Expert Review

CarBase.my reviews Malaysian cars on sale - the most detailed reviews covering performance, handling, comfort, space, safety and value for money.

SUV
C-Segment
RM 1,495.84 /month
RM 112,138.00 to
RM 125,868.00
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Date Reviewed
22 March 2018
Performance
Ride & Handling
Comfort
Safety
Space
Value

The XV is one of the most popular Subaru models in the region, and the second-generation model is almost entirely new from the ground up. Thanks to a new stiffer platform, the crossover is much improved over its predecessor, exhibiting greater ride and handling characteristics with enhanced comfort and safety. Besides tyre roar and the shoddy infotainment system, the XV and its high quality cabin will certainly impress most people.

For
  • Impressive damping qualities, more comfortable than most rivals
  • Familiar design, but revised to great effect
  • Top level interior build quality
  • Handy all-wheel drive system, useful in harsh weather conditions
Against
  • Subpar infotainment system, feels out of place
  • Dated factory-fitted tyres
  • Small boot space
SUV
C-Segment
RM 1,844.93 /month
RM 138,308.00 to
RM 167,700.00
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Date Reviewed
20 March 2018
Performance
Ride & Handling
Comfort
Safety
Space
Value
by Anthony Lim

For a long time, especially with the third-gen, this one pretty much defined the mid-size Japanese SUV segment. Then, competitors caught up and overtook it, and it wasn't until the fifth-gen arrived last year that the Honda CR-V shot back to the forefront. It has been right up there since, and it's easy to see why - it's a wonderfully packaged offering that gets everything right in all the relevant places.

For
  • 1.5 litre turbo mill provides the CR-V with plenty of pep
  • Interior space remains class-leading
  • Well specified across the range, and Honda Sensing safety suite is a big plus point
  • Great all-rounder
Against
  • Better than the previous-gen, but NVH levels aren't class-leading
  • Trace of associated CVT whine
  • Some rivals offer a sharper, more responsive drive
Hatchback
B-Segment
RM 557.69 /month
RM 41,807.74 to
RM 55,300.00
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Date Reviewed
9 March 2018
Performance
Ride & Handling
Comfort
Safety
Space
Value
by Danny Tan

After one million units sold, the "love of the nation" received a full reboot for the third-generation. The homegrown effort betters the car it replaces in every aspect, but features - some unprecedented at this price point, some ingenious - are a particularly strong point. Still not the best driving or most refined B-segment hatchback, but unbeatable content and value for money means it's a sure winner.

For
  • Top level safety, unprecedented safety kit
  • Ingenious local features that aren't gimmicks
  • Improved refinement and dynamics
  • Unbeatable content, value for money
Against
  • Improved, but NVH levels could still be lower
  • 4AT does a basic level job, and that's about it
  • Rear end design
Hatchback
A-Segment
RM 628.01 /month
RM 47,079.43
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Date Reviewed
9 March 2018
Performance
Ride & Handling
Comfort
Safety
Space
Value

As the only non-national car under RM50,000, the Kia Picanto is a solid alternative to the Perodua Myvi and Proton Iriz. It's well equipped and has a quality of ride and refinement that is head and shoulders above its peers, all while being better to drive than the previous model. Its only letdown is the lack of autonomous emergency braking, especially considering the Myvi Advance has it for not much more.

For
  • Ultra-modern styling, well-built interior
  • Ride and refinement puts it in a different category altogether
  • Cheapest car with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Against
  • Rear space a little small for the price
  • Engine can feel gutless at times
  • No autonomous emergency braking
RM 1,762.24 /month
RM 132,109.00 to
RM 171,000.00
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Date Reviewed
9 March 2018
Performance
Ride & Handling
Comfort
Safety
Space
Value

For a price tag that is just south of RM140,000, the Mitsubishi Outlander 2.0L 4WD is a safe bet if you're looking for a capable SUV that delivers on its promise of providing seating for up to seven people. The all-wheel drive system is an added level of assurance while behind wheel, although the decently-equipped interior does appear a little dated.

For
  • Good value for a seven-seat SUV
  • Comfortable ride for long-distance journeys
  • Practical enough for most needs
Against
  • Interior is a little dated
  • Lack of rear air-con vents and charging ports
  • Engine feels strained when pushed
Sedan
A-Segment
RM 446.91 /month
RM 33,503.02 to
RM 49,176.89
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Date Reviewed
9 August 2016
Performance
Ride & Handling
Comfort
Safety
Space
Value

The new Perodua Bezza takes the national carmaker to new heights - it's the company's first sedan, and comes with many new toys and safety features. But for better or for worse, it feels very much like a Perodua to drive - even though it feels like the company's most complete car to date. There are plenty of cars on the market that are much nicer and better to drive, but if all you want is a traditional sedan with a big boot, your search ends here.

For
  • Strong 1.3 litre Dual VVT-i engine
  • Plenty of space, big boot
  • Stability control on top-spec Advance
  • Standard-fit ABS on all models
Against
  • Unrefined manual gearbox
  • Excessive road noise at speed
  • Steering is slow and imprecise
RM 1,631.23 /month
RM 122,288.00 to
RM 211,729.20
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Date Reviewed
29 April 2016
Performance
Ride & Handling
Comfort
Safety
Space
Value

The Subaru Forester is a good all-rounder that feels just as home on the city streets as it does off-road. Featuring the familiar Subaru DNA of a boxer engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, the Forester also comes with an impressive safety package and a comfortable ride. However, it does command a slight premium over its rivals and isn't the best when it comes to handling.

For
  • Good off-road capabilities
  • Impressive safety package
  • Comfortable ride
Against
  • Interior isn't the most premium
  • CVT not the most responsive
  • No around-view monitor
Hatchback
B-Segment
RM 996.04 /month
RM 74,670.00 to
RM 92,886.30
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Date Reviewed
13 March 2015
Performance
Ride & Handling
Comfort
Safety
Space
Value

The new Mazda 2 is striking to look at and has an interior that feels more expensive than it has any right to be, with an impressive amount of kit on offer. It handles nicely too, but the small cabin, firm ride and slightly anaemic 1.5 litre SkyActiv-G engine does take the shine off things.

For
  • Premium-feeling interior
  • High kit count, including lots of feel-good toys
  • Balanced and agile handling
Against
  • Cramped rear accomodation, small boot
  • Ride can be a little harsh at speed
  • 1.5 litre petrol engine struggles under high loads
Hatchback
Compact Executive
RM 3,718.99 /month
RM 278,800.00 to
RM 348,800.00
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Date Reviewed
14 November 2014
Performance
Ride & Handling
Comfort
Safety
Space
Value

Polarising looks aside, the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is an impressive piece of kit. What you lose in visual appeal, you gain in oodles of newfound space, while retaining a pleasing blend of ride, handling and performance. Only the steep entry price disappoints, although you do get quite a lot of standard equipment thrown in.

For
  • Massively roomy, especially at the rear and in the boot
  • Impressive ride and handling balance
  • Torquey, frugal diesel engine
Against
  • Wind, tyre noise at higher speeds
  • Diesel can be rough at idle
  • Cabin materials fall short of newer rivals
  • Poor rear visibility
Hatchback
B-Segment
RM 1,112.51 /month
RM 83,401.32 to
RM 93,888.00
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Date Reviewed
11 June 2014
Performance
Ride & Handling
Comfort
Safety
Space
Value

If you value the joy of driving, the sprightly Fiesta is just the sort of car that will get you grinning. Its contemporary looks aid its cause, with an outlook that will appeal to the young and young-at heart. The face of the facelift is a hit or miss visually, and the hatch is still preferable to the sedan, but the Fiesta still makes a case for itself three years on. The EcoBoost 1.0L is the pick of the lot.

For
  • Segment-leading handling and dynamics, drives well above its class.
  • Well-equipped (but the competition is catching up).
  • 1.0 litre EcoBoost is a gem of an engine
Against
  • Six-speed dry dual-clutch system not the smoothest in slow urban conditions.
  • Rear occupant space is a bit cramped.
  • Interior plastics could be better, but look hardy.
  • Average rear visibility.
Hatchback
B-Segment
RM 1,000.31 /month
RM 74,990.00 to
RM 90,628.00
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Date Reviewed
20 May 2014
Performance
Ride & Handling
Comfort
Safety
Space
Value

As an entry point to Volkswagen ownership, the Polo does well enough. Compared to sub-RM100k B-segment rivals, as you should, the Polo is competitive in spec and decent to drive. Just don't put it side-by-side with the 1.2 TSI.

For
  • Keen CKD pricing means Malaysia now has a starter VW hatchback.
  • Proven powertrain acquits itself well, and top marks for comfort and refinement.
  • Feels more substantial than Asian B-segment rivals on the move.
Against
  • Being nearly RM30k cheaper than the TSI means sacrifices have to be made in materials and features - if you've been in the CBU car before, you'll feel it.
  • Not as fun to drive as the ads claim.
SUV
Executive
RM 6,606.05 /month
RM 495,233.03 to
RM 589,900.00
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Date Reviewed
1 January 1970
Performance
Ride & Handling
Comfort
Safety
Space
Value

Going from being one of the heaviest cars in the segment to one of the lightest is no easy task, but Audi has pulled it off with its Q7 - a gist of the model's extreme makeover from one generation to the next. A behemoth from the outside, the Q7 does fall short of spaciousness inside, but score top marks for quality, performance, features and safety.

For
  • Handsome, attention-grabbing style
  • Premium build quality
  • New equipment and features
Against
  • Poor cabin spaciousness
  • Too soft air suspension - even in Sport mode
  • Poor handling