  8.5 SECONDS

DISTRIBUTOR  BORNEO MOTORS (Tel: 6631 1188