Here’s part two of our comprehensive review of the Perodua Bezza:
Perodua Bezza: Spirited Performance
In spite of its budget aspirations, the Perodua Bezza Premium X and Advance are well-equipped and quite capable to give other more powerful and more expensive cars a run for the money. To put things into perspective, 94hp to motivate a mere 930kg (sans driver) is roughly equivalent to a 1.5-tonne D-segment sedan with 155hp under the hood!
In practice, the Bezza Advance which is only available in automatic by the way, proved to be quite zippy and responsive in nature, taking everybody here at allcarschannel.com by surprise. Even with 2 additional passengers on board, the 1.3-liter powerplant seldom felt out of depth, pulling along quite nicely which really goes to show just how important power to weight ratio really is. I even had a little episode with a friendly guy in a Kia Forte 1.6A, and even I was surprised at how far I left the poor bloke behind!
Having said that, the Bezza was never intended to be driven like a sports car, otherwise it would’ve been shod with lower profile tires and be at least 15 inches or larger. As it stands, the Bridgestone Ecopia on the Premium X and Advance variants and Silverstone Kruizer on the Standard G variants are specced at 175/65 R14 which are eco-friendly, low rolling resistance, quiet tires meant for acing fuel economy and comfort, so you’re well advised to treat them as they should be treated; with care and utmost respect for G forces.
One thing that the Bezza does really well is the poise and demeanor it exhibits over speed humps. Again, another ace up its sleeve here. You can pretty much cruise over most if not all speed humps up to 30km/h without breaking a sweat. Perodua has done really well in the chassis stiffness and suspension setup departments to make the Bezza one of, if not the best speed hump jumper in my history books! The front goes up, it comes down, rebounds once and then it’s the tail’s turn, up and down and one rebound. None of that crazy nosedive and out of sorts BS typical of Japanese econoboxes, and though I hate to admit it, the Bezza does it with more aplomb than even Continental makes such as my own Golf 6 TSI. Perodua’s engineers clearly used our real world roads for testing and fine tuning. I’d have to say this is by far the car’s best attribute.
Perodua Bezza: The King is Dead, Long Live the King!
So with the introduction of the new Bezza lineup, Perodua is slated to completely dominate the TIV (total industry volume) charts in the country. Inasmuch as I’d like to discredit the car for its slightly pedestrian design, it is arguably the best bang for buck that anyone in the 50k bracket and under would likely end up buying. Understanding what consumers really want does pay dividends; great fuel economy, affordable price, low maintenance costs, spacious interior, powerful engine, strong residuals, chockfull of gadgets and mod cons, attractive and affordable add-ons, the list goes on.
The problem with the Bezza is that it will not just unseat the competition but it will inevitably cannibalize part of its own market. The latest Myvi for example, is one likely victim. Not only is that model a poor successor to the one it replaced, it sits in the same price bracket as the Bezza offering way better value at no perceivable loss in prestige or interior space. The Axia is also a possible candidate for cannibalization as consumers may choose to shell out just a bit more to get that capacious trunk. And by releasing updated engines and transmissions to trump the Axia’s and Myvi’s, Perodua is looking rather serious in taking over the market wholesale.
So kudos to Perodua, the king is dead, and long live the new King…
Text and images: Greg Yang