Normally my time spent in Singapore revolves around foodie experiences, but this time I did something completely new that I’ve never done while visiting the tiny island state: I went car shopping! Naturally I wasn’t actually going to buy a car while on my 24 hour visit, but since my friend and I had some time to kill between lunch and dinner, we decided to hit the dealerships to kick some tires of new and used ND Mazda MX-5’s and Roadsters.
I’ve passed a whole row of dealership a million times while in Singapore as the East-West MRT line goes directly above them, but never set foot inside until now. And it was a really neat experience.
We first went to check out a Mazda dealer with a new Singapore-spec ND MX-5 in stock:
The dealership is like any other in the US, except that all the cars are locked including this gem that I went ahead and posed with. Why? Probably has something to do with the sticker price.
Oh yeah! You read that right… $166k for a stick shift, and $169 for the auto. That’s not a mistake. Car ownership in Singapore is pricey. It’s important to understand that the majority of that price goes to the COE – or Certificate of Entitlement that you buy for a period of 10 years at which point you are expected to scrap the vehicle, unless of course you buy another COE and pay for annual inspections. Singapore is a crowded city and the high prices help with congestion, though you wouldn’t notice it after being stuck in many traffic jams. Of course after spending a small fortune on a car, many continue to dump more money into it by modifying and customizing the crap out of it to their liking.
The dealership also had some cars that not only we don’t have in the US but ones I didn’t know Mazda made… like these two minivans:
Mazda 8 and a Mazda Biante… whatever that is.
After we finished gawking at the new cars, my buddy Joey whom I was going to marshal with in Malaysia a few days later got in touch, he works for a dealership on the other side of town near Changi, and after a brief chat we decided to go and visit him at work to see more new and used cars for sale.
Unlike American or Australian dealerships, Singapore has to make due with the little space they have. So one dealership complex we visited was a five or six story parking lot, with various dealers sharing space on each floor. So we went hunting for a pre-owned Mazda Miata there.
While living in Asia I was very fond of the futuristic looking minivans from Toyota called Alphard and Veilside. The Veilside was a sporty version of the Alphard if I were to describe the two. The latest models seem to resemble something from the Transformers movie.
The Toyota Harrier was the Japanese domestic version of the Lexus RX until of course Toyota killed off the model and started selling Lexus directly to the Japanese market. The cheaper version was so popular they decided to reintroduce it, but now the two look quite different. The white sedan is a Toyota Mark X model, just like the one used in the Hangover 2 movie in the Bangkok scenes. Neat car!
And then we stumbled upon this beauty… what looks to be a heavily modified Honda S2000 Type S… shame it’s going to be scrapped.
And finally, a JDM market ND Mazda Roadster:
With a price tag north of $100k SGD… nice!
So happy to have had this opportunity to check out some cars for sale in Singapore. It was quite an experience to say the least. I can’t even imagine how the locals could justify paying prices that they do, but hey! when you make money you spend money… so it’s all good!