Perodua Viva
May 10, 2007 10:01 PM  

As a manufacturer of entry-level cars, it may be imagined that Perodua doesn't really need to worry about developing new models. After all, they make the cheapest cars in the market and their customer base is constantly getting refreshed (not many people would want to own a Perodua forever) and many are people who are first-time buyers or those who just want a reliable set of ‘wheels' for daily transportation. They probably don't crave for the latest and greatest, one might imagine. Yet customers in this segment - referred to as the ‘A segment' in the industry - actually have expectations not that much different from those of upper segments who pay more for their cars. In fact, according to a senior Perodua executive, Malaysian A-segment customers are actually much more demanding than those in other countries like Japan or Europe where, because they buy cheap cars, they know that they should not expect much. "Our Malaysian customers are, in a sense, spoilt and they want features and even quality levels to be comparable to cars that are at higher levels and cost more!" he once told me.

This prototype at the KL International Motorshow was actually a model of the Viva!

Thus Perodua has faced a big challenge all along even though it makes the cheapest cars in Malaysia. It has had to offer quality which is better than similar models in other countries  and because it is a Malaysian company, it is expected to also provide its products to Malaysians at a low price.

Because of its customers high expectations, Perodua has made sure that it not only keeps improving quality but also constantly refreshes and updates its products. Since being established, it has introduced six all-new models which cater to a broad range of customers. It's no secret that the models have been adapted from models that are produced by Daihatsu Motor, Perodua's partner. In some cases, the adaptation has been cosmetic although in the case of the Myvi, it was actually a collaborative effort in which Perodua was a partner in the original development of the model that is now shared with Daihatsu, Toyota and Subaru.

Tonight, Perodua launches its seventh all-new model which is intended to offer its customers new technology, better performance and comfort - at an affordable price. Known as ‘Viva', this new Perodua replaces the Kelisa so it is positioned above the Kancil. Thus, contrary to rumours that the Viva is to be a replacement for the Kancil and Kelisa, it is only the Kelisa that is going to be retired... somewhat odd since it is younger than the Kancil which was Perodua's very first model.

Viva 660

Viva 1000

"We debated the issue of retiring the Kancil for a long time and while it is indeed our oldest model - though it was updated some years ago - its price is still lower than that for the Viva. The price difference is a few thousand ringgit which, in this segment, does mean a lot to buyers. So our plan is to continue to make available the Kancil, which will still be our cheapest model, until such time that demand falls substantially," said Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar, MD of Perodua. Rather surprisingly, according to Encik Hafiz, the volume of the A-segment (including other models like the Naza Sutera and Proton Savvy) has been falling in the past four years. It was 124,000 units in 2004 but last year, it was down to 84,000 units. Of course, Perodua has not been affected (and has, in fact, seen rapid growth in volumes during that period), thanks to the strong sales of its other models, especially the Myvi.

"The A and B segments are Perodua's domain and we want to maintain strength and dominance in them so we're introducing an all-new model for the A-segment to draw more customers. We believe the new Viva has what it takes with its ‘Practical-Spacious-Compact' concept which will suit today's Malaysian lifestyles," he said.

As mentioned earlier, Perodua's models are shared with Daihatsu and the Viva has been adapted from the Daihatsu Mira which, coincidentally, was also the basis for the original Kancil. It is not from the same model as the Kelisa, which was the Cuore. However, it is interesting to see how the Mira has evolved from the model in the early 1990s to the one today which was chosen for the Viva in terms of design, technology and even dimensions.

Different mirrors for different versions. Top version has retractable feature too

At first glance, the Viva seems like a ‘baby Myvi' but it has its own character with a more flowing profile which suggests good aerodynamics. The height to width ratio is also well balanced with the wheelarches flared out slightly, giving a sporty undertone. On the 1000 cc versions, the sportiness is further enhanced with side skirting and there's also a rear roof spoiler with the 1000 cc Viva Premium.Since it replaces the Kelisa, the first comparison should be made with that model and in overall length, the Via is 95 mm longer but its width is narrower by 15 mm (although that actually makes no different to interior space as we will see later). It stands taller by over 100 mm and sits on a wheelbase of 2390 mm, 30 mm longer than the Kelisa's.

The area which Perodua highlights about the Viva is interior length which it claims to be superior to local rivals - and even the Myvi. According to Perodua-supplied data, the Viva's interior length is 1845 mm which is 10 mm more than the Myvi, a bigger car. Of course, 10 mm isn't meaningful so let's compare to the Kelisa and Kancil, both of which are over 120 mm shorter in cabin length. Perodua also provided data for rival models (but didn't identify them) and the closest is 55 mm shorter.

The couple distance is also another measure of spaciousness in a cabin and with the Kancil, one could say the occupants were rather close. No so with the Viva which has a front couple distance (width-wise)of 840 mm, 114 mm more than the Kancil. This comes from having an interior width of 1300 mm, which is 115 mm wider than the Kancil.

Large interior space is a highlight

Doors open 90 degrees from the body

Perodua also claims the Viva is Best-in-Class when it comes to cabin volume (interior height x interior width x interior length) at 2.99 cubic metres. The Myvi, one class above, is 3.26 cubic metres while the closest rivals are 2.90 cubic metres. Both the Kancil and Kelisa have smaller volumes that the Viva.
Another impressive thing about the Viva's cabin space is the luggage capacity - 449 litres when the rear seat is flat. It's not as big as the Kenari (which has a high ceiling) or the Myvi but it is substantially more than the Kelisa and Kancil and its immediate rivals. Access to the boot space is easy as the opening is pretty large and yet the sill is just 600 mm off the road. A thoughtful provision is a net which can keep loose items in place although its position would be better across the 1010 mm opening than behind the backrests. If it is across the opening, then it can also serve as a barrier to prevent things from falling out when the door is raised.

Like the Myvi, the doors of the Viva open extra-wide to 90 degrees... even wider than the Myvi which is 80 degrees to the body. With an opening that wide - almost like the doors have been taken off - it is very easy to get in and out. As a precaution, the hinge has three stages so that it does not swing open fully inadvertently and hit a wall or another car. Incidentally, for most cars, the opening angle is between 60 and 70 degrees.

Besides boasting of generous cabin space, Perodua is also proud to say that they have put in a lot of effort to provide a car of higher quality with the Viva. It's not just having better materials but also the thoughtfulness in the textures on surfaces and the interior colour scheme, all of which can make a difference to the ambience. Grey is the dominant colour but it is not a dull shade and blends well with the other trim in certain areas.

The centre section of the dashboard has a metallic finish which adds class and has a clean layout for the ventilation controls and audio system. Audio enthusiasts will be happy to note that Perodua has not integrated the audio head unit into the panel, unlike the Myvi. This means that it will be possible to replace the unit with an after-market set more easily if you don't like what Perodua gives you. The 850 cc and 1000 cc Vivas come with a 1DIN radio/CD-player and 4 speakers while the 660 cc version has a cassette player only with the radio.

As for instrumentation, the well-shrouded panel has two large meters, speedometer on the left and tachometer on the right. Following current trends, there is no coolant temperature gauge and when the engine is cold, a blue light is on which goes off when the normal operating temperature is reached. If an overheating condition is imminent, a red light comes on to warn the driver. Presumably, the threshold for overheating is set with a sufficient tolerance and not when the radiator is about to blow! A small LCD window between the two meters shows the fuel level and odometer/tripmeter. If the car has an automatic transmission, the gear position is also shown. On the 1000 cc version, a buzzer sounds when the headlamps are left on after the engine is switched off and the doors left open. This is certainly a good feature that will save the battery from going flat.

The features list for the Viva is good though many of the goodies are only found on the 1000 cc versions. These are items like a driver's seat height adjuster, adjustable seatbelt upper anchor position, electrically-adjustable door mirrors (also in 850 cc version), retractable door mirrors, power windows and door locking (also in 850 cc version), vanity mirror (but only on the driver's side), underseat tray and the steering wheel also has a more classy design. But all versions do come with features like cupholders, plenty of small storage spaces, a coin slot and even a utility box that is good for a toll tag or handphone.

Now to the powertrains and for the Viva, there are three 3-cylinder engine choices: 660 cc, 850 cc and 1000  cc. They are familiar engines but updated with modern technology such as DVVT (Dynamic Variable Valve Timing) and EFI, and they all have twin overhead camshafts. Having DVVT in the two smaller engines is something which gives Perodua the right to say ‘First in Class'.Power and torque ratings for the engines are as follow:

EF-VE 660 (659 cc) - 37 kW/50.3 bhp at 7200 rpm, 58 Nm at4400 rpm
ED-VE 850 (847 cc) - 39 kW/53.0 bhp at 6000 rpm, 76 Nm at 4000 rpm
EJ-VE 1000 (989 cc) - 45 kW/61.2 bhp at 6000 rpm, 90 Nm at 3600 rpm

5-speed manual transaxles are available for all engines but the 4-speed automatic is only available with the 1000 cc engine.

The suspension is typical of small hatchbacks with MacPherson struts in front located by an L-shaped lower arm. The suspension geometry has been optimised for better steering response and ride comfort. The 1000 cc engine has power-assisted steering and also a front stabilizer. At the rear, it's hardly surprising to see a torsion beam axle and trailing arms - so many small hatchbacks have them now!

In the area of safety, the Viva is well provided for although it is still a pity that they cannot offer airbags as standard on every version. Encik Hafiz said that it is still a matter of cost which is hard to absorb even though they have done their best to bring their production cost down. Thus they can only offer it on the Viva 1000 cc Premium at this time, and likewise with ABS (with EBD).

Perodua drew on Daihatsu's long experience in making small cars safe. The bodyshell has many reinforcements to maintain its integrity during a crash and of note is the extra protection for the front occupants' heads. Honeycomb pads which are Impact-absorbing are attached to the upper corner of roof just over the A-pillar. The driver is also protected from being injured by the steering wheel as it will collapse in the event of a front collision. All occupants get seatbelts in the Viva and the two at the rear sides have 3-point belts while the middle person has a 2-point belt.


The five colour choices

The introduction of the Viva should certainly spur buying interest in the market and particularly for Perodua which is intent on maintaining its leadership position. While the Myvi was an amazing success from Day 1, the company is cautious about the prospects of the Viva which is partly why the Kancil still remains in production. It's a pity that the Kelisa has to go but it would have been impractical to have two models in the same niche, which some other companies do and simply mess themselves up instead."We have nevertheless learnt lessons from the Myvi launch and we are now better prepared for the initial demand that we expect for the Viva. We have already assembled 2,000 units so we can deliver faster and we plan to produce between 7,000 and 8,000 units a month although we are projecting sales of 6,500 units a month," revealed Encik Hafiz.

Elaborating further, he said that they expect 55% of the Vivas sold to be the 1000 cc version. In recent times, Perodua has seen a shift in its customers to first-time buyers but for the Myvi, it is expecting that such buyers will account for 30% of sales and 50% will be additional car buyers. A small percentage will come from those who are replacing their existing cars.


Overall length: 3575 mm
Overall width: 1475 mm
Overall height: 1530 mm
Wheelbase: 2390 mm
Front track: 1320 ~ 1300 mm (depending on version)
Rear track: 1310 ~1290 mm (depending on version)
Weight: 755 ~ 800 kgs (depending on version)
Turning radius: 4.2 metres (660/850 cc), 4.4 metres (1000 cc)
Tyre sizes: 155/70x12 (660/850 cc), 155/65R13 (1000 cc Std), 165/55R14 (1000 cc Premium)
Spare tyre: Space-saver T105/90D12







Ebony Black

Sapphire Blue








Dual SRG Airbag, (ABS with EBD), Reverse Sensor, Rear Spoiler, Alloy Rim 14",

Electrical & Retractable (Body Color) side Mirror and Seat belt anchor adjuster.




























DVVT (Dynamic Variable Valve Timing)
Capable of improving engine dynamism by influencing gas exchange and combustion processes,regardless of driving conditions or vehicle load, which in turn translates to an increase in fuel efficiency and cleaner gas emissions.

DOHC (Double Overhead Camshaft)
Increases engine performance, with more power than a Single Overhead Camshaft.

EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection)
Cleaner gas emissions and fuel efficiency to a degree that greatly contributes to economical petrol consumption.


1.0 Standard



PERODUA VIVA 850 (Manual Only)

PERODUA VIVA 660 (Manual Only)







(Technical Specifications)



1000cc Standard

1000cc Premium






Manual - MT





Automatic - AT

Dimensions & Weight

Overall length / width / height (mm)

3575 / 1475 / 1530

Interior length / width / height (mm)

1845 / 1300 / 1250

Wheel base (mm)



Front (mm)







Rear (mm)







Minimum road clearance

non-laden (mm)


Kerb weight (kg)







Seating capacity (persons)


Min. turning radius - tyre (m)




Engine type




Valve mechanism

3 cylinder DOHC, 12V (4 Valve per cylinder) With DVVT

Total displacement (cc)




Bore x stroke (mm)

68 x 60.5

66.6 x 81

72 x 81

Compression ratio




Max. output (DIN)





Max. torque (DIN)





Fuel system


Fuel tank capacity (litres)



Main brakes (Booster equipped)

Front : Disc brakes with booster / Rear : Drums, leading & trailing

Parking brake

Mechanically operating on Rear wheels


Front : Macpherson Strut with coil spring /
Rear : Torsion Beam With Coil Spring





Spare tyre

Temp. tyre - T105/90D12


Front and rear bumper

Material Colour

Body Colour

Door outside handle

Material Colour

Body Colour

Wheel cap

Center Cap

Full Wheel cap

Alloy wheel

Side mirrors

Manual (Material Color)

Electrical (Body Color)

Electrical & Retractable (Body Color)

Side and front turn signal

Amber lens

Clear lens

Clear lens integrated with side mirror

Windshield glass

Standard type

With sun shade

Door visor (air press)






Rear spoiler



Grade mark




Seat cover material

Standard grade

Medium grade

High Grade

Steering wheel (3-spoke urethane)


With silver ornament

Meter combination

Standard type

With chrome

Door trim

Without fabric

With fabric

Centre cluster

Standard type

Painted (Silver)

Sun visor

Standard type

With vanity mirror & ticket holder on driver‘s side

Assist grip

Front (passanger)

Front (passanger) / Rear (left & right)

Seat back pocket


With (driver seat & passenger‘s seat)

Under seat tray



Rear package tray

Standard type

With carpet



Radio-cassette player (with front door speakers)

Radio-CD player (with front door & rear door speakers)

Power windows


With (front/rear)

Power steering




Intergrated seat height adjuster




Seat belt anchor adjuster




Light warning




Reverse sensor





Dual SRS airbag




ABS (with EBD)





Luggage net



Carpet mat

With (Standard grade)

With (High grade)

Tool kit bag



Safety triangle



License plate holder



Specifications are subject to change without prior notice.