PERODUA ALZA 1.5 PREMIUM EZi (2010)

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Perodua is Malaysia 2nd automobile car manufacturer. Over the years it has produced a number of compact cars such as the Kancil, Kelisa, Kenari which are based on the platform of its stakeholder Daihatsu’s compact car range. These cars carved a niche in the Malaysian automotive market and are popular among first time car buyers.

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The launch of Myvi which is based on the platform of the Daihatsu Boon/Toyota Passo in 2005 was an overwhelming success for Perodua. The Perodua Alza, has its roots to the Myvi. It is based on a larger 7-seater platform known as Daihatsu Boon Luminas/Toyota Passo Sette. However, the Perodua Alza is not a complete rebadge of these two cars as there is significant Malaysian made content and input into the design of the car.

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Perodua offers three versions of the Alza for the Malaysian market that is the ‘Standard’, ‘Premium’ and ‘Advanced’ versions. The test model which is the Alza 1.5 Premium EZi comes with a 4 Speed Automatic Transmission, and has extra features over the ‘Standard’ version such as Dual SRS airbags, ABS with EBD and BA, Blue Optitron meters, Radio/CD with MP3/WMA, USB and Bluetooth.

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DRIVING IT

The entry into the car is easy as the designers have taken note of the challenges for many to enter into such vehicles. Often one has to ‘step-up’ in order to enter which may cause discomfort. With doors that open wide, the Alza’s entry point is comfortable and at a level which is easy for driver and passengers. Headroom is plentiful and there is an overall ‘airy’ ambiance inside the vehicle. The driver sits quite high and has a good commanding view of the front and sufficient side and rear views.

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The fabric seats are plush, comfortable and offer adequate support. The dashboard layout is logical and practical with large buttons. The blue optitron meters and the blue LCD Radio/CD display provide a good contrast over the grey panels. Certain materials used for the dashboard appear to scratch easily and is an area that can be improved upon.

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For the sample model which has automatic transmission, the designers have removed the handbrake from its traditional position and replaced it with a foot operated brake pedal. This frees some space at the centre in the front row and if preferred allows the foldable arm rest to be pull down.

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The steering size is nice and compact and shares the same design as the Myvi. This familiarity would be of great comfort to many of existing Myvi owners who are contemplating to upgrade or progress to driving larger cars as it would help make the transition less daunting.

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There is plenty of legroom for the passangers in the 2nd row seats especially when the seats are pushed all the way back. Useful storage compartment are plentiful all around.

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The Alza’s overall dimensions are not overwhelming with an external length of 4,205mm, width of 1,695mm and height of 1,620mm. The car is easy to maneuver as the steering is very light and the car has a short turning radius of 5.2m.

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The car is powered by the transversely mounted 3SZ-VE powerplant which is a 4-cylinder 1,495cc DOHC 16V with DVVT. It churns out a max output of 76kW (104PS) @ 6,000 rpm and a max torque of 136 Nm (13.9 kg.m) @ 4,400 rpm. During hard acceleration, there is a fair bit of engine noise especially as the cogs move from the 1st to 2nd gears.

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Gearchanges are generally smooth without jerkiness. Power is adequate for the car although I think another 10% to 20% of extra power and torque would be welcome for a vehicle of this size. Kick downs of gears occur occasionally when driving.

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Generally fuel consumption is satisfactory for the Alza. Based on my estimates from the reading of the trip computer, I averaged about 11.8km per litre throughout the entire test drive. That included two trips being caught in jams which lasted about 1 hour each. Perhaps more mileage would have been possible if traffic conditions were better.

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Some wind noise begins to creep into the cabin once you hit beyond 60 km/h. Wind and road noise is generally acceptable at cruising speeds. The car does not impart strong gravitational forces as you accelerate, so it pays to keep an eye on the speedometer. Overall, the engine is quite refined and has an unobtrusive engine note. The brakes felt spongy after a cold start but improved later as the car warms up. There is some free play before it bites, and hence you would need to step a bit deeper on the brake pedal than usual to stop the vehicle.

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The suspension set up is on firm side but is comfortable for driver and passengers. The sample car has traveled quite a fair bit (around 10,000 km) there are some minor squeaks at the rear when road conditions are not ideal. Going thru bumps and road undulations did not jeopardize ride quality. Car balance is good for this type of vehicle. At normal cornering speeds the car was stable and there was minimal body roll.

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Tyres are 15 inch Silverstone Synergy M5 (185/55 R15) for both the front and the rear. The tyre performance is generally adequate and within expectations. There is a fair bit of road noise emanating from the tyres during higher speeds. Perhaps, to improve traction and road noise, Perodua may want to consider slightly wider tyres and softer compounds for future versions.

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The high point of this vehicle is probably the flexible seating arrangements. Though not a pure 7-seater multi purpose vehicle, the car has been designed to allow flexibility to carry as many passengers as possible. There are a number of possible combinations of seating arrangement as can be seen in the pictorials.

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Entry into the 3rd row seats is possible at both sides of the car although it is quite a bit of squeeze.

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Legroom for the 3rd row passengers very limited if the 2nd row seats are push all the way to the back. There is also limited boot space if all 3 rows of seats are occupied.

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All the rear seats can also be folded downwards to create quite a large cargo space.

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The only caveat is that you need to be mindful of the items placed on top of the seats so as not to damage the fabric.

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The car’s entertainment system comprised a 4 speaker Radio/CD player with MP3/WMA, USB and Bluetooth. Radio reception can be inconsistent at times as it struggled to track the signals. The overall sound quality is generally satisfactory at this level with some enhancements required on the bass and treble settings. There are multifunction buttons which are of good size on the left side of the steering to control the CD/Radio and volume.

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The test run was also conducted during one of the driest and hottest months in Malaysia. Hence, the air-conditon system did struggled a bit to cool down the cabin quickly.

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At night the car’s front headlamps provided adequate illumination for night driving. The internal reading lights are quite dim and would only be suitable for a quick read. The instrument panel’s blue optitron meters is soothing to the eyes and does not distract your attention away from the road ahead.

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Overall the Perodua Alza offers an attractive value proposition to potential car buyers looking for a vehicle in this segment. The competitive pricing and specs, and the ability to transform into a 7-seater with manageable dimensions would appeal to many. The car is practical, well conceived, easy to drive and provided a satisfactory ride quality.

Test vehicle courtesy of Perodua Sales Sdn Bhd

VITAL STATISTICS

Engine: 4-cylinder 16v DOHC petrol engine with DVVT
Capacity: 1,495cc
Max Output: 76kW(104PS)/6,000 rpm
Max Torque: 136Nm(13.9kg.m)/4,400 rpm

Source: Perodua Brochure

Note: Please reconfirm the above specs with an authorized Perodua dealer

SOUNDS

Click on these to sample sounds from the car!

Alza Ignition (Outside)

Alza Acceleration (Outside)

Alza Horn (Outside)