Preview: All-new Perodua Axia 2023

All-new Perodua Axia launches soon. Lisa Kuok got a test drive of the heavily camouflaged top-of-the-range AV variant

The all-new Perodua Axia will be here soon. Ahead of the launch, we were given a preview of the car and a short drive in the AV variant.

Here’s what we know. The A-segment hatchback is built on a completely new DNGA (Daihatsu New Global Architecture) platform. The preview car is heavily camouflaged but a quick eye-ball shows a larger, wider and taller, yet less upright-looking car, with the sloping rear hatch-line.¬† The silhouette is now more European with a side profile reminiscent of the Volkswagen Polo Hatchback.

The three-cylinder, 1.0-litre engine is carried over with the four speed auto transmission swapped out for a DCVT. The advantage of this new gearbox is improved fuel efficiency. The all-new Axia can travel up to 23.2km/L compared to 21.6km/L under the New European Driving Cycle. The DCVT is also better suited for city driving.

Standard features in the AV are red-stitched half-leather sport-y seats with side bolsters, electrostatic keyless entry, power-mode, LED headlights with positioning lights, LED daytime running lights, steering height adjustment and 14-inch rims.

Inside, the dashboard looks modern and stylish. A thick brushed silver line runs across horizontally making the cabin feel more expansive. The AV has a customisable fully-digital instrument cluster. There is also a larger infotainment monitor in the centre of the dashboard. No Apple Carplay or Android Auto but there are alternatives provided to connect your smartphone display on to the infotainment monitor. The two Malaysian-favourite features, the tapau hook and the anti-snatch bag hook are in the all-new Axia.

The AV spec has ASA 3.0, the latest version of the advanced driver-assistance system that is also in the Alza and the Ativa. This includes pre-collision warning, pre-collision braking, front departure alert, pedal misoperation control, parking assistance including a reverse camera and rear cross traffic alert. There are also driving assist features like lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, adaptive cruise control, lane keep control and blind spot monitor. Finally, headlamp assist features like auto high beam and adaptive driving beam. This makes the Axia the safest sub-RM50k car, the estimated price at launch, in the market.

The adaptive cruise control has high speed tracking function – automatically accelerating and decelerating according to the distance of the vehicle ahead. Adaptive cruise control can be engaged from 30km/h and up to 125km/h.

On the road, the handling of the new car is stable. It also feels more solid and refined compared to the earlier Axia. The throaty three-cylinder engine is not so much rough as gruff with a ready-to-go vibe. There isn’t the core-shaking vibration usually associated with three-cylinders at idle.

The estimated launch price range for the all-new Perodua Axia is between RM38,600 and RM49,500. That’s around 10 per cent more than the outgoing Axia but the value from the build improvements, technological advancement, additional features and higher safety specs more than outweigh the increased cost. This car is low-cost but it’s not by compromising the buyer.

Watch this space for more details including the launch of the all-new Perodua Axia.