Sunday, 30 October 2011


More news about Perodua Myvi.

EVER SINCE its introduction to the Malaysian market 5 years ago, enthusiasts have tried to get more performance out of the Perodua Myvi, with many tuners turbocharging the standard 1.3-litre cars. But there’s only so much a 1.3-litre engine can do, even with modifications and ultimately, a bigger engine is needed. Any modification, of course, means that the owner loses the warranty so for those who want more power, Perodua now gives a bigger engine.

The new 1.5-litre version answers the wishes of enthusiasts and because of the well-engineered chassis, it can accept the bigger engine easily. Incidentally, Perodua is the only one of the three companies (the others being Toyota and Daihatsu) that produce the Myvi which offers an engine of this size.

The 1.5-litre version is available as a ‘SE’ or the more aggressive Extreme which comes with an ‘extreme’ bodykit. The sharply-angled plastic accessories give the Myvi a more ‘fierce’ look and helps to differentiate it from the rest of the Myvis on the road.

The engine is similar to the one in the Alza. Compared to the 1.3-litre engine, power output is up 13% to 103 ps while there’s 16% more torque at 136 Nm. This obviously gives a better weight-to-power ratio as overall weight has only increased slightly. Manual and automatic transmissions are available.

The EPS (electronic power steering) has also had the aid reduced slightly to increase feedback. This is especially important for feeling your way through a corner at high speeds.

The advantage of having Malaysians substantially involved in the original development is that things like steering feel are tuned to Malaysian tastes. The weighting is just right but the Japanese regard it as being on the heavy side!

While there is a 4-speed automatic transmission available, I specifically requested a manual unit since such transmissions are so rare nowadays. There’s nothing like being able to shift yourself! Though the shifting felt a bit rubbery, it’s something that you can get used to after a while.

In terms of performance, the engine has a strong punch at the low end which surges the car forward. Thus, a new driver will need a while to adapt to the character and be more progressive with the pedal pressure. I think that it might have been nicer if the engineers moved more torque to the higher revs.

Thus it doesn’t take much effort to get the Myvi moving quickly. The light body allows it to build up reasonable speed in a short distance, and those who are used to driving the Myvi 1.3 may find that the straights are cleared slightly quicker than normal.

Handling, despite the stiffened shock absorbers, is a bit of a compromise. This is not to say it is bad because there is still comfort to be considered. Not everyone will buy the car for fast driving so the engineers have adjusted the settings a bit to cope with higher speeds.

A skilled driver would be able to handle the extra power and exploit the car’s stiffer suspension but for most people, it would be wiser to drive within your limits and not charge into a corner very fast assuming the stiffer suspension will take care of things.

Of course, if you never push the Myvi that hard, it’s not an issue and for most owners, that may be the case. Instead, the additional power comes in handy when overtaking other cars in daily driving. This is where the 1.5-litre engine is really good and many drivers will find it a joy to use.

Some may ask just who the Extreme Edition is for. My view is that it’s for those who want a little bit more than a standard Myvi and who have always dreamed of owning something sporty but can’t afford it. It is also for those who want extra power but are unwilling to modify the engine.

Perodua has ‘modified’ the Myvi for you and the nice thing is that the standard equipment provided in the Extreme Edition is similar to the highest spec Myvi, the Elegance. So you get the GPS and touchscreen entertainment unit occupying the centre console, and of course, you also get the full complement of safety features. Notable differences between the Myvi 1.3 and Myvi 1.5 are the all-black theme, red meter lighting and front bucket seats.

For the young and young at heart then, the Myvi Extreme is a worthwhile buy and it justifies its aggressive looks by having the performance to go with it. Prices for this version in the Kota Kinabalu area start from RM60,333, inclusive of insurance and roadtax. But if you want the bigger engine without the sporty bodykit, then you can save money as the SE version has prices starting from RM53,033.

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