Previously in our year-end review of sorts, we have taken a look at the most important car launches but in this article, we'll focus on the models that have been discontinued in 2020. Some of them are pulled out due to being replaced, poor sales, or in the case of one of them, bad luck.
Without further distractions, let’s pour out a little motor oil for these fallen models that were killed off in 2020.
BMW 1 Series CKD
If you ever wanted a brand-new BMW for under RM 200k, your only option would be the F20-generation BMW 118i which started from RM 188,800. Now that BMW has launched the all-new F40-generation 1 Series, so goes the affordable BMW tag.
It is unlikely to see the lesser variants of the BMW 1 Series making it here. After all, BMW Malaysia probably wouldn’t want to cannibalise sales of the BMW X1 which takes over the 1 Series as the cheapest BMW on sale here (From RM 208,368 without SST, valid until 31-Dec 2020).
Honda City GM6
A Malaysian favourite, the Honda City saw an all-new generation launched this year with a very controversial torque-kicking ad campaign. While the newer City saw quite a lot of new features and a more affordable price, we’ll have to give a toast to the outgoing GM6 generation.
It was this generation of the City that saw the Honda B-segment sedan grew from being a budget Honda to a value-beating sedan. It was the most spacious in its class, a trait which has been carried over in the all-new City.
So if you are seeking one in the used car market, the GM6 City might be a sound choice if you’re still looking to get the older City instead of the new one.
While we have to wait a little longer for the all-new Tucson to make it here, the previous-gen Tucson was another left-field choice in a very crowded SUV market.
An update was given to the Tucson back in 2018 with a revised fascia, a redesigned interior, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. The outgoing Tucson was available with either a naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre Nu MPi (155 PS/192 Nm) or a turbocharged 1.6-litre T-GDi (177 PS/265 Nm).
Few cars can actually compete against Perodua in terms of offering great value for money but Kia’s little city car might be the only one with the potential to challenge Malaysia’s most popular brand.
The Kia Picanto offered a very nimble and sprightly city car with the addition of modern features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, ESC, and 6 airbags.
It’s sad to see this sleeper hit pulled out of the Malaysian market. Actually, the same might be said for most of Kia’s line-up. The brand may be in limbo in Malaysia right now but dealers are still operational. Who knows, you might even score a brand-new Kia with huge discounts.
Mazda 2 Mid Spec
The reason for the Mid Spec to be dropped was due to the price hike for fully imported (CBU) cars. The Mazda 2 that’s available in Malaysia is fully imported from Thailand. As such, it probably wouldn’t make sense for Bermaz to sell the Mid Spec variant at a much higher price.
Indeed, when the refreshed Mazda 2 appeared here, it was priced above RM 100k. At that price, some might not consider getting a B-segment hatchback or sedan, and would probably go for a B-segment SUV. Unless you’re a purist.
Mercedes-Benz C300 AMG Line with Airmatic Suspension
For 2020, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) has launched a more affordable variant of the C-Class called the C200 AMG Line. Now, we might call it a bargain compared to the C300 AMG Line but for those who seek better comfort, it has got to be the pricier one thanks to its Airmatic air suspension.
Recently, MBM has quietly replaced the Airmatic Suspension for the C200 AMG Line’s Sports Suspension. With that, prices of the C300 AMG Line have also been reduced by RM 2,000 to RM 291,800 (without SST, valid until 31-Dec 2020).
Mercedes-Benz C200 EQ Boost
Speaking of the C200 AMG Line, the update also saw the M264 2.0-litre engine make a return to the C200. The C200 originally came with a 1.5-litre EQ Boost unit with a 48-volt mild-hybrid which for some buyers might be a bit of a turn-off.
The revised C200 AMG Line saw a boost in performance (M264: 206 PS/300 Nm, EQ Boost: 181 PS/280 Nm) but at the same time, similar claimed fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures (M264: 5.9l/100km, 135g/km vs EQ Boost: 6.0l/100km, 136g/km).
Given how expensive it is to build the EQ Boost engine, it probably makes sense for MBM to use a tried and tested engine for its entry-level C-Class instead.
Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ
Sadly, it’s time we bid adieu to the office’s favourite fun-to-drive sports car. While the all-new Subaru BRZ was launched in November, that will be solely for the States, and don’t get your hopes up too high for the next-gen 86 to make it here officially.
While we know that the sports car formula will remain the same with a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout for the Toyota as seen in the Subaru, it is indeed challenging for the next-gen Toyota 86 to be sold outside of Japan in part due to tougher emission regulations and poor sports car sales.
Launched to fight against the Honda HR-V, the Toyota C-HR posed an interesting competitor to the rising B-segment SUV market. Its quirky style might be divisive among buyers but one reason why the Toyota can’t claw away the Honda’s position on top might be its high price.
Starting from RM 150,000, the C-HR not only costs more than the Honda HR-V (from RM 109,000 with SST) but also the Subaru XV (from RM 117,788 with SST). Granted, both the Honda and Subaru are locally-assembled (CKD) in Malaysia which contributed to the cheaper prices, still, it’s a turn-off for many Malaysians.
This is why all eyes are on the incoming Toyota Corolla Cross. It is expected to be locally-assembled rather than fully-imported (CBU) from Thailand like the C-HR. However, we will miss the C-HR with its excellent and precise driving dynamics. In some ways, it does feel like a Toyota 86 for the family.
Toyota RAV4 2.0
When UMW Toyota (UMWT) launched the long-awaited and world-popular Toyota RAV4 in Malaysia, Malaysians were generally turned off by its high price. RM 200,000 for a Toyota SUV is a lot but we did like the way it drives in our review.
In a surprising turn of events, UMWT has decided to discontinue one of its variants barely two months after its local debut. While the more expensive 2.5-litre variant soldiers on, UMWT decided to discontinue the base 2.0-litre variant.
Both variants only differ in engine and transmission but it’s clear that most Malaysians who can afford the RAV4 would rather spend on the more powerful variant. The RAV4 does sound like a prime choice for those who seek value beyond just the badge.
Volkswagen Polo Mk5
The Polo Mk5 is easily the oldest model in Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia’s (VPCM) line-up. Certainly, while other countries have moved on to the Mk6, Malaysia and India are just among a handful of countries that still sell the Polo Mk5.
That is until this year, when VPCM finally pulled out the Polo from its website. Don’t worry, its slightly younger sedan twin, the Vento is still trudging along fine but we could be expecting the Polo MK6 to make its local debut in 2021.
Those are some of the models which have been discontinued in 2020. Would you be missing any one of them?