2018 CarSifu Editors’ Choice Awards: Why cars won

By CARSIFU | 5 October 2018

PETALING JAYA: Fresh from the excitement of last night's 2018 CarSifu Editors’ Choice Awards, it's time to tell why we chose the winning cars in each category.

The Volvo XC60 plug-in hybrid SUV was crowned "Car of the Year" and for good reason, which will be explained below.

A total of 54 vehicles were nominated across 32 categories in this year's awards event.

2018 CarSifu Editors’ Choice Awards: Volvo XC60 T8 is Car of the Year
2018 CarSifu Editors’ Choice Awards in pictures


Car of the Year

Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine PHEV

The XC60 T8, which has also won the Best Mid-size Luxury SUV/Crossover and Best Hybrid Vehicle categories, is fully loaded with high-end materials, top safety technologies and a powerful, smooth powertrain.

It is a prime example of a premium car featuring a clean, attractive Scandinavian exterior and a thoughtfully designed and detailed, roomy interior.

The XC60 has high-end features like air suspension and Pilot Assist, which is Volvo’s advanced semi-autonomous driver assistance system as well as a plug-in hybrid system that provides up to 45km in all-electric mode, and needs only four hours to a fully charged lithium-ion battery.

There is plenty of muscle with a powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged Drive-E 4-cylinder engine, and it also has all-wheel drive (AWD) system, which is reassuring when loss of traction occurs in challenging weather or terrain.

The XC60 is more than just about being competitively priced and equipped with nice features as well as the safety technologies that Volvo Cars is renowned for; it is also a classy SUV that is a joy to drive and deserves the top accolade.


Car of the Year first runner-up

Mazda CX-5 2.5 GLS

The CX-5 appeals with its minimal, elegant and sporty design and the finesse of its interior on top of the features and price makes it a desirable and classy SUV to own.


Car of the Year second runner-up

Peugeot 3008

Featuring a stylish body and interior as well, the 3008 is a well-designed SUV that impresses with its good looks.

Despite being a front-wheel drive SUV, it comes with an advanced traction control system that allows it to tackle rough terrains like a true-blue 4X4.


1. Best Compact Hatch

Perodua Myvi 1.5 AV

Malaysia’s most popular compact hatch continues its dominance with its new sporty styling, a comprehensive safety feature set, affordability, comfort and fuel economy.

Safety features which were once only found in premium vehicles such as six airbags, Pre-collision Warning and Pre-collision Braking have filtered its way down to the masses, making it one of the safest compact cars to own.


2. Best Economy Car (1.3-litre and below)

Kia Picanto

Although it is a Korean marque, it feels more like an European offering which makes it the best value for money with its robustness, build quality, good looks, safety and infotainment features.


3. Best Mid-size Performance Hatchback

Volkswagen Golf R

Based on the standard Golf model, Volkswagen engineers have injected plenty of power and driving dynamics into the unassuming Golf and turned it into a high performance demon.

Besides delivering loads of speed and fun, the Golf R’s dual clutch transmission makes it easy not just for casual drivers but also for hard core enthusiasts who want lightning fast gear shifting.

Kia Stinger 2.0 GT-Line - 01

4. Best Large-size Car

Kia Stinger 2.0 GT-Line

The fastback sedan with its lean muscle-car looks is a rear-wheel drive turbocharged, torquey offering which is shaking up the premium sedan segment with its compelling overall packaging and performance.

We are won over by its power, responsive and smooth drivetrain, spacious cabin, premium interior trim and upholstery, and driving refinement.


5. Best Mid-size Luxury Executive Car

Volvo S90 T8 Twin Engine PHEV

The Swedish sense of space, luxury, design, safety and technology is refreshing and inspiring what with its twin-charged (supercharged and turbocharged) engine and an electric motor that powers the rear wheels which makes it effortless to drive and does not compromise on space and practicality either.

BMW M5 (F90) - 004

6. Best Mid-size Luxury Performance Car


It’s the battle of the super sedans and the BMW M5 is the first to the finish line for its handling fluidity, all-wheel drive and punchy performance.

Its all-wheel drive can be set to rear-wheel drive only to continue the tail-happy tradition of M cars.

Mercedes-Benz S 450 L - 02

7. Best Large-size Luxury Executive Car

Mercedes-Benz S 450 L

Perception and status is, more often than not, more important than figures and features. And such is the case here as the newly facelifted S 450 L which remains the embodiment of the chauffeur-driven luxury executive car.

It also is a shining example of what the German automotive technology and luxury can produce.It’s also semi-autonomous now which adds to the driving pleasure and ease on highways.


8. Best Compact SUV/Crossover

Toyota C-HR

The edgy, futuristic design of the C-HR both on the exterior and interior leaves quite an effect and combined with the impressive list of features and safety such as blind spot alert and rear-cross traffic alert makes this a winner.


9. Best Mid-size SUV/Crossover

Mazda CX-5 2.5 GLS

The naturally aspirated CX-5 2.5 GLS variant offers power and value in this segment.

Its clean, minimal and elegant design and quality materials in the interior and impecabble fit and finish gives it an impression of being premium vehicle at a more competitive price.

Lexus RX 350 L - 03

10. Best Large-size SUV/Crossover

Lexus RX350L

If you are going to make a big, bold statement then you would best do it with the RX350L and you can bring the family along too as this seven-seater is brimming with power and luxury with a silky smooth 3.5-litre V6 engine under the hood and a huge amount of space with the second and third row seats folded.

Koleos Signature - Marron Red

11. Best Large-size SUV/Crossover (Five-seater)

Renault Koleos Signature

The French marque has delivered an SUV with an emphasis on stylish design, comfort, spaciousness and practicality for the urban scene.
It is smooth driving thanks to its 2.5-litre engine and has premium touches such as a panoramic sun roof and tanned leather upholstery among others.

Also included are a hands-free power tailgate, a new smartphone replication feature through the R-LINK 2 multimedia system that is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which is integrated into the vehicle’s capacitive touchscreen display.

MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid (F60) - 01

12. Best Compact Luxury SUV/Crossover

MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 PHEV

The Countryman leads the way with its snazzy design making it a very unique offering in the luxury compact crossover segment what with its small, turbo-charged displacement and being a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), one could run on it up to 125kph on electricity alone. Simply shocking.


13. Best Mid-size Luxury SUV/Crossover

Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine PHEV

The Volvo XC60 T8 lays down the power with its twin engine plug-in hybrid powertrain while wrapping you in its minimally designed, natural surroundings of wood and leather in the interior while offering a plethora of safety features via its Intellisafe suite.

Isuzu D-Max X-Series Stallion Black Metallic.png

14. Best Pick-up Truck

Isuzu D-Max X-Series

The D-Max X-Series brings aggression to the table with its front spoiler and rear skirting as well as racing stripes and red accents to a well-kitted, tough and frugal pick-up.

Added convenience equipment includes 360-degree Around View Monitor and built-in SmartTag reader,

ertiga2018 (1)

15. Best Compact MPV

Proton Ertiga Plus Xtra

Proton’s six-seater offers exceptional value, handling, efficiency and practicality for a people mover that is robustly built and now features a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DVD playback as well as Bluetooth smartphone connectivity and a USB port for all under RM65K.


16. Best Mid-size MPV

Nissan Serena S-Hybrid

The Nissan Serena 2.0-litre S-Hybrid priced at RM133,000 onwards provides best-in-class fuel economy of 14.2 km per litre.

Also, this roomy and innovatively designed seven-seater MPV with Captain Seats has top-notch features like Intelligent Around View Monitor, Hands-Free Dual Power Sliding Doors, seven USB Ports and a Dual Back Door design that can be opened easily even in tight parking spaces.

Honda Odyssey EXV_2018 (1)

17. Best Large-size MPV

Honda Odyssey 2.4

Besides having interior comforts expected of a premium MPV, the 2018 refreshed seven-seater Odyssey 2.4-litre EXV priced at close to RM260,000 has the premium Honda Sensing safety technologies that elevate the safety benchmark in its segment.

These safety technologies include Forward Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, and Road Departure Mitigation. Other premium features here are Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keep Assist System.


18. Most Well-Specced Mid-size SUV/Crossover 

Peugeot 3008

Rolling in with grace and blended with a futuristic design, this SUV has gone the extra mile of combining necessities with added conveniences to give it that ‘must have’ premium feel about it.

From it’s five-star EuroNCAP crash rating to its 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 8.0-inch touchscreen, a willing 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and that fashionably attired cabin, it makes the Peugeot 3008 a clear winner.


19. Most Well-Specced Large-size Car

Mazda6 2.5 GLS

This Japanese brand has been well and truly revered by its peers for building one of the best handling cars on the market today.

For what it provides, from its Bose sound system to its head-up display and the inclusion of its safety as well as i-ActiveSense advanced safety technologies deems the Mazda6 2.5 GLS a thoroughbred that aims to excite.


20. Most Well-Specced Large-size SUV/Crossover 

Mazda CX-9

This Mazda CX-9 flagship three-row crossover SUV priced at around RM265,000 for the two-wheel drive variant, boasts seven seats, lots of storage space, and plenty of premium comfort and safety features including Smart City Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist and Blind Spot Monitoring.
It has outstanding driving dynamics and a smooth, strong turbocharged 2.5-litre powertrain as well as Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control technology which provides improved cornering control and better passenger comfort.


21. Most Well-Specced Mid-size Luxury Executive Car

Volvo S90 T8 Twin Engine PHEV

The Volvo S90 T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid priced at RM368,888 impresses with renowned Volvo safety and driving assistance features like automatic braking functionality, collision avoidance and mitigation, a 360 degree surround view camera, blind spot information with cross traffic alert and lane keeping aid,

Run-off Road Protection with Road Edge Detection, Park Assist Pilot as well as the semi-autonomous drive mode called Pilot Assist with Steering Support which works at speeds up to 130kph. This luxury sedan also has a spacious 500-litre boot and all-wheel-drive capability.


22. Most Well-Specced Large-size Luxury Executive Car

Mercedes-Benz S 450 L

The new S-Class is infused with the latest automotive technology such as the Distronic Plus proximity control and Active Steering Assist which offers semi-autonomous driving experience.

It also features Multibeam LED headlights with Ultra Range high beam that is able to project up to 650 meters as well as the visually stimulating twin-display high resolution screens and touch sensitive control buttons among others.


23. Best Design of the Year

Lamborghini Urus

The five-seater Lamborghini Urus super-luxury SUV, priced just under RM1mil before duties, sports the powerful and muscular lines as well as the two-thirds body, one-third window ratio typical of Lamborghini sports cars.

The Urus has a distinctive single-line silhouette featuring a dynamic coupé-style fly line, accented by the frameless doors.

Its 3-metre long wheelbase and low seating position for occupants creates a spacious feel, while the ergonomic cabin is replete with luxury Italian craftsmanship featuring the finest leather, aluminium, carbon fibre and wood.

Mercedes-Maybach S 560 - 01

24. Best Business Ride

Mercedes-Maybach S 560

Its truly a magical ride with the Maybach as it is able to adjust accordingly to surface undulations before driving over them thanks to the Magic Body Control curve inclination function and Road Surface Scan which scans for uneveness on the road ahead.

The Airmatic suspension is responsive and adjusts itself with information from Road Surface Scan to make bumps and potholes almost non-existent. Its rear legroom is beyond compare and its opulent interior trimming makes it a car fit for royalty.


25. Best Family Ride (RM100K-RM200K, 3-Row Seating) 

Mitsubishi Outlander 2.0 CKD

The seven-seater 2.0 litre Outlander CKD priced at RM137,888 offers a lot of value and has the benefit of 4 Wheel Drive which also incorporates an Eco mode for better fuel efficiency.

There’s a host of nice features like keyless entry, push start button,automatic headlamps and wipers, dual zone climate control, and a best-in-class cargo volume of 1,608 litres and also, Air Gesture Control for the 7-inch touchscreen unit. As for safety, it offers seven airbags, Active Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, Driving Video Recorder and a reverse camera.

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26. Best Lifestyle Crossover (RM100K-RM200K)

Subaru XV AWD

Compact and affordable from RM119,000, this all-wheel-driven cross-over is not only sure-footed when off road, but also very confidence inspiring when on tarmac.

Its combination of stylish design and powerful 2.0-litre engine adds to its rugged appeal.


27. Best Hybrid Vehicle

Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine PHEV

The 2.0-litre Volvo XC60 plug-in hybrid is competitively priced at RM343,888 for the flagship T8 Twin Engine Inscription Plus variant.
Featuring one of the longest all-electric drive range for hybrid cars in Malaysia, users can drive the XC60 T8 up to 45km without using a drop of petrol.
As conventional hybrid car design will have batteries placed in the trunk, the XC60 T8’s batteries are cleverly packed in the floor tunnel from the front to the rear axles, resulting in XC60 losing none of its trunk space.
With its semi-autonomous driving feature and IntelliSafe Assist, the XC60 T8 is also one of the safest cars on Malaysian roads.

Maserati Ghibli - 11

28. Best Large-size Sporty Luxury Car

Maserati Ghibli S

The upgraded 2018 Maserati Ghibli S is priced at RM718,800 and is a prime example of a luxury sports sedan that is engineered as a finely honed, involving machine for keen drivers.

The Ghibli S impresses as a performance-oriented car with a potent 3.0-litre Ferrari-built V6 twin turbo engine, and at the same time, charms with its plush cabin, finer qualities, and classy Italian craftsmanship.


29. Best Luxury Lifestyle Coupe/Cabriolet

Mercedes-Benz S 560 Cabriolet

Considered to be one of the most stylish within the S-Class model range, the Cabriolet variant arrives with much glamour thanks to its understated sporty good looks, for a classy entrance.

The S 560 Cabriolet is literally a drop top rocket on wheels that is as detailed in comfort and fitment as the flagship executive S-Class limousine.

Porsche 911 GT3 - 01

30. Best High Performance Sports Car

Porsche 911 GT3

The Porsche 911 GT3, with its naturally aspirated and high-revving engine easily wills its driver not to release the accelerator.
Inside, the trimmings are Alcantara and accented by carbon fibre inserts for a blend of sporting luxury.

With a 0-100kph sprint of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 318kph, miles of smiles are guaranteed in this car.


31. Best Large-size Luxury SUV/Crossover

Range Rover Velar

The Range Rover Velar P250 R-Dynamic priced at RM555,000 has an impressive host of luxury appointments as well as top-notch fit and finish, and deserves high praise for its use of premium materials.

Premium features include side steps that automatically slides out as soon as the door is opened, 10-way powered seats with driver memory, a Meridian Surround Sound system with 17 speakers and subwoofer, a surround camera system and a Touch Pro Duo infotainment system which features two 10-inch high-definition touchscreens integrated seamlessly behind secret-until-lit surfaces.

The steering feel is responsive and communicative, and with four-wheel drive and a Terrain Response system, the Velar is also a quick vehicle, powered by a 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol engine with twin-scroll turbocharger that develops 250PS.