September 17, 2014


Perodua Axia, say "Ah-see-ya"! Read the name in our national language and you will find yourself saying 'Asia'. Nevertheless, it's a great name for one of the most affordable cars you can get in Malaysia. With price starting from RM24,600 OTR, many Malaysian can now own a car. The Axia is the replacement model of Viva, but somehow Viva is still selling in the market with its entry model selling at RM22k. However, the entry model Axia Standard E manual, which is just roughly RM3k dearer than the cheapest Viva, makes the former a hard car to ignore.

Perodua Axia, which has been granted the status of the first energy efficient vehicle (EEV) in Malaysia, has been given two faces - a cute, jovial face for the Standard E and G variants (above), and a more aggressive looking face for the SE and Advance (AV) variants (below). Which has the better look? In my opinion, the jovial looking front end suits better to this A-segment hatchback. However, the projector headlights and honeycomb grille on the SE and AV variants give the car a more upmarket design. 

The Axia is 3640mm long, 1620mm wide, 1510mm tall and comes with a 2455mm wheelbase. Surprise, surprise. The wheelbase of the Axia is actually 15mm longer than the Myvi's! Axia's interior length (+50mm) and width (+5mm) are than Myvi too! However, if compared with Viva, the difference is apparent. Perodua Axia is 65mm longer, 145mm wider, has a 65mm longer wheebase but is 20mm lower in terms of overall height. 

The brilliant packaging by the engineers also allow 4 suitcases to be fitted into the 260 litres boot, and we are talking about those big suitcases you will find in the airport! The boot looks averagely sized in person, but somehow it is capable of swallow more stuff than the upcoming Proton B-segment hatchback! 

Every variant is powered by the same 1.0 litre all-aluminium, 3-cylinder engine. It produces 66bhp at 6000rpm and 90Nm of torque at 3600rpm, mated to either a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual transmission. Both transmission are capable of achieving fuel consumption rating of 20.1km/l and 21.6km/l respectively in ECO mode, pretty impressive. I guess the Electric Power Steering (EPS) helps too. 

Cabin is where the Axia excels. Spacious for 4 full-sized adults, 5 at a squeeze (just a little). The rear headroom somehow felt more ample than the Myvi's. Cabin is wide for a small car like this, thanks to the thin door and door panels, but this contributed a sense of 'lightness' to the doors and they doesn't give a reassuring thud when closed. Material wise, hard plastics dominated the cabin but at least they doesn't look or feel cheap. Even the entry level's steering wheel felt good to the touch and the fabric seats are well sized and comfy!

What's weird is that the steering doesn't have tilt or telescopic adjustment. I was fondling around underneath the steering rack for quite a long time, trying to find the adjustment lever but to no avail. One thing though, I doubt the air-cond knobs' plastic labels will be able to stand the scorching heat in Malaysia as one of the showroom's unit already has bubble in it. 
From top: 1.0AV, 1.0SE and 1.0G.

Perodua upped the game by increasing the practicality and flexibility of the Axia's seating arrangement. You can fold flat the rear seat, or fold the front seats backward into a lounge. Not as cool as Honda's ULTRA-seat, but still better than nothing.

A nifty feature designed by Malaysian, for Malaysian. A handbag lock that can take a maximum of 3kg located at the inner side of the front passenger seat. At least now female drivers can have a place to hang their handbags instead of placing them on the seat. There's also an integrated tissue box holder at the back of the front passenger seat. It's good to prevent some people from putting the tissue box on top of the dashboard, where the airbag is located.

Perodua Axia has been rated 4-star in ASEAN-NCAP crash test and is equipped with two airbags across the range. However, ABS, EBD and BA is only available in 1.0SE and 1.0AV. No stability control available, not even as optional. One worth mentioning is the availability of front parking sensor for 1.0SE and 1.0AV. 

So there you have it, the affordable and value-for-money Perodua Axia. For the first time Perodua is also offering five-year or 150,000km warranty for the Axia, and the deal extended to Myvi and Alza too! All these make the Viva dull in comparison and the Axia a more sensible purchase, maybe better than a Myvi too... 

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