Some may find this surprising but I had always wanted to do a review on the Perodua Myvi ever since it debuted in 2005. My first encounter with the car was courtesy of a generous sales executive of a Perodua dealer who promptly allowed me a quick test drive of the newly launched model only after 5 minutes of walking into the outlet. I recalled then the car was a step up over Perodua’s core model ie the Kancil. The potential was there but due to the narrow tyres, I could not feel the higher engine power output being translated onto the road. Engine tuning was also geared for fuel efficiency with frequent rpm swings towards the lower range after flooring the accelerator.
Other encounters with the car included intervening for a distraught neighbour who had a minor mishap, and offers to re-park the car for visitors who came to my home. All this time I was wondering when I would have the opportunity to have a test drive for this car. This finally came when we took a break in one of Malaysia’s scenic islands and an ad hoc decision resulted in getting our hands on this car over a period of 4 days. This car is not the latest variant of the Perodua Myvi. Instead, this is the 2nd generation Myvi 1.3 EZ Automatic (standard) and from my estimate probably purchased sometime in 2012. Perodua has come up with numerous variants of the Myvi over the years and raising the engine capacities from the initial 1,000 cc and 1,300 cc to the current 1,300 cc and 1,500 cc, respectively.
It is quite easy to separate the 2nd generation and 1st generation Myvi models. At the rear, the 2nd generation model has upward lines right above the bumper, giving an impression of a smile compared to its more ‘serious’ looking predecessor. For Perodua there are many reasons to smile as sales of the Myvi todate probably exceeded all expectations and for a number of years was the best selling car in Malaysia.
Specs wise, the car is quite basic but fulfils the required needs of a modern car. Some of the notable inclusions for the 2nd generation model are electric power steering, optitron meters, side turn signals, CD player with MP3/WMA capability and Dual Air-Bags. There is also more space (in between the passengers). The gear lever (for the automatic) is also moved to the centre console freeing up more space for cup/bottle holders.
Eagle eyed readers will probably note that the car’s wheels have been changed. Originally the car would have been fitted with a steel (instead of alloy rims) for its 14 inch wheels. Seats are fabric and are on the softer side. The quality of the interior plastics is generally adequate but can be prone to scratches as observed near ignition key area. Powered by the 1,298 cc K3-VE DOHC 16V engine with DVVT (variable valve timing), its maximum output is 67kw @ 6,000 rpm and maximum torque is 114Nm @ 4,400 rpm, respectively. Transmission is 4 speed automatic and there is provision for manual gearchange to 3rd and 2nd gear when the need arises for more pulling power.
The remote key has 2 buttons. The bigger one is used for locking/unlocking the car while the smaller one is to trigger the alarm. The car will re-lock itself (estimated around 20 secs) if there is no attempt to open any of the car doors. Once you get into the cabin and step on the brakes (provided all doors are closed) the car will perform a central lock on all the doors. The Myvi is popular with first time car buyers and its not difficult to see why. Apart from the affordable pricing, it does not take long to get acquainted with the car. The car’s compact dimensions facilitate fuss free maneuverability and parking. Ignition will light up the optitron meters and brighten up the instrument panel.
Initial drives revealed a very light steering courtesy of the electric power steering. Understeer is quite prominent at times and there is a fair bit of driver inputs required to ensure the car keeps to its line especially at higher speeds. Engine tuning for this 2nd generation model is better as power does not drop off so easily after the initial surge. The car was able to translate the engine power better to the tyres compared to its predecessor. When road conditions are ideal, its a smooth and pleasant drive. However, once we turned to coarse and bumpy roads, the suspension set up resulted in a bumpy and noisy ride. At higher speeds, the limitations begin to show as there is a fair bit of engine, wind and interior noise in the cabin.
The Myvi is more at home for town and urban driving conditions. With 3 adult passengers, the car struggled to pick up the required speed to perform a standard overtaking maneuver in the highway. Flooring the accelerator did not induce the required kick down the first time and after a few tries it worked. Downshifting to 3rd gear did not appear to add much pulling power so you would need to downshift to 2nd most of the time.
This car is a well travelled one with the speedometer recording an accumulated mileage of close to 100,000km. Average fuel consumption is reasonable. When we refuelled, the car trip computer showed a maximum range about 430km for full tank (fuel tank capacity is 40 litres). After covering a total distance of about 224km over a period of 4 days, the car averaged about 11.2km per litre or about 8.9litres per 100km. Over this period we drove mostly semi-urban type of roads with a number of relatively steep hill climbs which are comparable to the Genting Sempah roads.
The 4 speed automatic transmission performed well during our entire drive. Gear changes were smooth and seamless. Brakes are a bit soft so you would need to allocate more car space for stopping distance. The 14 inch car tyres gave adequate grip. For this car, the tyres were a bit compromised since the rear sets were quite worn out. Boot space should be adequate for the average sized family. We had a bit of trouble trying to open the boot via the pressing the release switch below the rear number plate. The rear seats can be folded down via a 60:40 split for extra boot space if required.
The car’s air condition system was able to cool down the entire car quickly even at the number 2 setting during a hot day. We were only able to try out the radio since we did not bring any CDs with us. The radio was clear and was able to track most of the free to air stations. There was an anomaly with the driver’s side power windows. It would go down with a flick of the switch but you had to hold on to the switch to roll it up. Not sure if this was intended or was there a problem.
Personally I would see the Myvi 1.3EZ as a car more suited for daily drives in urban or town drives which is less demanding. Highway or interstate drives would require greater driver inputs and intervention taking into account some of the limitations of the car. Probably the higher spec and more recent 1,500cc Myvi models would be a more suitable choice if one’s commute involved such roads.
Overall I can see the appeal of the Myvi. Although its been a decade since its initial launch, the Myvi still looks good and the restyling done for the 2nd generation model ensured that it does not look out of place today. With a mix of good looks, relatively good fuel efficiency and attractive pricing, all these should ensure Myvi retains position as one top selling cars in Malaysia.
Photos taken using Nikon Coolpix P330. No video was recorded for this review.
|Full Tank:||40 litres (Ron 95)|
These are estimated costs applicable to Malaysia only which are subject to change without notice. Road Tax is for private registration in Peninsular Malaysia. Standard/scheduled service excludes additional or specific service/repairs requested. Please reconfirm these terms and costs with an authorized Perodua dealer.
|Engine:||K3-VE DOHC, 16V with DVVT (4 cylinder petrol engine)|
|Max Output:||67 kW @ 6,000 rpm|
|Max Torque:||117 Nm @ 4,400 rpm|
|Top Speed:||not available|
|Acceleration 0-100km:||not available|
|Fuel Consumption:||8.9 litres per 100 km (estimated)|
Note: Please reconfirm the above specifications with an authorized Perodua dealer
No video was recorded for this review