If 2020 belonged to the Proton X50, then 2021 will belong to these three cars which are Perodua D55L, Honda City Hatchback and Toyota Corolla Cross.
Let's face it, as far as the Malaysian automotive scene is concerned, 2020 was all about the Proton X50. The whole year was just full of speculations, teasers and leaked information about the Proton SUV, all the way up to its launch in October 2020.
For those who have received their Proton X50, we're pretty sure they're quite happy with their new car, but for those who are still waiting for their SUV or thinking of buying one, let us break some bad news to you, there is a long queue for the car, one that could take up to nine months according to Proton dealers.
Okay okay, if you go for the basic standard specification Proton X50 without requesting a specific colour, the waiting list is half the time of the higher-level trims, but still, that means you'll only be getting the national compact SUV around May, so perhaps you're better off looking at other alternatives because there are some crackers that are about to be launched in the first half of 2021 that could be just as epic as the Proton X50.
If we all thought the Proton X50 was a sales phenomenon, then can you just imagine what it'll be like for Perodua's upcoming SUV? Touted to be launched somewhere in March, the still-unnamed Perodua SUV has been rumoured to have a starting price of RM60k, making it one of the most affordable SUVs in the market.
The Perodua D55L is based on Daihatsu's DNGA platform and slots below the Aruz. The D55L would be a welcome addition to the range, although for now the Daihatsu Rocky (as it would be based on) is only powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol motor. As much as we hope Perodua will follow suit, a 1.3-litre or 1.5-litre powerplant would be more likely.
Honda City Hatchback
Malaysians have always been fans of little Honda hatchbacks, so we're predicting that the all-new Honda City Hatchback will be a runaway success. There's no clue just yet of how much it will cost, but from what we can see in Thailand the car should cost slightly more than the Honda City Sedan (from RM74k) which it is primarily based on.
Not only is it bigger and as practical as the current Jazz thanks to the rear ULTRA seats, but the Honda City Hatchback will also have the handsome front end looks of the City sedan, with an added touch of sportiness at the rear, thanks to all-new taillights, bumper and spoiler. The launch of the Honda City Hatchback could take place in the first half of 2021.
Toyota Corolla Cross
Due to its exceptionally high price, it's safe to say that the Toyota RAV-4 has been a bit of a flop here in Malaysia, but no worries, because its cousin the Toyota Corolla Cross is about to fill the void and come save the day.
The Toyota Corolla Cross is a compact crossover SUV that is a more practical and a 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 launched in Thailand, Vietnam, as well as Indonesia last year, 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 hotcakes once it arrives here in the first half of 2021. The price of the car is a bit hard to predict, but it is being sold in Thailand from RM129k.
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