Birth Of a Legend
The Perodua Myvi has become sort of a drivable meme among Malaysians, car, and non-car enthusiasts alike. Notably, its reputation for causing a lot of ruckus in the country. Colloquially, the Myvi has been dubbed as Malaysia’s First Supercar as a joke. Have you ever noticed when we break the news about a car accident to someone else, we are quick to assume there’s a Myvi involved?
To add salt to the wound, there’s a Facebook group called Myvi Buat Hal Apa Hari Ini? (What Mischief is the Myvi Up To Today?) making waves from user-generated content documenting the shenanigans of Myvi drivers. Dare I say, the Perodua Myvi is the Ford Mustang of Malaysia.
Ok, perhaps we may be overselling here but if you’re in the car community long enough, I’m sure you have seen enough memes about Ford Mustangs getting into accidents. Our Myvis here has gotten a similar reputation. Mustangs in the US are infamous for crashing due to user error operating a cheap, rear-wheel drive (RWD), high-torque V8 engine at the hands of an inexperienced driver. On the other hand, Myvis are famous for, well, just about the same as the Mustang. But how can a little three, four-cylinder engine inside a little economy car go toe-to-toe with an American-built V8 coupe? We have to understand the Perodua Myvi’s background and platform first.
A Short History of the Platform
Like all Malaysian cars that are rebadged, the Perodua Myvi started as the Daihatsu Boon in Japan in 2004 for the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM). The Boon, or Sirion in Indonesia and other markets was to fit the niche for an everyday-driven city car. This B-segment hatchback came to Malaysian shores all the way back in May 2005 as a joint venture between Perodua and Daihatsu. According to Perodua, Myvi is a portmanteau of My Vehicle, My Vision.
When Perodua first launched the Myvi, it was met with positive feedback from the public and reviews. Priced at just under RM52,000 in 2005, it was a car designed by Malaysians for Malaysians. Most Malaysians at that time only had the Proton Saga, Wira, or the Perodua Kancil. But when Proton’s sedans are too large, and the Perodua Kancil’s 660cc engine capacity is too small to travel between interstates, the Myvi serves its role as the middle ground. Proton tried to take a slice of the cake with the Savvy and Iriz but its Achilles heel was they both chugged petrol like water, leaving the Myvi triumph in the local B-segment hatchbacks.
Read More: The Evolution of the Perodua Myvi
It Was So Cheap, Everyone Can Afford It
Purchasing a Perodua Myvi is a pathway to many abilities some drivers would consider unnatural. It had everything we Malaysians could have asked for – low price, excellent fuel economy, reliability, and loaded with a full suite of safety features. You can thank Toyota for putting their Midas touch on it. Parts in the aftermarket are all easy to source, and a no-brainer to install as long as it’s from the Daihatsu and Toyota families.
It became the best-selling car in Malaysia for 12 consecutive years straight! As of 2021, Perodua has reported the company has sold a total of 1.3 million units from their sales report. Even in the used market, the Myvi still retains a very high resale value. No domestic branded car has achieved such a feat.
The Perodua Myvi has cemented itself as the de-facto choice for plenty of Malaysians who just want to get their own transport at an affordable price. If you want a small car that is cheap and gets the job done, you get a Myvi. It’s a no-brainer decision. Every Ali, Muthu, and Ah Chong soon got their hands on one. Just like the Mustang in America, any high school student with a driving license can afford it due to how cheap it is over there.
The Inner Workings of the Perodua Myvi
Small Engine with Big Dreams
All three generations are powered by either a 1.0L three-cylinder engine or a 1.4L-1.5L four-cylinder engine with the latter being more common on the streets. Across all three generations, the Myvi averages around 85 hp/120 Nm to 102 hp/136 Nm, nailing the century sprint in just under 12 seconds. The Myvi’s can be had with either a five-speed manual, a four-speed automatic, and recently, a Dual Mode Continuous Variable Transmission (D-CVT) although the stick shift has been phased out for the third generation.
If that doesn’t seem impressive compared to the Mustang’s powerful V8 engine, we need to understand fast cars aren’t all just numbers. Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus cars believes in the philosophy of lightweight cars being competitive when racing against powerful or heavy cars by being fast in corners.
Modern engines, and occasionally with the aid of turbocharging can help small engines pack a punch giving big displacement engines a run for their money. Unlike its Japanese cousins, the Myvi gets no turbo for the Malaysian market. However, it’s uncommon for people to swap in the turbocharged Daihatsu Boon’s engine or install a bolt-on turbo kit to make extra power. Similar to the Mustang, a quick search online or consult an aftermarket specialist and you’ll find all sorts of ways to make power on a budget.
Lightweight Chassis and Geographical Difference
Perhaps the Perodua Myvi’s triumph card is that the whole car weighs just under 1020 kgs, allowing the little hatchback to be nimble around corners. Moreover, a lighter car means the engine doesn’t need to work that hard to get it moving. Maybe that’s why the Myvi is such a sought-after platform for car tuners to send it up Genting or Sepang Circuit. A lightweight car and a small, capable engine is a match made in heaven for fuel efficiency and excellent handling.
Alas, it’s important to note that these two cars are built and designed in two vastly different geographical locations. If we compare cars made in Asia and cars made in America, they both differ in design language and purpose. Asian cars are made to be small and efficient, with an emphasis on handling to drive in a country with a small land mass while American cars are built large to have enough fuel capacity to navigate around a country with a massive land mass. The Ford Mustang is just a beefed-up, rear-wheel drive Myvi with a larger displacement and output.
In short, the reason why Myvi got so famous for causing trouble is because of how cheap and easy it is for anyone to buy one and modify it. Pairing up with a high sales volume and statistically, the chances of seeing one getting caught in the web would be equally high.
If you’re looking to get a supercar yourself, feel free to peruse our collection of Perodua Myvi for sale here at CARSOME!
Browse Here: Perodua Myvi For Sale
Disclaimer: CARSOME does not condone any illegal activities such as street racing, driving dangerously, and installing illegal modifications in your car.
This content was originally posted on Wapcar’s Tiktok.