With the end to a disappointing 2020 near, 2021 is looking promising for car buyers.
Just like that, we are at the dawn of the new year, and we bet everyone can't wait for this nightmare of a year to end. 2021 brings new hope and new cars, and hopefully, we can enjoy the roads more next year and also see the end to this unprecedented pandemic.
The first quarter of 2021 should see the introduction of some exciting new cars. There's something for everyone. There's a torquey hybrid for those who feel the need for speed, there should be an affordable local SUV for those who think the Proton X50 is too expensive, there should be a stylish Korean sedan for those who like stylistic design, and there should be some R3 variants from Proton for those who need a bit more pizzaz from their local cars.
1. Honda City RS 2021
It's been touted that the price of the Honda City RS will be unveiled next month, but the official launch will most probably take place in January 2021. Rumoured to be priced under RM100k, the Honda City RS should be an exciting proposition, especially if Honda keeps it under the mentioned price threshold.
The electric motor is able to generate an impressive 253 Nm torque figure instantaneously and channel that to the front wheels and onto the road - making it the main reason why it is the 'torque' of the town. It has also been said that the City RS i-MMD does drive a lot like a fully electric car and you can read more about it here.
2. Perodua D55L 2021
We're seeing more and more pictures of the Perodua D55L test mule around the Klang Valley which can only mean that the arrival of the Perodua SUV is close. We suppose the only reason they have not launched it yet is to give them some breathing space and to let the buzz of the Proton X50 pass, because all good things come to those who wait.
Perodua is an efficient and perfectionist car manufacturer so they are probably taking their time to get the package absolutely right. Of course, we’re aware that the D55L, which would be based on the Daihatsu Rocky, isn’t exactly in the same league as the much-hyped Proton or its competitors such as the Honda HR-V and Mistubishi ASX. However, its size does put them in contention nonetheless. Being a Perodua, though, expect their offering to be very value-oriented, perhaps even easily undercutting the X50 by over RM20,000.
3. Nissan Kicks 2021
We know that Nissan has got their hands full at the moment with the new Almera Turbo but we're pretty sure somewhere in that company, a team of strategists is working hard on the Nissan Kicks.
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. If that doesn't entice you may be a hybrid version will.
The 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 129 hp and 260 Nm of torque. Nissan sources say the Kicks has an average fuel consumption of 23.4 kpl and CO2 level of 100g/km. To recharge the batteries, the 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine with 79hp works exclusively as a generator. Will Nissan be brave enough to bring in the Hybrid is the burgeoning question?
4. Proton R3 2021
According to reliable sources, Proton was supposed to introduce R3 variants for the Iriz, Persona and X70 this year.
With the commotion that is the X50, they have delayed this release and understandably so. Before anyone gets too excited, the R3 variants will only give the Proton models cosmetic upgrades but then again, R3 cars have always been the best looking cars to come out of Proton. Maybe we could also hope for some R3 suspension tuning but that would be a long shot. Please Proton, please, include some suspension upgrades.
5. Hyundai Elantra 2021
Hyundai has just released some teasers for the new Elantra but unfortunately, it will not be making any sort of official appearance this year - Instead, it will be launched in the first quarter of 2021.
Against rivals like the Honda Civic, Mazda 3, and Toyota Corolla, the newest Elantra certainly leans more heavily on its exterior design to make a first - and lasting - impression. It’s almost more polygon than car with its many geometric character lines, a stark departure from the smooth-flowing contours of its D-segment bigger brother.
This 7th-gen Elantra isn’t going to blow your socks off with its engine range, though. There is a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder from the Smartstream family, producing 160PS and 191Nm. Other options include a smaller displacement 1.6-litre NA unit, one with a turbocharger for 204 PS and 265 Nm, or an Ioniq-style parallel hybrid with 120 PS.
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