With all the attention focused on the upcoming Perodua D55L, one could easily forget that Perodua has another surprise up its sleeves.
Case in point is the next-generation Perodua Alza, which could see the light of day sometime in late-2021 or early-2022.
Recall that the Perodua Alza is one of the oldest new cars you can buy today, as the model was introduced in Malaysia way back in 2009.
Over the course of 11 years, the Perodua Alza received numerous updates, though mechanically, it remained largely unchanged – it is still powered by a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine mated either to a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual.
What’s taking Perodua so long to introduce the all-new Alza?
The main factor is the lack of competition.
Surprising as it may sound, but the Perodua Alza isn’t the first affordable people mover in Malaysia – that honour goes to the Proton Exora, which was introduced in Malaysia a couple of months before the Alza.
But did the arrival of the Exora threatened the Perodua Alza? Not really, considering that the Exora isn’t in the same segment as the Alza.
Proton attempted to grab a slice of the Alza’s market share in 2016 with the Proton Ertiga after entering a (short-lived) partnership with Suzuki.
Although the Suzuki-based Proton Ertiga found some fans, the model did not last long on the market, as the partnership between Proton and Suzuki was dissolved after Geely entered the picture in 2017.
Thus, the Ertiga was discontinued in late-2019, leaving the Perodua Alza as the cheapest MPV you can buy in Malaysia.
The other reason is resources.
At the moment, Perodua is allocating resources into development work of the D55L – its upcoming B-segment SUV that is based off the Japan market Toyota Raize/Daihatsu Rocky. Mass production of the Perodua D55L is expected to commence in December 2020, with the launch happening shortly afterwards, possibly in January 2021.
Once the Perodua D55L arrives in dealerships, Perodua can then focus its resources into the next-gen Alza.
What we know so far
Like the Perodua D55L, the forthcoming Perodua Alza replacement model will likely be built upon the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) platform, albeit modified for MPV duties.
This could cement the notion that Perodua is working hand-in-hand with Toyota/Daihatsu to streamline the outgoing Toyota Avanza and Alza into one single model. Like the Alza, the current-generation Toyota Avanza (and its Daihatsu Xenia sibling) has been around for almost a decade and a replacement model is due.
We can also expect the upcoming MPV to feature a number of safety updates over the existing Alza, including 6 airbags, stability control, and Perodua’s ASA ADAS safety suite.
How will it look like?
During the 2017 Gaikindo International Auto Show (2017 GIIAS), Daihatsu showcased the DN Multisix Concept, which could be an early look at the new Alza/Avanza replacement model.
Here’s why we think the DN Multisix is important.
According to Daihatsu, the DN Multisix is a front-wheel drive MPV, indicating that the next-gen model will be front-wheel drive-only. The current-generation Avanza is rear-wheel drive.
Furthermore, judging from Daihatsu’s track record, several concept cars that were shown in Jakarta have made it into production, including the Daihatsu Alya (Perodua Axia to us), Daihatsu Sigra, Daihatsu Rocky (Perodua D55L, coming soon), and the Daihatsu Terios (Perodua Aruz to us).
Thus, it's not too far-fetched to say that the Daihatsu DN Multisix Concept could evolve into the next-gen Toyota Avanza/Perodua Alza, seeing that the concept car looks quite close to a production-ready model.