KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — A year on from the launch of the Ativa, Perodua has introduced a hybrid version of its smallest SUV.
Rumours of the company’s first electrified offering have been brewing for a while now, and while it’s great to see the national carmaker jump into this space, it’s also doing so in a very convoluted manner.
Perodua Ativa Hybrid Malaysia pricing and availability
We say this because the Ativa Hybrid isn’t officially available for sale. Perodua is instead offering the car on a subscription basis, both to suss out consumers’ readiness for an “electric vehicle” (even though there’s definitely a petrol engine in there) and demand of a five-year subscription service.
The company already offers the latter to businesses under its EZ Mobi arm.
According to paultan.org, customers will need to fork out an upfront payment of RM2,150, followed by a leasing fee of RM500 per month. This works out to a total spend of RM32,150, although of course the car will go back to Perodua at the end of the five years. Road tax, insurance and maintenance are all borne by the company — you’ll only have to pay for the fuel.
While availability was not clearly stated, Perodua’s press release hints that the service will only be offered in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Bahru, as the company wants to understand the customers’ driving behaviour in these heavily-populated regions.
One more thing — there’s a mileage cap of 100,000km, equating to 20,000km a year and 1,666km a month. Presumably, you’ll have to pay a penalty for exceeding this limit. All units of the Ativa Hybrid are painted pearl white with no black roof option, unlike the regular Ativa.
Perodua Ativa Hybrid specs
At this juncture you might have noticed that the car looks a little different from the regular Ativa. It’s already well-known that the latter is based on the Daihatsu Rocky, but the Hybrid model is literally a Rocky Hybrid with Perodua and Ativa badges. Yes, this means this thing is fully imported from Japan, whereas the petrol Ativa is built in Rawang.
It also has a completely different engine. Out goes the 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder and CVT, replaced by an electric motor that produces 105hp and 170Nm of torque. Unlike a pure EV, there’s no big battery pack providing the juice; instead, you’ll find a 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated three-pot that functions solely as a generator to produce the electricity.
The big benefit is fuel consumption — the Hybrid achieves a claimed 28km per litre combined on the WLTP cycle, compared to 20.7km per litre for the standard Rocky, which shares the Ativa’s 1.0-litre mill. On Perodua’s (very optimistic) Malaysian Driving Cycle, the car can go up to 31.3 km per litre.
A Daihatsu Rocky Hybrid in all but name
On the outside, the Ativa Hybrid retains the Rocky’s angular front and rear bumpers, replete with the Hybrid-specific honeycomb grille.
It also gets new 17-inch five-lug wheels that Perodua claims is better suited to the car’s extra heft over the petrol model, which has four-lug rollers. Also fitted are the Japan-specific smaller wing mirrors with a curb-view mirror on the passenger’s side.
The Daihatsu’s interior has also been carried over, ditching the Ativa’s black-and-red leather seats in favour of all-black leather and fabric. Other unique features include different air-con controls with an auto function (but no memory settings) and an electronic parking brake.
Perodua’s own nine-inch touchscreen head unit has been retained, but there are no audio controls on the steering wheel.
As it’s a rebadged version of the range-topping Rocky Hybrid Premium G, the Ativa Hybrid should come with all the same features, including keyless entry (on both front handles, instead of just the driver’s side on the regular Ativa), six airbags, ability and the full complement of driver assistance features.
These include autonomous emergency braking, Level 2 semi-autonomous driving capabilities, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, front departure alert and pedal misapplication control.
Compared to the Ativa, the Rocky gets an improved stereo camera system that adds nighttime pedestrian detection, roadside deviation warning and a “stagger” warning to detect if you’re driving in a swaying manner. The electronic parking brake also adds a stop-and-go function for the adaptive cruise control, allowing the car to come to a standstill. — SoyaCincau