Proton X70 named Malaysia Car of the Year 2019

By daryl, 09 January 2020

National carmaker Proton continues to enjoy its impressive run of form after the Proton X70 added the Malaysia Car of the Year 2019 crown to its trophy cabinet. The Geely-based SUV, which came out tops in the five-seater mid-size SUV segment, beat 18 other category winners including the Mazda3, Porsche Macan and BMW M2 Competition to the overall prize. 

Incidentally, Proton CEO Li Chunrong (inset) was recognised as the Automotive Man of the Year for his role in Proton's resurgence in the past 12 months - the national carmaker just closed 2019 with the biggest number of cars sold in five years

At the event, Malaysia Automotive Association (MAA) president Datuk Aishah Ahmad called for incentives on EVs to be continued in the wake of an impending National Automotive Policy, citing high taxes on CBUs as the reason Malaysia is lagging in this segment. 


“Early adopters buy EVs and we should zero-rate taxes on CBU EVs to encourage buyers and start to grow the EV eco-system,” she added. 

The BMW i3s and Nissan Leaf - the only fully-electric cars to be made available in Malaysia in 2019 - were given honourary awards in the hopes of spurring greater interest in EVs locally. 

Presented since 2016, the Malaysia Car of the Year award is sanctioned by the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IOT Institute (MARii, formerly MAI), an agency of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). The winners are decided by a judging panel made up of Malaysian motoring journalists - yours truly included - and local professionals of various industries. Continue scrolling for the full list of cars that impressed them in 2019. 


Entry Level Sedan/Hatch: Proton Saga
Compact Sedan/Hatch: Toyota Yaris
Family Sedan/Hatch: Mazda3
Large Family Sedan: Kia Optima GT
Premium Compact: Mercedes-Benz A250
Large Family Sedan: BMW 330i M Sport
Large Premium Exec: BMW 530e M Sport


Limousine: BMW 740Le
People Mover: Perodua Aruz
Compact Crossover/SUV: Honda HR-V Hybrid
Mid-size Crossover/SUV (5-Seat): Proton X70
Mid-size Crossover/SUV (7-Seat): Hyundai Santa Fe Diesel
Premium Mid-size SUV: Porsche Macan


Premium Luxury SUV: Mercedes-AMG GLC63S
Premium Compact SUV: Volvo XC40 T5
Pickup truck: Ford Ranger 
MPV: Kia Grand Carnival
Hot Hatch: Renault Megane RS280
Coupe: BMW M2 Competition