The past year has been a tough one for the automotive industry in Malaysia, with a declining ringgit leading to a weak consumer sentiment and a likely drop in total industry volume after a record 2015.

Despite this (or perhaps because of this), there was plenty of activity in 2016, with lots of car launches as manufacturers desperately tried to shore up their numbers. So we thought we’d provide you a comprehensive guide on all the new stuff that came our way this year. Let’s get to it!

Audi

Audi Malaysia finally launched the B9 A4 in September, more than a year after it made its world debut. Lighter, faster, more economical and offered with more technologies compared to its predecessor, it will be made available in 1.4 TSI, 2.0 TFSI and 2.0 TFSI quattro trims. However, only the middle child is currently offered, priced at RM248,900 on-the-road without insurance. Read our review here.

Also in 2016 was a minimal price increase for the A5, A6, Q3, TT and TTS, along with the introduction of a new 2.0 TFSI base variant for the Q7. The company is set to make a big splash this year, with the tiny Q2 and the all-new Q5 SUVs. Also slated to make their local debuts in 2017 are the facelifted A3, A5 Sportback and the R8 sports car, as well as a number of S and RS models.

BMW

BMW Malaysia kicked off Munich’s centenary celebrations by introducing the G12 7 Series, followed by the stonking 370 hp M2 Coupé. The CKD X1 xDrive20i, X1 xDrive20d and X4 xDrive28i came next. Prices for the 1 Series, 3 Series, 3 Series GT, X3 and 5 Series were also slashed thanks to their Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) status, while a two-year BMW Tyre Warranty was also introduced.

Other new introductions include the revised 420i and 430i – gaining the new 2.0 litre B48 turbo engine that was first introduced in the facelifted F30 3 Series – as well as the 528i M Performance Edition. Meanwhile, the company also announced that it would be exporting locally-assembled 3 Series, 5 Series and 7 Series models to Vietnam and the Philippines in 2018.

But it was the two plug-in hybrid models that made the headlines, beginning with the X5 xDrive40e – its attractive RM388,800 price tag stole the thunder from the CKD Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine. Also launched was the 330e, which made its local debut priced at RM248,800, putting it in the middle of the local 3 Series range. Look forward to the new G30 BMW 5 Series, which should arrive this year.

Chevrolet

It was a quiet year for Chevrolet in Malaysia, but at the very least its sole vehicle launch was a big one for the company. The facelifted Colorado made its local debut in October with handsome new looks, a revamped cabin with Apple CarPlay connectivity, a new engine and added safety features like Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. It is priced from RM99,911 to RM132,874 on-the-road with insurance.

Ford

The Blue Oval’s first launch of the year was the all-new S-Max (review here), followed swiftly by the facelifted Focus – the latter now gets a new 1.5 litre EcoBoost turbo engine and a six-speed SelectShift automatic gearbox to replace the dreaded PowerShift dual-clutch. The revamped C-segment offering is priced between RM118,888 and RM139,888 on-the-road with insurance; read the review here.

The Ranger-based Everest SUV was also introduced that year, but Sime Darby AutoConnexion saved its most anticipated product for June with the launch of Ford’s most famous pony car, the Mustang. Unfortunately, its most popular model, the Ranger, received a price hike not once, but twice.

Honda

Honda Malaysia started the year on the back foot, with range-wide price increases. The company also expanded its recall of Takata airbags and faced issues with low awareness regarding the recall, resulting in the opening of Service Central Hubs and Mobile Hubs, the commencement of door-to-door service and the introduction of airbag replacements at on-ground events such as the Honda Family Road Trip.

It’s not all bad news for the carmaker, however, as it held two big launches last year. The massively-restyled tenth-generation Civic received a new 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo engine, a CVT and standard-fit six airbags and stability control. It is priced between RM113,800 and RM135,800; you can read our review here. The raft of standard safety equipment also extends to the facelifted Accord, priced from RM144,800 to RM172,800.

In other news, Honda Malaysia introduced new red colours for the City, Jazz and HR-V; the latter also received new 17-inch alloy wheels at a slightly higher price. The City and Jazz also gained new limited edition X variants with added kit. This year is set to be be a busy one too with the launch of the BR-V and possibly even the new Jazz Hybrid, both of which were previewed last year.

Hyundai

Hyundai’s only big launch for 2016 came near the end of the year, but it certainly was impressive. The company introduced the Ioniq Hybrid with a 1.6 litre direct-injected engine mated to an electric motor and a seven-speed DCT, as well as a suite of driver assist features such as autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control. Prices are attractive too, ranging from RM100,328 to RM110,828.

Also introduced near the end of last year was the facelifted Grand Starex Royale, now with an even more massive Lexus-style front grille; retaining the same 2.5 litre turbodiesel mill, it is priced at RM168,888. There will be more new cars coming this year as well, including the new Elantra and the Tucson T-GDI turbo petrol and CRDi turbodiesel.

Isuzu

Local activity for Isuzu as usual centred around the D-Max pick-up line. In May, the company launched the D-Max Beast, a beefier special edition model limited to just 360 units. It then followed this up with the facelifted D-Max with revisions to the exterior and interior, as well as standard-fit ABS and stability control. Unfortunately, it didn’t get the new 1.9 litre Ddi turbodiesel engine introduced in Thailand.

Instead, the D-Max soldiers on with the same 2.5 litre and 3.0 litre turbodiesel engines as before, and is priced from RM80,424 to RM124,312. Launched alongside the revamped pick-up was the MU-X Type-S, a special edition model that gets a bodykit and extra kit, priced at RM176,640

Jaguar

Jaguar launched a surprising number of new cars in 2016, starting off with its 3 Series competitor, the XE; the second-generation XF followed soon after. The facelifted XJ made its own quiet debut in May last year, and the company closed off the year with the its first-ever SUV, the F-Pace – powered solely by a 340 PS 3.0 litre supercharged V6.

Kia

Like many carmakers, Kia was beset by price hikes across the range at the start of the year, but apart from that there was also a hive of activity from the Korean carmaker. The company kicked off the year with the RM72,888 Kia Rio Sedan, which was supplemented by the Rio Sedan X variant in March.

The next launch of the year was in fact a double one, one of which was the new Sportage. Available with a carryover 2.0 litre petrol engine and front-wheel drive, it is priced between RM121,888 and RM141,888. The new Sorento was also launched at the same event, offered with either a 2.2 litre CRDi turbodiesel or a 2.5 litre MPI petrol mill, retailing from RM155,888 to RM175,888.

Later on, Kia sold very limited units of the facelifted Picanto, with the company reportedly switching its focus on its SUVs. In November, the Value 5 programme was introduced to assuage fears regarding resale values – originally limited to the new Sportage and Sorento, it was later expanded to include the new facelifted Cerato. The momentum will continue this year with the upcoming Grand Carnival.

Land Rover

Unlike its stablemate Jaguar, Land Rover had a comparatively quiet year, with local launches limited to the facelifted Range Rover Evoque (2.0 litre Si4 petrol, RM430,000 nett) and a new 2.2 litre SD4 turbodiesel variant of the Discovery Sport (RM450,000 nett). The next-generation Discovery will likely make its way over here this year.

Lexus

Lexus also did not make much waves in 2016 – aside from a range-wide price hike at the start of the year, it launched the 477 PS GS F in May, retailing for a cool RM1.1 million. A limited-edition ES 250 Luxury, with 50 units offered in special colours and interior trim, was also introduced in June. This year, the showrooms will be spiced up (no, not that kind of Lexus spice) with the stylish new LC 500 and LC 500h.

Mazda

Although not quite the flurry of activity that was 2015, the past 12 months was still pretty busy for Mazda. The company hit the ground running with the locally-assembled facelifted CX-5, available in 2.0 litre and 2.5 litre guise and priced between RM128,375 and RM166,666.

Next, the Mazda 2 received an LED headlight option which bumped the price by RM5,300; however, Bermaz pushed the price up a further RM3,000 in October, or RM2,000 on cars with regular halogen headlights. Meanwhile, the BT-50 pick-up was given a facelift in March, while July saw the launch of the long-awaited CX-5 and Mazda 6 diesel models, priced at RM161,529 and RM202,830 respectively.

The coming year will see the introduction of the MX-5 RF (with a manual option for the first time!) and CX-9, along with the facelifted Mazda 3 and possibly the new CX-5 further down the line. Uncertainty in 2017 comes in the form of possible price increases, and those of you looking for a cheaper CX-3 will be disappointed to learn that a locally-assembled version is unlikely at this point in time.

Mercedes-Benz

Where on earth do we start? Stuttgart was on a roll in 2016 with an unprecedented number of model launches and what will surely be a record year in sales. The company got the ball rolling with the the GLC (later replaced by a cheaper CKD model), GLE and GLE Coupé SUVs, followed by the facelifted A-Class. Also introduced were the base C 180 Avantgarde (RM228,888) and range-topping C 300 AMG Line (RM307,888), along with the mid-range C 200 Exclusive (RM252,888).

Bigger news came in June with the launch of the new W213 E-Class – the executive sedan is offered in E 200 Avantgarde, E 250 Avantgarde and E 250 Exclusive variants at the moment, priced between RM395,888 and RM425,888. An E 300 AMG Line will follow suit shortly, while CKD versions are set to arrive later this year. Read our full review here.

Other models introduced last year include (deep breath) the facelifted CLA, C-Class Coupé and Cabriolet, AMG C 63 S Coupé, GLC Coupé, GLS, G 63 AMG and SLC. One of the bigger launches was the C 350 e plug-in hybrid that will take on the 330e, priced between RM288,888 and RM298,888. On the commercial side, Nusa Otomobil launched the Vito Tourer, a cheaper alternative to the V-Class.

MINI

The hipster British brand went through a few launches of its own, beginning with the Countryman Park Lane in January and the larger Clubman in April. It then released a special exclusive-to-Malaysia MINI John Cooper Works Pro Edition, essentially a Cooper S hatch that has had the entire JCW accessories catalogue thrown at it; only 20 units were made available. Expect the new Countryman to arrive this year.

Mitsubishi

For Mitsubishi, the year 2016 began with the launch of the black limited edition Triton Phantom, which was swiftly followed by the white version, the Triton Knight. The company was then forced to raise its prices across the range (except the Mirage) in February, by as much as RM8.5k.

The launch of the new Outlander SUV followed in April with a price of RM166,720, while June saw the introduction of the ASX Orange Edition. Last but not least was the launch of the revamped Triton, now with a new, more powerful and more economical 2.4 litre MIVEC turbodiesel on the VGT and VGT Adventure models; there’s also a new VGT Adventure X variant. Prices range from RM102,619 to RM125,005.

Nissan

No new vehicle launches from Nissan last year, so instead the company put its time into offering new bodykits on existing models. First up were the Impul kits for the X-Trail and Serena S-Hybrid, then the Nismo Performance Package for the Teana just recently. Also launched was the Ironman accessories range for the NP300 Navara pick-up.

In other news, the company also fell victim to price increases on CKD models in April, and recalled 133,118 vehicles over Takata airbags and faulty tailgate stays. An industry-leading seven-year, unlimited mileage warranty was introduced on all Nissan and Infiniti passenger models on January 1, 2017.

Perodua

Perodua’s 2016 was all about one thing, the Bezza. The national carmaker’s first sedan broke new ground – it was the first in-house design, and the first to be offered with keyless entry, automatic engine start/stop, stability control and standard-fit ABS. Priced between RM37,300 and RM50,800, it sold like hot cakes when it was launched – in fact, it broke the 10,000-unit mark just over a month after it was introduced.

Of course, the company did more than just unveil the Bezza – it also added ABS to the Axia 1.0 Standard G for a moderate price increase, and introduced a two-tone colour scheme option for the Myvi 1.5 Advance. Also announced last year was the ProGanti range of affordable aftermarket parts.

That’s not all – it also officially launched the Perodua Global Manufacturing plant which has been churning out Axias since August 2014, as well as the Daihatsu Perodua Engine Manufacturing plant in Sendayan that builds the new 1.3 litre 1NR-VE engine for the Bezza. It also announced that it would continue a locals-only hiring policy, and that it could raise prices in 2017 due to a deteriorating ringgit.

Peugeot

In terms of car launches, it’s been thin for Peugeot last year. The company began by introducing a more affordable version of the 308 THP, the RM119,888 Active, then turned up mid-year with the new RM143,888 408 e-THP sedan. It also announced a RM5 million investment into aftersales in an effort to improve customer satisfaction. That’s pretty much it.

In fact, the Gallic carmaker has more to look forward to this year with the impending launch of the facelifted 208 and 2008 – the duo swap their outmoded 122 PS/160 Nm 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated engine and four-speed automatic transmission for a new 112 PS/205 Nm 1.2 litre PureTech turbo three-pot and a six-speed Aisin slushbox. Also coming are the new 3008 and 5008 SUVs and Traveller MPV.

Proton

Proton was very, very busy last year, as it worked to fulfil its promise of launching not one, not two, but four cars. At the start of 2016, the national carmaker announced that it was working on a new family of 1.3 and 1.5 litre GDI and TGDI engines and a 2.0 litre NE01 turbo mill that would enter production at the tail end of 2017. The company also introduced its new “It’s In the Drive!” campaign and a new logo.

Turmoil struck soon after as chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed resigned, replaced by Syed Faisal Akbar. Then CEO Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah followed suit; his place was usurped by Datuk Ahmad Fuaad Kenali and deputy CEO Datuk Radzaif Mohamed. After a rather scathing letter from MITI’s Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, the government approved a RM1.5bil soft loan to fund the company’s turnaround.

The company soon got to work with the launch of the Perdana, a D-segment sedan based on the previous Honda Accord. The one-two punch of the Persona and Saga came shortly after, followed by the first fruit of the Proton-Suzuki partnership, the Ertiga MPV. Proton also streamlined its Prevé and Exora to feature only turbo models, and introduced the Iriz Limited Edition and the Suprima Active Concept.

Behind the scenes, there was more news – Proton raised prices across the range in February, then launched its first car in Chile, the Prevé, in June; it also introduced the MyProton app in August. It also finally managed to secure a deal with Bank Rakyat to offer 100% loans on all its cars, which has now expanded to other banks as well. Look forward to the year ahead, where Proton is expected to introduce an SUV (based on the Suzuki Vitara, perhaps?) and announce its joint venture partner.

Renault

Renault’s year started in March with the reveal of the B-segment Captur crossover’s official priceRM117,200 – as well as the start of sales of the Zoe electric vehicle, priced at RM145,888. It also introduced the Fluence Formula Edition in August, but its biggest launch came a month later with the Koleos, a large X-Trail-based SUV priced at RM172,800.

Subaru

It was a pretty eventful year for the Pleiades, starting with the facelifted Subaru XV with a slight increase in kit; it is priced from RM132,725 to RM137,075. The momentum continued with the launch of the facelifted Forester, now CKD and therefore cheaper, with prices starting from RM144,948.

August saw the introduction of both the Levorg wagon and the special edition XV Crosstrek, priced at RM199,720 and RM119,500 respectively. This year should be another fruitful one, with the anticipated introduction of the new Impreza and XV – the company has already confirmed that it is preparing the Segambut plant to build next-generation models on the new Subaru Global Platform.

Toyota

Toyota had a string of product launches lined up for 2016, and it kicked off proceedings with the new Hilux and Fortuner, both gaining new engines and transmissions, added equipment and seven airbags and stability control for the first time. Next came the all-new Alphard and Vellfire, the latter being the first to be sold here through official channels.

Swiftly afterwards came the Sienta MPV – the funkily-styled Japanese curio made its way here priced from RM92,900 to RM99,900. Meanwhile, the Vios was upgraded with a new Dual VVT-i engine, a CVT and stability control across the range, with slightly cheaper prices to boot. Two stalwarts of the range were refreshed in December, with the Camry and facelifted Corolla Altis finally getting seven airbags and stability control across the range, and at reduced prices in the case of the former.

The month also saw the launch of the new Innova, gaining the improvements from the Hilux and Fortuner; it retails between RM109,000 and RM126,000. Toyota also raised prices at the start of the year, introduced a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty and announced that a new plant in Bukit Raja, Klang would be ready by early 2019.

Volkswagen

A tumultuous year for Volkswagen, which pretty much set the Internet on fire with its “Drop Everything” sale – heavy discounts saw the Polo retail at RM69,888, the Jetta at RM88,888 and the Passat at RM115,888. The Golf was also given some much-needed TLC soon after, with added kit including 17-inch wheels, keyless entry, push start and added power from the 1.4 TSI mill, all at a lower price of RM160,635.

In May, the company launched the facelifted Polo Sedan, now called the Vento and powered by a 1.2 TSI engine mated to a seven-speed DSG gearbox; prices range from RM80,646 to RM94,461. September marked a sea change, with Volkswagen Group Malaysia (VGM) handing over distributorship duties to Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM), adding a five-year manufacturer warranty in the process. The introduction of a two-year warranty extension for DSG gearboxes followed at the end of the year.

Also in September, the Polo hatch received an RM13k price drop to RM77,646, while the Jetta was facelifted at the end of that month. But everyone was really waiting for the new B8 Passat, and the car finally made it to these shores in November, priced between RM160,937 and RM200,030; the Beetle Dune, limited to just 50 units nationwide, debuted alongside it. There’s more to look out for this year, including the launch of the new CKD Tiguan.

Volvo

Last but not least, we’ve come to Volvo. The Swedish brand first raised eyebrows with the S60 T6 Drive-E, which raised the performance-to-price ratio with a 306 hp 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder available at just RM280,888. It then pushed it even further upward with EEV incentives in September, which dropped the price to an insane RM238,888.

Next, the company capitalised on the gains made through the introduction of the XC90 T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid at the end of 2015 with the launch of the CKD version in June, which dropped the price by a whole RM50k to RM403,888. Right after that, the V40 T5 Drive-E made its debut with a less powerful 245 hp version of the S60’s engine, priced at just RM192,888.

Similar to the S60, the V40 also received EEV incentives to drop the price to RM180,888. So too did the XC60 T5 and T6, with prices dropping by as much as RM22k to RM266,888 and RM298,888 respectively. In October, the company announced the availability of Polestar Performance Optimisation for the S60, V40 and XC60. This year should be another interesting one, with the S90 set to arrive, likely with the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain to qualify it for yet more attractive EEV rebates.