Perodua Ativa Review

As customary with any other model reveal from our national car manufacturer, Perodua, the new Perodua Ativa that was launched a mere four months ago in Malaysia was accompanied by a big albeit virtual event as the new D55L SUV was finally christened with its name. And if you were wondering, Ativa is a Portuguese word for active — which is completely apropos for an SUV.

Also announced were the official prices which start at RM61,500 for the base X variant and can go up to RM66,100 for the next tier, which is the mid H variant. The top of the line AV model may also be yours for RM71,200 or RM72,000 depending on your paint job — either pearl white or red with a black roof.

But does the Perodua Ativa live up to its creator’s reputation as one of the best local car manufacturers in the region? Does it live up to the hype that its other Perodua brethren have paved in the past?

Read on to find out more about our review of the Perodua Ativa. 

The Perodua Ativa Signals A Change In An Era

First things first, the Ativa is considered the first model released during Perodua’s Transformation 3.0 era, aptly named Perodua Smart Build. In this new era, the Malaysian carmaker is focused on sustainability and globalisation by working closely with shareholder and technical partner Daihatsu — which in turn paves the way for potential collaboration with Toyota, one of the world’s leaders in terms of car manufacturing.

It’s certainly fair to say that the Ativa has sparked huge interest among the general public, for both car enthusiasts and laymen alike.

Perodua has also had to prepare more than usual for the release (not being helped by the global Covid-19 pandemic, of course) of its newest addition to the family, as the Ativa is the first model by the local carmakers to use the Daihatsu new Global Architecture (DNGA) platform. And it is also the first to incorporate a turbo engine and CVT gearbox in its make and model. More specifically, the DOHC VVT three-cylinder 1KR-VET used by the Ativa is basically a superior version of the 1.0L engine in the Axia and Bezza models outfitted with a turbocharger.

It definitely makes a huge difference as outputs are rated at a whopping 6,000 rpm and 140 Nm of torque — from 2,400 to 4,000 rpm outputted by the previous generation engines. There’s also a Power button on the steering wheel which allows you to have a sharper throttle response and the average fuel consumption is 18.9 km/l in ECE mode. Do also expect the Eco Idle auto start-stop function which has been present in Perodua models since the Bezza.On the flip side, the CVT gearbox known as D-CVT or Dual-Mode CVT is a gamechanger for Perodua. D-CVT essentially combines the belt drive with a gear drive to improve fuel efficiency, acceleration, as well as quietness.

The Perodua Ativa is A Beautiful Car Inside And Out

Out of the hood, the Ativa’s dimensions offer a sleek base that is 4,065 mm long and 1,710 mm wide. At just slightly above four metres, it’s considered a compact SUV that boasts natural curves akin to its Myvi brother. The wheelbase of the Ativa comes in at 2,525 mm, whereas the wheels themselves are 16-inches in diameter (205/65, Goodyear Assurance Triplemax 2). For the H and AV variants, you’ll get a two-tone, 17-inch alloy figuration with 205/60 Bridgestone Turanza T005A touring tyres.

Inside, you’ll find a 369-litre boot space with a full-sized spare tyre in a boot — still offering a large enough space for those who need it. And speaking of the boot, the floor has two levels with the lower one giving maximum height and capacity to move your items out and about with relative ease. The upper level then gives you a 303-litre flat loading bay when you fold down the 60:40 rear seats.

Seat-wise, the rear seats come with two levels of recline as well as two USB charging ports (for the H and AV variants only) for those long journeys on the road. On the other hand, the front seats are some of the best-shaped (ergonomically) seats that Perodua has produced so far. You’ll get the classic fabric wrapped front seats on the X and H models, while the AV’s come in a classy black-red leather with suede sides.

There’s certainly no denying that the Perodua Ativa is an excellent addition to Perodua’s already successful catalogue of cars. But as good as it is, it does have a few flaws that may need improvement in future iterations of the model.

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