While 2020 has been an extraordinary year for most of us, hopefully 2021 would be a better year with the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine, ultimately leading to the end of the pandemic. If all goes well, we will be able to enjoy the roads again with new hope and in new cars!
Although it’s already February 2021, let’s review what has happened in the automotive industry in 2020 – Despite the pandemic, the year 2020 saw several amazing car launches like the BMW 218i Gran Coupe M Sport, Toyota Yaris Cross, Proton X50, Mitsubishi Xpander, and many more. Going forward, we think 2021 would bring the same joy to the Malaysian automotive market with the arrival of great cars.
Even though there is no official update yet, we can see few cars listed in the most anticipated launches for 2021. And to our surprise, these cars cover a wide spectrum of buyers. 2021 has it all covered – from an affordable SUV to a torquey hybrid to sporty variants of few top sellers.
#1 Honda City Hatchback
In 2020, Honda Thailand has recently included two new models – the hybrid e:HEV edition and the smaller hatchback model in its City range. For the local market, the same addition is expected as well.
The City e:HEV is powered by a 1.5-litre Atkinson-cycle DOHC i-VTEC engine pumping out a maximum power of 98 PS and a peak torque of 127 Nm. It also benefits from the smallest version of Honda’s i-MMD system that includes a 108PS/253Nm electric motor. Honda claims it to deliver a mileage of 27.8 kmpl. It also comes with several standard features like an 8-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a single-zone automatic air-con system, keyless entry with remote engine start, all-around LED lighting, walk-away automatic locking, and more.
The City hatch is offered in three trim options in the Thai market – S+, SV, and RS, and the same is anticipated for our local market. Under the hood configuration, these models share the same 1.0-litre three-cylinder VTEC turbo engine with a maximum power of 122 hp and a maximum torque of 173 Nm. The keyless entry & engine start, idling stop system, manual air-con system, Bluetooth head unit, four airbags, ABS with EBD, Vehicle Stability Assist, and Hill Start Assist are also part of its standard kit.
#2 Perodua D55L SUV
Perodua's codenamed SUV, the D55L, is one of the most awaited car launches of 2021. Once launched, it will be Perodua's first compact SUV and will most likely use the DNGA platform of the carmaker. Since the D55L is based on Daihatsu Rocky/Toyota Raiza, it will draw much of its design clues from these well-established vehicles. With decent boot space, the cabin will feature a five-seat layout. It is expected to come installed with a 9-inch infotainment display, 7-inch MID, power-adjustable driver seat, automatic climate control and mechanical brake (most likely without Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity).
The upcoming Perodua SUV will get the same power plant as its Japanese models. So, a turbocharged petrol engine with a 98 PS/140 Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder DOHC will make it the first Perodua with a turbo engine.
The integration of Perodua's Advanced Safety Assist suite of safety and driver assistance systems is one of the significant highlights of the P55L SUV. Pre-collision warning, front departure alarm, pre-collision braking, and regulation of pedal misoperation are also included.
#3 Proton R3 Models
In 2021, for three of its most popular versions – X70, Iriz, and Persona, Proton Malaysia plans to launch R3 variants. There will be cosmetic upgrades and no R3 car-like performance tuning for these new R3 models. However, that's all the information we have about Proton's upcoming R3 models for now. Let's be patient and wait for more details to be updated shortly.
They all will be a great inclusion to the Malaysian auto market. Tell us what you think about these new, upcoming cars and which one will you pick if given an option.