We can already hear a pack of keyboards firing away so yes, the 2021 Perodua Ativa (D55L) and Proton X50 are not direct rivals. But as we mentioned before, they are close enough to fall in the same shopping basket and will inevitably attract similar demographics.
If you are among the said demographics, then here is a guide to assist in your buying decision.
Let’s start with the price. The Perodua Ativa has 3 variants on offer – X, H, and AV, priced at RM 61,500, RM 66,600, and RM 72,000 respectively. On the other hand, the Proton X50 comes in 4 variants – Standard, Executive, Premium, and Flagship, priced at RM 79,200, RM 84,800, RM 93,200, and RM 103,300 respectively.
With a difference of just over RM 7,000 between the top-of-range Ativa 1.0 AV and the base X50 1.5T Standard, there is a potential for cross-shopping. So our focus here is the Ativa AV and the X50 Standard.
How big (or small) are they?
|Dimensions||Perodua Ativa 1.0 AV||Proton X50 1.5T Standard|
|Length||4,065 mm||4,330 mm|
|Width||1,710 mm||1,800 mm|
|Height||1,635 mm||1,609 mm|
|Wheelbase||2,525 mm||2,600 mm|
|Weight||1,035 kg||1,325 kg|
As for the exterior dimensions, the Proton X50 is the larger car overall. The X50 is over 300 mm longer in terms of overall length, with a 75 mm longer wheelbase, and over 100 mm wider.
In terms of weight, the X50 is considerably heavier. The X50 Standard is 290 kg heavier than the Ativa AV.
The Perodua Ativa is actually heavier than the Daihatsu Rocky/Toyota Raize twin, which weighs 980 kg. One of the reasons is the steel tailgate used on the Ativa instead of a lighter plastic one used by the Rocky/Raize.
Plus, knowing that having the security of a full-sized spare wheel is still important for customers shopping at this price point, Perodua has included a full-sized spare wheel into the Ativa.
Interestingly, boot space of the Perodua Ativa is larger than the Proton X50, rated 369 litres compared to 330 litres in the Proton X50.
Which has the superior powertrain?
Powertrain wise, the Ativa has a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder engine that makes 98 PS and 140 Nm of torque, paired to a CVT. Unlike the range-topping Proton X50, the Standard variant gets port injection (MPI) engine that makes 150 PS/226 Nm, paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
|Model||Power-to-weight ratio (PS/tonne)|
|Perodua Ativa 1.0 AV||94.7|
|Proton X50 1.5T Standard||113.2|
While the difference in power output is quite significant, the Perodua Ativa might not fall far behind in real-world acceleration due to its lower weight. The Japanese media managed a respectable 9.6-second 0-100 km/h sprint in the Toyota Raize (Ativa base car).
That being said, the Perodua Ativa's additional weight could penalize a few tenths of a second off the time.
Although Proton did not share the 0-100 km/h times of the MPI variants of the Proton X50 (the X50 1.5 TGDI did the 0-100 km/h test in 8.6 seconds in our tests), we reckon that the Ativa's 0-100 km/h time should be quite close to the MPI variants of the X50.
Which is more fuel-efficient?
The Perodua Ativa has a claimed fuel consumption figure of 5.3-litre/100 km, while MPI variants of the Proton X50 is rated at 6.5-litre/100 km.
What about their safety features?
Both the Ativa AV and X50 Standard come equipped with stability control, traction control, and hill hold assist.
Being the range-topping variant, the Perodua Ativa AV gets Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Departure Prevention (LDP), Lane Keep Control (LKC), Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).
These are in addition to the ASA 3.0 ADAS suite features that include Pre-Collision Braking (PCB), Pre-Collision Warning (PCW), Front Departure Alert (FDA), and Pedal Misoperation Control (PMC), which is standard across the range.
The Ativa AV also features Adaptive Driving Beam (ABD), which is the Ativa’s adaptive LED headlights. Adaptive Driving Beam utilizes both software and sensors to detect other oncoming vehicles and is able to turn off individual LEDs in an effort to prevent glare.
While the top-spec Proton X50 1.5T Flagship gets all the fancy safety equipment, the entry-level Standard variant we're comparing here is relatively spartan with no ADAS. Even the airbag count is just a measly four, as it does not get curtain airbags like the upper variants.
What about their standard equipment?
Both cars come with 17-inch wheels albeit in slightly different tyre size; the X50 Standard's tyres are 215/60 R17 items while the Ativa AV gets 205/60 R17 rubbers.
Both feature LED headlights, although the X50's are projector units compared to reflector-type in the Ativa. Inside, both get manual air-conditioning, manual seat adjustment, and push-button start with keyless entry.
The X50 has electric parking brake with auto-hold function while the Ativa uses a traditional handbrake lever. Plus, the X50 gets all-round disc brakes, compared to rear drums in the Ativa. Also present in the X50 only are rear air vents.
The Ativa AV gets leather seats with leather wrapped steering wheel while the X50 Standard comes with fabric seats and urethane steering wheel. The Ativa AV gets a digital instrument cluster compared to the analog cluster in the X50 Standard.
As for the infotainment systems, the X50 Standard has an 8-inch touchscreen display while the Ativa AV gets a 9-inch unit. Both do not feature Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity. Speaker count is 4 in the X50 Standard, 6 in the Ativa AV.
Sounds like the Ativa AV has the upper hand over the X50 Standard
Well, perceived interior quality of the Proton X50 is several notches higher than the Perodua Ativa. Despite the fabric seats, the X50 Standard still feels more upmarket inside in terms of build and material quality.
Being a larger car, the X50 is also more spacious, particularly the rear legroom. And rear passengers get an armrest.
If you prefer a larger car, with a more upmarket cabin as well as more power, then the Proton X50 Standard suits your preferences better.
If better manoeuvrability, lower fuel consumption, and a more comprehensive package of safety features rank higher in your priorities, then the choice is clear - the Perodua Ativa AV.