We are almost at the final quarter of the year, and the SUV wars are heating up! Manufacturers are set to go all out in the coming months, as well as next year in an effort to return to profitability.
While recent weeks saw numerous exciting launches, many are yet to come, especially the crowd favourite - compact SUVs, such as:
2020 Proton X50
Expected to go up against the likes of the Honda HR-V and Mitsubishi ASX, the Proton X50 is based on the Geely Binyue, which is offered with either a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-pot or a (174 hp/ 255 Nm) turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder - Proton, we'll take this one please - matched to the same 7-speed dual-clutch automatic featured in the CKD X70.
Expect a comprehensive range of safety systems, the Geely GKUI ("Hi Proton") infotainment system, and other top-notch equipment such as a panoramic sunroof.
2020 Perodua D55L
Known as the Daihatsu Rocky and Toyota Raize in Japan, we first spotted the D55L SUV in all its glory at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, where word also got out that the Perodua D55L SUV is slated to be launched in Malaysia sometime in the second half of this year, which is like anytime now.
Under the hood, we expect the D55L, which is underpinned by the DNGA (Daihatsu New Global Architecture) platform, to be powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder engine, producing 98 PS and 140 Nm of maximum torque. Paired to the engine is a CVT transmission which sends power exclusively to the front wheels.
2021 Toyota Corolla Cross
The Toyota Corolla Cross is a compact crossover SUV that is a more practical and larger alternative to the C-HR, built on the same GA-C platform as the E210 series Corolla. Positioned between the C-HR and RAV4 within Toyota's crossover SUV lineup, the Corolla Cross was just launched in Thailand, Vietnam, as well as Indonesia, with Malaysia slated to be the next market to get it.
Powered by a 1.8-litre engine with a hybrid system, we can surely expect the Corolla Cross to sell like hot cakes once it arrives here in the first half of 2021.
2020 Kia Seltos
Another contender in the compact SUV segment representing the Korean marque is the Kia Seltos, powered by a 1.6 litre Gamma naturally-aspirated MPI four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 123 PS and 151 Nm of torque.
Not much has been revealed about the specs, but the Seltos, which was teased earlier this year by Kia Malaysia, is expected to come with a long list of features, typical of a Kia. The 2020 Kia Seltos should also see a Q3 launch.
2020 Nissan Kicks
Just unveiled in Thailand earlier this year, the Nissan Kicks compact crossover will further intensify the battle of the compact SUVs, giving the Toyota C-HR, Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3 a run for their money thanks to its good looks and impressive fuel economy with the e-Power hybrid system.
This 2020 Nissan Kicks E-Power comes with a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, coupled to a CVT automatic and an electric motor producing 129hp and 260Nm of torque. Nissan sources say the Kicks has an average fuel consumption of 23.4kpl and CO2 level of 100g/km. To recharge the batteries, the 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine with 79hp works exclusively as a generator.
That being said, the compact SUV segment is all set for some intense competition once the models above arrive, offering buyers with more than 5 vehicles to choose from. Let us just hope that they are all priced competitively. Out of the lot, which one would you go for?