Cars

Published on November 14th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair

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Perodua Bezza 1.0 Standard G Review: All the Car You’ll Ever Need

The Perodua Bezza is by far the most affordable sedan available in the market with a starting price of just RM37,300. While it shares major components with the Axia hatchback, the Bezza is an entirely different vehicle. It comes to us mere months after Toyota’s acquisition of Perodua’s parent company Daihatsu. Sure, there were strong ties between Daihatsu and Toyota before, but now the relationship is a lot more fluid. It allowed Perodua to reap the benefits nearly immediately, as the Bezza comes with loads of components and features that were surely sitting in Toyota’s parts bin before, from advanced Dual VVT-I engines to Engine Start-Stop functionality.

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The model we’re testing here is just a step above the base model (called the Standard G), with a 4-speed automatic instead of a 5-speed manual. This means it costs a little more, but at RM39,300, the RM2,000 price difference will be negligible to most who opt for even a 5-year loan repayment scheme.

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The Bezza Standard G is powered by a new 3-cylinder 1.0-litre DOHC engine that produces 67hp at 6000rpm and 91Nm at 4,400. That might not sound like much, but during our test drive, we managed to carry out reasonably quick overtaking manoeuvres on the PLUS highway with 4 adults and overnight luggage on-board.

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It was a surprising amount of power for such a small unit. Mind you, it’s not sporty by any definition, but it’s certainly not underpowered. Add to that the fact that the Bezza weighs just 880kg, and Toyota’s Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i), and it’s easy to see how the Bezza still has a fuel economy rating of 4.7L/100km. There’s even a little ECO indicator in the shape of a green leaf on the instrument cluster to encourage economical driving.

Of course, many Malaysians have the preconceived notion that sedans typically require larger displacements to be any good on the highway. Our recommendation is to try out the 1-litre variant at a showroom with as many family members as you can. We’re confident that the results will surprise you.

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We must say, however, that the 1-litre 1-KR-VE engine has to be pushed a little hard when overtaking uphill. The 4-speed E-AT is programmed well to respond to throttle input and road conditions quickly, but understandably, the 3-cylinder unit needs a bit of convincing to deliver the kind of power you need. And revving above 4500RPM will adversely affect NVH, so that’s something to take note of.

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Regardless of the engine choice though, the Bezza is more at home at lower speeds. This is a very lightweight car – lighter than many hatches were from a decade ago. The lack of weight definitely brings the best out of the powertrain, but it also makes things a little uncomfortable at high speeds. Going significantly lower the speed limit brings out the cars better characteristics.

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The Standard G may be a base model, but it’s very well equipped considering the price. In terms of safety, expect ABS with EBD, Dual SRS airbags, and ISOFIX mounting points. This makes this version perfect for young couples who are planning on having children in the near future.

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Perodua’s signature Anti-Snatch hook is still found on the front passenger seat, adding a little bit of convenience to an otherwise Spartan interior. You’ll also find an exceptionally large boot with space for 4 or 5 suitcases. This is thanks to some clever packaging by Perodua that opens up 510 litres of space at the rear.

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In terms of looks, the Bezza is pretty conventional. Perodua does well to distinguish this from the Axia despite the similarities. Where the Axia is youthful and sporty looking, the Bezza takes on a more mature look. This is a car with very uncontroversial styling, which is ideal for products aimed at a large segment of the population. The interior, though plain, is actually well built. On many cheaper options, manufacturers like to put in gaudy materials and funky designs to spice things up. It’s clear that Perodua understands that sometimes you just need an interior that gels. And for that they get a gold star.

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The infotainment system here is may not have Bluetooth, but you can easily fill a pendrive with music for your road trips.

As a value proposition, the Bezza is essentially unopposed, giving Malaysian buyers a roomy, fuel efficient vehicle with decent comfort and NVH as well as good safety features thrown in. It will serve well if you’re looking to start a career as an UberX or Grabcar driver too, since the 1-litre has such a low running cost. If you’re worried that the you’ll need the 1.3-litre engine for long distance trips, we strongly suggest you try both engines. What you’ll find is that the more advanced engine exceeds the limits of what the Bezza is designed to do. In other words, the 1-litre is really all you’ll ever need.

Perodua Bezza 1.0 Standard G Specifications

Engine: In-line 3 1KR-VE with VVT-i
Capacity: 998cc
Gearbox: 4-speed Automatic
Max power: 67bhp @ 6000rpm
Max torque: 91Nm @ 4400rpm


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