Perodua has given the Bezza a new face for 2020
The ball representing the Malaysian motoring industry in 2020 has finally started rolling now that Perodua has gifted us with the first car launch of year. Less than a week after confirming specs and prices of the Bezza facelift, the national carmaker has officially taken the covers off its sole sedan offering. It may not be the mid-week read on TG.com you were hoping for, but we'll take what we can for now.
Until something more exciting comes around, let's try to appreciate the effort Perodua's designers have put into turning its once clumsy-looking three-boxed creation into a genuinely handsomer car given cost and size restrictions; the overhauled front end looks especially sharp and modern when paired to the similarly fresh LED headlights and 15-inch alloys - hey, they're a decent size for this segment okay.
Unfortunately, we can't say the same about what's going on underneath the Bezza's new skin as it soldiers on with a 67hp three-banger (for the 1.0G) and a peppier 1.3-litre four-pot mill which bumps the output up to a grand total of 94hp and 121Nm of torque. Both engines are mated to a four-speed automatic but the base 1.0G gains the option of a five-speed stick shift for "real drivers".
Being the lightest car of the lot, the 1.0G MT (865kg) is unsurprisingly the most economical with a claimed figure of 22.8km/l (4.4l/100km), but the range-topping 1.3AV with the four-speeder is a close second with 22.0km/l (4.5l/100km) thanks to its 'Eco Idle' feature; yes, the car rewards you with the sensation of the engine shutting off mid-way through your drive despite not having a clutch pedal.
Other features exclusive to the AV include a reverse camera and side mirrors that "can retract with the push of a button". On a more impressive note, the most expensive Bezza variant also gains Perodua's Advance Safety Assist 2.0 (ASA 2.0), which is made up of Pedestrian Detection (up to 50kph), Pre-Collision Warning (up to 100kph), Pre-Collision Braking (up to 80kph), Front Departure Alert and Pedal Misoperation Control. And here's the best bit: the ASA 2.0-equipped 1.3AV is the only Bezza variant with a five-star Asean NCAP rating. Other buyers will have to make do with four. Interesting...
The price for a Perodua sedan kitted with potentially life-saving features is a cool RM49,890, which is a rather hefty sum given that the highest-spec variant of its immediate rival, the Proton Saga, retails for a whole RM10k less while the Myvi 1.5 costs roughly the same amount of money. If that's too steep, you'll be happy to know that the mid-spec X (RM43,980) shares the AV's VSC, traction control and front parking sensors. The 1.0G starts at RM34,580 (RM36,580 for the 4AT) if you're looking for something more budget-friendly, but Proton will still give you a 1.3-litre sedan for less. Just sayin'.
If money were no object, you can easily add close to RM5k worth of options from Perodua's GearUp accessory catalogue, with standout items being a "Dynamic bodykit with light guides and rear spoiler" for RM2,000, Dynamic seat covers for RM600 and something Perodua simply calls "door comfort" for RM450. The cost of these options can be factored into the purchase price, and consequently into the loan you'll need to take out on the car. Because who wouldn't want to finance a spoiler and some side skirts to stand out from your average Grab car?