We look at 6 cars that'll be launched in 2023. There are actually 8 on the list, but the other two are just speculations for now.
So here we are, a new year, a new you, and perhaps a new car. Well, if you're looking for a new whip to usher in the new year, perhaps you should hold your horses a bit longer, as 2023 could see a vast amount of interesting new cars being introduced into the market.
With that being said, let's take a look at 6 cars that'll be launched in Malaysia in 2023.
Haval H6 (from RM140k)
The 3rd-generation Haval H6 could be the biggest disruptive new SUV to hit Malaysian showrooms. The launch of the SUV from China could take place sooner than initially anticipated, with two units seen in Shah Alam completely undisguised last September.
Distributors GoAuto, who are working closely with Great Wall Motors to establish the brand's local presence, have confirmed to Carlist that these units are scheduled to undergo localisation and endurance testing on our roads.
The Malaysian offering schedule should be roughly comparable to that of Thailands, where all H6 units are sold as a series (non-plug-in) hybrid that pairs a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine and electric motor for maximum power and torque figures of 243PS and 530Nm.
Chery Omoda 5 (from RM120k)
Another vehicle that could disrupt the local SUV market is the Proton X50 fighter, the Chery Omoda 5.
Chery gave the media and a selected few a preview of their cars back in October 2022, and from what we sampled and saw, the offerings from Chery are pretty good.
One vehicle in particular that stood out was the Omoda 5, with its sleek exterior styling and perceived premium interior quality. Just like the Proton X50, it can be had with ADAS advanced safety systems, and its 1.6-litre engine mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission can put out 194hp and 290Nm of torque, which is by the way more potent than Proton's little darling.
Honda BR-V (from RM85k)
The 2nd-Gen Honda BR-V will inevitably hit Malaysian showrooms in 2023 because most of Malaysia's neighbouring countries have already launched the wallet-friendly 7-seater in 2022.
In general, the Honda BR-V is more grown-up when compared to the outgoing model, featuring sleeker, smoother exterior styling and a polished interior design.
It will be equipped with Honda's naturally aspirated L15ZF 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol with 121 PS and 145 Nm of torque driving the front wheels via an Earth Dreams CVT - the same updated dual-overhead-camshaft 1,497cc unit in the newest City.
Toyota Vios (from RM80k)
If you're looking to buy a B-segment sedan, wait a bit longer, as 2023 will see the arrival of the new Toyota Vios in Malaysia, a car which will surely give the Honda City some hot competition.
One of the best things about the 2023 Toyota Vios is its looks. It steals visual cues from its better-looking brothers, the Corolla and Camry. It features a prominent downward-facing hexagonal grille, slim swept-back headlights housing LED main beams and DRLs, 16-inch wheels, and a more coupe-like roofline.
To go along with its more upmarket exterior is a new upmarket interior, an area where the Vios has been criticised heavily in the past. However, the interior design is elegant and classy, and it is also the first Vios to come with a digital instrument cluster, electric handbrake, and ambient lighting. This atmosphere mood lighting can be adjusted to 64 shades.
Mercedes-Benz GLC 2nd-Gen (from RM320k)
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the all-new 2nd-Gen GLC-Class in June 2022, so it sounds about right that we would be getting the new GLC a year later.
The ever-popular SUV from Mercedes is larger, better equipped, and probably more expensive than the one it replaces, so don't expect any savings here.
There's not too much from the exterior that sticks out as different, unique, or new, as there are both visual callbacks to the older X253 and nods to the W206, such as that tail lamp cluster that adds a sense of visual width to the rear end.
However, the GLC's 15mm increase in wheelbase might yield the most appreciable improvement to passengers. Indeed this is the most significant contributor to the extra 50 litres in boot space.
Proton X90 (from RM130k)
Ini kalilah? The Proton X90 was on our 'What cars can we expect in 2022?' list, but we needed to be corrected as Proton pushed back the launch of the much anticipated 7-Seater SUV due to many reasons.
Will 2023 be the year where Proton finally launches it? Judging by the number of sightings of the mule car around the country, we hope so, and we bet many others hope so too, as the big, exclusive and powerful SUV can comfortably hold up to seven passengers, which is perfect for many Malaysian families.
It has been suggested that the new national 7-seater SUV will come with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo engine and a mild hybrid system, producing around 187 horsepower and 300 Nm of torque.
We hope it does because it sounds like a versatile powerplant, especially if the car is always full of people and cargo.
Cars that might make a surprise appearance in 2023
We really can't see Proton launching two vehicles in one year, but you can never say never, so perhaps, we will see the Proton Preve replacement at the end of the year.
The Proton S50 is said to be based on the fourth-generation Geely Emgrand, a car already sold in China and the Philippines. Going by the spy shots of the Proton S50 in Malaysia, the C-pillar and the rear windows look more like a Geely Emgrand rather than Geely's other sedan, the Binrui.
The assumption that the Proton S50 will appear with a turbo engine is reasonable since Proton has introduced a new high-tech engine assembly plant in Tanjung Malim, assembling the 1.5 TGDI engine.
This award-winning three-cylinder engine is already used in several brands under the Geely Group, and its variants have so far been used in more than 750,000 vehicles sold worldwide, including the Proton X70 and X50.
New generation Perodua Axia
The Perodua Axia is soon to be replaced by an all-new successor, and while the launch will likely take place next year, you never know with Perodua, as they are one of the fastest and most efficient car manufacturers in the country.
The biggest headline for the new-gen Axia is its new powerplant, where insiders think that the compact hatchback will come with a turbocharged unit.
The insider tip-off indicates that Daihatsu and Perodua will opt for the same 1.0-litre 1KR-VET found in the Perodua Ativa (and Daihatsu Rocky) for the new Axia.
It has already proved itself as a pretty stout little unit, delivering impressive everyday performance (98PS/140Nm) and fuel economy while being a much more cohesive dance partner to the D-CVT gearbox it debuted locally with.