Thanks to the global buying trend that is favouring SUVs, demand for MPVs is reducing, and it appears Malaysia and the region is in line with the general consensus. In response to a question, the national carmaker will not be dropping the Alza from its line-up, and instead will continue to sell the venerable seven-seater alongside its recent entrant, the Aruz, said managing director of Perodua Sales Datuk Zahari Husin.

There is very little cannibalisation of sales between the Aruz and the Alza, said Zahari, as MPV buyers in the market are still buying the Alza and likewise, those shopping for SUVs in this segment are still plumping for the Aruz. Despite already being on its second facelift, the Alza still commands strong demand with a waiting list of between one to two months long, he said.

The Perodua Alza starts from RM51k for the base 1.5 S five-speed manual, through to the top 1.5 Advance variant with four-speed automatic transmission at RM63k. Power continues to come from the 1.5 litre 3SZ-VE petrol engine with DVVT, which drives the front axle.

Meanwhile, the newer Perodua Aruz starts from RM73k for the base X variant, and up to RM78k for the top-spec AV. The SUV uses the 2NR-VE 1.5 litre petrol with 101 hp and 133 Nm of torque; four-speed automatic is standard, driving the rear wheels.

On the safety front, as standard the Alza gets ABD with electonic brake force distribution (EBD) and brake assist, with dual airbags and middle-row Isofix child seat anchors.

The Aruz as standard gets Vehicle Stability Control, hill start assist and hill descent control with Isofix child seat anchors for the outer second-row seats, and the AV adds a dash cam, Advanced Safety Assist (ASA) 2.0, pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, front departure alert and pedal misoperation control.

GALLERY: 2018 Perodua Alza Advance facelift