Suzuki to return to Malaysia, which models are coming?

With rumours circulating that Suzuki could be returning to Malaysia under the Naza Group of Companies, let’s take a closer look at what models could be introduced here.

Models that could sell well

Suzuki Swift

2020 Suzuki Swift front view

Quirky new looks

Our number one pick is the Suzuki Swift – a fun-to-drive and well-engineered hatchback that is currently in its third iteration.

2020 Suzuki Swift rear view

Clean rear end

Globally, Suzuki offers the Swift with a wide range of powertrain options, including a naturally-aspirated unit, turbocharged unit, and a hybrid.

2020 Suzuki Swift front view

A modified example from Thailand

Within the ASEAN region (Thailand and Philippines), Suzuki offers the Swift with a 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine that does 83 PS and 108 Nm – far from ground-breaking figures, but when coupled with the Swift’s featherlight “Heartect” platform, performance is good enough for a darty little hatchback.

Rivals: Honda Jazz, Toyota Yaris, Mazda 2 Hatchback

Suzuki Ignis

The little Ignis oozes character

Think of the Suzuki Ignis as the little Perodua Axia – both cars are considered as entry-level models to the respective brands, and both have SUV-esque styled variants.

Like the Axia, the Ignis gets an SUV-esque variant as well

The little hatchback was first previewed as the iM-4 Concept at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, before evolving into the Ignis you see here.

2020 Suzuki Ignis interior

Funky interior that matches the exterior

Suzuki introduced the facelifted Ignis in February 2020.

2020 Suzuki Ignis rear view

Japan also offers the Ignis with a 4WD drivetrain

Similar to the Swift, the Ignis can be had with a range of powertrains, including a mild hybrid system.

Suzuki Indonesia currently offers the Ignis with a 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated engine mated to a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed AMT automatic. 

The Indonesian Ignis is imported from India.

Rivals: Kia Picanto, Perodua Axia

Suzuki Jimny

2020 Suzuki Jimny front view

The iconic Jimny is now in its fouth generation

The all-new, fourth-generation Suzuki Jimny is a cute one.

2020 Suzuki Jimny rear end

Boxy, yet cute

Not only does Suzuki offer a narrow body 'kei' car version in Japan, the company also offers a wider, more powerful version called the Jimny Sierra.

Talk about customization options!

Recond car dealers have already brought in the Jimny, with prices ranging from RM 150,000 to an eye-watering RM 200,000.

Rivals: None

Suzuki Swift Sport

2020 Suzuki Swift Sport front view

Swift Sport in its signature shade of yellow

No Suzuki wishlist is complete without the mention of the Swift Sport.

2020 Suzuki Swift rear view

Sporty, without looking gaudy

Back in its heyday, Suzuki Malaysia offered the Swift Sport as a cheaper alternative to established hot hatches.

A lightly modified example. Photo credit: makoto_oosaki on Instagram​​

The new generation Swift Sport made its global debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine.

Suzuki Sport offers customization parts for the Swift Sport

Yes, Suzuki has ditched the long-serving 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated, high-revving engine in favour of a new turbocharged unit that does 140 PS and 230 Nm.

How to make an interior sporty? With a dash of red highlights, of course!

More recently, Suzuki has introduced a new Swift Sport Hybrid, which gets a 48V hybrid system that supplements the 1.4-litre engine.

Rivals: None

Models that may not work here

Suzuki Alto

2020 Suzuki Alto front view

Cute as it may be, the Alto isn't quite suitable for us

The Suzuki Alto is a kei car designed with Japanese consumers in mind.

2020 Suzuki Alto rear view

At least it's practical

As such, not only are dimensions tiny, its 658-cc engine is puny by comparison (the cheapest Axia gets a 1.0-litre engine).

Did you know that Suzuki offers a hot Alto Works in Japan?

Furthermore, for the Alto to comply with Malaysia's mandatory UNECE vehicle type approval regulations, Naza would need to go through a lengthy process to homologate the Alto for the Malaysian market.

Spunky little Alto Works isn't for us, sadly

The same is applied to Suzuki’s range of kei cars, including the Spacia, Hustler, Solio, and Lapin.

How about no?

A couple of years ago, Suzuki Malaysia did offer the Alto for sale, but the old model was made in India, and apart from its name, had no similarities with the model sold in Japan.

Suzuki Ertiga

2020 Suzuki Ertiga

Better looking for sure, but isn't suitable for our market

As handsome as the new Ertiga may be, demand for MPVs in Malaysia is low compared to SUVs.

2020 Suzuki Ertiga rear

It's now built on the Heartect platform

Even when Proton offered the Ertiga some time back, sales were far from encouraging.

2020 Suzuki Ertiga dashboard

Wood trim, seriously?

Although the new Ertiga gains stability control, its paltry 2 airbag count and average interior detracts from an otherwise decent little package.

2020 Suzuki Ertiga infotainment

As such, it makes little sense for Naza to introduce the Ertiga here in Malaysia.

When will Suzuki cars be launched in Malaysia?

It's hard to say when will Suzuki return to Malaysia, as the decision for Suzuki to partner with Naza is not final, although odds are in their favour.

With that said, it is possible for Suzuki to return some time in 2021. 

So, which Suzuki model is your pick?

Suzuki Swift
Suzuki Swift