KUALA LUMPUR — November 30, 2017: The Myvi is currently without a doubt the most loved car in the nation.
The main proof is that more than one million units have been produced since its debut in 2005.
And on November 16, when the new Myvi was launched, bookings reached 5,000 units the very same day.
For this reviewer it is more than just trust or love but also hope. The hope that, if Myvi manages to set a new benchmark with attractive pricing, others will be forced to follow just to remain relevant.
The new model comes in five variants — the 1.3 Standard G MT (RM44,300), 1.3 Standard G AT (RM46,300), 1.3 Premium X (RM48,300), 1.5 High (RM51,800) and the range-topping 1.5 Advance (RM55,300). Prices are excluding insurance and there’s a factory warranty of five years or 150,000 kilometres.
What’s new is its size. It is now 205 millimetres longer, 70 mm wider and 30 mm lower. The wheelbase has also grown by 60mm, which translates to a more spacious cabin then the already spacious cabin of the older version.
There’s also more boot space at 277 litres which trumps the Proton Iriz by 62 litres. The back seat can be folded to accommodate large items but it is worth noting that it doesn’t fold completely flat.
Interestingly, Perodua managed to include LED headlamps (with auto off and follow-me-home functions), keyless entry/push start, VSC (vehicle stability control) and a minimum of four airbags all as standard, when even the Kia Rio or Peugeot 208 Puretech at RM80k and RM90k respectively don’t feature LED headlamps.
Also amazing is the fact that both 1.5 variant have six airbags and the top variant is crowned with advanced safety assist pack which includes a pre-collision warning, pre-collision braking, front departure alert and pedal mis-operation control.
No other car under RM100k comes equipped with this level of safety. With this, Perodua has made the new Myvi also the benchmark for safety.
The variant I sampled is the top variant Myvi 1.5 advance. It comes equipped with 1.5 litre Dual VVT-i engine found in the more expensive Toyota Vios.
Step into the car and the first thing you realise is that the seating position now allows you to seat lower than before with a more conventional seating position.
This is important especially to this reviewer who finds the seating position of the previous Myvi too high and awkward.
The level of perceived quality has also increased with the new modern dashboard design which looks like it is inspired by the Honda Jazz.
Several knocks on the dashboard however reveals that it is still made from hard plastic which is understandable in this price range.
This variant also comes with a few tricks up it sleeves. First in Malaysia, is the built-in Touch n Go reader.
I don’t usually highlight air-conditioning in a car review but the one that comes with this Myvi is a bit unique.
It’s a single zone unit with not even an auto function which is normal in its price range. But wait, it has a memory function for you to save your settings during cold or hot times.
The infotainment system found in the Myvi Advance comes with navigational system, smartlink and a reverse camera. The navigational system works but I don’t see it replacing Waze or Google Maps anytime soon.
Thankfully, there is the Smartlink feature which allows you to use your preferred navigation applications by connecting the infotainment system with your Android phone.
On how the new Myvi handles itself on the road, it accelerates away smoothly and makes city driving a breeze. High speed cruising is a pleasant and quiet affair as the engine speed remains at 2.8k RPM @ 110 km/h.
But if one presses the pedal too hard or attempt to climb steep hills and the engine will definitely make itself heard.
A mild vibration can also be felt during acceleration but you’ll be hard pressed in noticing it under normal sedated city driving.
The 4-speed auto works as intended but in the end of the day it is still a 4-speed auto gearbox. Normal driving is fine and dandy but if you’re in a rush or when you find yourself driving along steep hills, the hunt for gears is real.
A sudden spike in RPM just by downshifting one gear adds a lot of unwanted noise in the cabin.
It would be nice if Perodua can at least include a 6-speeder or a decent CVT gearbox in the next Myvi facelift. More gears will definitely improve engine refinement and noise level while also drawing out the maximum potential of the Vios-derived engine.
The ride of the new Myvi is decent. It is still on the firm side making it quite uncomfortable when driven on patchy surfaces. During my test drive, I purposely hit a pothole and the shock can definitely be felt to the bones.
On the plus side, the handling has been improved tremendously from the previous Myvi but it is still not up to par with the Proton Iriz which has great ride and handling. I guess Proton’s experience from R3 tuning and input from Lotus all these while really do pay up.
The car feels planted even when driven beyond the national speed limit but it’s best not to tackle high-speed corner with the Myvi. It wasn’t designed for that purpose.
Perodua claims that the fuel economy for the new Myvi can reach up to 20.1 km/l but I did not manage to get anything near that during my drive back and forth to Rawang from Puchong.
I achieved only 12.5 km/l but it’s worth noting that I was a bit heavy footed, cruising at around 100 km/h – 140 km/h like a lot of people would if the highway is less congested. Drive sedately and fuel economy will definitely improve.
Overall, the fuel economy is good but 20.1 km/l is probably an over-optimistic claim by Perodua.
In a nutshell, the new Myvi has extensive list of features, better engine, more fuel efficient, bigger interior, bigger boot, full sized tyres and attractive pricing with only ride and handling and other few niggles here and there holding it back.
I believe it is a great package that will definitely spur others to step up the game.