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2020 Recap: Cars that grabbed most limelight (Part I)

 2020 Recap: Cars that grabbed most limelight (Part I)
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Finally, 2020 is coming to an end. And now we are hoping for a care-free, pandemic-free year that brings back the 'normal'. Though the news channel tells us otherwise, there's no harm to be optimistic, right? Running back into the memory lanes, 2020 stated as usual with March bringing in the bad news that we are still living. The following months saw the cancellation of several car launches and auto shows, with car production lines shifting from making cars to ventilators and face masks.

Slowey we all, including the auto industry adapted to the new normal with cars getting launched virtually and sales commencing online. Now, let's get started with the cars that made headlines in 2020.

Jan - June 2020: Major car launches

1. 2020 Perodua Bezza

2020 Perodua Bezza

The first launch of 2020 was the facelifted Bezza that came three and a half years after the introduction of the first-gen model. Perodua is offering the new model in four trim options - 1.0L G Manual, 1.0L G AT, 1.3L X, and the range-topping AV. Powering the first two trims is a 1.0L three-cylinder VVT-i mill making 67 hp and 91 Nm of torque. The remaining two get a 94 hp/121 Nm 1.3-litre four-cylinder unit. One of the major highlights of the new model is the inclusion of Perodua's Advanced Safety Assist (ASA) 2.0 suite of driver assist systems. The new sedan gets LED headlamps, keyless entry with push start, reverse camera, and front corner sensors.

2. 2020 Volkswagen Passat

2020 Volkswagen Passat

The much-awaited facelifted Passat sedan finally made its entry in Jan 2020. The updated D-segment VW sedan showcased new looks, a refreshed cabin, and additional kits. It is offered in a single trim option - 2.0 TSI Elegance that is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre TSI gasoline mill making a maximum power of 190 PS and a peak torque of 320 Nm. Sending power to the front wheels is the new 7-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox that until now was only supported in VW all-wheel-drive models. The 2020 Passat packs in numerous changes, including a new grille, revised LED headlights graphics, new tail lights with L-shaped indicators and graphics, multi-spoke 18-inch Liverpool alloy wheels, new 3-spoke multifunction steering, rear windscreen with powered blinds, new Discover Pro infotainment system with a 9.2-inch touchscreen.

3. 2020 Proton X70 CKD

2020 Proton X70 CKD

After the launch of its first SUV, Proton in February launched the X70 CKD model which brought with itself several improvements. On the outside, the locally-assembled SUV sports the brand's new 3D logo, 17-inch (for Standard) and 18-inch (for Executive) wheels, new Space Grey exterior colour for Premium and Premium X models. On the inside, the X70 CKD model gets a redesigned electronic gear lever that controls the Geely-developed 7-speed wet dual-clutch transmission, ventilated front seats, 60:40 split-folding rear seat with reclining function, and a powered tailgate. The trunk is now carpeted and comes with an additional shopping hook. The most significant improvement, however, is seen under the hood with the 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine making 181 hp and 300 Nm of torque.

4. 2020 Mazda CX-30

2020 Mazda CX-30

Another much-awaited car launch of 2020 was the Mazda CX-30 SUV. It is available in three variant options - base 2.0G, mid-range 2.0G Hight, and range-topping 1.8D High. The first two trims are powered by a petrol-fueled SkyActiv 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated, four-cylinder engine pumping 163 hp of power and 213 Nm of torque. The 1.8D High, on the other hand, features a SkyActiv 1,8-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel mill making a maximum power of 114 hp and a peak torque of 270 Nm. Common among the variants is a SkyActiv-Drive six-speed automatic gearbox that sends power to the front wheels.

5. 2020 Honda Accord

2020 Honda Accord

Honda Malaysia launched the 10th generation Accord sedan in the last week of February 2020. The D-segment sedan is offered in two locally assembled variant options - 1.5TC and 1.5 TC-P. Under the hood, the new Accord gets a 1.5-litre VTEC four-cylinder turbocharged petrol mill making 201 PS and 260 Nm of torque. Compared to the previous-gen model, the new Accord is 12 mm wider, 34 mm shorter, and its wheelbase has grown by 55 mm. The sedan's standard equipment list includes a full-LED headlamp with DRLs, LED tail lights, LEC fog lamps, keyless entry and start, multi-angle reverse camera, four front & rear parking sensors, and an 8-inch Advanced Display Audio with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

6. 2020 Toyota RAV4 SUV

2020 Toyota RAV4 SUV

This 2019-2020 Japan Car of the Year underpins Toyota New Global Architecture on which also sits the C-HR, Corolla, and Camry in Malaysia. The 2020 RAV4 is a big car, larger than the C-HR, it also appears bigger than the CX-5 and CR-V. On the powerplant, it gets two Dynamic Force units - a 173 PS/207Nm 2.0-litre mill paired with a CVT unit and a 207PS/243 Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder mill mated to a Direct Shift 8-speed automatic gearbox. It gets smart entry and push start, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, 8-way power driver's seat with memory and lumbar, leather seat, electronic parking brake with brake hold, Optitron meter are offered as standard fitments.

Other prominent car launches that took place in the same time frame in Malaysia include -

MINI Countryman Blackheath Edition, 2020 Haval H2, 2020 Mazda CX-9, 2020 Mazda 2, 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport, BMW X6, BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe, Porsche 911 Speedster, 2020 Lexus LC500, Volvo S60 T8 CKD, 2020 Honda BR-V, 2020 Subaru Forester GT Edition, BMW X5, 2020 Range Rover Evoque, 2020 Ford Ranger FX4, Jaguar F-Pace, BMW X1, and Toyota GR Supra.

Also Read: 2021 Perodua Cars: What to expect?

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