As we become ever more reliant on mobile phones in our everyday lives, connectivity features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have become almost a necessity in our cars. Not only is it safer than fumbling with our phones while driving, it also looks and feels better than a lot of the stock infotainment systems in cars these days.
Although these systems have been on the market for nearly seven years now, and while carmakers have been slowly adding these features into their newer models, the number of cars on sale in Malaysia with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support is still frankly quite embarrassing; BMW Malaysia still charges a subscription fee to enable the feature (although it’s now offered free-of-charge globally), while some lower-end models just straight up do not offer these features, presumably due to the added cost and complexity.
So for the benefit of the young’uns who just can’t seem take their eyes off their phones and are also (usually) more limited in their car-buying budget, we’ve compiled a list of brand-new cars in Malaysia under RM100k that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity right out of the gate.
Before we get started though, do note that all prices quoted below are inclusive of the sales tax exemptions which will be eligible until the end of 2020. For the updated price lists for all brands in Malaysia, do check out our round-up here.
1. Kia Picanto EX – RM47,950.36
The cheapest entry on our list is the small and cheerful Kia Picanto EX, coming in at just under the RM50k mark. Launched more than two years ago, the Picanto is still the cheapest car in Malaysia to come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Picanto has always been one of the top recommendations in the “my first car” categories, thanks to its incredible value for money proposition. While the 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated engine – with 84 hp and 121 Nm at its disposal – and a four-speed automatic gearbox doesn’t sound at all appetising, the Kia Picanto actually feels quite nippy on the move, and its decent handling is just the cherry on top.
Aside from the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity on its seven-inch touchscreen infotainment display, the tiny Kia Picanto also packs quite a lot of standard equipment for its price, such as the automatic headlights and six airbags. If you’re feeling fancy, step up to the GT Line variant (RM57,531.80) and you’ll get larger 16-inch wheels, autonomous emergency braking, and even a panoramic sunroof!
2. Honda City 1.5L E – RM81,664.82
The all-new fifth-generation Honda City, just recently launched in Malaysia, will finally come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The best part of it though, is that you don’t have to shell out for the range-topping variant if you want these features, as it will be made available starting from the 1.5L E variant – the second lowest in the four variant line-up.
Priced slightly above RM80k, the Honda City 1.5L E comes with a fairly comprehensive list of creature comforts for everyday driving. These include the eight-inch infotainment display with reverse camera, remote engine start, automatic climate control, paddle shifters, and cruise control. Unfortunately though, the E variant only has 4 airbags as standard.
Underneath the hood of the Honda City 1.5L E is a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated DOHC four-cylinder mill, capable of generating 121 hp and 145 Nm of torque. The powerplant is paired to a CVT gearbox to drive the front wheels. Want something a little different? The top-of-the-range Honda City RS e:HEV comes with an Intelligent Multi Mode Drive (i-MMD) powertrain which drives predominantly with electric power!
3. Volkswagen Vento Comfortline – RM 84,690
Although the Volkswagen Vento has been around for a while now, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) has been constantly giving the compact sedan small quality of life upgrades to keep it somewhat up to date. In the latest iteration, the base Volkswagen Vento Comfortline is now equipped with the RCD340g 6.5-inch infotainment system, which includes as standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Other than that though, the Vento is clearly starting to show its age, especially with the introduction of newer cars in its segment, such as the Honda City and Nissan Almera Turbo. The Comfortline variant even lacks a rear view camera, and two airbags on a car this price is borderline unacceptable in this day and age.
If you do insist on the German experience though, the 1.2TSI Highline (RM89,077) should be a better choice in our opinion. Not only does it come with two more airbags and a rear view camera, the 1.2-litre turbocharged engine with 105 hp and 175 Nm of torque, paired to a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission, should also give you a better driving experience.
4. Nissan Almera Turbo VLP – ~RM8X,XXX
We can’t mention the Honda City without naming its latest competitor in the country, the Nissan Almera Turbo. While it is not on sale just yet, Edaran Tan Chong Malaysia has stated that the all-new Almera will be priced between from “RM8X,XXX to RM9X,XXX”. With the VLP variant being in the middle of a three variant line-up, we’re assuming that it’ll be priced in the RM85k-RM90k ball park.
So for that price, what do you get aside from Apple CarPlay? Well, quite a lot actually. Just like the Honda City E, the Nissan Almera VLP also gets automatic climate control, and reverse camera as standard, but the (presumed) price premium nets you additional leather seats, a soft-padded dual-tone dashboard, semi-digital seven-inch instrument cluster, and two additional airbags.
Crucially, the all-new Almera Turbo also gets autonomous emergency braking across all variants – a feature only available on the top-of-the-range City RS. Also standard across the range is the new 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine, which makes 100 hp and 152 Nm of torque, and is paired to an Xtronic CVT gearbox with D-Step logic.
Moving back to our main topic though, Android Auto connectivity is oddly omitted on the Almera Turbo currently – it’s unclear if the feature will be added in the future.
5. Toyota Avanza 1.5S+ – RM84,849
The Toyota Avanza almost feels like an unicorn now in this part of the world. When was the last time you actually saw one running around on the road? So when the second facelift of the compact MPV rolled around last year, most people probably missed the fact that it actually comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto!
The feature is only reserved exclusively for the top of the range 1.5S+ variant, which swaps out the basic head unit with a 6.75-inch Display Audio touchscreen infotainment system – the same unit as seen on the all-new Corolla and Hilux – along with a reverse rear-view camera.
Of course, there’s a reason these cars are sidelined by the buying crowd. Firstly, aside from the new infotainment system and the Alphard-esque headlights, the rest of the car just feels like a last-generation product – the second generation Avanza, despite its two facelift exercises, is now nearly 10 years old, afterall.
But more importantly, its half-ladder frame chassis is just not conducive for long-distance journeys. Unless you really need a seven seater human transporter, there’s a lot more value to be found on other products at this price point – and that’s why many of its prospective buyers have moved on to more attractive SUV models.
6. Mitsubishi Xpander – below RM100,000
Last but definitely not the least, is the Mitsubishi Xpander, which has just opened its order books today. The Mitsubishi Xpander is only available in one variant at launch, and while it’s still not on sale yet, word around the block is that it will be priced below the RM100k mark, which just about squeezes itself into this list.
Apart from its attractive exterior design, the highlight of the Mitsubishi Xpander is definitely its interior packaging. Not only does it come with an abundance of storage space, which should prove useful in a family vehicle like this, our Malaysia-spec Mitsubishi Xpander even comes with black leather upholstery, which definitely moves the Xpander one rung up in interior quality.
The nine-inch infotainment display – which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – is also one of the largest we’ve seen in its price segment, and it also comes with a surround-view camera to help manoeuvre it around tight spaces. A front-view dashcam is also offered as standard.
So that’s it – Six cars in Malaysia under the RM100k mark that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as standard, perfect for the technology-savvy young crowd looking for their first cars. Did we miss out anything? Do let us know in the comments section below!