Perodua Ativa 2021 Review
The history of Perodua and compact crossovers is a little complicated and convoluted – but there’s absolutely no doubt that the market reception of the Ativa is nothing short of astounding. From the Kembara, to the Nautica, to the Aruz – Perodua’s offerings in this particular segment have jumped from point to point, heading up and down the scale.
The Ativa replaces nothing within the Perodua lineup, and yet the strongest selling brand in Malaysia has managed to attract a huge amount of customers – either those who haven’t ever owned a Perodua, or existing Perodua owners looking to move up the range. It has much the same effect as the third generation Myvi at launch, and Perodua has prepared itself for unexpected spikes in orders and demands. No waiting lists here.
The Ativa shares its DNGA platform and turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine with the Daihatsu Rocky and Toyota Raize, along with a CVT-type automatic transmission. There are three variants on offer – the X, H, and AV, with all three options sharing the same mechanical components. Pricing is also highly competitive, making it a fantastic option for prospective compact crossover buyers.
Perodua Ativa 2021 Specifications
While the engine in the Perodua Ativa comes from the same family as the 1.0-litre petrol powerplants in the Bezza and Axia, the Ativa has the addition of a turbocharger – the full code for the engine being the 1KR-VET. Performance figures are 98 PS and 140 Nm of torque from 2,400 rpm - comparable to a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, such as the one found in the Myvi. It’s also exclusively front-wheel drive.
It’s the first turbocharged engine in a Perodua, and of course there are questions regarding the need for complexity in such a mass market car. The reality is there are huge benefits to economies of scale by sharing the same engine as its Japanese sisters, and downsized turbocharged engines are the future – at least until full electrification. There’s also the fact that as a slightly heavier car, the Ativa benefits from the broad low-end torque of the turbocharged motor.
The Ativa is as compact as compact crossovers get, with a wheelbase of 2,525 mm – just a little longer than the Myvi, and 75 mm shorter than its closest rival. It’s also 4,065 mm long and 1,710 mm wide – dimensions that really underline the compact nature of the Ativa. Boot space is impressive at 369 litres – and of course, there are only two rows of seats.
Perodua Ativa 2021 Exterior
We are well beyond the age of pretending that compact crossovers are going to be used for heading off-road – most are front-wheel drive only these days anyway – and the largest advantages are in higher seating positions, better obstacle clearance, and a more comfortable ride. With that in mind, manufacturers have adapted their styling and design to be more urban-centric, and Perodua is no different with the Ativa.
There is no spare wheel mounted on the rear boot, and perhaps the only hint of ruggedness are in black cladding along the side skirts and wheel arches. The front and rear bumpers are sleek and stylish, with LED headlamps and tail lamps across the entire range. The entry level X model gets 16-inch wheels, while the H and AV get 17-inch wheels instead. With the AV model, you also have the option of a two-tone paint job with a black roof over either Pearl Delima Red or Pearl Diamond White base paint colours.
Perodua Ativa 2021 Interior
As far as Perodua models go, the Ativa is a fantastic leap forward in terms of both quality of materials and overall design of the interior. The layout has some elements that feel common to the Bezza and the Myvi, although the inclusion of a full floating head unit for the entertainment as something you would absolutely not expect in a car of this class. For the H and AV variants, that screen is a full 9-inch LCD touch screen with Bluetooth and Smartlink for Android in terms of connectivity.
Once again, the AV sets itself apart from the other variants with some leather seats replete with black and red piping accents. All variants get 40:60 folding and reclining rear seats. The higher hip point makes it easier to get in and out of the Ativa, both for older folks and your average consumer as well. The instrument cluster is also a fantastic centrepiece of the driver, with either an LCD unit in the X or a 7-inch TFT unit for the H and AV models.
Perodua Ativa 2021 Safety Features
Five star NCAP safety ratings require top notch passive AND active safety – and the Perodua Ativa delivers this with the Perodua Smart Drive Assist umbrella of technologies. All models come with the latest generation of the Advanced Safety Assist, which includes Pre-Collision Warning, Pre-Collision Braking, Pedal Misoperation Control, and Front Departure Alert. There is also Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention functionality across the range.
Where the AV sets itself apart as a variant is with Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Control, and Blind Spot Monitor – the former of two putting the Ativa that one step closer towards fully autonomous driving. While active safety systems are no replacement for attentive driving, they do provide a layer of assurance knowing that if your loved ones are behind the wheel, it just may save them from a more serious accident.
Perodua Ativa 2021 Strengths and Weaknesses
Like all Perodua products, there are hardly any chinks in the armour of the Ativa. This compact crossover delivers on so many fronts, in so many aspects, and at a level completely unexpected for a local manufacturer. The powertrain is a definite plus point with its breadth of performance, as is the overall interior room and packaging for both passengers and cargo.
If we had to nit-pick however, there is still something strange about crossovers not coming with all-wheel drive. Yes, we earlier admitted that very few owners would actually take their vehicles offroad, and the demographic and focus has shifted drastically over the last two decades or so, but it would still be pleasant to have a compact off-roader that would be a good alternative to a much larger pickup truck.
Perodua Ativa 2021 Price
If you’re looking to buy a Perodua Ativa, it’s the price that will surprise you the most. The entry level X variant runs for RM 62,280, and is only available in metallic paint options. The mid-range H model starts at RM 67,080 for a couple more features, with the special metallic paint being an RM 500 option. Sitting at the top of the range is the AV, starting at just RM 72,380 – once again with the Special Metallic option for RM 500, and RM 800 for the two-tone paint scheme.
Perodua Ativa 2021 Features
Keyless entry and start are about the only feature that’s available across the range – not that the Ativa is poorly specified in any way, if you have stayed with us up to here. LED fog lamps come in with the H and AV models, as do automatic headlights, auto levelling headlights, front parking sensors, and a reverse camera. Beyond this, the AV exclusively gets things like a six-speaker setup over the four-speaker setup of the other two variants.
Perodua Ativa 2021 Fuel Consumption
Small engines sip fuel, and the Perodua Ativa can get by with just one litre of petrol every 18.9 kilometres – depending on how you drive, of course. That’s a pretty fantastic fuel consumption rating, though naturally with turbocharged engines if you are heavier with the gas pedal you burn fuel at a more comical rate.
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- Body Type: SUV
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 998 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 5
- Price: RM 62,500 - RM 73,100
30 Mar 2021
2021 Perodua Ativa (D55L) First Drive Impressions – Comfort, Safety…and Power
When stepping up to the Ativa, the first impressions are that this car looks bigger in person than in the pictures. It’s boxy but in a sea of curvy cars with accent lines and convex panel shapes, the Ativa is a breath of fresh air. Plus boxy, simple lines work well for an SUV, the Suzuki Jimny is boxy, the Jeep Wrangler is boxy (and we still love them) – but it definitely looks better in the flesh than in the pictures you might have seen so far. The Daihatsu and Perodua jointly developed DNGA platform has provided a strong set of bones for Perodua to build the Ativa. The elevated ride height is adequate for most drivers (and the Ativa’s SUV promise), and despite this, handles much like a hatchback. The increased rigidity of the cars body and shell offers a nice reassuring feeling that this is a properly built car and the Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) levels are impressive. The Ativa is powered by Daihatsu’s 1KR-VET 1.0-litre turbocharged transverse-mounted three-cylinder petrol engine which produces 98PS and peak torque of 140Nm between 2,400rpm and 4,000rpm. While we will have to wait for the launch for the exact power numbers, it doesn’t take very long to realise the Ativa’s engine is very punchy. The long flowing corner allowed us to feel just how planted the Ativa is. There’s very little body roll, and the suspension setup feels nicely calibrated to handle road imperfections without being too stiff in the bends. As for the slalom section, the Ativa again exhibited good body control and manoeuvrability, the steering feels nice and responsive (though slightly heavier than in the Myvi) and the car responds well to small steering and brake inputs. This proves the Ativa should be an easy and fun car to drive around town and on those long balik kampung trips.View full review
User Review of Perodua Ativa