Will Honda surprise Malaysians with a turbocharged 2021 Honda City Hatchback?
Through recent releases and updates of cars, it's obvious that Toyota Malaysia is trying its hardest to get back to the number one spot in the non-national car game.
The Toyota Yaris facelift is a solid all-rounder, the Vios comes with great safety features for its price and the facelifted Innova X and Fortuner 2.8 VRZ can both be considered as value-oriented family options. Just when you think they have nothing else to offer, the Hilux gets a new powerful powerplant and then comes the Toyota Corolla Cross, an SUV that is supposed to soon fill in the big gaping hole in Toyota's line-up, so you could say they are pretty much set up for an all-out offensive.
While their efforts are commendable, it's still hard to see them dislodging Honda as the champion of the non-national car segment, especially when Honda has an ace up its sleeve which they will be introducing this year.
The recent price announcement of the much anticipated Honda City RS e: HEV was a bit of a let down as we know that Honda was keen to introduce it as a sub RM100k vehicle. We're pretty sure Honda tried their best to make it happen but ultimately they had to price it at RM106k so that they can get the car out in the showrooms. Nevertheless, it is a fair price for such a tech-laden car.
But we believe the upcoming 2021 Honda City Hatchback will be Honda's ace in the hole.
Solidifying the number one spot should be an easy prospect for Honda at the moment because the timing is just right. The Jazz has always been a volume seller for Honda, but considering the facelifted version is now four years old, it hasn't been able to contribute to their impressive non-national sales figures like how it used to.
Since we will not be getting the new Jazz because of where it is made, the 2021 Honda City Hatchback will have to do, but that's not a bad thing because it'll probably follow the Jazz's footstep of capturing many hearts and pockets.
The Honda City Hatchback was unveiled in Thailand last November and debuted with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 120bhp and 173Nm of torque.
While it's being generally assumed that Honda will likely introduce the City Hatchback here with the more familiar 1.5-litre N/A engine, they do have the tendency to surprise everyone which is why we would not discount that it's still possible for the new 2021 Honda City Hatchback to come with a small turbocharged powerplant, probably as a top variant just like the Honda City RS e: HEV.
If they do, Honda Malaysia will have the most powerful 1.0-litre turbocharged engine in Malaysia, giving the Perodua Ativa and Nissan Almera something to think about as well as leaving its main rival, the Yaris in the dust.
Not only would they have the most powerful 1.0-litre turbocharged engines, they will also have two different body styles to capture even more market share. Need more space and practicality? Get the hatchback. Want more tech and sportiness? Get the sedan. If and it is a very big if Honda Malaysia does indeed bring in the turbocharged variant of the hatchback to Malaysia, that would show intent and gusto. It would also be a statement that Honda Malaysia is not giving up on that top non-national carmaker spot anytime soon.
Of course, once again, pricing has to be on point, but considering that the 2021 Honda City Hatchback sells from RM78,000 up to RM100,000 in Thailand (where it is made), we can expect it to be somewhere around there too - oh yeah, we forgot to mention, that's the price with the turbo engine.
Honda Malaysia will surely fight to market it as competitively priced as possible, but the question is, how much are you willing to pay for it? Or is it more of a "just shut up and take my money" basing it on its specification and price in Thailand?
Whatever it is, it seems that the Honda City Hatchback is an opportunity for Honda Malaysia to solidify their place at the top, and hey, we reckon it'll still sell like hotcakes even with the 1.5 N/A engine, but can you imagine if the turbocharged engine is included, now that's the Power of Dreams!
For more latest car news, reviews, car buying guides and videos visit us at Carlist.my Auto News.
Check out all the best new & used car deals in Malaysia at Carlist.my.
Sell your car fast with the best offer? Visit us at CarlistBid.my.
Get the latest new car promotions at New Car website now.