WITH oil prices tumbling and an uncertain global economic outlook, many Malaysians are tightening their belts.
In such a scenario, more automotive manufacturers are coming out with more affordable cars to cater to fresh graduates and those with less funds at their disposal.
Perodua deserves another round of applause for offering another vehicle with enough bang for the buck, after the Axia. We are referring to the newer version of its bread and butter Myvi.
What caught us off guard was its sticker price. Costing between RM41,500 and RM58,900, the new Myvi is in fact cheaper than its predecessor by a few thousand ringgit.
We went behind the wheels of the Myvi Advance to find out whether any features have been left out because of the cheaper price.
Perodua did a decent job by recruiting the electric blue hue to its color swatches. Colour-wise, the new Myvi was a show stopper as it had people stopping and staring despite being parked next to a line of premium cars on more than one occasion.
What the Myvi Advance has that the Standard G and Premium X variants do not is a six-point grille. Visually, it makes the Advance appear bigger and less bland in the front. Other impressive design elements come in the form of a front bumper with fog lamps, a rear bumper with reflectors and a diffuser, side skirts and a rear spoiler.
Not meaning to nitpick but we have to point out that the doors and boot have to be slammed hard to close properly.
Then again, apart from rear sensors, what we appreciate more about the new Myvi is its front corner sensors, which serve as great parking aids to make narrow or front parking less stressful.
On the inside, the semi-bucket leather seats exude luxury and sportiness altogether. Leather upholstery gives cars better residual values.
We decided to experiment by bringing on board four plus-sized passengers to stretch the car to its cabin space limit. Surprisingly, neither did it exhibit a single sign of being lowered down nor did our friends have to squinch.
Let us carry on with a few numbers. The 1.5-litre DOHC with DVVT engine beneath the hood spits out a maximum 102hp of power and 136Nm of torque while the car’s fuel consumption figure is claimed to float in the region of 15.4km/L.
Our perception of such a sporty-looking car was distorted the moment we engaged the gears. “Nippy” and “zippy” is not the best description for the new Myvi. It found itself struggling a bit to hit the 100km/h mark and while at it, the engine sounded louder. Engine power loss manifested itself especially going uphill and changing to lower gears could only do so much.
The brake pedal is also stiff and extra effort was required on the legs to bring the car to a complete stop.
Cornering, on the other hand, could be done smoothly provided that we had firm grip of the steering wheel. The absence of wind noise even on full throttle made our trips pleasant and enjoyable.
In terms of fuel economy, the car has a fuel tank capacity of about 40 litres and towards the end of our four-day sojourn with the Myvi spanning Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam, we had two out of eight bars left on the odometer and about 90km to spare.
On a more positive note, the Myvi achieved a four-star rating during the Asean NCAP crash test owing to its electric power steering and safety features such as dual airbags, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist – and therein lies its reliability.
Perodua has again done the country yet another favour as it expands buyers’ options by offering a model with onboard components that justify its price.
Specifications of the new Myvi Advance:
Engine: 1,495cc, 3SZ-VE DOHC with DVVT
Max power: 102hp @ 6,000rpm
Max torque: 136Nm @ 4,400rpm
Safety features: Dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, brake assist, alarm and immobiliser, anti-snatch hook
Price: RM58,500 (solid), RM58,900 (metallic)