Right on cue, the Daihatsu Rocky has just been launched in Indonesia, ahead of its Toyota Raize sibling. The compact SUV is poised to become a hot commodity in the archipelago as a new entrant in the burgeoning crossover segment, just as the related Perodua Ativa is in Malaysia.

Pricing starts at 214 million rupiah (RM60,900) and tops out at 236 million rupiah (RM67,100). By comparison, the Ativa ranges from RM61,500 for the base X to RM72,000 for the AV model with two-tone paint, meaning that the Perodua is a very slightly more expensive at the bottom end and also tops out much higher. There are reasons for this, as you’ll read in this article.

Styling-wise, the Rocky takes after the Japanese-market model almost entirely, with a large hexagonal grille and angular front and rear bumpers, plus the same LED headlights and 17-inch six-spoke two-tone alloy wheels fitted as standard across the range. The door mirrors, however, are the more streamlined items found on the Ativa, replete with noise-reducing aero fins.

There are a couple of differences, however, including the more streamlined Ativa door mirrors (replete with noise-reducing aero fins), door visors and a visible chrome exhaust tip. There are also no LED daytime running lights on the bumper corners, unlike the Japanese car – not even on the range-topper.

Buyers can also opt for the ADS package that adds a thick chrome grille surround reminiscent of the facelifted previous-generation Audi Q3, along with a red grille strip, front, side and rear skid plates, black door mouldings with ADS badging and a chrome strip on the black tailgate bar. The latter reaches into the taillights and are slimmer than the one you’ll find on the Ativa.

Inside, the Rocky is again very similar to the Japanese car, sporting the same dashboard, seven-inch digital instrument display and a floating infotainment touchscreen. As per the Ativa, the central display measures nine inches across but it adds a USB port on the side and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. That is a big upgrade over our model.

Also fitted are six speakers and push-button digital air-conditioning controls. The latter feature a different design compared to the Ativa, losing out on the Perodua’s dedicated memory buttons. Also missing on the Rocky are the Ativa’s door lock and unlock buttons near the handbrake. Keyless entry, push-button start, fabric upholstery (instead of the garish faux leather on our Ativa AV) and a reverse camera come as standard.

Safety is one area where the Indonesian Rocky has been downgraded significantly from the Japanese-market model and the Ativa. The Advanced Safety Assist (ASA) suite of driver assists is an optional extra, not a standard feature; as on the other cars, it incorporates autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping assist, front departure alert and pedal misapplication control.

The Ativa AV’s adaptive cruise control and lane centring assist, which provide Level 2 semi-autonomous driving capability, are not offered in Indonesia. Worse still, the Rocky only comes with two airbags (we get six across the range), although stability control and seat belt reminders on all seats are standard.

Mechanically, the Rocky is mostly similar to its other counterparts. At launch, the sole engine option is a 1KR-VET 1.0 litre turbocharged three-cylinder producing 98 PS at 6,000 rpm and 140 Nm of torque from 2,400 to 4,000 rpm. However, the Indonesian-market model benefits from the option of a five-speed manual gearbox on top of the usual CVT, although the ASA model is only available with the auto.

Later on, Daihatsu will offer a new WA-VE 1.2 litre naturally-aspirated three-cylinder, making 86 PS at 6,000 rpm and 105 Nm at 4,200 rpm and offered with the same manual and CVT.