Now with just 22 days to the new year (you're not the only one who's surprised), let's take a look at some of the cars priced below RM 100,000 that'll be launching in Malaysia in 2021.
2021 Proton Persona/Iriz facelift
The pair have been spied many times over the last few months, doing their rounds in and out of Kuala Lumpur. Both are rumoured to ditch their lousy Punch CVTs in favour of traditional, 4-speed torque converter automatic gearboxes but don't expect any new engines.
So far, the Persona has been spotted with a floating headunit, possibly employing an updated version of the Geely Key User Interface (GKUI) system.
Meanwhile, a crossover-esque variant of the Iriz is in the works too. Spyshots reveal roof rails and a taller ride height, lending even more credence to a supposed 'Iriz Active.'
Also for those who long for Proton's sportier days - you'll be happy to note that the coveted 'R3' badge is also due to return next year.
2021 Perodua Axia concept
As much as you can't believe that it's the end of the year, you would be similarly shocked to know the Perodua Axia turns 7 in 2021.
Which is why we think that its evolutionary concept could be seen next year. To be fair, the update won't be on the Axia itself but rather on its base car, the Daihatsu Ayla/Toyota Agya twin.
Platform concerns is the main catalyst behind this change. Daihatsu announced in 2019 that future small cars in Japan and in emerging markets will be based on the Daihatsu New Global Platform (DNGA), which current cars are not.
Expect the changes to trickle down to the Axia within a year or two after the Daihatsu concept debuts. If DNGA sounds familiar, it's because you've heard that it's underpinning the...
2021 Perodua D55L
While the next-gen Axia brews, Perodua will go after the X50's limelight with the 2021 Perodua D55L. It's a B-segment SUV based on the Daihatsu Rocky/Toyota Raize and while it may not look like one, it's definitely competition to the X50.
Earlier this year, we learnt that the DNGA-based D55L (not its real name yet, don't worry) is scheduled to undergo production in December 2020, just in time for its Q1 2021 launch. That said, that timeline is probably skewed a bit now considering we're in the middle of a pandemic.
The D55L is fast becoming a fan favourite and it's bound to receive a couple of 'first in a Perodua' features, such as a turbocharged Axia engine paired to a CVT. Check out all we know about the car in this FAQ.
2021 Toyota Vios GR Sport
By the time you read this, you've probably seen a couple of UMW Toyota ads talking about a big surprise coming on 17-December 2020. We still don't know what it is yet, but we think it could be the 2021 Toyota Vios GR Sport.
It's got the GR Sport moniker, so it's going to be sportier than tne run-of-the-mill, recently-facelifted Vios. There'll be a bodykit, as well as updated chassis bits - after all, it's got to bridge the gap between the Vios Challenge one-make race series and the road car somehow.
Even if it breaks cover this month, expect the car to roll over to dealerships and on the road only by early next year.
2021 Honda City Hatchback
Some fans are not happy but it's not something you can blame Honda Malaysia for - it's because demands from customers in Japan and Europe are diverging too far from demands of customers in our region, especially in terms of emissions.
And anyway, it's not like the City Hatchback eschews practicality for looks. It keeps the Jazz's borderline-magical ULTRA seats configuration too!
In Thailand - where it made its global debut - it's powered by a 1.0-litre, DOHC VTEC turbo engine. Here, it's likely to retain the 1.5-litre, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine powering our City sedans (S, E and V variants, the RS will be using the i-MMD dual-motor system).
2021 Nissan Kicks
Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) has seen quite a revival lately with the quite-fantastic 2020 Nissan Almera. It's like the early-2000s again when they had a competitive car!
Now, they too want a piece of the compact SUV pie by introducing the 2021 Nissan Kicks to Malaysia. Size is thereabouts of the X50 and Honda HR-V, but how they're driven is different - the Kicks is driven by an e-Power petrol-electric hybrid system.
There's a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine that is used as a generator to charge the lithium-ion battery pack. Combined with the EM57 electric motor, the Kicks makes 129 PS and 260 Nm.
In Thailand, standard safety features include stability control, brake assist and 6 airbags - good enough to recently kick the X50's butt in the ASEAN NCAP no less.
The Malaysian-spec Kicks is expected to come with a full suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), forward collision warning (FCW) as well as blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert (BSM, RCTA).
2021 Nissan Grand Livina
Some will say it's the 2020 Mitsubishi Xpander's clone, but...well they actually are, somewhat. The 2021 Nissan Grand Livina is based on the same platform as the Xpander, just wearing a different suit.
Power is expected to mirror the Xpander's 1.5-litre, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine making 105 PS and 141 Nm paired to a four-speed automatic transmission.
Also, since it's pretty much a reskinned Xpander, it gets all its practical traits too - seven seats, multiple cubby spaces and quite possibly the two-tiered boot floor too. And oh, don't forget Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support.
Prices are expected to be close to the Xpander's RM 91,369 although details of its assembly plant is still up in the air. For more on the Grand Livina, read this FAQ!
2021 DFSK Glory 580
This one came out of nowhere. DFSK (short for Dongfeng Sokon) isn't a new brand here, having dabbled in the commercial vehicle sphere in Malaysia since 2002. The Glory 580 is their first foray into passenger cars here.
The seven-seat SUV is very similarly-sized to the Toyota Innova. Power comes from a 1.5-litre, turbocharged four-pot engine making 150 PS and 220 Nm.
Features wise...it may not be anywhere near as extensive compared to the Innova even the Proton X70. However, it's cheaper than both of them - circa RM 95,000 when it goes on sale in January 2021. Read up about the upcoming SUV here!
2021 Suzuki Swift
And then boom, out of nowhere! Suzuki has been earmarked to re-enter the Malaysian market next year (under the Naza Group of Companies) and of course, the Suzuki Swift is bound to follow.
Suzuki offers the Swift 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine that does 83 PS and 108 Nm for the ASEAN region. Not ground-breaking numbers, but adequate when combined with its lightweight 'Heartact' platform.
It'll be some time before we hear more of Suzuki's Malaysian plans, but if you're itching for one, here's our guide on how to look for a used unit or read why you the Swift Sport should make a comeback.
So there you have it, the sub-RM 100k cars that are making their way into Malaysia next year. Now, check out this list to see next year's premium cars, and let us know in the comments which car you're looking forward to most.