In 2010 when Toyota launched the Passo over in Japan we were shown a car that did not have any sporty pretensions at all. This current Passo targeted the older, more conservative and feminine crowd instead of the younger and cooler, more fashionable customer. I mean take a look at it below. It is so bland that Lipton tea without any creamer or sugar tastes better.
A lot of people mentioned that the Passo targeted the elderly Japanese ladies who used the car as a means of hitting the supermarket or departmental store and nothing else. I suppose they must be right as the car came with front bench type seats and a squarish wooden plank-like dashboard that had a gear lever on the dashboard instead of the center console like the Toyota Passo Sette MPV instead of the normal Passo auntie hatchback.
None of that nonsense in the Perodua version. You get a properly mounted automatic gear shifter, albeit in a raised section of the dashboard (but the manual variant gets a more traditional floor mounted shifter). You also get a nicer looking dashboard which compared to the earlier Myvi feels more tactile to the touch and slightly sturdier too. This is typical Toyota. They slowly improve on what is already decent in the first place.
And this is only the interior; the exterior gets a rear end that outshines the Passo. It has rear light clusters that arenít just blobs. They curve inward to the tailgate and make the car look good. The original Passo looks like the designer went on leave. Actually they must have gone on leave very early in the project and didnít come back to really finish it properly.
What this tells you is that I think the new for 2011 Perodua Myvi is a very good follow-up to the previous version in terms of styling and one that it is totally better looking than the current Passo.
Oh yes, other mechanical details include an electric assisted power steering instead of the hydraulic setup that the previous model had. This allows the Myvi to sip less fuel up to a tune of over 14km/liter instead of the 13km/liter zone as well as make slightly more power due to less parasitic drag to the engine. It however keeps the previous 1.3liter engine and 4 speed automatic gearbox instead of the CVT transmission offered in the Passo. This is as the traditional torque convertor gearbox is deemed to be more robust in the long run. CVT gearboxes tend to suffer in the heat and humidity of the tropical weather and Perodua isnít taking any risks I presume.
What will now happen is that the new 2011 Perodua Myvi will sell like hotcakes over in Malaysia even . As always it should sell reasonably well in all of its export markets too by the looks of it. Badge snobbery aside as I totally believe that this current evolution (not a total revamp) of the Myvi in terms of styling is actually way better than the one from Japan.
As for pricing, the new Myvi in base form sells for the same price over in Malaysia (RM44,600 for the base manual). The car has driver and passenger airbags instead of no airbags previously. Perodua managed to maintain the same price by omitting the alloy wheels instead. Plastic covers adorn the wheels now. The body kitted Perodua Myvi 1.3 Elegance is the range topping model at the moment and a new 1.5liter variant with a more aggressive body kit (which makes me wonder what is so elegant about a Myvi with a body kit), steering wheel audio controls (which none of the three current model range has) and some additional bits and bobs. Total cost of buying this range topping model goes up by RM,4000 to RM57,000 making this Myvi hard to swallow for most Malaysians. The 1.5liter will be launched sometime before the end of the year.