2021 Perodua D55L - will it be a cheaper, better buy than Proton X50?

Eric · Nov 10, 2020 08:00 PM

2021 Perodua D55L - will it be a cheaper, better buy than Proton X50? 01

Set to be introduced in early-2021, the upcoming Perodua D55L could pack a number of Perodua-first features, including a turbocharged engine and a CVT-type automatic transmission.

Here’s what we know so far about Perodua’s possible next big hit.

1. What is the Perodua D55L?

2020 Daihatsu Rocky front three quarter view

The Rocky was showcased as an unnamed SUV last year

The Perodua D55L is Perodua’s codename for its upcoming B-segment SUV. The D55L codenamed actually started making its rounds on the internet as early as May 2019.

2020 Daihatsu Rocky rear three quarter view

Can you spot the Perodua Myvi design cues?

While the codename was tangible proof that the D55L exists, it wasn’t until during the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show where Daihatsu showcased an unnamed subcompact SUV when we realized that it could very well be the basis for the Perodua D55L.

2021 Perodua D55L - will it be a cheaper, better buy than Proton X50? 02

It is also sold as the Toyota Raize in Japan

True enough, it was later confirmed that the Daihatsu Rocky and its Toyota Raize sibling set the basis for the Perodua D55L.

2021 Perodua D55L - will it be a cheaper, better buy than Proton X50? 03

UPDATE: We've just received a spyshot from one of our readers, depicting the D55L on a trailer.

2. When will the Perodua D55L arrive?

2020 Daihatsu Rocky interior

According to the information we’ve received, pre-production of the Perodua D55L commenced back in August, with mass production scheduled in start in December.

As such, one can expect the Perodua D55L to be introduced a month later, likely in January 2021. Granted, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic could push the timeframe a bit, so keep that in mind.

3. What engine will the D55L get?

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The Rocky's turbocharged 1KR-VET engine - essentially a turbocharged Axia engine

The upcoming Perodua D55L is expected to be powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine, just like the Japan-market Toyota Raize/Daihatsu Rocky duo it is based on. In the Rocky/Raize, the engine delivers 98 PS and 140 Nm.

2020 Perodua Turbo Engine

After all, adopting a downsized turbocharged engine seems logical, as back in January during their full year review, Perodua showcased a slide that showed that engine downsizing is the current market trend.

Power figures
Model Power (PS) Torque (Nm)
Perodua D55L 98 140
Perodua Myvi 1.5 103 137

That said, there is a possibility that Perodua could fit the D55L with the Myvi’s 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine to keep prices down.

4.  How about its transmission?

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The Daihatsu Rocky and Toyota Raize are only available with a CVT-type automatic

Apart from the new turbocharged engine, the Perodua D55L is also said to feature a new CVT-type automatic transmission – a first for Perodua.

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Perodua's tried-and-tested 4-speed automatic unit

For the longest time, Perodua models featured a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual.

5. Will it be getting a new platform?

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Earlier this year, Perodua’s CEO has confirmed that their next model will be developed on the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) – just like the Daihatsu Rocky/Toyota Raize duo.

The DNGA platform is a derivative of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), developed for compact budget vehicles.

6. What segment does the D55L belong to?

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Unlike what some outlets have been reporting, the Perodua D55L is a B-segment SUV, just like the Proton X50. But it isn’t so straightforward, as we’ll explain that further below.

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Perodua D55L is slightly bigger than a Myvi, so B-segment it is

The Japanese-market Daihatsu Rocky/Toyota Raize is 3,995 mm long, 1,695 mm wide, and 1,620 mm tall. Its wheelbase is 2,525 mm long.

Compared to the Perodua Myvi, the Rocky/Raize is 100 mm longer, but 40 mm narrower than the Myvi. Its wheelbase is also 25 mm longer than the Myvi.

7. It is safe?

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Looking at Perodua’s track record, it’s safe to say that the D55L will be a host of Perodua’s active and passive safety features, in addition to advanced driver assistance features.

As such, one can expect the Perodua D55L to feature 6 airbags, stability control, as well as Perodua’s ASA ADAS suite.

That said, while it scored a reasonably good 85.7 points out of the maximum 100 points, nudging it just slightly above the minimum 82 points required for a 5-star rating, the Rocky/Raize was given an average ASV++ rating, missing out on the highest ASV+++ rating.

8. Will the Perodua D55L offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay?

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The Japanese-market Rocky/Raize offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but we don't think it will be offered here

Unlikely.

Perodua has never offered Android Auto or Apple CarPlay on any of their models, and we believe that the upcoming D55L won't break this tradition.

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Smart Link didn't work well for us

Instead, it is more likely that Perodua will offer its "Smart Link" integration with the D55L - essentially MirrorLink, but with a different name.

9. Does the Perodua D55L compete against the Proton X50?

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Well, the answer isn’t so straightforward.

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The Proton X50 gets a very upmarket cabin

While both SUVs are B-segment models, the Proton X50 is clearly a higher-class product and is priced as such. On top of the X50’s engine being more powerful than the D55L, the former also boasts a more upmarket interior than the Rocky/Raize. 

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The Proton X50 also offers a sunroof

As different as both models may be, cross-shopping between the two is inevitable. The price gap that’s available to Proton and Perodua to play with isn’t that big.

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The most expensive Perodua Myvi and Perodua Aruz priced at RM 52,697 and RM 73,226 respectively. That’s more or less the lower limit for the Perodua D55L.

10. So does that mean that the Perodua D55L will be expensive?

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It is reasonable to expect the Perodua D55L to be cheaper than the Proton X50, but prices of upper variants might overlap the Perodua Aruz.

The main reason why the Perodua D55L could be cheaper than the Proton X50 is because it's not as sophisticated as the X50, owing to its 1KR-VET powertrain and CVT-type automatic, as opposed to the X50's choice of two engines, including a direct-injection unit and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.

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Same segment, but very different

The Perodua D55L also outputs considerably less power than the Proton X50, coming in at just 98 PS and 140 Nm. The pricier Proton X50 is available with two powertrain options, which outputs 150 PS and 226 Nm or 177 PS and 255 Nm.

It is also smaller in size compared to the Proton X50.

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You may need to wait up to 6 months before you can get one

Considering how popular the Proton X50 is amongst new car buyers, the waiting period currently stands at 6 months. By the time you take delivery of the Proton X50, Perodua might have already launched the D55L.

With all said and done, the Perodua D55L might be a cheaper and nearly as good alternative for you.

 

Eric

Editor

Started from the IT industry but somehow managed to find his way into the automotive industry. If he’s not gaming, he’s constantly tinkering with his daily/weekend car.

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