Just as a disclaimer, there will be no Myvis in this list because…let’s face it, it’s cheating. Anyways, some cars still find a niche in the used market even years after their discontinuation. These cars are generally sought after due to their low price, a wide range of aftermarket support, and reliability as budget passenger cars. Japanese and domestic branded vehicles tend to hold such demand compared to continental ones as they can retain much more value in the used market. Take a gander at these top five used passenger cars that are still high in demand!
1. Honda Jazz
After 10 years of being one of Malaysia’s favorite hatchbacks, Honda has bid Sayonara to this small-yet-mighty hatchback in favor of the Honda City hatchback. The Jazz, sold as the Honda Fit in Japan and the United States, is a small and nimble four-door hatchback thanks to its unibody design. For the uninitiated, a unibody car chassis is manufactured with the body and lower frame integrated together, forming a single part. This makes a rigid and safe design that is commonly found in Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs). Have this design in a little hatchback, paired with a four-cylinder petrol or hybrid engine (there is a diesel variant in India) and you’ll get yourself a powerful pocket rocket around the corners.
Furthermore, it has a spacious interior thanks to its Honda Ultra Seat feature that allows you to fold the seats in multiple configurations to allow more space for cargo of different shapes and sizes. In a sense, the Honda Jazz is still a popular car in Malaysia today due to it being a fancy, foreign-branded Myvi with the features of a luxury crossover. When it was first launched, the Jazz can be had for around RM72,000 but resale prices for a used Honda Jazz have been holding up well around RM50,000 and above.
Browse Here: Honda Jazz for Sale
2. Proton Arena
The Proton Arena has been discontinued since 2009 but used cars have a huge cult following domestically and internationally. Essentially, it is a Proton Wira chassis turned into a coupe utility truck called a ute. Ute is slang for utility or pickup trucks derived from Australia and South Africa. Till today, the Arena still stands as the only truck-based passenger car manufactured by the tiger-emblemed marque.
The new Geely Laroi RD6 EV Pickup truck. A worthy successor to the Arena?
However, driving the Arena isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Being a derivative of the Proton Wira, the caveat of this ute was that it had a severely underpowered, carburated, and naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine from Mitsubishi. The engine, designed for a passenger car, proved to be too underpowered to carry any heavy cargo. What’s worse is that the Arena only scored a one-star rating in the ANCAP crash test. Domestic sales have been poor but conversely, it did quite well as a cheap workhorse in countries that favor utes like Australia, the UK, and South Africa, where the small pickup was dubbed the Proton Jumbuck.
The Mitsubishi-sourced 4G15 engine proved to be too underpowered to haul cargo like a true pickup truck.
There is salvation found in the Proton Arena in Malaysia; it thrives in the aftermarket scene. More than a decade since its discontinuation, there is a small community trying to revive the ute subculture in Malaysia. To rectify the weak stock powertrain inside, owners love to swap in a much more powerful turbocharged Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution engine and an aftermarket bumper for looks.
Common aftermarket modifications for the Arena. It can be usually found with a Lancer Evo 2-3 bumper and a 4G63T engine swap. Source: Mekanika
Read More: Best Sleeper Cars You Can Own for a Bargain!
3. Proton Satria/Satria Neo
Almost a decade after its discontinuation, the Satria siblings still remain one of the most popular sporty hatchbacks you can own. Just like all early Proton models, the first-generation Satria is essentially a Mitsubishi Mirage Cyborg in DNA, but the Satria Neo, the younger sibling takes the cake.
The first-generation Satria is based on the Mitsubishi Mirage Cyborg, which is why you see plenty of owners converting their cars to resemble it.
It was built from theground up by Proton with handling tuned by Lotus Cars. If you don’t know who Lotus is, they are a British sports car manufacturer with an ethos of building performance machines with pure handling over raw power in mind. You can see where this is going.
Proton used to own Lotus cars from 1997 to 2017 before they both were sold to Geely.
The end result was a car designed by and for car enthusiasts. Handling has been reported as nothing less than spectacularly well. The naturally aspirated Campro engine cranks out a commendable 125 PS and 150 Nm. It could make the century sprint in 10.5 seconds in 2009 which was quite the feat for Malaysia’s automotive engineering.
That reputation helped make it one of the most popular sporty cars in Malaysia. Nowadays, mint Proton Satrias and Satria Neos in their top-spec variants are highly revered and sought after by collectors to modify for the hills.
4. Perodua Kembara
One could argue that the Perodua Kembara walked so the Perodua Ativa could run. While both are different in lineage, it did kickstart the demand for a bite-sized SUV in the domestic market. Unlike other 4WD cars of that time, the Kembara was a relatively affordable passenger car compared to the likes of the Toyota Hilux and the Mitsubishi Triton.
The Kembara would eventually evolve into the Toyota Vel- I mean the Perodua Aruz.
This little compact 4WD was quite the feat during its heyday. It’s a rebadged Daihatsu Terios underneath, thus making spare parts easy to source. The Perodua Kembara was a cheaper alternative for those who need a 4WD as a cheap workhorse. You can still see Kembaras being used at farms, in rural areas, or in the jungle, where they are still being put to good use. Used cars such as the Kembara in good condition still go around for less than RM30,000 these days.
5. Suzuki Swift
Almost 10 years after its discontinuation and after Suzuki Motors pulled out of the Malaysian market, this Japanese hatchback is still highly sought after. This five-door hot hatch enjoys a wide variety of aftermarket support for owners trying to crank out more power out of its naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine.
Two variants were offered when they were being made in Malaysia. It can be had with a 1.4L or a 1.5L four-cylinder, naturally aspirated engine mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. This small and compact configuration nets you 100 PS and 133 Nm of torque. The Suzuki Swift is also being praised for its lightweight and stellar handling when taken to the hills.
Nowadays, the first and second-generation CKD Swift rarely serves as an everyday passenger car. There is a high chance you might see these cars modified for the track and the streets of Ulu Yam and Genting Road. The third generation Swift is not sold here officially although it’s brought in by Naza Eastern Motors with an automatic transmission and a turbocharger.
Will the Suzuki Swift see a price hike due to demand in the future? Only time can tell. For now, the Swift remains the dark horse of hot hatches that can be bought for a bargain in the used market.
Browse Here: Suzuki Swift for Sale