Thursday, 12 November 2009
Perodua Viva Elite
Today I shall get down-to-earth, back-to-basics with this car review. No other car epitomize this better than Perodua Viva Elite. It is by no means bargain-basement cheap, considering that Perodua is considered a national car maker and is afforded tariff exemption, special tax incentives et al.
Not paying much attention to this Perodua model initially, I was surprised at how decent this rebadged Daihatsu Charade (of previous generation) can be. Things that matter like ABS, twin SRS airbags are there. Even the wing mirrors are electrically foldfable. Hear this UMW Toyota: (well, they are of the same core business group anyway), where's the electric folding mirror action for the RM175k Toyota Prius?
Then there's also adjustable seatbelt anchorage points on the B-Pillars. Similar items in Toyota Avanza and even Nissan Grand Livina? No.
Though the seats are not the last word in comfort - its flanks support and backrest are a little thin/stingy but the thigh supports are surprisingly adequate (at least for my short stature) i.e. ant-posterior length-wise up to the mark. Once again, even the ever popular (D-segment!) Toyota Camry is a little shortchanged here. Serious.
Drive wise, there is nothing much to complain about. It's sprightly enough, light footed and willing on the move. There's even 4 -speed auto now, versus the Kancil 850 EZ which my better half owned 8 years ago. Idling vibrations is still noticeable, even though idling engine speed is pretty high at 1000rpm. The instruments panel are simple, clean and easily legible. something that the other 'major' national carmaker needs to learn for its Neo model or even its new Evora...er, I meant Exora.
The chassis gets a tad floaty as you breach our national highway speed limit but I guess flogging it to, say 130 km/h is much akin to wearing your Croc sandals to do snorkeling.
Funnily, the alloy wheels managed to look like wheel caps, which is something rather 'bizarre' considering that some good wheel caps can mimic otherwise these days!
In contention for a NST-Maybank COTY award 2009, whether the Viva Elite will present better value than the Hyundai i10 remains with the end-user. While the little Hyundai does handle better and has a better interior, the Viva's trump cards are its features.
At the end of the day, most motorists at this entry-level budget segment will likely emphasise on Viva's resale value in the future as a key consideration factor in their purchase.
Or perhaps another choice may be the newly relaunched, facelifted and renamed Naza (Kia) Picanto?