The Crown Prince of Road Rage – 2013 Perodua Myvi Review

Engine: 1.3 L K3-VE DVVT DOHC I4

Year: 2013

Drive train: Front Wheel Drive

Transmission: 4 Speed Automatic

Second hand value (2017): ~RM25,000


The 2013 Myvi is a facelifted version from the original debut in 2005 (facelift debuted in 2011). The one we managed to get our hand on was the most basic automatic facelifted Myvi that you could get – Steel Wheels with hub caps (they’ve fallen off), no rear spoilers, no fog lights, no Bluetooth connectivity, no reverse camera, and no ABS. A brand new basic Myvi would cost you around RM43,000. With a resale value of around RM25,000, it is doing pretty well in the second-hand market.


Myvi in Malaysian Culture


A 1st generation Myvi made to look like a dragon at Velocity Motor Show 2017

The Myvi is synonymous with young drivers and a huge reason for that would be the affordable price tag. Unfortunately for the Myvi, the recklessness associated with young drivers have also become embedded in the public’s perception towards the Myvi. We often see memes* regarding the Myvi, and although extremely satirical and humorous, do hold to be true some times.


For the older generation who don’t know what a meme is…


Meme = an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.


Some examples of memes:




The Myvi is also a popular choice as a second car for middle income families. And probably a third car for high income families. Often the one being used to send the kids to school, to do the grocery run, or to run daily errands. Due to its small size and manoeuvrability, the Myvi is also a popular choice for senior citizens and retirees. But the majority of Myvi drivers are young people.


In a cultural sense, you could say the Myvi in Malaysia is like the Mini in the United Kingdom or the Golf in Germany. I am stating this on the basis that these cars are best sellers in their respective nations, affordable to the masses, and are also compact cars. Perhaps as this young generation gets old, we will see car clubs dedicated to restoring Myvis in the future. Who knows?


You have probably encountered several less than great moments involving a Myvi. Perhaps a Myvi high beaming you on the right lane, a Myvi cutting queue at a traffic light, a Myvi not indicating before it switches lane, or a road raging Myvi. These things are solely associated to driver behaviour and since the Myvi is Malaysia’s best-selling car, we see more of these behaviours in Myvis than we do in other car models.


An example of Myvi road rage in SS15:



At Cars of Malaysia we encourage safe and courteous driving. Patience is a good attribute to have when facing life’s adversities and tests, making big decisions in life, doing business, and maintaining a happy and harmonious family. It is also a good attribute to have when driving.


What is it Like to Drive?



The Myvi is surprisingly responsive with very eager initial throttle response. I could shift into D from N on my Persona and not have my foot on the brake and it will just slowly roll forward. I can’t do that in this 2013 Myvi. It will just jump and you need the brakes to tame it down. After a while you do get used to it and if you’ve only ever driven a Myvi in your entire life, an old Persona might seem to be very slow to you. It’s all a matter of perspective.


When I got into the Myvi, I was expecting things to be fully electronic since the steering wheel is EPS (Electronic Power Steering) and the interior feels much more modern and refined compared to my Persona. I was expecting Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) but it turned out to be mechanical. With drive by wire or electronic throttle control, you do feel a buffer in the throttle response.


Although I personally prefer things to be mechanical, there are some benefits to consider with electronic controls. Such an example would be the EPS (Electronic power steering). The first generation Myvi used a hydraulic power steering system. This facelifted Myvi uses the same 1.3L engine from the first generation but sends 10 more HP to the wheels.


How come?


Well as claimed by Perodua, you get the 10hp increases since the EPS does not withdraw power from the engine like the hydraulic system does. To understand this matter, we have a diagram for you.


Look at this diagram from AGCO Automotive Corporation




The power steering pump is driven by a belt connected to the engine. Many things are connected to the engine and create load like your timing belt, aircond compressor belt, and alternator belt. Switching to EPS takes this load off from the engine so more power can be sent to the wheels. I never expected 10hp but that’s what the figures are and they are rather significant.


The Myvi is tall like most modern compacts and has a rather satisfying interior finish, also like most modern compacts. One thing I have to admit is that this is probably the best 4-speed automatic gearbox that I have driven so far. With the rise of CVT, it might be hard to find a new contender, but I also haven’t driven a lot of older cars yet so let’s see if this Myvi can retain that number one spot in my list.


Rear passengers won’t be so comfortable in a Myvi since you will be sitting directly on top of the rear wheel. I have my mother’s complains to back up this claim.


Improving While Staying Rather Traditional


Can you see the mechanical throttle?

You might disagree but I classify a car like this to be traditional since it still uses mechanical throttle control and a 4-speed automatic gearbox. The base model of the Myvi (at this time) also offered steel wheels with hub caps. Newer cars seem to offer alloy wheels even on the lowest tier models these days.


Although retaining these raher traditional attributes, the Myvi does feel new and relevant. It’s responsive (that’s a really big plus), it feels good on the highway (you could stretch it to 140 but cruising at 120 provides a fairly comfortable ride), and the gear shifting is good. Good enough qualities for a runabout vehicle.


The interior is also decent and currently still feels relevant with appearance of new cars in the market. This particular 2013 Myvi hasn’t gone far and up to today, it is yet to fail catastrophically or strand the owner by the side of the road.


Some Features


1.3 L DVVT DOHC I4



A storage tray under the front passenger seat



Steel Wheels



A good 4 speed automatic



ISOFIX (behind the rear seats)



Pedals from first gen Myvi and Kelisa



Very low mileage especially if used as 2nd family car



3 point seat belt for rear center passenger



Two front airbags


Conclusion


A small, nimble, and responsive car. Be prepared to be stereotyped. Don’t think about it too much. We know it’s just the few bad apples.


 

Until then.

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