Earlier today, Perodua officially opened the order books for its much-anticipated D55L SUV, which will be offered in three variants – X, H and AV – with estimated prices of between RM62,500 and RM73,400.

UPDATE: We’ve driven the new Perodua Ativa! Read our first impressions review here.

The announcement did include some key features of the Daihatsu Rocky-based model, but other details like official specifications and the D55L’s actual name (some say it’s the Ativa) weren’t provided. Nonetheless, the preliminary information we received is certainly promising, but we’ll only get the full picture (literally) when the compact SUV is launched, which is said to happen next month.

Of course, it is inevitable that some people will want to compare the D55L to the Proton X50, so we’re doing just that in this post, but first, some disclaimers are in order. Firstly, the D55L specs in our table are based on what Perodua has confirmed and the Rocky it is associated with, while the X50 data is taken directly from the company’s spec sheet. Just for the sake of it, we also threw in the larger, seven-seat Aruz, which is Perodua’s only other SUV on offer.

The second and more important thing to note is this isn’t an apples-to-apples, oranges-to-oranges, durians-to-durians comparison, but naturally there is a lot of public interest in comparing the two, so here we are.

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The D55L is more like a really small B-segment model – it’s actually closer to being an A-segment and the Rocky is regarded as such in Japan, while the X50 is a properly-sized B-segment SUV. This is immediately obvious when you refer to the dimensions, with the D55L being 335 mm shorter, 105 mm narrower and has a 75 mm shorter wheelbase when compared to the X50. The Aruz is naturally larger than the other two.

When it comes to powertrains, Perodua merely said that the D55L will be a turbocharged model and that it will be downsized engine paired with a CVT. Both are firsts for the company, and the powerplant being referred to is likely the 1KR-VET 1.0 litre (996 cc) turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 98 PS at 6,000 rpm and 140 Nm of torque from 2,400 to 4,000 rpm.

This is the same engine used for the Rocky and Thor small MPV, the latter was something that Perodua tested out in Malaysia prior to the D55L confirmation. The company proudly claims a fuel consumption of 18.9 km/l for the D55L, which is better than what the X50 and Aruz offer.

However, the X50 has the upper hand in terms of output, as its higher-capacity 1.5 litre turbo three-cylinder pushes out 148 hp and 226 Nm with port fuel injection, or 175 hp and 255 Nm with direct fuel injection. If you need the bigger numbers, your only option is the range-topping X50 Flagship, as the DI unit is standard with this variant.

The D55L’s list of safety kit is one of its biggest highlights, with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and assist and pedal misapplication control being standard across its entire variant range. By comparison, only the top-spec X50 Flagship gets these items, with the exception of pedal misapplication control.

Moving on, the D55L’s H and AV variants also get automatic high beam control, but again, this is reserved for the X50 Flagship. A digital instrument cluster is also making its first appearance in a Perodua, with the feature being standard on the D55L’s top two variants, which is the same case for the X50 (Premium and Flagship).

Now, the big one: pricing. Estimated pricing for the D55L is between RM62,500 and RM73,400, which places it well beyond the Myvi that tops out at RM52,697, and into Aruz territory. Yes, the latter is larger and provides seating for up to seven people, but it just lacks the safety suite that the D55L comes with, regardless of which variants you pull up for comparison.

As for the X50, prices start at RM79,200, which is almost RM6,000 more than the D55L in its highest AV spec. The starting sum for the X50 nets you the Standard variant, which beats the D55L in terms body size as well as engine capacity and performance. You won’t get any active safety systems with the base X50, but that’s not the case with the D55L.

Should you want the X50 with such systems and then some (the Proton SUV in this form gets more power and even park assist), you’ll have to spring for the Flagship variant that costs RM103,300, which is quite a premium over the most expensive variant of the D55L.

Again, these are very different SUVs but we know that drawing comparisons is inescapable. With these details, what do you think of your options, and more importantly, which one deserves your hard-earned money more? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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