New car models are welcomed every single year. And while most people look forward to new releases from Mercedes, BMW, or Volvo, the Perodua Ativa was what surprised everyone. For the first time, Malaysians are able to purchase an affordable SUV that costs below RM100,000. But does its affordable price tag mean good quality and speed? From its exterior to interior and fuel consumption, we cover it all in our Perodua Ativa review.
Firstly, The Exterior
The Perodua Ativa has 17-inch wheels and is 4,065 millimetres long alongside 1,710 millimetres wide. Furthermore, it’s also 1,635 millimetres high and features a 2,525 millimetres-long wheelbase. Aside from the blacked-out exterior, the AV’s high-end features include a two-tone paint job, stylish bumpers, a shark fin antenna, and Bridgestone Turanza tyres.
With its practical charm, compact size, and softer lines, the Ativa looks pretty nice. When compared to the previous model released by Perodua, this newer model, which has been around for almost a year, looks sharp and classy. However, the previous model by Perodua was extremely bland from every angle and was just a big ‘no’.
With the exception of the entry-level 1.0X, all Ativas have LED headlamps and LED fog lamps as standard equipment. The 17-inch wheels and premium set of Bridgestone Turanza T005A tyres included with variants 1.0H and higher are a welcome surprise. The wheel arches are sufficiently covered in grey cladding to get around it. Rather than having the A-pillar painted separately to create the illusion of a “floating roof,” Perodua applied a matte black to it instead. However, in our Perodua Ativa review, we’re alright with that.
Next, The Interior
One of the benefits we realised in our Perodua Ativa review is that it’s easier to open the door and slide into the seats. The Ativa performs admirably in this regard. The ground clearance isn’t anything extraordinary, but the seats are high enough to match the normal Asian’s hip level. Thus, when you think about it, it’s good, especially in a flash flood.
The keyless entry system is a welcome convenience with this affordable pricing. In addition, once you’re inside the car, you’ll find a surprisingly roomy interior. The Blaze two-tone leatherette seat covers were designed to match the AV’s red and black colour scheme. However, it’s good to note that the leatherette seat covers come at an extra RM800 cost. Another thing we kind of wished in our Perodua Ativa review is to be able to adjust the steering wheel.
In addition, there are also a lot of plastic components. Nevertheless, it’s completely understandable given the price point of the Ativa. This also doesn’t take away anything from the car’s overall quality. The inside is well-designed, intuitive and features decent quality features. Additionally, there’s also a lot of legroom and headroom at the back too. Thus, it’s a good car if you have a family or go on road trips often.
Since the turbocharger and CVT work so well together, the Ativa is a quick and easy car to drive. Its performance is greater than expected, and we rarely use the PWR buttons or selector switch. In fact, we only needed to occasionally shift into S for quick acceleration spurts. This is one thing we loved in our Perodua Ativa review.
Furthermore, another feature we want to highlight is the ability of the car to coast. It goes into what we like to call ‘coast-mode’ whenever possible. Thus, if you’re going on long-distance road trips, it’s extremely peaceful to drive. Compared to Japanese brands, this CVT isn’t the lightest or most torque converter auto out there. However, it doesn’t really bother us so this was fine. But if you don’t like the slightest noise from the CVT, this may not be the perfect car for you.
The Ativa features 98 horsepower and 140 nm of torque, which might seem a little underwhelming. But trust us when we say that this car feels anything but sluggish. Powerful acceleration is immediately available due to the turbocharger, making it a delightful little city car to drive. With a top speed of 140 km/h, the Ativa was just as striking on the highway as it was in town.
In our Perodua Ativa review, we realised that Ativa features an impressive safety package. This includes the ASA 3.0 active safety features in each of the Ativa variants. Yes, this includes the base model too. What you get is Autonomous Emergency Braking, which features a warning pre-collision and braking pre-collision. In addition, there’s also a lane departure warning alongside a lane departure prevention in the package.
However, the most expensive model does come with some extra safety features. Some of these features include adaptive cruise control, automatic high beam, and rear cross-traffic alert. Furthermore, a rearview monitor is also only available in the most expensive model.
Nevertheless, we don’t really know how well the Perodua Ativa is at preventing crashes. Because we didn’t exactly test crashing the car. However, having this safety package definitely makes us feel a little safer on the road. On the other hand, the lane assist can become a little annoying as Malaysian roads are generally smaller. So, this is definitely something to take into consideration in our Perodua Ativa review.
The Ativa’s digital instrument cluster, which features two panels for the driver to view, is the first of its kind for Perodua, as is the 9-inch touchscreen infotainment device. There is an LCD in the centre of the binnacle, while an electronic speedometer is on the right.
A bright touchscreen sits atop the centre console. However, it can be obscured by bright sunlight. Although the interface appears to be functional, it does not appear to be connected to the vehicle’s instrument panel in any manner. Another impressive combination at this price point, with quick graphics and good customizability, is still impressive.
We realised in our Perodua Ativa review that more automakers must step up their game in order to keep pace with rising customer demands. This is because of Perodua’s continued dominance in the Malaysian market, alongside the consequent rise in the overall level of car safety on our roads.
Throughout our Perodua Ativa review, we realise that this car is a powerful vehicle that’s affordable. It has the newest safety and driver assistance capabilities that were previously only found in vehicles costing more than RM100,000 to the masses. Therefore, the Ativa is the clear winner when it comes to overall value. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly small SUV, this one appears to have all the features you’d expect from a higher-end vehicle.
A point-to-point vehicle, the 1.0-liter Turbo 3-Cylinder Turbo Petrol engine is even more stunning on the road thanks to its D-CVT gearbox. Which allows it to sip gasoline efficiently no matter the road conditions while yet being brisk and urgent when the need arises.
Even though the Ativa’s interior build quality and other aspects could be improved upon, it is important to note that the Ativa’s strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. Thus, for RM73,000, no other new vehicle on the market comes close to matching the Ativa.