Sportier alternatives to Malaysia’s darling hatchback that cost less than RM60k
Yes, we know. There’s an all-new Perodua Myvi around and the amount of features it packs is drawing Malaysians into Perodua showrooms by the hordes. The hype is also likely to give other carmakers headaches for the next year or two.
But as good as the new Perodua Myvi is on paper, some of us will still hunt around for similarly-priced alternatives because we don’t want to be driving the same car as our college mates, colleagues and aunties.
Fortunately for you, we’ve done our homework and have come up with a comprehensive and savvy list (not really) of other vehicles you can consider purchasing for under RM60k.
Proton Iriz – The ‘natural’ rival
The first obvious choice here is of course the Proton Iriz – the Myvi’s direct rival. Though a tad smaller in size and perhaps lacking some of the neat features the Myvi boasts, the recently refreshed Iriz has got one thing going for it: its sporty drive.
Yes, it actually has sporty ride and handling, which is proof that Proton’s recently-ended ownership of Lotus did not go to waste. The chassis is brilliant, making the Iriz a great platform for enthusiasts to work on. Equip it with better tyres, perhaps a short-shifter if you’re going for the manual variant, and the Iriz is one serious machine to carve corners with.
With base prices ranging between RM43,800 to RM58,800, the Iriz is indeed in the Myvi’s sales crosshairs, but this is the better handling one of the two. Driving enthusiast on a budget should seriously consider this.
(Used) Honda CR-Z – The true sports hybrid
Next up comes a car that’s recently elevated itself into a cult favourite, and it’s one that’s got an arguably more efficient and frugal heart, thanks in part to a pacemaker that is the power-upping electric motor. We’re talking about the Honda CR-Z, and prices for a used but still-in-good-nick one today begs one to reconsider.
A survey through several local online classifieds shows plenty of early pre-facelift models selling for less than RM60k. Given that Honda has stopped importing this model, there’s no better time to snap up this collectible while prices are this reasonable still.
On top that, you’ll also be granted with a car that’s as fun to drive as it is stylish. We’re surprised to see how gracefully the CR-Z has aged, and we’re confident you wouldn’t mind owning this nimble, somewhat perky and efficient alternative over the new Myvi.
(Used) Suzuki Swift Sport – A true hot hatch
Thirdly comes an all-time favourite. We’re talking about the revered Suzuki Swift Sport, and we’re surprised to find more than a handful of these for sale on the used car market right now for less than RM60k – well within the Myvi’s price bracket.
Depending on generation, the Swift Sport’s free-revving 1.6-litre four-banger is good for at least 123hp and 148Nm in the second generation model or a higher 134hp and 160Nm in the newer third generation model.
Couple that with a slick, short-throwing five-speed manual (newer models have SIX gears) plus a well-balanced and lightweight chassis, and this is a proper hot hatch for those who love driving. Would you have a brand new Myvi over such a sweet handling machine? Yeah, we didn’t think so…
(Used) VW Golf 1.4 TSI (Mk 6) – A proper Euro
Our fourth contender is German, and it’s the sixth-generation Volkswagen Golf – the TSI, not GTI. Put aside what you may have heard about its mechanical gremlins and you’ll see that this is a gem of car that's now selling used for less than RM60k.
Not only does it have a bigger and arguably more plush cabin, it also packs a 1.4-litre turbocharged TSI four-pot that’s more powerful and much more efficient than any variants of the new Myvi abound.
Added into the VW Golf TSI Mk 6’s mix is its brilliantly refined ride and handling, which to be honest, doesn’t feel out of place today even. Surely, you’d best be in a proper European world beater, especially at the prices it commands in the used market right now.
WILDCARD: Kawasaki Z900 – Why not go for a ride?
If you really wanted an adrenaline rush, why drive? Go for a ride instead! There’s plenty of exciting two-wheelers out there that costs as much as a new Myvi, but our favourite of the lot right now is the new Kawasaki Z900 streetfighter.
We’ve recently reviewed this bike in our November 2017 issue where we noted its versatile handling and the exceptional performance of its 948cc four-cylinder heart. Adding to that is this streetfighter’s arguably sharp ‘Sugomi’ style looks.
Surely, the Kawasaki Z900 holds fun factor by the bucketloads over the new Myvi, not to mention the epic street cred you’ll amass pulling up at you destination astride one wearing full riding gear too. By the way, it's much cheaper too at just RM49,158 sans insurance and registration.