Earlier this year in February, the G05 2023 BMW X5 was given a mid-cycle refresh with redesigned front and rear ends, refreshed interior with the curved dual-widescreen display, plus updated electrified powertrains.
All drive units feature 48V mild hybrid technology, which comes in the form of an electric motor integrated into the transmission. The motor generates an output boost of up to 12 PS/200 Nm.
The new generation 3.0-litre engine is said to have made improvement to the combustion process, gas exchange, valve control, injection and ignition system. It makes 380 PS/520 Nm in the 2023 BMW X5 xDrive40i.
The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) 2023 BMW X5 xDrive50e gets a new generation 3.0-litre straight-six turbocharged engine, coupled with a more powerful electric motor that makes 197 PS/450 Nm on its own, making a maximum combined output of 490 PS/700 Nm.
Also read: No massive beaver grille here - G05 2023 BMW X5 facelift (LCI) revealed
2023 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro
The Chery Tiggo 8 Pro is the brand’s flagship SUV. To avoid confusion, the model is sold as the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max in China, but the ‘Max’ designation has been dropped for the Malaysian market.
Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 250 PS and 390 Nm, mated to 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The Tiggo 8 Pro will arrive in Malaysia as a locally assembled (CKD) model from the get-go, as announced by Chery in February 2023.
Also read: Launching next month, here are 20 photos of the 2023 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro in Malaysia
2023 Chery Omoda 5
The 2023 Chery Omoda 5, a B-segment SUV that will enter a highly-contested segment populated by models like the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-30, Proton X50, and Toyota Corolla Cross.
For the Malaysian market, the Chery Omoda 5 will be powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine that does 147 PS and 230 Nm, delivered to the front wheels via a CVT automatic transmission.
Like the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro, the model will be launched in Malaysia as a locally assembled (CKD) model from the onset.
Also read: Finally, a date: Chery Omoda 5, Chery Tiggo 8 Pro set for Malaysian launch on 6-July 2023
2023 Haval H6
Another Chinese competitor would be Great Wall Motor, which pushes out brands like the Ora line of electric vehicles (EVs) and the Haval series of SUVs and trucks. Perhaps the most successful yet in international markets is the Haval H6.
Powertrain comes in the form of a petrol-electric 1.5-litre hybrid that does 243 PS and 530 Nm, paired to what the company calls Dedicated Hybrid Transmission (DHT).
Also read: Review: Coming to fight the X70, the 2023 Haval H6 Hybrid leaves positive first impressions
2023 Haval Jolion
Joining the highly competitive segment that includes the Honda HR-V, Toyota Corolla Cross, Mazda CX-30, and more, is the Haval Jolion.
While it might go up against the HR-V and Corolla Cross, the Jolion is a little larger than its competitors. In fact, it’s only 181 mm shorter than its H6 sibling that competes with the Honda CR-V. Both are built on GWM’s Lemon platform.
Malaysia is likely to get the same powertrain as found in its Thai-twin, that being a petrol-electric hybrid that does a combined output of 243 PS and 530 Nm, mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Also read: GWM Haval H6 HEV makes public debut in Malaysia; 243 PS SUV to launch here alongside Jolion, Cannon pick-up
2023 Honda CR-V
Honda Malaysia announced earlier this year that there will be four models to be launched by 2023. One of them is the all-new 2023 Honda CR-V, which has made its regional debut in Thailand.
It gets two powertrain options in the Kingdom. The first is the turbocharged 1.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine that does 192 PS and 240 Nm, mated to a CVT-type automatic.
The second engine is a 2.0-litre two-motor i-MMD full hybrid. Combined system output for the new petrol-electric hybrid is 185 PS and 335 Nm.
Also read: Big hike in starting price of next gen 2024 Honda CR-V - 2.0L variant to end, est. from circa RM 170k
2023 Honda WR-V
Set to be launched sooner than later, the Honda WR-V is an A-segment SUV that is positioned below the Honda HR-V. Bookings have been open and the WR-V is currently on a nationwide preview tour until 9-July 2023.
While detailed specifications have yet to be released, we can confirm that there will be four variants on offer, all powered by the same 1.5-litre naturally aspirated i-VTEC engine, mated to a CVT. We’ve sampled it on a preview drive in Thailand, read more on our first impressions here.
Also read: 2023 Honda WR-V Malaysian preview draws more customers than HR-V's did, 4 variants to come
2023 Hyundai Tucson
Codenamed NX4, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson is available with a long list of powertrains, making it hard to pinpoint which exact one will be offered on the Malaysian-spec car.
Also read: Spied: All-new 2022 Hyundai Tucson spotted in Malaysia, long-wheelbase for us?
In Vietnam, the Tucson is available in four variants and three engines: a 2.0-litre Smartstream diesel engine (186 PS/ 416 Nm), a 2.0-litre petrol engine (156 PS/ 192 Nm), and a 1.6-litre T-GDi turbocharged petrol engine (180 PS/ 265 Nm).
Hyundai Malaysia will most probably only make the 2.0-litre petrol engine and 1.6-litre turbocharged engine available in Malaysia.
2023 Hyundai Santa Fe facelift
As seen in the global debut, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe facelift features a grille that dominates the front-end, with headlights that merge smoothly with the grille and the split LED DRLs. At the rear, there’s a strip connecting the taillamps across the rear tailgate.
Powertrain wise, we can expect a 2.2-litre turbodiesel producing 202 PS/440 Nm, mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, plus a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine making 180 PS/232 Nm, paired to a 6-speed automatic.
Also read: All-new Hyundai Tucson besides Ioniq 6 EV and Santa Fe facelift? HSDM teases 3 more models for Malaysia coming this year
2023 Kia Sportage
Just like the Kia Carnival and Sorento, the Kia Sportage is one of the models earmarked to be locally assembled (CKD) at the Inokom plant in Kulim.
Worldwide, there are nine powertrain options available for customers to choose from. Three internal combustion engine (ICE) options, two diesel options, two hybrids (HEV), one mild-hybrid (MHEV), and one plug-in hybrid option (PHEV).
Malaysia will likely receive two options: a 2.0-litre Smartstream MPi petrol engine (156 PS and 192 Nm) and a 1.6-litre T-GDi petrol engine (179 PS and 265 Nm), mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission respectively.
Also read: The CKD Kia Sportage is bound for Malaysia in 2023, here's what you can expect
2023 Mazda CX-5 facelift
It's only a matter of time before they introduce the updated version of the Mazda CX-5, which is the low-hanging fruit. The facelifted model was unveiled globally in September of this year, featuring revised suspension and a slightly refreshed exterior.
Considering the impact of the Covid pandemic, it's understandable that there is a slightly longer timeline for this release. Since it's a facelift, there won't be significant changes to the engine lineup. It's expected that the current range of 2.0- and 2.5-litre petrol engines will continue to be offered, along with the 2.2-liter turbodiesel.
Also read: When will Malaysia launch the new 2022 Mazda CX-5 facelift?
For now, these are the SUVs we can expect to be launched in Malaysia by the end of 2023. This isn’t an exhaustive list as we might get one or two surprises along the way. In any case, there’s still quite a few to look forward to.
We’ll cover the upcoming EVs, plus sedans and MPVs in the subsequent parts of this series.