Honda Civic e:HEV RS Hybrid named the 2023 Malaysia Car of the Year


THE 19th Malaysia Car of the Year (MCOTY) recently concluded, and the prestigious title of Overall Car of the Year was awarded to the Honda Civic e:HEV RS Hybrid.

The annual program which serves as a platform for automotive enthusiasts and experts to recognize and celebrate the best new cars in Malaysia, unanimously picked the Honda Civic e:HEV RS Hybrid for its technology which eliminates power-robbing gearboxes, whether CVT or hydraulic, and for providing the best energy regeneration of all current hybrids in Malaysia.

With 121 new cars nominated for this year’s award, the competition was fierce and represented a diverse range of vehicles. The judging panel consisted of 10 esteemed automotive journalists and two professionals from the legal and medical fields.

These judges evaluated the cars based on several criteria, including design, technology, safety, and value for money. As a result of their analysis, the 121 nominated cars were divided into seven main categories, with 13 winners emerging as the best in their respective segments.

One interesting aspect of the MCOTY program is the People’s Choice award, which is determined through online polling using smartphone to implement one person one vote from a list of 25 cars nominated by the judges and a team from the Malaysia Automotive Robotics IoT Institute.

This year, the Perodua Axia E took home the People’s Choice award in the mass market category, while the BMW iX1 xDrive30 M Sport won the hearts of the public in the premium market. Interesting to see that Malaysians selected an EV in the premium market segment.

In addition to the winners, the judges also made Honourable Mentions of three outstanding cars that defied convention.

The Ford Ranger Raptor 3.0 V6 petrol twin turbo was acknowledged for its outstanding performance, being described as a supercar in pick-up guise.

The Perodua Axia 1.0 E received recognition for its affordability, with its price tag of RM22,000 making it one of the best value-for-money cars in the world. Despite criticism regarding its safety standards, the judges argued that the Axia E is still much safer than motorcycles.

Third, the Chery Omoda 5 was commended for its warranty, as it was launched with an unprecedented 1 million km warranty for the first 3,000 buyers. This imaginative brand-building exercise caught the attention of the judging panel.

Winners of the 19th Malaysia Car of the Year Awards:

A) Sedan and Hatchback:

Below: RM110,000: Toyota Vios 1.5G
RM111,000 to RM249,000: Honda Civic e:HEV RS Hybrid
Above RM250,000: Mercedes-Benz C300 AMG Line

B) Crossover

Below RM200,000: Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid 1.8
Above RM200,000: Mazda CX-8 2.2D 2WD

C) Electric Vehicles (EV)

Below RM200,000: BYD Dolphin Premium Extended
Above RM200,000: Volvo C40

D) Hybrids

Below RM 250,000: Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid 1.8
Above RM 250,000: Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 Ultimate.


Below RM250,000: Kia Sorento 2.2 diesel AWD
Above RM250,000: Lexus RX 350 Luxury 2.4 T

F) Trucks

Ford Ranger 2.0 XLT Plus Double Cab 4×4 WildTrak


Kia Carnival 2.2D 11-seater

H) Overall Car of the Year

Honda Civic e-HEV RS Hybrid

I) People’s Choice

Mass Market: Perodua Axia
Premium market: BMW iX1 xDrive30 M Sport

J) Honourable Mentions

Performance: Ford Ranger Raptor 3.0 petrol twin-turbo V6
Affordability: Perodua Axia 1.0 E (manual)
Warranty: The Chery Omoda 5

K) Charge Point Operator of the Year


L) Person of the Year

Ahmad Hadri Haris

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