We now have a full gallery of the 2017 Perodua Axia facelift, as the updated model has made it way to selected showrooms and is open for test drives. So here it is, the most affordable vehicle in Malaysia, now enhanced since its initial release in 2014.

This being a mid-life facelift, the changes are minimal, but are more than skin deep. Under the bonnet, the 1KR-VE 1.0 litre three-cylinder engine now gains VVT-i variable valve timing, as introduced on the Bezza sedan last year. This addresses one of the more common complaints of the original Axia, as the Viva it succeeded did have variable valve timing (then badged DVVT).

Perodua Axia 1.0 Standard G facelift with GearUp bodykit

Outputs are up 1 hp and 1 Nm to 67 hp at 6,000 rpm and 91 Nm at 4,400 rpm, sent to the front wheels via the same five-speed manual and four-speed automatic gearbox options as before. Perodua claims a fuel consumption figure of up to 22.5 km per litre with the manual, up from the current car’s 21.6 km per litre and just a hair under the Bezza’s 22.6 km per litre figure with the 1.0 litre engine and manual gearbox.

On the visual front, Perodua has again gone for a two-face approach, with the Standard and SE/Advance models having unique looks. Now though, the Standard E and G get the pre-facelift SE/Advance model’s projector headlamps, paired with a redesigned front grille (with a silver bar) and bumper.

Standard G rear (left), Advance rear (right)

The side signal repeaters on the front fenders and 14-inch wheels (steel items on the Standard E, eight-spoke alloys on the Standard G) remain unchanged, however, along with the Standard’s rear bumper design and red taillights. A new addition is a tailgate handle, in place of an external keyhole on pre-facelift models. GearUp bodykit options are available, from RM1,600.

The more expensive and sportier-styled Axia SE and Advance models receive a more thorough makeover, with a brand new projector headlamp design, chrome two-bar grille and a Honda Jazz-esque front bumper. The foglamp housings now feature chrome highlights and faux carbon-fibre surrounds.

Round the side, the SE/Advance gets wing mirror-mounted LED signal repeaters (same as before), new “spiral design” 14-inch wheels from the Bezza Advance and chrome door handles with a keyless entry button on the driver’s side. The sharper rear bumper and clear rear lights go unchanged, but the tailgate handle gets a keyless entry button here too.

Changes inside are less obvious. All models now get Eco-drive Mode (including the base Standard E) and a revised instrument cluster design, with white illumination on the SE and Advance; the sportier models also receive a push start button (next to a new off switch for the front parking sensors).

Click to enlarge

The Advance, on the other hand, gains a new touchscreen infotainment system with “Smart Link” screen mirroring for Android phones (the SE retains a simple radio/CD head unit with Bluetooth, while the Standard G omits the CD player). Other changes include new fabric seat designs for Standard and SE models, as well as new grey (previously red) seat stitching and piping and steering wheel stitching on the Advance model.

There’s no change on the safety front – electronic stability control is still not available, but ABS is fitted on the Standard G and above; standard dual front airbags net a four-star ASEAN NCAP rating. Prices have been revised, now ranging from RM24,900 to RM42,900, with increases of as much as RM2,773 spec-by-spec. Refer to the table above for full details, along with the optional GearUp accessories.

GALLERY: Perodua Axia 1.0 Advance facelift
GALLERY: Perodua Axia 1.0 Standard G facelift with GearUp bodykit