LiteFM’s Daniel Fernandez discusses the best options for new buyers in the Malaysian car market
Let’s say you have arrived in Malaysia for work and your employment contract does not include a company car. Instead, you get a decent car allowance – which is good since Malaysia is the 3rd most expensive country for purchasing a car. High taxes and unfavourable currency exchange puts a high price on all new cars in this country at the moment.
You think you will be able to manage with public transport, but soon find this isn’t always convenient. Also, car leasing is not available in Malaysia and car rental prices are high. So, you decide to buy a new car to commute to work and drive around on weekends to explore the Malaysian peninsula.
We’ve selected a few options for cars that tend to hold their value quite well and run relatively economically so that you won’t have a big hole in your bank account when you decide to leave the country:
1. Low-end option: Perodua Axia
At the low-end we have the Perodua Axia which is a locally made car with technology sourced from Daihatsu. Its 1L engine is economical, and with a decent cabin, adequate for four adults and some luggage, you will have trouble-free motoring for city and long distance travel.
Two airbags and ISOFIX points – the international standard for attachment points for child safety seats in passenger cars – are provided; the car also has a passable sound system. The Perodua’s price starts from RM32,637 for the basic automatic to RM41,967 for the Advance model. The five-year warranty is reassuring with a strong nationwide after-sales network by Perodua.
2. Mid-range option: Honda City
In the mid-range budget, one of your best buys would be the Honda City. This sedan comes with space for five adults and their luggage, six airbags and two ISOFIX points as well as a fuel-efficient 1.5L engine.
Priced from RM76,100, there are four variants, the S; S+; E and V (the differentiation being acceleration and tyre and wheel size) to choose from and Honda has a strong 5-year warranty package and nationwide servicing and spares.
3. Top-end option 1: Mercedes C200 Avantgarde
If you prefer something a little more upmarket, then you can consider these two options; first up is the Mercedes C200 Avantgarde or the Volvo XC60 SUV.
The vehicle is locally-assembled and includes a four-cylinder engine with an efficiency of 19.27 km per litre and a 66 litre-capacity. The vehicle reaches 100kph in 7.4 seconds, with a top speed of 233 kph, and has Comfort, Economy, Sport, Sport+, or Individual driving modes.
Featuring a good after-sales care and maintenance programme, its pricing starts from RM248,888. Mercedes often resist depreciation well, as with many German-made cars, and their product image is second to none in Malaysia.
4. Top-end option 2: Volvo XC60 SUV
With more space and the legendary Volvo family-friendly features such as an in-car entertainment system, the latest XC60 SUV sells for RM288,888 and comes with a five-year warranty and service package.
Now that you have the segment options, it is time to visit a dealer and negotiate a discount – which will definitely kick-start your journey of integration into the Malaysian culture.
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