Perodua : The Malaysian Small Car Success Story

Perodua is a Malaysian car manufacturer who focuses primarily upon vehicles built for fuel efficiency, low price, cheap repairs and long lifespan. They have been the most popular locally...

Perodua is a Malaysian car manufacturer who focuses primarily upon vehicles built for fuel efficiency, low price, cheap repairs and long lifespan. They have been the most popular locally sold car for over a decade in Malaysia, but are little known outside of the country.

The company was established primarily by Daihatsu and are now primarily held by Toyota and Daihatsu (note that Daihatsu’s parent company is also Toyota). In the past vehicles built by Perodua were often obtained via Daihatsu, where the engine and chassis were borrowed then the styling, interior and a few other mechanical and chassis changes were added on.

This is true of the Perodua Kelisa which originated as a Daihatsu Mira (Daihatsu Cuore in some markets), along with the Perodua Viva. These vehicles however are no longer sold, though they were still very popular in the Malaysian market, and have proven to be solid reliable cars. Considering the temperature in Malaysia is a fixed 35 degrees Celsius every day of the year, and many examples of these cars have over 250,000 to 300,000km’s, it shows clearly they are reliable and durable for the conditions.

The latest Perodua and by far the most popular over the last 10 years has been the Perodua Myvi, the cars that were built before June 2011 were based upon the Daihatsu Mira with a similar story to the Kelisa in terms of it’s conception.

However Perodua did something unexpected with the post June 2011 Myvi, they took only the engine from the Daihatsu/Toyota partnership, along with technical assistance from the two companies, then completely designed, engineered and manufactured the car in Malaysia using local talent and labour. This was the first time they had taken this route, and it paid off. The car has been given extremely good reviews and has become somewhat of a sought after car for Malaysians.

They feature a Toyota 4 cylinder VVTi engine, specifically the 2NR-VE 1.5 litre.  This car makes 102 hp at 6000 RPM along with torque of 136 Nm at 4200 RPM.

This engine was also used in the current Toyota Vios, however considering a Vios retails for around RM78,000, or $18,700, the current Myvi retails for around RM45000, or $10,800 USD. A considerable savings considering the average Malaysian earns around RM42,000 per year, or $10,000 USD.

Second hand Myvi’s produced after June 2011 are even cheaper for those looking for a low km example, while still having all the features of the latest new car, they are very popular with locals especially for corporate fleet cars and GrabCar (the Malaysian Uber).

However those who can not afford a new car can take advantage of the still reliable older generation Perodua’s, the previous generation Perodua Myvi sells with low km’s for around RM20,000, or $4,800 USD, and had a fairly good safety standard with dual airbags and ABS brakes.

Owners can download a pdf 2005 to 2011 Perodua Myvi workshop manuals here for free.

Other options such as the Kelisa, which can be found for around RM12,000, or $3000 USD, with under 75,000kms. However safety ratings on these vehicles were sub-standard.

Owners can download a free pdf Perodua Kelisa workshop manual here.

For those with low budget but with safety in mind, the “Premium” model Perodua Viva came fitted with dual air bags and ABS brakes, and can be found for a similar price as the Kelisa locally.


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