18 June 2011

2011 Myvi Premium Automatic Test Drive Impression

The new Perodua Myvi 2011 has a lot of weight over its (little) shoulder. Its predecessor has set a clear benchmark on how small family hatchback should be designed, engineered and drive. That car was so easy to drive, small enough to chuck around tight city streets, yet spacious enough for family trip of 500km away using highway at speed no less than 130 km/h. How do I know? I'm also a Myvi driver and this set a perfect preset expectation on how this new Perodua mid-range model has progressed. Read on to see how this new car compared with its predecessor. The model I tested is the Premium Automatic version which cost RM 50,900 OTR.

Exterior Design

Front view is dominated by large uniquely shaped headlamp. The large grill opening is topped with chrome garnishing with prominent Perodua badge. The air intake on the bumper mirror the shape of radiator grill above it, flanked by fog lamp (Premium & Elegance model only) of both side.The body side is adorned with strong lines along the sills, surrounding the window and outer door handles. This greatly reduced the slab sided effect that is so obvious on outgoing model.

As can be seen above, there's a great detailing inside the headlight. The projector main beam is arranged above the signal lamp. The gap between bumper and panels is consistent and tight.

The rear end is simply more attractive than before. It is not a single surface boxy item anymore. Intricate taillights with intersecting lines from the flanks create a big volume to the rear end that also appear more rounded.

Flush panel fitting is observed through the rear, raising a high perceived quality of this car. Gone are simple rear combi of old, replaced with more modern item, with smooth integration with its surrounding panel with no different in height observed in the show car.

Interior Design

This is the area where the new car outscore its predecessor totally out of scale! The picture does not do the justice in terms of overall perceived quality. What appears to be cheapskate big slab of shiny light coloured material is simply not like that in flesh!

The driver environment is simply awesome!. The steering is perfectly sized in terms of diameter and rim thickness. Its nicer to hold than the outgoing model. The turquoise meter combi your see here is for Premium model onward only. Driving position is spot-on. The ergonomics are fine, no silly mistake like left knee touching the dash like some Jap's model. Level of fit and finish is also good on the test car.

Above is the Standard model cabin. You can see the amber lighting for meter combi and ICE. The fabric is different too, less "premium" in feel.

This is the Premium ICE. It differs to Standard ICE in terms of turquoise lighting, Bluetooth and USB function.  The chrome bits on aircon flaps are also reserved for Premium model onward only. The cubic aluminum is bit tacky for me personally.

The aircon dials are wholesomely carried over for Alza. The chrome ring surrounding them is not to be found on Standard model though. These chrome bits really lifts the interior ambiance, as the Standard model can feel a bit monotonous due to lack of garnishing. 

Still no gated console. But the gearknob is thousand miles better than creaky Alza item. There's a gear shift lock button to release the car from P to N in case of the battery died.

Three photos above show the Premium model front door trim. The light color that appeared cheap in the spyshots is actually not bad at all. The integration between darker top portion to the lighter mid portion is seamless with negligible gap. Fabric insert also appear perfect. The silver and chrome bits are exclusive to this model and Elegance model only.

These there photos are of Standard model. As can been seen and compared, there's a lack of spice to the interior. If not due to the darker shade of middle of the seat trim, the whole interior could be seen as single color! Anyhow, the absent of silver garnish, together with amber lighting for ICE and meter does remind you that you are buying the cheapest model everyday, but not necessarily the bad model though!


Boot space is quoted as 208 litre, some 17 litre down from outgoing model. This is minimal reduction that can't be perceived easily. Although admittedly it is a bit weird to newer car to be less spacious than the previous one.

Thoughtful feature inside the boot is the storage pocket on the right side. Really handy to keep the loose item.

Another thoughtful feature is the separator in the door pocket to handle to bottle and cup.

Carried over floor console from previous Myvi. But the relocation of automatic gear lever to the dash frees up some more storage space. Great for mobile phone at it is close to the power outlet for charging!

Glovebox is around the same size as before. The curry hook also included at the seat except on Standard model. 

Driving Impression

I only get to drive the AT Premium version around city environment due to the location and traffic. The NVH is markedly improved over previous Myvi. Where in the old Myvi, engine whining can be heard easily during low speed drive, the new model has  a greater noise suppression. 

The EPS is not as light as I thought it would be. It still has some weight build in it, but not as weighty as Alza steering. The steering feel is so-so only. But since I have no chance to drive it hard, I can't conclude yet how does this effect the handling.

On the move, bump absorption is better than outgoing model. But this might be due to the low noise environment that results in exalted feeling in the car. The drive is smoother, perhaps the AT has been improved in its gearing somehow.


This is a well improved model over its predecessor. The exterior is more stylish and modern while interior give high perceived quality. It has a big car feel to it in the way it drive. Premium touch to the steering, meter combi and trim design helps in giving it a big car feel.

The Elegance model can be a bit steep in its pricing. However if one look at Standard model, at RM46,900 for AT version, it is similar to previous model. Judging by the fact that it also has dual airbags as standard ( not available in previous Myvi in Standard guise), also considering rate of inflation yearly since 6 years ago, this can be considered as no price increase!

Lastly, all thumb up to Perodua for their commendable effort! Credit to the engineers for a job well done. This is car that could sell by itself without much of marketing effort!

Now, should I trade-in my old Myvi to get this? Very likely yes....