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The Perodua Axia’s second update is set to be unveiled this month, following a midlife facelift in early 2017. You would have read about it by now – the big surprises from Malaysia’s most affordable model include the introduction of VSC and Advanced Safety Assist 2.0, and the debut of an all-new SUV-inspired variant called Style.

But what about the Axia’s sedan sister? The Perodua Bezza made its debut in July 2016 as an all-new model line for the market leader, which is quite a rare thing. The budget sedan has never been P2’s top seller, but its contribution to the sales cause has been consistently strong. The rise of ride hailing has been a big boon for the Bezza, thanks to a combination of low prices, good fuel economy and a big boot.

Less than a year after it was launched, Perodua made small running changes to the Bezza based on market feedback (longer rear skirt, chrome trim on the AC knobs, simpler leather seat cover design for Advance), and introduced a new GXtra variant in April 2018, but a proper midlife facelift is still pending. Now that the Bezza is three years old, and rival Proton Saga has been recently revamped, perhaps it’s time for a Bezza facelift?

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Perhaps, because Perodua always keeps its cards locked up in multiple safes deep in the woods (close to the chest is way too obvious). We’re speculating a 2020 date once the 2019 Axia dust has settled, and here’s a design proposal of the Bezza facelift by Theophilus Chin. Disclaimer: As there aren’t any concepts or spyshots for us to anchor on, this is 100% imagination.

The red car you see here is still immediately recognisable as a Bezza thanks to the shape and proportions, but our regular collaborator has digitally altered most of the external sheetmetal – bonnet, front fenders, doors and boot. Only the front/rear windscreen, windows, roof, side mirrors and door handle design have been untouched (the latter has been repositioned).

Let’s start with the front end. Our Bezza facelift wears an ‘X-face’ thanks to a new bumper, which is of course taken from the current Axia SE/Advance. We’ve been told that from now on, Peroduas will have an X-theme to the face, and this fits right in. The horizontal mask that is the headlamps and grille is now slimmer, and the lower end more streamlined. Speaking of masks, this face reminds me of the Kia Forte, in a good way.

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While he was at it, Theo also lengthened the bonnet to alter the height and angle of the face. The Bezza’s profile was also made simpler – note the reduction of the front fender surfacing that traces the blue car’s wheel arches, and the minor repositioning of the main side crease.

What do you think of our redesigned Bezza’s backside? If the original car’s tail lamps reminded many of the previous-generation Civic FB, these wider items won’t be so obvious, unless you’re a Honda fan. Ten points if you said the same generation Civic, but the US version. The long chrome bridge that connects the lights and holds the Perodua logo has been made slimmer.

The Bezza’s very tall rear end is also very flat, and Theo “fixes” this with a rear bumper that has more shape and sculpture. The more protruding butt also incorporates a bolder diffuser and bigger, repositioned reflectors. Larger 15-inch alloys (an inch larger, design maintained) and the ride height reduced by around two inches serve as garnishing. Like what you see?

Constrained by footprint and the need for a boot and good headroom, an A-segment sedan will never be a thing of beauty. The customer is likely not to mind as well, as these are utilitarian cars built to serve basic needs at low prices. However, when people are least expecting it, the delight from getting something nice is surely greater.

GALLERY: Perodua Bezza Advance