Much has been said and revealed about the Perodua Bezza, but the company’s first ever sedan has not been officially launched. Till now. Moments ago, the Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) rated sedan was officially revealed by Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa bin Mohamed in Bandar Utama.
You already know that the Bezza – name derived from the Malay word ‘beza’, which means different – comes in five variants and two engines (1.0 litre VVT-i and 1.3 litre Dual VVT-i, 5MT and 4AT available), that it’s a five-star ASEAN NCAP-rated car (for the Vehicle Stability Control-equipped 1.3 Advance, four-star for the other variants), and that it will come with a GearUp bodykit and accessories.
You also already know the new model’s price, which range from RM37k to RM51k, and read our first impressions test drive report that surfaced before the official media preview and accompanying Bezza story blitz last Saturday. So here’s a recap of all that we know about the new sedan that’s “Beyond Compact”.
Axia platform, big boot
The Bezza is an in-house effort (there’s no existing Daihatsu/Toyota model) with 95% local content, and took RM300 million to develop. Based on the Axia‘s platform, and shares the same 2,455 mm wheelbase length as Malaysia’s most popular car. Also similar to the Axia is the width (1,620 mm) and height (1,510 mm). But with the addition of a very big boot (at 508 litres, it’s bigger than the boot of the Vios and there’s a full size spare beneath), the Bezza is 510 mm longer than the Axia, at 4,150 mm.
The Bezza is positioned as an entry A-segment sedan, which means that the inevitable comparison with the Proton Saga cannot be avoided. The Saga, which is due for a revision soon, has a larger footprint – it’s 4,278 mm long (+128 mm), 1,680 mm wide (+60 mm) and 1,520 mm tall (+10 mm), with a slightly longer 2,465 mm wheelbase (+10 mm).
One can counter dimensions with packaging, and that’s what Perodua has done. Despite the length and wheelbase deficit, the Bezza has 32 mm better tandem distance (distance between the front and rear passengers) than the Saga. P2’s measuring tapes also put the Bezza’s TD higher than the Vios’ by 3 mm. The 508L boot is almost 100 litres bigger than the Saga’s (413 litres).
Rear headroom is the same as the Axia, which means while it should be adequate for most, there’s no Myvi-style abundant headroom here. Speaking of the Myvi, while it’s technically from a segment above, the Axia’s better packaging and space utilisation means that the smaller hatchback has a 50 mm longer interior length and cabin width that’s 5 mm superior. The Bezza should have the same advantage, bar headroom.
The Bezza is pretty versatile for a sedan. The rear seat backs split fold 60:40 (although not fully flat) and the front passenger seat back can be tilted back fully to accomodate long items such as that curtain rail from Ikea.
New engines, VVT-i introduced
The Bezza comes with two engine options – 1.0L and 1.3L. Both can be had with a five-speed manual gearbox or four-speed automatic transmission. The top-spec 1.3 Advance is auto-only.
The 1KR-VE 1.0 litre three-cylinder engine is related to the 1KR-DE2 in the Axia, but not identical. The sedan’s KR engine gets VVT-i variable valve timing (with the same Toyota logo, previously branded as DVVT), a higher compression ratio (11.5 vs 11.0), reduced friction and improved combustion – all measures to improve fuel consumption over the already thrifty Axia. Figures are up slightly too – 67 hp at 6,000 rpm and 91 Nm at 4,400 rpm vs the Axia’s 66 hp at 6,000 rpm and 90 Nm at 3,600 rpm.
Measures include a high-tumble intake port that increases intake air tumble flow through the use of a funnel-shaped intake port. This increases the velocity of the air coming in, raising the intake volume ratio and resulting in improved combustion efficiency and increased power.
There’s also a longer intake manifold to compensate for the engine’s reduced power when the VVT-i system is in its most economical setting, while a micro spray injector has been incorporated to optimise fuel spray shape and minimise fuel atomisation time, facilitating more rapid combustion. Lastly, the valve lifters have been finely finished to reduce surface roughness by as much as 90%, contributing to lower friction.
The Bezza’s 1.3 litre NR engine is a new one in the Toyota family and not a carryover from the Myvi, which 1,298 cc K3-VE makes 90 hp and 117 Nm. The 1NR-VE made its ASEAN debut in the facelifted Toyota Avanza/Daihatsu Xenia in Indonesia last year, and pushes out 94 hp at 6,000 rpm and 121 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm in the Bezza. The 1,329 cc motor comes from P2’s new engine plant in Sendayan, Negeri Sembilan, for local consumption (1.0L made in Rawang).
The NR engine family (there’s also a 1.5L version in the Avanza) comes with intake and exhaust Dual VVT-i, teflon coating for the pistons (to reduce friction and improve durability), larger water jackets (better cooling, improved combustion, lower noise), roller rocker arm (reduces friction between rocker arm and camshaft) and iridium spark plugs (the 1.0L KR in the Bezza and Axia also uses the latter).
Meanwhile, the cylinder head has also been redesigned with optimised intake and exhaust ports, as well as a revised combustion chamber shape. As with the 1.0 litre mill, the NR’s compression ratio stands at 11.5:1, a significant increase from the Myvi’s 10.0:1.
Revisions have been made to the four-speed auto to reduce mechanical losses, while the transmission lock-up range has been expanded in third and fourth gear during acceleration and steady-state running. Lock-up has also been added to these ratios under deceleration. Perodua has also increased fuel cut time under deceleration.
Efficiency is the main goal – up to 22.8 km/l
The Perodua Bezza was designed to be export-ready, and counts compact sedans like the Honda Brio Amaze and Mitsubishi Attrage as benchmarks. Space and affordability aside, fuel efficiency is a main goal for cars like these, and the Bezza does well.
Besides engine efficiency as described above, Perodua has worked to make the Bezza its most aerodynamic car ever. Being a sedan helps of course, but the Cd value of 0.286 is also helped by under floor covers to smoothen airflow and reduce drag. The use of a “shark fin” style antenna and air spats at the bottom of the front bumper also help the cause. Mini fins on the side of the rear lamp cluster and wing mirror area improve stability at speed.
Perodua has also worked together with Bridgestone and Silverstone for unique tyres with reduced rolling resistance. The 175/65 R14 tyres – BS Ecopia on the 1.3 and SS Kruizer on the 1.0 – have 10% less rolling resistance compared to the rubber on the Axia, further boosting FC.
The biggest enemy of efficiency is weight. To reduce that, P2 used high tensile steel in strategic areas, which reduced weight as panel thickness can be reduced without sacrificing rigidity, as proven in the ASEAN NCAP crash test. The Bezza is a flyweight and tips the scales at just 865 kg for the base 1.0 MT to 930 kg for the top 1.3 Advance with all the bells and whistles. Whole range below one tonne.
Of course, there’s also the Eco Idle auto stop-start system that’s a first for a national car – for all cars below RM100k, only the Mazda 2 has idle stop, once a preserve of hybrids and premium Continental models. Available on the 1.3 Advance, Eco Idle improves FC by around 1 km/l, Perodua says. Regenerative braking, which harvests energy when braking and decelerating, is also present alongside Eco Idle in the range-topper.
Results? The 1.0L manual does 22.8 km/l, which is the best in the family. The 1.0L auto does 21.3 km/l. It’s 21.7 km/l for the 1.3 manual and 21 km/l for the 1.3 auto. For the 1.3 Advance auto with Eco Idle, fuel economy is 22 km/l in the ECE mode. Minus off a couple of kilometeres per litre for real world driving and the returns should be still very decent. The efficiency benchmark for the refreshed Saga that’s coming this year is high indeed.
Perodua Bezza pricing and equipment
The top-spec Bezza, which is just above RM50k, comes with plenty of equipment new to both Perodua and cars in the price bracket. Besides the Dual VVT-i engine and Eco Idle system, the 1.3 Advance sports Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), front passenger seat belt reminder, keyless entry and push start with remote boot release, leather seats with a quilted pattern and a touchscreen head unit with navigation, and reverse camera.
The latter, a 2DIN unit with Bluetooth, comes with Smart Link, which is what Perodua calls Mirror Link. This allows for Android users to pair up their smartphone with the ICE system, meaning that apps such as Waze and Google Maps can be displayed on the car’s screen.
Safety wise, variants get dual front airbags, ABS brakes and Isofix child seat mounts. The 1.3 Advance adds on VSC, front passenger seat belt reminder (both needed to get five stars from ASEAN NCAP) and Hill Start Assist.
Prices for the five variants, on-the-road including insurance, are as follows:
- 1.0 Standard G MT – RM37,300
- 1.0 Standard G AT – RM39,300
- 1.3 Premium X MT – RM42,800
- 1.3 Premium X AT – RM44,800
- 1.3 Advance AT – RM50,800
Perodua Bezza 1.0 Standard G
- 14-inch alloy wheels
- Fabric seats
- Polyurethane steering wheel
- Audio system with USB
- Handphone slot (at the rear console)
- Fixed rear seat headrests
- 60:40 split folding rear seats
- Remote boot release
- Manual side mirrors
- Body-mounted signal indicators
- Reverse sensors
- Power windows
- Dual airbags (front passenger and driver)
- ABS with EBD
Perodua Bezza 1.3 Premium X
- Audio system with USB and Bluetooth
- Handphone slot with 5V/2A USB charging port (at the rear console)
- Adjustable rear seat headrests
- Keyless entry and push-start
- Boot release button on the boot
- Chrome door handles
- Side mirror indicators
- Front fog lamps
- Front parking sensors
- Jam protection for the driver-side power window
- Premium trim (gloss black, silver accents, fabric door card inserts)
- Solar and security window film
- Key fob
Perodua Bezza 1.3 Advance
- Different design two-tone 14-inch wheels
- Leather seats
- Leather steering wheel with multimedia system controls
- Eco Idle System
- Side skirting
- Powered, retractable side mirrors
- Front passenger seat belt reminder
- Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
- Traction control
- Hill start assist
- Multimedia system with navigation, Smart Link and reverse camera
- Additional trim details
Perodua has also designed a GearUp bodykit and accessories for the Bezza. There’s a “Dynamic” five-piece bodykit (front and rear bumper extensions, side skirts, boot spoiler) retailing for RM2,000, and a upholstery pack for the seats and door cards going for RM900. Take both and it’s RM2,600, RM300 less than the à la carte price. There’s also a “Stylish Package” that combines the bodykit with door visors and door protector strips for RM2,265. Available for all variants.
The six available colours are Lava Red, Ebony Black, Glittering Silver, Solid Ivory White, Sugar Brown and Ocean Blue – the latter two are new to Perodua and only for the 1.3L. The car comes with a five-year or 100,000 km warranty. Reed our first impressions test drive report.
GALLERY: Perodua Bezza 1.3L Advance
GALLERY: Perodua Bezza 1.3L Premium X
GALLERY: Perodua Bezza 1.0L Standard G
GALLERY: Perodua Bezza GearUp
GALLERY: Perodua Bezza official photos
GALLERY: Perodua Bezza GearUp official photos