** This article is the personal experience of a 2002 Perodua Kelisa EZi owner and does not necessarily reflect the views of WapCar.
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About My Perodua Kelisa
This is the 2002 Perodua Kelisa EZi. It is based on the Daihatsu Mira L700, the fifth-generation Mira which debuted in 1998. The Kelisa is then introduced in 2001. It has a tiny 989cc EJ-DE DOHC inline-3 engine, a 4-speed automatic front-wheel drive of course. The 1.0-litre produces 60hp and 90Nm of torque. The EZi variant is the highest spec available that time with all the bells and whistles, including the painted side mirrors and exterior door handles, hands-free for your phone and an air ionizer (no joke) in 2002. Seat belts were unavailable for 2002, but we installed it when the law was mandated. It priced around RM41,000 when new and it holds the value surprisingly strong at around RM10k in 2020.
Selecting the Car for the Family
My parent bought the Perodua Kelisa back in 2002. Before buying it, we were considering the Hyundai Atos, Perodua Kenari and Perodua Kancil. In the end, we chose Kelisa without even tested it. That is not what I will do if I am not a kid. Luckily, we made the right choice. Kelisa has overall a cute and evergreen design compare to other shortlisted cars. It is our first car in the household, and I spent lots of time with it, from primary school until I went to university.
Perodua Kelisa User and Driving Experience
The Perodua Kelisa is the perfect car for city roundabout with its minute size or the original Kei Car size. It is extremely easy to park. The fuel consumption is frugal since it only weighs 800kg. It gets around 15km/litres spending most of the time idling in front of the traffic light.
After I acquired my driving license and tested lots of new cars, I started to love how the Kelisa drives and handles. I feel so mechanically connected, the throttle is direct and linear. Due to its lightweight, the peppy 1-litre engine propels the Kelisa well over other cars in a town where there is a traffic light or roundabout every 1 to 2 km (Sibu, Sarawak). I feel fast even when I am just travelling at 80km/h.
Handling wise, the Perodua Kelisa handles surprisingly well for such a budget car. Probably due to its low sitting position and the tiny size, the car feels agile and fun over the corner. I enjoy driving it even it is not at a very high speed. Most would not argue on the fact that it was reminiscent of the original Mini from 1960. It also tells that the comfort is nothing to brag about.
We tried to drive Perodua Kelisa from long distance just twice in its whole life, to and fro Sibu to Miri, Sarawak. Anyone who had experienced the Pan Borneo Highway, you know it is absolutely an abuse to the car. There is a problem when driving the Kelisa for long-distance. The air conditioner will become too cold that the condensed water shocks the relay, causing the signal light to malfunction. So, we bought another car that purpose. Other than that, the Kelisa spent the rest of its time in Sibu, getting 210,000 of mileage. With the amount of traffic light in Sibu, the Kelisa ran from 20,000km to 180,000km in just 8 years. My mum spent almost 5 hours in the car every day to get me and my brother to school and tuition. That is quite a heavy usage for me. However, it never gave us any headache even until now.
Pros & Cons
I like to drive the Perodua Kelisa. It is the first car in my family and we had a lot of sweet memories with it. There are some people offer to buy my Kelisa, since it is in pristine condition. However, we rejected them every time. I hope I can keep and maintain it as long as possible.