From Axia to Vios, these 8 cars are coming to Malaysia in 2023 and could cost less than RM 100k!
CY Foong · Feb 9, 2023 04:50 PM
In this upwardly mobile society, having a means of transportation is a necessity and in places where public transport is either absent or inefficient, having your own car is a must. While some might see them as a luxury, there are those who needed them to supplement their income or to commute.
That said, for many who are budget-conscious, the threshold of owning a brand-new car shouldn’t breach the six-figure mark. While there are plenty of cars likely to be launched here in Malaysia in 2023, we’ll be focusing on 8 upcoming cars that could be priced less than RM 100,000.
After 8 years, the Perodua Axia is getting a replacement that is not only more feature-pack and modern but also has a higher starting price. With 4 variants announced, estimated prices for the D74A Perodua Axia range between RM 38.6k to RM 49.5k.
Still, in our first short drive with the all-new Axia, we find that it’s the benchmark for an entry-level people’s car and it truly delivers. Underpinned by a modern DNGA platform and with a D-CVT transmission, Perodua’s entry model feels less like a basic budget car and more like a capable car with an attractive price.
It also looks attractive based on the first official photos and with over 3,500 bookings placed since its announcement at the end of January, surely the all-new Axia is among the most hotly anticipated model in 2023. Not bad for what might be many Malaysians’ first new car.
Updated Perodua Bezza – The default e-hailing ride
While all eyes are on P2’s newest entry-level model, do keep an eye out for the Perodua Bezza. No, it’s pretty much ruled out that the all-new Bezza would be launched in 2023 but it is possibly hinted that Perodua’s first sedan model could get an update this year.
A popular car among Grab/AirAsia Ride/e-hailing drivers, the Bezza was last given a comprehensive update back in 2020 with a redesigned front and rear as well as a more comfortable rear seat angle.
Having said that, the 2023 Bezza might be given minor updates and perhaps the addition of a D-CVT considering that it is nearing the end of its model lifecycle. If you’re looking to wait for an all-new Bezza instead, that might be next year as Perodua is looking to introduce one all-new model and two facelifts in 2023 with the former already taken by the upcoming Axia.
As for the second P2 model expected to be given a facelift, it might be the Perodua Aruz. The more affordable twin to the Toyota Rush has been on sale since 2019 virtually unchanged bar the 2021 update which only saw a new Passion Red colour and integrated side steps added.
The 7-seater SUV might gain not just a new look but perhaps even additional features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as seen on the D27A Alza.
Proton S50 – Proton’s first Geely-based sedan
Ever since being taken over by Geely, Proton has made a quick turnaround thanks to a couple of rebadged SUVs but the rebadging of Chinese cars with a Thundercat roundel isn’t going to stop with the X50, X70, and the upcoming X90. There is also the Geely Emgrand-based S50 which will be Proton’s first all-new sedan model in years.
The Proton S50 will likely be positioned as a more premium model than the B-segment Persona. Still, it remains to be seen which segment the S50 will fall in as its length is longer than the C-segment Preve but with an identical 2,650 mm wheelbase.
Right-hand drive (RHD) prototypes have also been spotted around the country and it is likely to be powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged 3-pot engine (150 PS/226 Nm) as seen in the X50 and X70. Perhaps the S50 could pull buyers away from the Honda City and Toyota Vios?
While the Proton X50 is a dominant SUV in terms of sales, there could be a potential candidate that could challenge it and it comes from China. We’ve seen other Chinese SUVs looking to drive potential X50 buyers away (Anyone remembers the GAC GS3?) but the Chery Tiggo 4 Pro might actually scare the red callipers off the X50.
Positioned as Chery’s entry-level SUV model, the Tiggo 4 Pro was previewed along with Chery’s other bevvy of SUVs to the media in late-2022. Powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder (147 PS/210 Nm), the unit shown is equipped with leather upholstery, digital gauges, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Chinese carmaker is set to make a return to Malaysia around the middle of 2023 and there is a possibility that the Tiggo 4 Pro might even hover below the RM 100k mark. Would you choose this over the X50 if that were the case?
A sharp-looking sedan compared to its predecessor, the upcoming Malaysian-spec Vios is expected to be powered by a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre 2NR-VE (106 PS/138 Nm) engine which shares the same code as the unit on the Perodua Myvi and is currently offered in Indonesia.
Honda City facelift – An update to a Malaysian favourite?
While the Honda City’s popularity in Malaysia is still ongoing, it has been 4 years since it made its global debut. Thus, the City is approaching the period of its life cycle where a refresh is needed.
Factoring in the lead time required for local assembly work which takes between 5 to 8 months, we might see the facelifted City making its Malaysian debut later in the year. Visual updates aside, the refreshed City could offer Lead Car Departure Notification (LCDN) as seen in the Honda HR-V.
Honda WR-V – This or the Ativa?
As a Southeast Asian-focused product, the Honda WR-V is expected to be launched in Malaysia perhaps some time in 2023. While it is seen as the rival to the Perodua Ativa, it is unlikely to be priced very close to the Perodua SUV.
Still, it could hover between the RM 90,000 and RM 100,000 starting price range once it makes its Malaysian debut. In Indonesia where it made its global appearance, the WR-V has made an impact by immediately outselling both the Toyota Raize and Daihatsu Rocky in its first month of sale.
Powered by a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC (121 PS/145 Nm) that is also shared with the second-generation 7-seater BR-V, the WR-V comes with Honda Sensing ADAS and smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.