Automotive Toyota RAV4_SUV_offroad

Published on June 13th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


The Demand For The SUV In All Segments Continues To Grow In Malaysia

SUV sales boom will continue in Malaysia.

The Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 has assisted in creating a SUV boom in Malaysia the past 7-8 years. The influx of new models of varying sizes has also created a need amongst Malaysians of all ages, yes it is inspiring drivers of all ages to get behind the wheel of a SUV and not a sedan like before.

Toyota RAV4 SUV_side view

Global SUV Demand

This change in taste is not just a Malaysian ‘thing’. With 29.77 million units sold last year around the globe, the SUV earned the top position among all vehicle segments. This made for another record year thanks to the increase posted in 2018 and 2019.

Volume grew by 6.8 percent, or almost 1.9 million units, which is impressive considering the economic situation in the three largest vehicle markets: USA, China and Europe. SUVs also posted the highest market share of all time with 36.5 percent, up by 2.0 to 2.5 percentage points when compared year on year. In Malaysia the sales of SUV’s are about one third of passenger car sales and growing year on year. 

Ford Bronco SUV Range

Malaysian SUV Demand

Until 6-years ago, the sedan was ‘king’ and for many buyers, the mention of a SUV was met with shaking heads and the question of resale values. Today the tide has changed completely and sedans are selling very slow and the SUV boom has surprised many used car dealers and new car product planners.

One of the biggest beneficiary of the SUV boom is Subaru who has a product portfolio of 98 percent SUV’s and a small 2 percent of sedans and sports car.

The next biggest beneficiary is Mazda who realized early and launched their highly successful CX-5. Now with the global success of this mid-sized SUV the management in Japan have seen the need to expand their SUV lineup fast to catch the rising wave. The CX-3, CX-8 and the recently launched CX-30 are cash cows for them as buyers love the looks and quality cabins.

Toyota has managed to keep customers happy with its best selling Fortuner and C-HR crossover. Then recently the Corolla Cross rocked the segment with its good looks and reasonable selling price. 

Then there is Proton with their Geely provided X70 that has brought Malaysians back to to the brand and not forgetting the success of the recently launched X50 crossover which has a 8 to 9 months waiting list. 

Let us not forget Perodua who acted quick in producing their ARUZ with partners Toyota for middle class Malaysians looking to upgrade their sedans and four door compact hatchbacks.

To sweeten their success in the below RM80k segment, Perodua brought to market another Toyota based best seller, the Perodua Ativa which is a reworked Toyota Raize that is more like a high riding hatchback/crossover. This is seeing runaway success and is destined to be as popular as the Myvi in coming years. 

Why are SUV’s popular

Well it is simple. SUV owners who have been surveyed around the globe report that their favorite things about SUVs are (in descending order) the exterior styling, driving dynamics, interior design, seats, and engine/transmission. 

Proton Iriz Crossover_2022

Owners indicate that their least favorite things about Small Premium SUVs are (in descending order) the visibility and safety, climate control system, infotainment system, storage and space, and fuel economy.

BHP_Euro5 Diesel_2021_Lexus NX


All the above reasons to love SUV’s are already available with sedans and hatchbacks on sale, so the real reason would be, the high riding position and the fact that the selling prices of a SUV is almost the same as a sedan and you get more metal for the same money. Fact!

Geely SUV_2022

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