Sunday, July 24, 2016

Perodua Bezza Test Drive (Review)

The Malaysia car market is once again getting more exciting thanks to the newly launched Bezza by The Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sendirian Berhad (Perodua). This is just like the time when Perodua launched the B-segment Myvi back in 2005 and it has been a big hit ever since. At almost 10 years later, Perodua's A-segment Axia replaced Myvi as the highest selling car in Malaysia.


So here comes the Perodua's first EEV sedan which sits on the Axia’s platform – Bezza. It's a compact sedan that competes directly with the Proton Saga. Come to think about it, someone could fork out another 20-30k for a larger Japanese sedan such as the Toyota Vios, Honday City or Nissan Almera. So the question here is; will Malaysian want to go for the Perodua Bezza especially the top of the variant at almost RM51k? Let's find out.

The front side view of Perodua Bezza Premium X. The colour is Ocean Blue.
There's 5 variant of Bezza in total with 6 colours to choose from. There's the 1.0G in manual and automatic transmission, 1.3 Premium X also in both transmission and lastly the 1.3 Advance which is only available in automatic. The colours available are Ivory White, Glittering Silver, Ebony Black, Lava Red and two new colours (Premium X and Advance only) which is the Ocean Blue and Sugar Brown.

Even though Bezza is sitting on the same platform as Axia, the look and feel are totally different. At first glance, the exterior of Bezza is significantly different and they don't share the same body panels with Axia. I personally prefer the cuteness of Axia's front bumper but Bezza has its own mature look.

The front view of Perodua Bezza Premium X
The head lamps are different than Axia and uses halogen reflector. No LED daytime running lights, a feature which is already available in their competitor's model, Proton Iriz. While the fog lamp and front parking censors are only available on the Premium X and Advance model.

The rear view of Perodua Bezza Premium X
At the back, Bezza did not bring over the clear lens tail lamp style from the Axia. The tail lamp somehow reminds me of the previous-gen Honda Civic. The chrome bar gives the car a premium look to it and no nonsense fake exhaust tip is found here. There's two reverse parking sensors for all models and a reverse camera for the Advance.


The two fins at the side of the tail lamp are claimed to improve the aerodynamics of this car.


Same goes for the most basic Bezza model, everything looks almost identical except there's no front fog lamps, electric side mirrors and chrome door handles. Side skirting only available in the Advance model.


The 14 inch rims are identical to the one used in Axia but with a quieter rubber to reduce 10% rolling resistance. The Advance gets a two toned 5-spiral-spoke alloy rim.

Engine bay of Bezza Premium X
From reading the online review, there are more drivers who prefer the 1.3L engine than 1.0L. The 1.3L engine is a Dual VVT-i engine that has teflon coating for the pistons, larger water jackets, roller rocker arm and iridium spark plugs. All those contributes to better performance on the Bezza while keeping the fuel consumption low.

Engine bay of Bezza 1.0G
Since the Bezza is 45kg heavier than Axia, it remains the same 1.0L engine but has been improved and increased by 1 horsepower. Still, it's not convincing enough to me that the engine is able to perform smoothly on a sedan car.


Now moving on to the interior. Perodua is trying their very best to keep the car as light as possible and the downside is that the plastic feels cheap and thin. Not only the aircon outlet, aircon knobs and audio player buttons on the dashboard in the 1.0G model feels cheap but the door panels feels the same too. The glove box is very small for a sedan and it's even smaller than Viva's. Key is needed to fire up the engine too while the Premium X and Advance comes with a push start button.


For me, the bottle holder compartment on the door is where the plastic feels the thinnest and the area right on top of the door handle sounds very hollow too.


The speedometer in Bezza has a more serious look than other Perodua model. Some may find this a little boring but it's not too fancy and has a very straightforward design.


The dashboard on the Premium X model looks a lot better than the 1.0G with the glossy piano black trim across the dashboard with silver finishing on the audio player, aircon outlet and part of the steering wheel too.


The door handle inside comes in chrome too other than the one outside on Premium X and Advance model.


Push start button is available on Premium X and Advance model. The funny thing about the 1.0G model is that you have to adjust the side mirror manually outside by winding down the window. That's ancient! Even my Kancil has the electronic mirror adjustment feature and that car is more than 15 years old! The blank buttons are for the VSC off and Eco Idle off buttons available only on the Advance.


The best interior comes down to the Advance model with no blank buttons, silver finishing on the aircon knobs, more silver finishing on the steering wheel, additional audio switches and it's leather-wrapped. The audio player is also upgraded to a multimedia system with navigation, smart link for Android, CD player, reverse camera and bluetooth. All those features are only available on the Myvi Advance which cost RM58k. So in this case, Bezza is more affordable.


Fabric seat for the 1.0G and Premium X while the Advance gets the leather seat. The front seats are comfortable for my size and I have no problem with the road visibility despite having a higher dashboard. The adjustable seat height comes in handy for those who have that problem.


The rear seats are too straight for my liking. There were concern about the head room on the rear, I am about 180cm tall and I don't find that to be a problem. The seats can be fold down at 60:40 split but it's not fully flat. Thanks to one of the reader, I did not mention about the ISOFIX mount points on the left and right side of the rear passenger seat.


Leg rooms are adequate for my height, better than Axia. As you can see in the picture, there is the 'tapau' hook and the handbag hook on the side that the ladies would appreciate the most.


There are a phone holder and usb port at the center which I find it very useful these days. Thumbs up Perodua for keeping their Bezza up to trend. Will the Bezza be comfortable for 3 average size passengers at the rear seats? I would say yes and no. It depends on how much comfort you want. For long distance drive, it's an obvious no.

The boot space on Bezza can fit 2 average person in it!
The boot space is also most highlighted in Bezza. With a whooping 508 litres, Bezza has the biggest boot space in comparison with every Perodua models and also slightly bigger than Toyota Vios. How is that even possible? The Vios is a B-segment while Bezza is A-segment. Bezza is 27k cheaper too (Bezza Advance vs Vios 1.5J). A wise man once told me, with great power, comes great responsibility. With great boot space, comes a full size 14" tire. Not the stingy space saver tire that most of the sedan out there is offering.

Taking the 1.3 Advance for a test drive. The lava red Bezza at the background is the 1.0G model.
It's finally time for the test drive. We tried out the 1.0G auto and 1.3 Advance but skipped the Premium X. For the 1.0G, the engine sound is noticeable noisier than the 1.3L engine. The pick up is slower and it takes more effort when going uphill. The steering wheel is light and has decent response. The drive doesn't felt as bumpy as Axia or Myvi too which is definitely a good thing. The tires did a great job reducing the rolling resistance and keeping the noise at minimal.

When driving the Advance model, it felt like as if I am driving a Honda. Well, it's just me. From reversing, cruising on the flat road and going uphill, it's smooth and the four-speed auto gearbox performance was up to my standard. Gear changes consistently at around 3500 to 4000rpm. The only thing that I would comment on is the Eco Idle system where the starter sound was quite loud upon turning the engine on. At least it's faster to start up than the Honda Insight.

Overall, the 1.0G model is a 50/50 to me due to the engine performance and lacking of certain features. Premium X is almost there but then again I don't mind spending the extra 6k for the Advance model to gain VSC, traction control, hill start assist, Eco Idle system, leather seat and better multimedia system. So the Perodua Bezza Advance is a YES for me. Proton shouldn't have taken their sweet time to launch the new Saga. Too bad...

Price list for the Perodua Bezza (OTR with insurance, roadtax and GST):-

1.0G (M) : RM37,300
1.0G (A) : RM39,300
1.3 Premium X (M) : RM42,800
1.3 Premium X (A) : RM44,800
1.3 Advance (A) : RM50,800.00

FYI, The 1.0G model only has 3 years warranty or 100km while the Premium X and Advance has 5 years warranty or 150km. You can download their brochure here. It's the exact same brochure that I received from the showroom.
...

Update 24/08/16: After driving the Bezza 1.3 Premium X (A) for more than a week, here are some pros and cons which I have gathered:-

The good: NVH is acceptable even at 100km/h. The engine noise is minimal, only the road noise is quite noticeable. The rpm is only 2,500 at 100km/hr which is a good thing for a 4 speed automatic. It doesn't feel like an A segment car comparing the cabin space with Axia and Viva.

The bad: The electric steering's response is slow, the lack of steering height adjustment which made the gap between it and my thighs are too small, the rear seats are not comfortable for long distance drive as well. The dashboard is a dust magnet especially on the glossy black area.

What do you think? Will you give the new Bezza a try or you prefer the all new Proton Persona? Do let me know in the comments below.




.: Peace Out :.