Expert Review - Perodua Bezza D63D (2016-Present)
9 August 2016
The new Perodua Bezza takes the national carmaker to new heights - it's the company's first sedan, and comes with many new toys and safety features. But for better or for worse, it feels very much like a Perodua to drive - even though it feels like the company's most complete car to date. There are plenty of cars on the market that are much nicer and better to drive, but if all you want is a traditional sedan with a big boot, your search ends here.
Both 1.0 litre VVT-i and 1.3 litre Dual VVT-i engines impress with their tractability and willingness to rev; in particular, the larger engine gives the Bezza a surprising amount of vim, thanks to the car's low weight. As with most Peroduas, the Bezza is much better with the smooth, responsive four-speed automatic transmission - the five-speed manual is clunky and has long throws, and the clutch's high bite point makes low-speed manoeuvring a touch difficult.
Ride & Handling
Curiously, the Bezza's ride is surprisingly busy, even on the smallish 14-inch wheels - it never seems to settle down and lacks the cushiness of the Axia. On the other hand, the sedan feels more buttoned-down in the corners, with less roll and a greater resistance to understeer, although mid-corner bumps can upset its balance. The steering, however, saps fun out of proceedings by being slow and vague, and is marred by inconsistent weighting - although the turning circle is a city-friendly 4.5 m.
The excellent aerodynamics (0.286 Cd) means the Bezza suffers from little wind noise, but what it does suffer from is excessive tyre roar at highway speeds, as well as an annoying high-pitched whine on manual models. The near crossover-like tall driving position helps give an excellent view out, although as with the Axia, the Bezza has a fixed steering wheel that is mounted too low for taller drivers. The seats are narrow, and the lack of support means that long drives can get tiring.
At long last, all Bezza models come with ABS as standard - a first for Perodua. The top-spec Advance model also gets Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) that enables it to achieve a five-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating. Airbag count stays at two, however, although there are ISOFIX child seat anchors on the rear seats.
The Axia featured an impressive amount of space for such a small car, but the Bezza takes things to a whole new level - there is as much leg- and elbow room as a Toyota Vios one class above. The boot is a massive 508 litres (despite a full-size spare tyre), and you can fold both 60:40-split rear seats through twin levers conveniently located on the driver's side, so there's no need to go to the other side of the car. As with the Axia, the Bezza has a convenient handbag hook to protect against prying thieves, plus twin shopping bag hooks behind the front seats.
Although competitively-priced at RM37k, the base Standard G is sparsely-kitted, standard-fit ABS aside. Moving up to the RM43k Premium X variant bags a very decent amount of kit, including keyless entry, push-button start, front parking sensors and Bluetooth connectivity, while the RM51k Advance nets you toys like VSC, auto start-stop and a touchscreen infotainment system. The automatic gearbox is RM2k extra (Advance is auto-only) and is well worth the extra outlay.