Perodua is known for making extremely practical cars. When it launched the first generation Myvi in 2005, it quickly caught up to become Malaysia’s best-selling model in 2006, and for the next eight consecutive years. The Myvi till today, is the quintessential compact hatchback that allows a family of four or five to reach places. But the Myvi was not able to fill the gap for larger families or users that wanted a car that provided more. In 2009, Perodua’s Alza was launched to fill that gap.
The Alza for 2018 has gone through its second cycle refresh and in terms of looks and equipment, is better all round. If you’re new to the Alza, read on as we chronicle our experience with the latest 2018 Alza SE and Advance variant refresh.
For those unfamiliar with the Alza, the new bumpers at the front and back lift up the overall look significantly. Compared to the original Alza design, the differences are rather striking. The smoother lines on the original versus the sportier 2018 with larger lower intake. The front fog lamps maintain their size and are unchanged.
At the rear, the new bumper takes on a wider stance thanks to the lower horizontal design, and the addition of the backdoor garnish, makes the overall impression a little less rounded than before. The resulting effect uplifts the rear look to a slimmer profile.
Cargo and Seating arrangements
In terms of seating arrangements and the things you could do, the Alza put the word Multi-Purpose in MPV. We quite understand that the seating arrangements can be folded down in various ways to accommodate cargo and passenger seating, but we wondered if anyone ever would.
Nevertheless, in all the variations we thought of, most have been thought of by Perodua. You have the:
7 passenger seating or 5 passengers with a spacious cargo compartment
4 passengers with long cargo (2nd and 3rd row parallel side)
2 passengers with maximum cargo of 2nd and 3rd row collapsed
2 passengers with maximum long cargo of 1st, 2nd and 3rd row collapsed parallel side
Driver with long cargo and maximum full vehicle space
All this is helped significantly by the hatchback style and almost flat loading, with straightforward folding seats, the cargo is easy to insert and remove. During the review, we also managed to transport four full sized office chairs and eight medium sized boxes without blocking the rear window visibility.
Convenience and Comfort
Two things stood out most in review of the new Alza. The first comes from cooling, the redesigned central vents that included a mix of fixed fins and directional ones proved to be better for third row passengers. We tested this out, and it proved to be true for all passengers seated at the back.
The second is the addition of the front corner sensors, which in the 2018 Alza is all-new. Gauging distances during parking and manoeuvring tight corners is evidently simpler.
In other areas, the multimedia system head unit with GPS is the same one featured in the Myvi. It gets things done, with the addition of speed warnings, toll fare (selected areas) and the whole works of Bluetooth, USB and ‘Smart Link’ mirroring for Android phones. The Advance unit review does have the additional roof mounted monitor controlled from the main unit to keep the second and third row occupied with videos and movies. A preventive measure best to note is that the main unit prevents the driver from viewing the display when on the move. The video comes back to view when the parking brake is applied.
Everyday driving impressions
The Alza’s steering does feel a little heftier than the brand’s other range of cars. This is all from the fact that it still uses hydraulic as opposed to electric on their other cars. Not so good when it comes to parking, but things differ on the move. It’s not a sports car by any means, but take things easy and it gets the job done. With a full passenger load, don't expect it to accelerate like a rocket but overall, ride is rather admirable, with not much body roll around corners. In terms of fuel economy, we managed 502 km in a week, with a full use of approximately 39-litres and an additional 13-litres of fuel to bring it to about 10.36 km per litre in our test.
So here's our take. Is the interior very plasticky? Yes.
Does the car feel like a drag once in a while? Yes.
Did we like the central instrument cluster? No.
Is it a good looking car? That's subjective.
But does it do what is advertised? Yes.
After spending a week with the Alza, we finally understand the importance of what it represents to Malaysians who want a vehicle that can offer more space and versatility without costing an arm and a leg. In fact, the Alza at its current prices from RM 51,490 to RM 62,690 is the most affordable it’s ever been throughout the years (adjusted for inflation). This is where things get a little strange. If you're looking to get the new Alza, look at both the Alza SE and AV.
In terms of specification, the SE places the new Alza as the best current variant purchase at RM 56,890. Although it removes a few of the creature comforts such as the Multimedia system, leather seats, roof mounted monitor and reverse camera, everything else comes with the SE. Here, savings over the AV is at RM 5,800. Best yet, considering you pay just RM 2,800 more over the current Myvi AV for more seats and space, the Alza suddenly makes more sense than the other vehicles in its line-up. It is dated? Yes of course, considering that it's nine years old with two facelifts, but is it practical? Yes it is.
Do you have the first generation Myvi and are looking to get the current version? Click here to check out what we thought about the differences!
Click here for some facts you probably didn't know about the 2018 Perodua Myvi!
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