One of Malaysians’ most popular search in terms of automotive news or reviews is the new Perodua Myvi. The new B segment supermini was launched in mid June 2011 and becomes the second generation of B segment supermini hatchbacks from Perodua (Check out the TV commercial).
The new 2011 Perodua Myvi
The first generation Myvi was launched in 2005, which then came a small hatchback with good Japanese quality control, Toyota sourced engine and gearbox, spacious interior that never seen before, duo air bags and ABS which is rare for Perdua that time, and affordable pricing.
The moment Perodua launches the Myvi, it became an instant success and orders came like never before. The waiting list turned into months or even half a year. Perodua expanded their factory plants and grew to become the No. 1 car brand in Malaysia in sales chart, demoting Proton from many years of domination (more like monopolizing). Proton did counter that with the Proton Savvy small car hatchback. That flawed car with questionable design and Renault sourced engines was a flop. Proton Savvy in Malaysian roads is like one in every thousands of Myvis.
Malaysia’s undisputed favorite hatchback
You may ask how come David has defeated the Goliath? Simple, Perodua Myvi is the people’s car. They just make a car that every regular Malaysian want, a decent quality, economical and reliable car. It is the Volkswagen Beetle in post WW2 Germany for Malaysians 6 years ago.
Six years later, the Perodua Myvi is still the best selling car in Malaysia and Perodua knows the quote “If ain’t broken, don’t fix it” very well. That is why the 2011 Perodua Myvi has minimal differences with the previous Myvi, maybe only slight improvements. Just like the previous generation Myvi, it is based on the current Toyota Passo/Daihatsu Boon models that is selling in Japan. While the latter caters mainly for female drivers, Perodua redesigns the car to gather for the masses in Malaysia and South East Asia markets. Came in standard, premium and elegance trims from MYR49K – 57K, the new Perodua Myvi spots a more funkier design with modern curves. Projector headlights and LED rear lights add some style compared to the previous Myvi.
Interior difference between new and old Myvi
The biggest difference on the new Myvi is in fact the interior. The driver’s meter is direct and easy to read, whilst looking stylish at the same time. The multi-info display shows average fuel consumption, max traveling range and new low fuel warning blink lights. The dashboard is an improvement and doesn’t look cheap despite it is plasticky. However I’m not favourable of the tiny gear lever for the automatic transmission. The seats are as comfortable and spacious as the previous Myvi. Boot space was reduced to 5 litters of space but that’s negligible. If you want more space, the rear seats are foldable either 60:40 or full flat mode. What I really like is the new studio system which looks miles better and premium than the old Myvi. The DVD and GPS was offered on the Elegance trim, but for RM7K extra, well it’s up to you to judge whether its worth the premium. I don’t think it is.
The interior. Not that bad
New funky cool meters
The automatic gear lever looked like a toy to me
Safety standards has improved in the new Myvi as duo air bags is provided for all ranges of the new Myvi. For the first time, ISOFIX child restraint system is introduced. Sadly, the important ABS/BA was only for the premium and elegance editions of the new Myvi. Rear drum brakes are still used for all ranges of the Myvi. The 1.3 K3-VE engine from the previous generation of Myvi is retained, and the 4 gear automatic gearbox and 5 speed manual gearbox is retained from the old Myvi. More added power of 4HP and 1Nm torque were given to this new model. It is a disappointment but no complaints since the Japanese were using the same engine and gearbox for their current Toyota Passo models. Maybe we will see a dual VVTI/DVVT engines or forced induction engines in future Myvi models.The supposed 1.5cc engine (based on Perodua Alza engine) might be featured in future months.
Sadly, this report is only my first impression based on my visit on the showrooms as I never had the time to test drive it. But what I know is this new Myvi uses electric assist power steering which brings slight improvement when driving in corners or parking. But don’t expect such improvements would allow you to drive 90 km/h into a sharp corner.
Anyhow I believed what I’ve written here has been mentioned by many automotive journalists. Maybe you may want to jump to my last paragraph and you may think I would like this car. However, to be honest, I think this car is merely a FACELIFT than a new model. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a brilliant car for those looking for a fuss free point A to point B car below MYR52K. But I would desire a new engine, gearbox or even a newer design. This one just merely a face lift to me. Maybe I will get what I wish from the new Myvi 6 years from now, but who knows Proton, who Perodua took its Savvy into submission, has a better EMAS (Lotus Citycar Hybrid) on the pipeline to counter the Myvi. Anyway, your move Proton!