KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin tonight launched Perodua’s latest Myvi that sees a swathe of exterior and interior changes while the 1.3-litre engine has been tweaked for more power and torque.
The new model is slightly shorter and lower than the outgoing model, with the new slopes and curves on the sheetmetal enhancing its aerodynamics to reduce drag.
The Myvi has truly been a runaway success for Perodua and even after five years, demand for the old model remains strong.
It’s now a ubiquitous part of the local automotive landscape and has been embraced by Malaysians from all walks of life.
The Myvi can be found in the homes of singles, married couples, young families and retirees and cuts across all ages and races.
The new Myvi has evolved over the years to become a refined compact car that continues the Myvi tradition of reliability, with upgraded features and improved vehicle performance.
The engine produces 90bhp compared to 86bhp previously, while the torque figure has inched up a Newton-metre to 117Nm.
The manual transmission Myvi now has a longer range of 17.5km/l compared with the previous one of 17.1km/l, while the automatic transmission version has a range of 14.6km/l against a range 13.5km/l for its predecessor.
The biggest change of all is the switch from hydraulic power steering to electric power steering, a first for Perodua.
All the variants - now categorised as Standard, Premium and Elegance - uses electric power steering, which eliminates the need for a power steering pump and hydraulic pumping.
The engine does not need to supply power to the pump, and best of all where ownership cost is concerned, it is virtually maintenance-free as no power steering oil is required. The car becomes more fuel efficient because of reduced engine workload.
The power assists is also speed-dependent.
When the car is driven at low speed, the power steering gives full assist so the driver can turn the steering wheel easily. This means parking or turning tight corners can be done with minimal effort.
As vehicle speed increases past 40kph, the amount of power steering assist is reduced and the steering wheel becomes harder to turn. This gives the driver more feedback about road conditions through the steering wheel and better vehicle control.
Perodua engineers have managed to tweak the existing 1.3-litre engine for extra performance and the adoption of electric power steering plus improved aerodynamics all aid to make the car achieve more power while giving better mileage.
On the outside, the new Myvi has a deeper sloping bonnet and an air spat on the front bumper to make the car more fluid. Downward scoop accentuates the new projector headlamps.
Wheel arches are puffed up to look tough and sturdy, while blacked-out centre pillars, electrically retractable wing mirrors plus upper and lower character lines on the sides are some of the new features.
At the back, the car gets sleeker LED combination lamps.
On the outside, the height of the car is 5mm lower at 1,545mm than the old Myvi while the width has been retained at 1,665mm. The new Myvi is shorter in overall length by 60mm, and the sleeker front and rear bumpers make it look more compact.
Turning radius remains the same at 4.7m to ensure easy parking in tight spaces, easy cornering and U-turns and better maneoverability.
Buyers of the new Myvi will find the cabin a revelation.
The interior length is 15mm more than the old Myvi and this translates to extra legroom. In addition, the front-rear couple distance is 4mm more, resulting in more rear legroom for better comfort.
On the other hand, the driver-passenger couple distance remains the same at 680mm.
The new Myvi however loses out in interior width, being 20mm narrower because of thicker door trim design that contributes to lowering noise, vibrations and harshness (NVH). Interior height is less by 5mm at 1,265mm because of the need for improved aerodynamics from having a lower exterior height.
The new Myvi also has something to crow about in the luggage area.
Most impressive is the door opening height, now at 810mm, a good size 70mm difference from the old one. The bigger opening is attributed to having different side member and roof design.
There are other small improvements in luggage room loading height and width.
Luggage capacity with five occupants is slightly less because of increased front-rear couple distance and thicker padding for rear seats.
The instrument panel in the cabin has been redesigned to enhance visibility and sophistication.
The big dials on the dash are reminiscent of those from the Perodua Alza MPV.
The automatic gearshift lever is no longer rooted to the floor but is now mounted on the two-tone instrument panel for greater accessibility and control.
New in the Myvi is a multi-information display that shows up average fuel consumption and range. The display also includes a blinking warning light when the car runs low on fuel.
The light blinks slowly when the petrol level is less than 7.5-litres or about 100km left; it blinks faster when petrol is less than 6 litres or about 85km left.
While the glove compartment looks the same decent size as before, Perodua has four cup/bottle holders in front on top of the two behind.
Fabric seats are made of a softer material to enhance comfort.
The cooling efficiency of the air-conditioner has also been improved. It now takes 15 minutes to cool down the entire cabin from 55 degree Celsius to 20.5 degree Celsius, while it was longer in the previous model.
Perodua has made the new Myvi even safer than before.
All variants from the lowliest get two airbags where previously only the mid and highline versions benefit from the active safety feature.
The driver gets a seat belt pre-tensioner with force limiter. For Myvi owners with children, there is a set of Isofix child restraint system for the rear seats, meaning parents can secure two baby seats safely in the back.
For the first time, the car comes with a three-point safety belt for the middle passenger in the rear seats instead of just a lap belt. A three-point safety belt holds the passenger more securely in the seat in case of a collision, while a lap belt across the hip offers a lower degree of protection.
Perodua has also paid attention to what happens during the split seconds that an accident occurs.
The car is designed with a brake pedal intrusion reduction mechanism that reduces injury caused by the brake pedal striking the driver’s leg during a frontal collision. The steering shaft mechanism can also collapse during extreme frontal impact to safeguard the driver.
Enhancing safety in the Premium and Elegance variants are an anti-lock braking system with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist.
Moreover, the car body has been tested repeatedly to ensure a high level of safety that meets EC safety regulations.
Collision-resistant structures around the body absorb and minimise impact from all angles to protect the vehicle’s occupants.
What’s more, the Myvi is now safer for pedestrians too as the bumper, hood, fender and wiper pivot area have been moulded to soften the impact to a pedestrian and hence lessen injury.
During a media preview in Cyberjaya on May 26, we were given the chance to try out the car at “not more than 90kph” on a 4.4km route.
Based on the limited time spent in the car, what we can say is that occupants will experience a marked improvement in cabin comfort since there is now greater sound-proofing with insulation under hood and in the thicker door trims, floor and roof areas.
Steering the Myvi was effortless at low speeds by virtue of the car having electric power steering. The car was designed to understeer for easier control under variable driving conditions. Suspension was good and the Myvi went over bumps without drama. The speed restriction didn’t allow us to unleash the four extra horses gained in the new Myvi but the extra power should come in useful when there’s a heavier load to carry.
The new Myvi comes in both automatic and manual tranmissions. The Elegance version is equipped with an integrated GPS set that is loaded with Telekom Malaysia maps for Malaysia and Singapore.
Mystical Purple is the new signature colour that will be available in all variants. Other colours include Medallion Grey, Ebony Black, Gliterring Silver, Pearl Whitel and Ivory White.
The new model is being sold at a marginal increase in price that varies from RM500 to RM700 of the outgoing model.
The price starts from RM43,900 for the basic Standard with manual transmission to RM57,400 for the full works automatic transmission Elegance.
The new Myvi comes with a three-year/100,000km warranty, which can be extended another two-year/50,000km.
The car is open for booking at Perodua showrooms nationwide.
Meanwhile, a TV commercial with a catchy jingle has been produced to promote the new Myvi with the tagline “Lagi Best” that appeals to Malaysians from all walks of life.
Explaining the tagline to journalists at the preview session last month, Perodua managing director Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh said the latest Myvi was an evolutionary change of an already excellent compact car, hence the “Lagi Best” catchphrase was a fitting tribute to it.
The Myvi has been the best selling car for five years in a row from 2006 to 2010, and is expected to maintain its No. 1 position this year.
Some 484,000 units have been sold between May 2005 and April this year at an average rate of 8,200 vehicle per month.
Perodua introduced the Myvi in 2005 based on the Daihatsu Boon. It was initially offered with a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder engine and a 1.3-litre 4-cylinder engine.
When it was first conceived, Perodua pitched it as a compact car that was easy to maneouvre and could be used for multiple purposes by various users; from young families to young executives and for daily use to leisure activities.
The Myvi was facelifted in 2008, with changes made to front and rear bumpers, bonnet and instrument panel design. The 1.3 Premium model also had a seat height adjuster, new UV protection glass, and a new audio system with USB and Bluetooth capabilities.
A special edition was unveiled later that year and it had new bumpers, clear taillights, smoked headlights, an amber instrument panel, leather seats, and a 2-DIN Compact Disc player with MP3, WMA, USB and Bluetooth support.
The Myvi’s rival was the Proton Savvy 1.2 and its birth marked the first time Proton saw competition in that segment.
Its target customers has also shifted, according to surveys in 2009 and 2010.
In 2009, 45% of Myvi buyers were additional car buyers followed by first-time buyers (31%) and replacement car buyers (24%).
The pattern changed in a second survey done in 2010, which revealed that some 56% of the new Myvi users were likely to be first-time buyers followed by additional car buyers (32%) and replacement car buyers (12%).
As a technology and technical partner, Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd has been a pivotal part of Perodua’s success. Perodua’s collaboration with Daihatsu includes sharing common platforms and technical expertise.
Aminar recently pointed out that the Myvi was not a rip-off of a foreign model.
“Perodua does not blatantly copy and paste new models but we develop new models to suit local tastes, in the areas of styling, features and also ride comfort.
“Perodua’s models use up to 90% local parts.”
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