Perodua’s first SUV sinc..." />Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Review: Made for Malaysian Roads

Cars Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Exterior Front

Published on June 17th, 2019 | by Subhash Nair


Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Review: Made for Malaysian Roads

This is Perodua’s first SUV since the Nautica and their first locally-assembled SUV since the Kembara. It’s built alongside its sibling from Toyota, the Rush. And yes, it’s difficult to avoid talking about how these two cars are essentially identical in many ways.

Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Exterior badging
The higher of the two Aruz specifications

But there are many aspects that differentiate the Aruz from the Rush and I would argue that Perodua has added some serious value to the overall package. But let’s start with what it fundamentally gets right, and fortunately, that’s where a lot of Toyota’s work comes in.

Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Exterior Rear
From some angles, the SUV theme makes way for compact MPV proportions

Drive Characteristics

There’s a fundamentally pleasant character to the Aruz. It’s comfortable and, like a lot of well-engineered Toyotas, the car disappears underneath you. That’s a great quality to have in a daily driver. By not drawing attention to itself, it lets the driver focus his or her attention to the road and to the occupants. That’s where it matters most in a car like this.

Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Exterior Front
From other angles, the SUV character is strong

While it is a major stretch to call the Aruz a baby Fortuner, there are some characteristics that really do trickle down here. We took the Aruz over some gravel and dirt roads and the car really came alive. The occupants were completely isolated from the harshness of the surfaces and the undulations did little to upset the vehicle. It speaks to the know how of the engineers.

Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Exterior Side Profile
Overall, just as good looking as it is functional

This car was made to excel in harsh conditions. Sure, Malaysians do enjoy some of the finest highways in the region, but the reality is that outside of the Klang Valley, road conditions are pretty mediocre. The Aruz is more than capable to tackle potholes and a little rough roading with ease. The ladder chassis and suspension set up makes sure of this.

Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Exterior Rims and Wheel Gap Arch
The gap between the tyres and the wheel arches show this vehicle was made to move loads

On the highway, things are decent enough. I mean, I wouldn’t call this great but unlike Perodua’s smaller 1-litre-powered offerings, the Aruz is capable of keeping up to the national speed limit with grace. That being said, the Aruz does feel best between 80-100km/h, where the engine is more efficient and quiet.

Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Engine Bay
Longitudinally-mounted Dual VVT-i

Many will complain that its relatively simple and small powertrain is its biggest drawback, but I see it as one of its biggest advantages. No one in the market for an Aruz is looking to carve out B-roads or travel up Genting on a weekly basis. Aruz buyers are conservative, family-oriented and sensible. The 1.5L Dual VVT-i is powerful enough to move a family of 4 adults and 3 children with ease on the PLUS highway, yet fuel-efficient enough to be used as a daily driver in the city.

How do the Rear Seats Fold

There’s no fancy ‘one-touch-tumble’ switch on the Aruz, but it’s not that complicated either. Just pull a lever over to the side of the seat, tumble it forward, then attach a fastener to the headrest of the middle row seat. The luggage room with the seats down is merely 213L, but this goes up to 540L with them up.

Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior 3rd row deployed
In the default position
Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior Third Row hook
Tumbled forward, and fastened to the front
Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior 3rd row folded
The seats make way for more cargo space

This or the Alza?

Should you look at the Aruz or the Alza to move people? I’d say the Alza is still a more purposeful vehicle, but again it’s a toss up. The Alza lacks a rear blowers, but the lower floor and ground clearance will make it easier for older (and younger) passengers to get in and out.

Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior 3rd Row Seats
The 3rd row’s easier to get in and out of in the Alza

The Aruz, on the other hand, has rear blowers and its rear-wheel drive setup puts more traction where it’s needed under acceleration. Of course, you’re not going to be skipping your wheels in the Alza, but every little helps when both these cars are fully laden.

Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior 3rd row power socket 12V
A little bit of convenience for those in the rear

One of the best reasons to get the Aruz for the purpose of people carrying is that it’s got Perodua’s 2nd gen Advanced Safety Assist (ASA) system which is able to prevent collisions in certain circumstances. If passenger safety is your main concern, then the ASA, Electronic Stability Control and 6 airbags on the Aruz might overthrow the Alza’s more practical appeal.

Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior rear vents
Blowers at the rear

Design and Value

Design-wise, the Perodua Aruz is a pretty handsome looking car with most of its proportions working well in this format, save perhaps the size of the wheel gaps. Of course, there are some differences between it and the Toyota Rush. Enough to set these two cars apart, but not enough to say that one is objectively better looking.

Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior ASA Advanced Safety Assist
ASA in its latest form

Given that it costs under RM80,000, the Perodua Aruz is quite a steal. We would recommend most buyers to go for the 1.5AV variant, as the potential crash protection of the ASA is worth way more than the RM5,000 cost of the feature. And when you consider just how much more the Toyota Rush costs, the value of this Perodua becomes even more apparent.

Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior Smart Tag Reader
A SmartTAG reader, just like in the high-spec Myvi

Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Specifications

Engine: Inline 4, Dual VVT-i
Capacity: 1,496cc
Gearbox: 4-speed Conventional Automatic
Max power: 101hp @ 6000rpm
Max torque: 133Nm @ 4200rpm
Price: RM77,900

Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior Infotainment
Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior cabin lights
Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior Bottle holders
Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior Manual Digital Climate Control
Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior Functions
Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior Outlets
Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior Driver
Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior Handbag Hook
Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior teh tarik hook
Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Exterior Rims and Wheel Gap Arch
Perodua Aruz 1.5 AV Interior ISOFIX mount

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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