Perodua Axia Mk1 Facelift 2 (2019-Present) Expert Review
23 September 2022
The Perodua Axia is a decent car for the first-time buyer - certainly better than the Viva that came before it. But you do get what you pay for, it feels cheap to drive and sit in, especially compared to Proton alternatives. However, the improved safety is a huge step forward.
The 1.0 litre three-cylinder engine belies its measly 66 hp/90 Nm output, pulling strongly from low revs. Fuel economy is a standout - you'll regularly achieve close to 20 km per litre in normal everyday driving. Manual shifts are clunky and imprecise, and the clutch lacks weight and feel - really, you're much better off with the smooth and fairly responsive automatic gearbox.
Ride & Handling
Mixed bag in this area. The ride is decent enough at low speeds - the trade-off, of course, is plenty of body roll. There's ample grip, but the steering is slow, vague and overly light in the bends; weirdly, however, it then becomes really rather heavy at low speeds.
The Axia suffers from a lot of wind and road noise, and while the thrummy three-pot engine note is loud and sends plenty of vibration into the cabin. You sit quite high up - this gives a commanding view of the road, but the low-set fixed steering wheel can rub against the thighs of taller drivers. The seats are also very narrow and lack any form of meaningful support or bolstering.
The lack of ABS for the base variant in inexcusable, but the addition of electronic stability control (ESC) and active safety systems in the high variants is a class stand-out.
Cabin room is the Axia's party piece - it's way more spacious than it looks, both in terms of legroom and the commodious 260 litre boot. There are also plenty of convenient places to store your belongings, including a handbag hook to protect against prying thieves.
It is the cheapest car in Malaysia, but you do get what you pay for. At the top of the range, you can already consider bigger, better cars such as the Myvi, or even the Proton Iriz.