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Published on July 4th, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Perodua Kelisa Used Car Buy Bargain

The Perodua Kancil had been around for 8 years and when it was time for a new small successor to take its place, they launched the highly successful Kelisa. With the Perodua Kelisa space was a priority and the Kelisa’s five- door hatchback was hard to beat for its selling from at the showroom. As with the Kancil it was an ideal second car or city runaround. The Kelisa was a big step forward for Perodua having a realistic proposition for Malaysia’s road choked city driving.
Budget motoring doesn’t need to be slow and uninteresting, as some Kancil owners showed us what immense fun the Kancil could be with enough money in your wallet. Some owners managed to improve this little car and turned it into a pocket rocket that left most performance car owners eating their dust. The Kancil engine conversions that came with turbocharged engines were sourced from the Daihatsu Mira L200 and L500. The Kelisa also started the tuning craze with Daihatsu Cuore conversions flooding our junkyards and tuners. The Kelisa with very acceptable standard features also entertained owners with its mini-like handling and looks. Sharing the same engine as the boxy and uninteresting Kenari, the 1000cc twin cam fuel injected engine does well around town and on the highway. Nippy and responsive, the Kelisa will cope well on the highways in the long distance balik kampung trips and also uphill to the hilltop resorts. It will sip lesser fuel than the Kancil 850 and provide better all round performance.
For the ‘P’ student driver parallel parking will be no problem, and the handling will be ideal around town or twisty kampung roads. It should stick to the road better than its older sister, the Kancil, and corner more flatly.
The interior is miles better than the Kancil, however do not expect Lancer type legroom in a car this size. The average student will be satisfied with the interior headroom. The boot is bigger than the Kancil’s and is pleasantly spacious for a car so small, though it is still quite narrow.
Now the Kelisa is not the perfect small car buy and expect some flaws, but you’re not paying from RM15,000 upwards for perfection in a 8 to 9 year old car. Please remember as the second cheapest car in Malaysia, the Kelisa is still better than some of its more expensive rivals! As a value-for-money purchase, it’s great. Most used Kelisa’s come from good homes where it has been used for basic transportation like what you have in mind. Avoid modified units and those which have been resprayed with a new colour. Chances are they have been in some fender benders. Interior should wear well but beware that plastics that are heavily used like door handles and switchgear will start fading and some times even chip away. Seat fabric wears well and engines are relatively bullet proof. A detailed Perodua service history is a must for the first two years of ownership as that is the given warranty period. Look out for high mileage units as they might need more rectification work. The manual version is the best and the auto only disappoints with more visits to the petrol station. Perodua makes very reliable cars and long-term build quality may not be the best, but at this used price range it is difficult for us to complain. 


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