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We look forward to Google’s annual ‘Zeitgeist’ for Malaysia at the end of every year, as it usually includes a report of trending car searches by Malaysians as part of the customised report Google does for each country.

Just to clarify what ‘trending’ means – it means search terms that saw the largest increase in the amount of searches over the past year, so don’t confuse it with ‘most searched for’. Because of what ‘trending’ means, the list is likely to be dominated by newly-launched cars.

  1. Perodua Axia
  2. Proton Iriz
  3. Honda City
  4. Honda Jazz
  5. Proton Zaara
  6. Perodua Alza
  7. Mitsubishi Attrage
  8. Honda HR-V
  9. Peugeot 2008
  10. Perodua Viva

The list has been topped by a Proton for the past two years, but the chart-topper this year is a Perodua – none other than the Perodua Axia. Coming in second place is the new Proton Iriz. The last time a Perodua topped the list was in 2011, the year the second-generation Perodua Myvi was launched.

The list also has plenty of B-segment Hondas in it. The top non-national car is the Honda City, with the Honda Jazz following closely behind. The Honda HR-V, which hasn’t even been launched in Malaysia, is ranked seventh, which shows that savvy Malaysians pay attention to international car launches in anticipation of what might be offered in the local market.

There’s an unfamiliar name on the list – Proton Zaara, which turns out to be a 3D rendering done by someone named Rosdi Osman. The unofficial Zaara concept is a two-door hatchback that proposes what a next-generation Satria Neo could look like.