Perodua officially rolled out the 2021 Aruz earlier this month. The market leader’s largest vehicle comes with a new colour as well as a small bump in features, but prices are unchanged. With the current sales tax exemption, the Aruz X is priced at RM68,526 on the road without insurance, while the AV goes for RM73,226.

That eye-catching new colour is Passion Red, which is exclusive to the AV variant. The four other colours are Granite Grey, Electric Blue, Glittering Silver and Ivory White (the latter is solid). The previous hero colour for the Aruz, Amazon Green, was discontinued late last year.

On to the new kit, one of which is for the exterior and the other is unseen. The obvious one are the side steps, which are standard on all variants. The black items integrate well with the Aruz’s SUV-style body cladding, and there’s an Aruz badge at the rear section.

The unseen new function is automatic door-locking, which kicks in above 20 km/h. The thing about auto door lock is that the system must also auto unlock in the event of an accident, and that applies here, on both the X and AV. Both the new items are practical for a family car, as illustrated by the video above.

The 2NR-VE 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine is unchanged, offering 102 PS at 6,000 rpm and 133 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm. The Dual VVT-i unit sends drive to the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission, and claimed fuel consumption is 15.6 km/l (6.4 litres per 100 km) with the Eco Idle system.

Perodua launched the Ativa in March, and the spotlight is firmly on that SUV, which is much more advanced than the Aruz, but also much smaller than this seven-seater. They may have overlapping prices, but the Ativa and Aruz are for very different customers.

If you don’t need the space, the Ativa is a better car, but if your lifestyle requires an extra row of seats, or the cargo room when the seats are folded, the Aruz is for you. “When you need the perfect fit, and every inch matters” or “when all seven seats are required for the journey,” the video reminds.