In the last decade, the crown for the best selling car in Malaysia went to a B-Segment hatchback vehicle which goes to prove Malaysia's affinity for these agile, economical, and versatile cars. It's not only in Malaysia that this phenomenon is taking place because even in Europe these B-Segment hatchbacks reign supreme.
In Europe, the Renault Clio and Volkswagen Polo are the main players in this big market, but in Malaysia, the king of this B-Segment hatchback in term of sales figures is the tried and tested darling of Malaysians, the Perodua Myvi.
The reason the Myvi takes the throne in Malaysia is of course due to it being a value buy car, but if money was taken out of this equation, perhaps the top-selling hatchback B-Segment king might be a different make and model.
In Malaysia, vehicle segmentation is mostly based on price, but for the sake of making this a bit less confusing, we thought we would just go with traditional segmentation. And with that, we thought we would pick out three of the best B-Segment cars available in Malaysia.
Toyota Yaris (from RM70,888)
To some, this might be a surprise, but to those who have driven this car, it will not be. The Toyota Yaris is one heck of a car and for those who say that the car is expensive for what it is then you have never really tried the car, because you get what you pay for. When it comes to the drive, it has the perfect balance of comfort and sportiness. It is really cushy when travelling through bad roads and has great handling for when you want those spirited drives. Yes, it is not the most powerful car, but it can still move fast in a straight line on the highway, snake its way swiftly through traffic in town or carry speed through lovely bendy B-roads. Toyota really did hit a home run when they created the Yaris. If we had to nitpick what we didn't like about the car, it would be the CVT transmission, but yet again, it is one of the better CVTs out there.
Volkswagen Polo (RM77,646)
There must be a reason why the VW Polo is one of the top-selling cars in Europe, and it only lost top spot to the Renault Clio by less than 3k units. There's also a reason why the Polo hasn't changed much in as many years, because VW knowns not to fix something that is not broken. The 1.6-litre engine is zippy and the 6-speed gearbox is smooth and efficient. To get close to 600km range on a full tank from 1.6-litre is impressive but it's not the most remarkable bit about the car. The level of refinement is the car's best point, and its cabin noise insulation puts pricier cars to shame. Without a doubt, it has that comfort luxury feel to it thanks to its excellent NVH suppression. The drive ride is swayed closer to the sportier side but it is plenty comfortable too.
Honda Jazz Hybrid (RM87,367)
If you're not a B-Road warrior and would like a small car which doesn't feel underpowered when it is full of passengers, then Honda's Jazz Hybrid is the answer. This is thanks to its Hybrid system which gives the decent torque. The problem with B Segment cars sometimes is that it feels bogged down when it is full of passengers, but the Jazz Hybrid is a little gem that squashes that little niggle. If that won't impress you, the space it has will. Thanks to Honda's clever cabin design and layout the interior feels really spacious. With the seats folded down, the Jazz can also turn into a hauling monster, thanks to its flat floor design. It also feels great to drive. Most people say that hybrids are heavy and yes it is true, but you never really get that sense in the Honda Jazz Hybrid. If a small family has the budget for one of these, we say go for it, as it will serve you well.
Being a Volkswagen owner, I naturally gravitate towards the Polo, but the Yaris comes in a close second. It's actually a tough call between the Polo and the Yaris but its premium feeling NVH suppression just does it for me. If only I could convince my wife to take the Jazz because I would love to have the Jazz Hybrid as part of the vehicle lineup at home.