This test is as simple as the car it’s about: a typical long-distance evaluation to Penang. What you’re looking at is the most affordable seven-seater available in Malaysia today, the Perodua Alza in base S specification. No leather, no shopping hook, not even ABS.
The front seats of the Alza are in the old bench style, great for comfort but not so much for safety. We feel it may encourage parents to keep a child in the front between the two seats. The centre portion can fold down as an arm rest, and packs a storage compartment as found in higher specification Alzas.
On the storage front overall there is little to complain about, thanks to the central instrument panel there is a small driver’s side glovebox just behind the wheel; handy for access cars and Smart TAGs. Also, a comical total of 12 cupholders.
And while it may look compact from the outside, it’s actually longer — both in length and wheelbase — and wider than its closest rival, the Avanza. This seems to be a consistent Perodua bit of magic we’ve noticed, cars that look small which open to reveal much more volume than expected.
Note that there were three adults on the return trip, with no complaints of lack of space in the trifecta of headroom, legroom or shoulder room.
Driving to Penang and back is not difficult by any measure, during off-peak periods its a four-hour monotony broken up only by the mountain roads between. It was not a memorable journey, but we’ll take uneventful over any sort of vehicular headache.
Bar the omission of ABS, which really should be mandatory in every new vehicle sold, the Alza is an adequate automobile for the long haul. And at under RM60,000, such judgement is far from patronising.
But what if you have no need for such space on a daily basis? Now you know exactly what to rent on your next family out-of-town trip.
Specifications of the Perodua Alza 1.5 S Automatic:
Engine: 3SZ-VE 1.5-litre four-cylinder
Gearbox: Four-speed automatic
Max Power: 102hp at 6,000rpm
Max Torque: 136Nm at 4,400rpm
Safety features: Dual airbags, driver and front passenger seatbelt pre-tensioner, second row ISOFIX seat anchors
Price: RM55,832.00 OTR including insurance