These 12 cars were discontinued in Malaysia in 2021 – Jazz, Outlander, Myvi MT, and more
CY Foong · Jan 1, 2022 10:00 AM
Malaysians said goodbye to these 12 models in 2021
Some were discontinued due to poor sales, others due to age
Which will you miss fondly?
Once again, the big blue planet that we currently reside on has made its full orbit around the sun and the year 2020 v2.0 2021 ends. While some might remain optimistic that 2022 might be better with a huge array of upcoming models, we’d like to dedicate this article to the cars that won’t make it into the new year.
Some of these models were revered by their owners and fans who shed a little tear when the heart-breaking farewells were announced. Others left quietly with nary a trace left behind but their absence is felt to the few who noticed it.
Regardless, these 12 models (and 1 brand) were discontinued in Malaysia either due to poor sales, being too long in the tooth, or just simply due to a change in distributors. Without further ado, do blast a 21-pop salute from your exhaust pipes for these gone, but not forgotten models.
We start this article off with a brand that made waves 30 years ago but was completely ignored by its new distributors. Citroen is the best representative of all things French in the automotive industry, with quirky cars that match those who think they have similarly eccentric personalities.
Unfortunately, not everyone shares the same appreciation for strange Francophiles, especially in Malaysia. Citroen’s last line-up consisted of the C3 Aircross and the Grand C4 SpaceTourer (formerly the C4 Picasso) which were surprisingly impressive in their own non-quirky rights but that curried little favour with most buyers.
So, when Naza decided to offload both Citroen and Peugeot to Bermaz Auto Alliance (BAuto), the new distributors only picked up the French lion, leaving the double chevrons (and its luxury sub-brand, DS Automobiles) behind. While we would appreciate having a bit of fun and whimsy in the automotive world, the sad reality is that it barely makes bank.
After 3 generations that spanned nearly 20 years in Malaysia, the Honda Jazz has left the country for good. It is replaced by the City Hatchback which keeps the practicality of the tall hatchback but gains a more athletic look.
Still, the Jazz has won over many buyers and is quintessential in the popularity of hatchbacks in Malaysia. Its tall design appealed not just with younger buyers but also with older buyers who wanted a car that they could easily enter and exit.
Even though the last-gen Jazz, the GK5 wasn’t our most favourite of the lot, it was still among the most spacious and practical hatchbacks in its class. That sentiment is also true when you see the number of owners who share the things they managed to cram into the hatchback.
Despite being given an update in late-2020 and a launch in Indonesia in February 2021, we were shocked to hear the sudden news of the model being discontinued entirely. Poor sales and the closure of the Sayama plant, where the Odyssey was built were to blamed.
As such, the chance for the facelift to enter Malaysia grew slimmer and if you’re interested to buy the sole pre-facelift 2.4 EXV variant, tough luck. Honda Malaysia had said that the Odyssey is sold out in Malaysia back in July and suffice to say, Honda’s competitor to the Toyota Alphard is likely to remain dead, for now.
Unveiled back in 2016, the locally-assembled (CKD) Ioniq was meant to be a gateway hybrid car for Malaysians with prices starting from less than RM 100k. Despite that, hybrid cars are still not widely accepted here and combined with the perceived poor value of the 'Lambang H italic', the Ioniq wasn’t quite the hybrid gamechanger as intended.
Besides, Hyundai has also decided to turn the Ioniq name into a standalone brand that specializes in electric vehicles (EV). Though there is no confirmation from Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) that the EV brand is coming into Malaysia, there is at least one unit of the Ioniq 5 in the country that is owned by the Sultan of Johor.
The Kia Seltos might set the unenviable record for the shortest period for a brand-new car to be sold in Malaysia. Less than a year after prices were confirmed, the Seltos has been scrubbed off Kia Malaysia’s website with the just-launched Carnival as its sole model.
The Seltos was initially previewed to the media by Naza back in February 2020 but a barrage of bad luck started to flow into the Indian-built SUV even before it was launched. The initial wave of COVID-19 and the Movement Control Order (MCO) forced delays though some dealers have received stock.
It took Kia nearly a year to announce prices for the Seltos with prices starting from RM 116k which was the final nail to the coffin. Kia would eventually switch distributors from Naza to BAuto’s Dinamikjaya Motors in April which further exacerbated the Seltos’ potential in Malaysia.
Though CKD production was initially mulled, the Seltos wasn't mentioned in Kia Malaysia's recent press conference on its 5-year plan. Perhaps, the Seltos' time in Malaysia had ended a little too prematurely.
The A-Class Hatchback was the entry Mercedes-Benz model for those aspiring to own a three-pointed star badge or simply as a symbol for being at the top of some pyramid of success. However, with the launch of the CKD Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan, those same schemers people would have another slightly more affordable entry to a Merc.
That said, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) still offers the A-Class Hatchback in its stable but they’re the potent AMG-badged A35 and A45 S. Those who insist on getting the A200 and A250 Hatchbacks would have to fork out more than the previously listed prices through a special-order process.
Furthermore, despite the world focusing more on SUVs and crossovers and alienating sedans and hatchbacks, it seems that in this part of the world, sedans are still favourable. When asked about the decision to localise the A-Class Sedan over the hatchback, MBM’s Vice-President, Michael Jopp said that based on past experience with the CBU models, Malaysians prefer sedans.
Despite cashing early on the whole small SUV/crossover craze, the Mitsubishi ASX is often foreshadowed by more modern rivals that began popping up halfway through its life cycle. After 11 years in the market, Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) finally pulled the plug on the ASX.
Outside of the country, the ASX still soldiers on, albeit with an updated look that features Mitsubishi’s Dynamic Shield front fascia but for 11 years, the Malaysian-spec ASX remained unchanged. Aside from making the switch from CBU to CKD, there are some minor tweaks given to the evergreen B-SUV.
Later models got better build quality, a quieter cabin, and more safety features. Plus, with all-wheel-drive (AWD) available as standard, the ASX has true off-road potential, unlike its front-wheel-driven (FWD) posers rivals. Old is indeed gold for the ASX in that sense.
Another old entry that bears the three diamonds badge, the Mitsubishi Outlander has been on sale in Malaysia since 2016 but don’t count on MMM bringing in the all-new Outlander into the country any time soon.
The outgoing Outlander was initially a CBU model when it was first launched here before switching to CKD in 2017. Though some might criticise that it was already an ageing SUV even during launch, all is immediately forgiven the moment you drive it.
It is one of the most comfortable SUVs ever and in some cases, that level of comfort is even better than its more modern rivals. Yet, it is due to the lack of modern features (no ADAS, dated style) that saw the Outlander barely being suggested or thought of when it really ticks most of the boxes for a decent SUV.
Granted, few even considered getting a Myvi MT with the take-up rate for the manual being very low. Of the nearly 280k units of the third-gen Myvi that were sold, less than 1% percent of buyers opted to row their own gears. This translates to less than 3,000 units sold over a 4-year period.
The manual option was only available on the base 1.3 G model which was about as ‘kosong’ as one can get. Being only paired to the less powerful engine, let alone the base spec, might be enough to put most buyers off unless they don’t mind doing a workout with their left leg in heavy traffic.
The Myvi wasn’t the only local car that said ‘selamat tinggal’ to the manual transmission in 2021. Both the Proton Iriz and Persona were also updated with their own revised design and in the case of the Iriz, a new jacked-up variant called the Active.
Proton claimed to make some improvements to the derided Punch CVT and from our experience with the pair of non-identical twins, it did feel better. However, the more engaging 5-speed manual transmission on both models was dropped in this new update.
The reason for the manual transmission’s omission was similar to the Myvi’s case: few buyers. According to Proton, only 3 percent of buyers opted for the MT on the Iriz and Persona each in 2019 and 2020. So, save your complaints about why people aren’t buying more manuals because those who are complaining are mostly contributing nothing to the #savethemanuals cause.
The Vento was the most affordable Volkswagen on sale in Malaysia following the departure of the Polo with prices starting from RM 84,449. The Vento was locally-assembled in Pekan which allowed it to cost less than RM 100k for a ‘Continental’ sedan.
While the Vento is discontinued in Malaysia, it is still available in India. Hence, the likelihood for a replacement model is quite slim as Volkswagen only offers the Vento’s successor, the Virtus, in developing left-hand-drive (LHD) markets like Latin America.
Ever since Geely proved to Malaysians (by proxy of Proton) that Chinese cars have as much brand value as the established Japanese and German brands, there have been an onslaught invasion of Chinese carmakers wanting to make their mark in the country.
Unfortunately, DFSK came and went as quickly with their Glory 580. The 7-seater SUV was offered here with one variant and was priced from around RM 95,000. We say “around” since the distributor has gone quiet and its website is now possibly linked to something NSFW or ‘not safe for your computer’s security’.
To add to the irony of being called the Glory, DFSK’s sales in Indonesia are not doing too well either with the Glory 580 stopping production in the country. Bear in mind that the Malaysian units were CBU from the archipelago and there were plans to bring in the improved Glory i-Auto before DFSK hit radio silence.
Those are the models that were discontinued in Malaysia. Surely, some would be disheartened to see them go or perhaps didn’t even realise the existence of these models until it’s too late. Either way, are you beginning to miss these models?