Surprising as it may sound, Honda Malaysia launched only one new model in 2019, which was the facelifted Honda HR-V.
That marks quite a drop, considering that Honda Malaysia was rather aggressive with new product launches back in 2017 and 2018.
The reason is due to delays in pricing approvals by the government, which not only delayed products from Honda, but other manufacturers as well.
Pay BMW money for an Accord?
When the model arrives here, don’t expect it to be cheap.
In Thailand where the model made its regional debut, prices have increased by about 3 percent for the turbocharged model. Prices of the Accord Hybrid would have been much higher, if not for the generous tax incentives given by the Thai government for Thai-built hybrid/electric vehicles.
Putting aside the tax structure difference between Thailand and Malaysia, the all-new Accord is sold between RM 196,000 (Turbo EL variant) to RM 240,000 (Hybrid Tech variant).
That won't be the case for Malaysia, as the drop in our Ringgit against other foreign currencies has magnified the otherwise marginal increase in prices.
As such, don’t expect it to be as cheap as the outgoing model (current priced from RM 148,000 to RM 169,000) – it will be priced closer, if not higher than the Thailand-built Toyota Camry (RM 196,888).
Honda Malaysia has opened bookings for the all-new Accord. The new model is set for a launch latest by March 2020.
All-new City soon, but not so soon
For the Thai market, the City has been repositioned from being a B-segment sedan into an Eco Car.
In order to qualify as an Eco Car, Honda ditched the long-serving 1.5-litre i-VTEC mill, replacing it with a more sophisticated 1.0-litre VTEC Turbo unit.
But don't hold your breath for the 1.0-litre unit to be offered here - instead, we expect it to soldier on with the existing 1.5-litre unit, as our country does not have any regulations for CO2 emissions or related tax benefits.
The current GM6-generation City’s pricing has benefited from Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) incentives, which reduced the car’s price by several thousand Ringgit since the model was first launched in 2014.
That said, due to our weakening Ringgit against the US Dollar, Thai Baht, and Japanese Yen, coupled with the unannounced EEV incentives, it’s hard to say if the all-new City will be priced favourably against its key rivals, including the Toyota Vios.
Updated BR-V will be here as well
The Honda BR-V facelift is what the name suggests – strictly a facelift.
There’s no increase in kit count or improved ride, but it does gain a refreshed exterior and interior.
Up front, the Honda BR-V facelift gains a new front grille and bumper, while the sides gain new 16-inch dual-tone alloy wheels. The rear bumper has also been refreshed.
The interior remains largely identical, though Honda has given the BR-V facelift a dash of red on the seats and door trim.
Mechanically, the Honda BR-V facelift is the same as before – a 1.5-litre i-VTEC 4-cylinder petrol engine is hooked up to a CVT-type automatic that sends drive to the front wheels.
Civic facelift bookings have been opened since last year!
Back in September 2019, Honda Malaysia previewed the Civic facelift, which gave us a pretty good look at its popular C-segment sedan.
Considering that this is a mid-life update for the Civic, changes are mild, though the company has fitted the car with one important feature – Honda Sensing.
Under the hood, the updated Honda Civic’s powertrain remain the same as before. There’s the familiar 1.8-litre naturally aspirated engine and a 1.5-litre turbocharged, both are paired to a CVT-type automatic.
Delays in pricing approvals by the government for many locally-assembled cars could further postpone the debut of these models