Perodua Ativa Hybrid owner review – subscriber shares thoughts on CBU study car, RM500/month plan

Perodua Ativa Hybrid owner review – subscriber shares thoughts on CBU study car, RM500/month plan

By Victor Kan

The Perodua Ativa Hybrid is finally being delivered, and being one of the lucky 300 subscribers, here’s my personal take on how it compares to the regular turbo variant of the Ativa.

Having driven the car for awhile both in painful KL traffic and on the highway across states, I guess now would be a good time to do a hands-on introduction to our first national hybrid car. OK, that sounds like a stretch, as technically this is a Daihatsu Rocky eSmart Hybrid through and through, but hey it carries the Perodua emblem, so let’s just say it is.

Looking very similar to the Ativa Turbo, the Hybrid can be distinguished by several differences when you know what to look out for. Let’s begin at the front of the car, which carries a completely different fascia. The grill is smaller and is an island, instead of the wide-grinning grill that ties the headlamps together on the Turbo. The fog lamps are encompassed in a diamond-shaped black case and not the Perodua T-shaped case. This creates a less aggressive front look for the Hybrid – I’ll go as far as calling it cute.

Moving on to the sides, another difference that juts out – and this isn’t something the Ativa Turbo can easily convert to – is the five-lug wheels. The Ativa Turbo uses four-lug wheels. The side mirrors are also of different sizes, with the Hybrid having slightly smaller ones; and if you look to the passenger side, the side mirror comes with a very JDM-looking curb mirror. The Hybrid rides a little lower than the Ativa Turbo, but in real life, it isn’t noticeable, unless you have them parked side-by-side.

As for the rear, how do you tell if the Ativa in front of you is a Hybrid? First, the ATIVA logo on the tailgate isn’t accompanied by anything else. No AV or H badges here, just ATIVA. Then, looking at the bumpers, the housing for the reflectors are – like the ones in front – shaped like rotated diamonds instead of Perodua’s T shape. Also, if you look closely at the driver side of the bumpers, you’d see a rear fog lamp. And as a bonus, the number plate bracket is tiny, as it adheres to Japanese plate dimensions, not Malaysia’s.

Speaking of the rear, did you know that the Hybrid has a full plastic tailgate? This had my mates asking “is it safe?”. Well, it’d better be, seeing that plastic is the tailgate material of choice for many newer cars in Japan. The upside of plastic is apparent – weight reduction. But don’t worry, it is pretty tough and robust – this isn’t the same plastic used to make those flimsy cutlery that comes with our nasi lemak.

Moving inside and into the driver’s seat, you’d immediately feel that the interior has a rather muted air to it. Gone are the blaring red found throughout the seats, door trim, AC vents and dashboard – instead, you’re greeted by a black, grey and silver themed cabin.

Now, depending on your age and preferences, you would either like it or hate it. I personally like it as I have always liked less “sporty” looking interiors for cars of such calibre. Perhaps this opinion will change when I can finally own a Bugatti Veyron. But until that day comes, I’d like a humble looking interior to match my humble little ride.

There’s hard plastic surfaces all around, similar to the Ativa Turbo we’re familiar with by now, but I’m glad Perodua decided to not skimp on the most basic of trim here. You can find soft leathery surfaces on all the places that matter – on the steering wheel, gear knob, elbow rests, and also on the semi-fabric seats and headrests.

The centre console has been entirely redesigned, as the Hybrid uses an electronic parking brake (EPB) instead of the traditional handbrake. This has allowed a pair of huge cup holders to be added. Coupled with the EPB is an auto brake hold button. This has spoiled me and I’ve been feeling lazier the more I use the car! More on that later.

The Hybrid retains the standard Rocky auto climate control with twin circular knobs. I feel that this looks more at home with the rest of the interior, along with the twin circular controls on the steering wheel, as well as the steering centre hub. But again, this is personal taste. Missing would be the memory function found on the AC controls from Perodua.

That said, I find the auto climate control much easier to use, as it’s a set-once-and-forget solution, so no matter if it is during a hot day, or a cold night, the AC would automatically adjust itself to the temperature we set. In fact, it can blow hot air too if required. As a bonus, there are seat heaters for the front seats, but I don’t think we’ll ever need them in our warm climate.

Perodua Ativa Hybrid owner review – subscriber shares thoughts on CBU study car, RM500/month plan

The trunk is largely the same, but you won’t find a full-sized spare wheel under the board. Instead, the auxiliary battery is there, along with some hidden compartments. So what do you do if you get a flat tyre? A tyre repair kit (basically an electric pump) is hidden away on the wall for that. I do like this a lot, as I rather not get my hands and clothes dirty, and would just re-inflate the flat tyre so I can drive to the nearest repair shop. More cars should go with this direction if you ask me. And the Hybrid has LED footwell lights, which come on automatically whenever the headlamps are on – lovely! (DT: Ativa AV has footwell lighting too)

What about the actual driving experience? This is a hybrid powertrain after all. But with so many types in the market now, which kind of hybrid is this? To best explain it, this car works pretty much like a full EV but minus the range anxiety associated with them.

How? The answer lies in the Hybrid label, because this car also has a regular petrol engine inside. Now here’s the beauty of this design. The 1.2L petrol engine is there solely as an electric power generator. It runs to generate electricity to power the electric motor (and charge the battery) that actually moves the car. So no CVT transmission in here guys, just a good ol’ electric motor.

Press the accelerator pedal and off the car goes with that signature smooth, instantaneous and torquey push from standstill, just like an EV should be! When the 1.2L petrol engine isn’t on, the car is very silent and still. It feels as though the car hasn’t even been started. The air conditioning system is also powered electrically, which is logical.

The Ativa Hybrid is equipped with an S-Pedal driving mode by default. You can switch it off if you desire. As the name implies, this is single-pedal operation where you can move and stop the car using just one pedal, without requiring the use of the brake pedal. The brake is only used when you need to make an abrupt stop.

Another major improvement compared to the Turbo would be the addition of the EPB and auto brake hold. It allows the car to keep itself stopped until you’re ready to move again, without having to use the handbrake every single time. Very handy for city stop-and-go traffic conditions. Another improved feature is the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Thanks to the EPB, the Ativa Hybrid can perform low speed auto-follow (part of the ACC) from a complete standstill. This was not possible on the Ativa Turbo.

Remember when I said I’ve gotten lazier the more I use the car? That’s because my limbs are moving a lot less during driving. My left hand is always on the steering wheel, even in the city, as the EPB and auto brake hold does its job perfectly. No more fumbling to shift into N, no more pulling and releasing the handbrake stick at the traffic lights. And with the S-Pedal, my right foot rarely moves away from the accelerator pedal too. I’m beginning to feel like a couch potato – in a car seat!

Everything sounds good and dandy so far, but let’s get to the cons, or things that could have been improved. For starters, some features have been removed from the original Rocky Hybrid, and also missing when compared to the Ativa Turbo.

The 110V emergency electrical outlet that can be found in the trunk of the Rocky Hybrid has been removed. I was really looking forward to be able to use the car as a mini-camper, but now I would have to bring along an external power supply instead. Also removed is the Rocky’s head-unit, being replaced with a regular unit similar to the one found in the Ativa Turbo. This effectively also removes Apple Carplay, Android Auto, volume control on the steering wheels, and most painfully, the reverse camera. Also, blind spot monitoring is missing. Sad, but it is what it is.

Perodua Ativa Hybrid owner review – subscriber shares thoughts on CBU study car, RM500/month plan

So with the car review done, what do I think of Perodua’s leasing model? Although your name does appear in the vehicle’s grant and insurance, these super limited 300 units of Ativa Hybrids are technically leased, not sold. The payment is RM2,150 upfront with a recurring RM500 a month for 60 months.

Now, contrary to what some might think – no, you aren’t eligible just because you have RM500 to spare each month. Every potential lessee is properly screened through, just like how it works if someone were to take out a regular hire purchase loan. I guess that Perodua needs the peace of mind knowing that they won’t have to change lessees half-way through the programme.

All regular servicing, repairs, wear and tear parts, insurance and road tax are fully covered by Perodua, so the lessee only needs to pay for petrol. And this car is expected to run frugal too, with a claimed mileage of 31 km/l. No, I haven’t been able to reach that, but it isn’t that far off, so that’s amazing enough for me. The catch is the mileage cap of 100,000 km and that you cannot make modifications to the car whatsoever. For people who just want a fun to drive and frugal car to get from point A to B, this is definitely a steal.

UPDATE: Owner has been averaging 21 km/l over the first 1,000 km

Perodua Ativa Hybrid owner review – subscriber shares thoughts on CBU study car, RM500/month plan

I’m using the Ativa Hybrid as my main vehicle for work commutes in the Klang Valley, and I’m loving it. The car is not too big, has a high driver POV, feels nimble and has a small turning radius – perfect for weaving around in traffic. Best of all, it runs like an EV, so besides being super quiet, it also moves very effortlessly with the many stop-and-go moments in traffic jams.

The car’s overall build quality has been great; being a CBU from Japan may have lent a lot of credence to that. It doesn’t seem to suffer from the chronic issues that seem to plague the Ativa Turbo, as found on internet groups.

The largest downside of ownership so far would be the lonely isolation from everyone else. There hasn’t been a lot of forums solely dedicated to the Ativa/Rocky/Raize Hybrid. So getting support and asking questions specific to the hybrid may get you nowhere – hopefully this will change in the near future as Ativa/Rocky/Raize Hybrid ownership increases both locally and globally.

GALLERY: Perodua Ativa Hybrid, owner’s images

GALLERY: Perodua Ativa Hybrid

GALLERY: Daihatsu Rocky e:Smart Hybrid

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.



  • Fur ODC on Nov 15, 2022 at 11:50 am

    I think u cant leave the car unstarted for more than 3 days.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 12
    • Roti john on Nov 15, 2022 at 12:52 pm

      At least Perodua has released a hybrid car to the market, unlike Proton who still doesn’t have hybrid, let alone EV.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 13
      • Civic Turbo 2018 on Nov 15, 2022 at 6:10 pm

        So meh!!! Should open hybrid subscription to public. This Toyota Raize hybrid has the tech to compete I-MMD

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
      • Lolwhut? on Nov 15, 2022 at 6:34 pm

        LOL just sticking their badges onto CBU car what took them so long! We been waiting nearly 20 years for this to happen. As usual P2 selowpoke.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3
    • butwhy on Nov 15, 2022 at 12:55 pm

      This car has a petrol engine inside plus an aux battery so it should not have that issue right?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 0
      • stanley on Nov 15, 2022 at 4:36 pm

        that is quite smart then since it also eliminated yet another EV issue

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
        • Chong Khoo on Feb 22, 2023 at 10:28 am

          no range anxiety! This is the best setup for local market right now. No need worry EV charging and all those head aches.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • spartamari on Nov 15, 2022 at 11:59 am

    wah oredy collected car how long? my agent tell me I oredy approved but til nw havent collected car. but thx for sharing. so excited til I can get mine oso.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4
  • samueljr on Nov 15, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    now here is hope Perodua will release more hybrids into our roads soon. CEPAT LAH OI.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 0
    • Nice only when CBU. Once CKD by P2, as usual everything koyak.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3
      • bolehland on Nov 15, 2022 at 4:34 pm

        OP lucky this car CBU kalau pakai locak parts 90% tentu menangis. keter aku cermin retak x tentu pasal. break belakang bunyi mcm hantu.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2
        • Celup King on Nov 16, 2022 at 10:17 am

          P2 nama saje local tapi semue parts dari indon, datang kilang P2 pasang je, memang le tak tahan bro.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
        • aimansor on Nov 21, 2022 at 9:30 am

          ativa turbo aku leaking minyak hitam. kaca dekat pillar D retak sendiri walaopun tak kena apa2. bau hangit masa bawak 100kmh. banyak problem. rezeki lah yg dpt cbu jepun

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  • Majid on Nov 15, 2022 at 12:29 pm

    Syabas P2! Ini kalilah!! Terbaekk

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
  • While a community member written review is a great start, it will be lovely if a credible motoring journalist can do a review on the Ativa Hybrid. I have question on this review like “compares to the regular turbo variant” is based on ownership experience of a regular turbo variant or from just from reading articles? And “No, I haven’t been able to reach that” but what is the number being reported on the trip computer?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 25
    • milesmorales on Nov 15, 2022 at 4:41 pm

      it was stated there 21km/L. Sure can higher if the writer use solely in city road. Almost all hybrids give best mileage when used inside city style roads. highway not good.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1
      • Kapchai on Nov 16, 2022 at 7:51 am

        Highway up to 110km/h still good for 20km/L easily,
        But if travels recklessly around 150km/h, the fc will be closer to Petrol car, but still marginally better than NA and Turbo.

        However, If Basic EV doing above 110km/h, the battery also depleting rapidly,
        The low spec Honda E EV, as tested by

        At 70Mph/113km/h

        Your EV mileage can drop 38% from WLTP certified Mileage.
        This Honda E supposed to have 220km WLTP, now runs 136km @ highway speed.
        The Honda EV drivetrain is not designed for a basic highway speed.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
      • My experience with Hyundai Ioniq is the opposite. In traffic light stop go and terrible jam situation, milleage really suffers- probably around 14-15 km/l. Imagine always have to accelerate when green light just only to stop few metres in front. But in highway, somehow it shines…very easy to go beyond 20km/l.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • P2 say leasing hyrbid mostly give priority to existing ativa customers so maybe he has both in household. ativa turbo alrd 1 year in market we all knw it familiar alrd

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
  • So what’s the actual real world fuel economy? didn’t keep track/document it or hiding something.

    Strange the owner didn’t mentioned it considering there is only 300 units in Malaysia, owners or Perodua themselves would sure want to know it in this ‘market study’ lease program.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
    • Victor on Nov 15, 2022 at 4:39 pm

      Traffic Jam with B Segment, often can do around 10-13km/L range.
      This 1.2EV can be doing around around 20-23km/L instead.

      Able to get highway cruising driving good fc for daily traffic jam.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  • Green on Nov 15, 2022 at 2:01 pm

    Nowadays too much traffic jam, fuel consumption easily higher..
    But this 1.2EV easily 50 % better fc @ daily traffic jam.

    Suitable for both city and highway drive. Rewarding with stable good fc, lower carbon emissions, with the 1.2EV environmental friendly drivetrain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
  • I’ve got mine few days ago. Need find where can get the tonneau cover, feeling so bare with nothing to cover the boot. Slight turned off for without reverse camera though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
    • Looking for it too… do drop a comment if you manage to find one. Contacted perodua but they don’t sell

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • Samantha Koe on Nov 16, 2022 at 9:49 am

      I asked Perodua sales person they say it is cheap can buy from their shops depending on stock available la.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • @Snakebabu on Nov 15, 2022 at 2:39 pm

    is this similar to Nissan’s e-power thingy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  • I’m one of the few owner as well. Family owns the normal Turbo AV variant so tested them side by side. Below are the major differences on top of what was mentioned:

    1. Build quality on the hybrid version is significantly better. Door handle mechanism and closing are much more refined (door handle feels more solid when pulling, car doesn’t feel as hollow especially on the rear doors). You’ll notice some rubber sealant missing on the AV Turbo compared to this. Trunk closes with a thud instead of a metal slamming sound. Quality overall is above any B-segment cars (Vios, City, etc). It feels like a proper 80k+ car now.

    2. You no longer need to pull the gas release lever to release the gas cover when fueling, just press on the cap like and it’ll pop open.

    3. Car NVH and smoothness is noticeably better when comparing side by side even when the gas engine kicks in.

    4. Removal of auto high beam switch. You’re no longer allowed to turn off the auto high beam + corner lamp function (switch is gone)

    5. Ride is on the softer side. Suspension is noticeably softer hence more comfortable crossing uneven surface.

    6. I’m averaging 21.4km/l after 400km. 80% city drive and the it is still improving.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 46 Thumb down 0
  • Jeane Tang on Nov 15, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    My sister too received one! My cousin has the AV model and we compared them when she collected her car. You are right especially about the door sounds. We were laughing about why the AV sound a bit tin kosong for back doors. I guess Japanese uses better material? Very quiet car too much better than my City.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 0
    • compare plz on Nov 15, 2022 at 4:55 pm

      plz help do a drag race compare AV vs hybrid drag time!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3
    • mememe on Nov 15, 2022 at 5:46 pm

      Jeane your last sentence made me laugh because:

      your Japanese car is made in Melaka. while
      the writer’s local car is made in Japan XD

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0
      • Jeane Tang on Nov 16, 2022 at 9:57 am

        Honda City wor. why u said made locally?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • samueljr on Nov 16, 2022 at 9:36 pm

        yes he is right. Honda Civics, City, HRV and many models are made in Alor Gajah, Melaka. that could be why quality control dropped a lot.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0
    • ayamxxx on Jan 08, 2023 at 4:47 pm

      typical CKD car manufacturers here, all cut cost on things we don’t see.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Curious Mind on Nov 15, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    Curious what is top speed of this hybrid? Got cap?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • im still prefer full spare tire instead of tire repair kit. tire repair kit only useful when the puncture is small.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
    • I prefer those light weight spare tyres, not a full sized spare. Weight reduction and zero maintenance.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1
  • molah on Nov 16, 2022 at 6:29 am

    Registration is already closed right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Curiousity Cat on Nov 16, 2022 at 10:05 am

    about the lease. What happen if you cancel subscription before 60 months? Do they offer shorter lease terms, like 2 years? want to know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Ground europe passenger on Nov 16, 2022 at 10:07 am

    Ativa hybrid only available via subscriptions because the car price may close to x50 range and the battery require high cost for maintenance after few years. Make it simple to own a ativa, just buy a H variant, wrap all black leather seat, put a good tint and live with the stupid eco idle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3
    • ecoIDLEsial on Nov 16, 2022 at 2:03 pm

      Paling benci eco idle ni kat krete P2. buang je fungsi ni plz. kejap2 restart kreta. aircond x sejuk.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1
  • karengoh on Nov 29, 2022 at 3:42 pm

    Here because just found out we have hybrid ativa cars now and was curious. Thank you for sharing the insight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • ngo2020 on Dec 01, 2022 at 11:13 am

    thank you paultan for publishing such user insights. enjoyed reading as I own the normal Ativa AV and was curious the differences.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Toyota fan on Jan 02, 2023 at 7:36 pm

    Averaging at 21km per liter? That’s an unimpressive FC for a hybrid. Vios with a fully ICE engine could do similar FC under a the right driving condition.

    Heck even Axia is more fuel efficient I guess.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • bolehje on Jan 03, 2023 at 4:25 pm

      Been using this same car for 2 weeks. I could get 25km/L on my Ativa hybrid without changing how I drive. My other daily driver is an X70 so this hybrid has been super economical. The writer must have been very heavy footed or something.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
      • Nick WS on May 31, 2023 at 5:44 pm

        I am also a subscriber since Dec 2022.
        My average FC is 24-25km/L.
        Everyday go work and back home about 20km 1-way.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • I just need affirmation on the following.
    This car has no CVT or any form of power transmission from the ICE to the wheels. So it is like a diesel-electric locomotive where the ICE power a generator to power the electric motor wheels and keeps its batteries charged.
    we like that because we won’t have any range anxiety anywhere because we can fill it up with RON 95 and/or charge it battery.

    when will this hybrid be sold to the public and what would be its OTR price because we would like to be one of its first purchasers.

    Thanks for the good work, kipidap !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
    • Daihatsu Move coming soon on Feb 22, 2023 at 10:27 am

      Perodua did announced they will launch a hybrid model soon. If sources are correct, it would be based on the Daihatsu Move. Hopefully they will also use the same hybrid setup as the Rocky Hyrbid, meaning the engine is only to generate electric to the DC motor. This is great for local market as we dont have to worry about range, because petrol pumps are all over the place!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • RHB financing on Feb 22, 2023 at 12:50 pm

    me too willing buy if this type of hybrid design. full EV i dun dare buy now because hv 2 charging.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Rasul Hamid on May 16, 2023 at 1:18 pm

    will p2 made this car soon? elektrik price going up as Anwar announced. EV will become too expensive to use now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • reenreen96 on May 17, 2023 at 1:48 pm

      instead of EV our local carmakers shud just look at this project serioulsy coz I think it make more sense becoz EV charging station quite hard to find or queue up

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
      • Syamsul Alhadi on Aug 09, 2023 at 3:07 pm

        this is ideally the best combination type. you get EV car, but powered by petrol. Paling baik lah.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Vincent on Jun 16, 2023 at 3:47 pm

    Perodua should look to installing the reverse camera this appears to be a std feature for new cars. A smaller n lighter spare tyre would also be a good addition aoart from the repair kit. Maintain the Japanese quality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Pintu Gerbang Baldur on Aug 11, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    instead of all the p:EV craze, local car makers should seriously look into developing more of these EV with petrol generators built-in. It is the best for both world. And for our country with poor/slow infrastructure, refueling at petrol station is still most practical than looking for EV chargers and waiting 40 mins there!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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