Reasons why I bought this car
After losing my then daily commute (a 2015 Perodua Myvi 1.3) to tow truck bandits – I was then thrown into the automotive marketplace in seek of a replacement for my dayto-day driving. The objective was clear and I wanted to get a car that can act as a stepping stone for me to improve my driving, help me develop better understanding towards upgrading the car as well as ultimately - being affordable in-terms of parts and maintenance.
From the start, I was dead set to track this car and get myself involved in motorsports. I had a bigger budget off the line due to postponed modification plans for the previous car. When one door closes, another door opens – and that was the beginning of my journey of turning my daily driver into a track car on the weekends while ensuring it is still road legal for my daily commute.
Car Selection Process
I had a budget of RM75,000
Models that I’ve considered included to Toyota Yaris, Honda City, Honda Jazz and Mazda 3 MPS (Used).
Reasons why I chose this car
Truth be told, affordability was a huge factor that I took into consideration before acquiring the then “latest” Perodua Myvi. With the budget I had, it seems ideal to purchase the highest spec Myvi that Perodua has to offer and still have some spare cash to spend on modifications rather than obtaining another car with a higher price tag but of their middle to lower trim levels. I have never test-driven the third generation of Myvi from a showroom but I did have experience in driving it for about 10 minutes when a friend was renting the car a few months prior to the beginning of my car-selection process. The difference between the G2 and G3 was drastic but I had mixed-feelings about it.
From the get-go, I was able to tell that the new Myvi’s handling is far better than its predecessors and Perodua has done fairly well in making the car more comfortable as well as improving its stability. Even so, the throttle response was lackluster – possibly due to the electronic throttle being heavily restricted by the Engine Control Module (ECM) thus preventing the car to fully utilize the engine’s capability. The “eco” tune Perodua has given to the latest Myvi in seek for fuel-efficiency may also be the culprit to the poor throttle response.
Aesthetically, the third generation of Myvi (pre-facelift) is simply stunning off the showroom. With a little cosmetic touch up, better designed rims, proper stance and fitment as well as an additional spoiler – this car is simply an eye-candy. Well, at least to me. The car is tastefully designed with just the right amount of sharp edges and curves giving it a sporty hatchback look despite its econobox characteristics.
To sum my decision-making, it was definitely rational as well as worth the price paid for a car that offers plenty of additional functions such as the Advanced Safety Assist (ASA) system, built-in Smart Tag reader, plenty of airbags, a decent infotainment system with steering wheel controls, “Follow Me Home” headlights and more.
- I have already done 33,666km.
- My average fuel consumption is 14.2km/l.
The car was not stock for long. Off the showroom, I had the car partially wrapped before even driving it home. On the second day, the car was fitted with a ducktail spoiler in hope of increasing downforce to the rear (whether it serves any purpose is up for debate but to me however, its influence is apparent at higher speeds). The steering feels light which makes it an easy car to drive when you’re cruising around the city. Even so, that also means that the car’s handling is not as sharp as I want it to be. I knew that if I were to track this car, I’ll need to do a lot to improve its handling.
The Perodua Myvi and its 2NR-VE engine is by no means powerful. With its four-speed automatic transmission and 102HP (on paper), lapping the Sepang International Circuit with a decent time seems almost impossible. This has led me to focus my upgrading journey towards the handling aspect first, before seeking for more power. An anti-roll bar as well as a front strut bar was fitted to the car within the first week of ownership to reduce the body roll – improving the linearity of the steering input.
After 3 months of driving the car around and getting a feel for it, I invested on a set of racing suspensions. The car is fitted with fully adjustable coilovers (high-low, soft-hard, bodyshift). The inverted monotube suspension is able to withstand greater amount of side load during hard cornering as well as providing direct steering feedback to what the front tires are going through. I remember tweaking the suspension weekly and going out for a test drive every weekend for 3 months straight in seek of a balanced setup for daily and spirited driving.
Was it ever finalized? Definitely not as I believe there will always be an endless array of combination between the suspension and alignment that I should test out in seek of perfection. For daily driving, these suspensions are a bit harsh and not that comfortable. However, on the track and on spirited driving sessions through windy roads; this is where my suspension setup truly shines and come to life.
In-terms of power, there is not much that can be done to increase its power output if you opt to not turbocharge it or install a piggyback / standalone ECU and go for a tune. Fitting a custom, full-system, stainless-steel exhaust system was one of the initiatives in order to improve the car’s performance – especially at the middle to high RPM range.
With handling and power out of the way (at that moment), I began investing in a set of grippy tires fitted on another set of rims – one for the streets, one for the track. The rear drums went through a disc conversion to improve its reliability in-terms of heat dissipation (it is not ideal for day-to-day driving, I know). Stainless-steel brake hoses were also fitted to replace the OEM rubber hoses. After the first set of rotors warp due to several track days, custom slotted and balanced rotors were fitted on all four corners to further improve the braking system and reduce brake fade issues.
Personally, I believe my route may not be the best for all but everything was set up according to my personal driving preference. Aside from upgrading the car, I made sure to have plenty of seat time to bond myself with the car and improve my driving skills. Is it a fast car? Technically, no. Is it a good car for one to learn the basics of driving as well as have a good time on the track? Definitely a yes.
Pros of my car:
- A genuinely fun to drive car on track once fitted with the right parts.
- Maintenance and spare parts are considerably affordable.
- A lot of quality-of-life extras for the price you pay.
- Good fuel-consumption.
- Stylish design inside-out.
- Great low to mid-end torque.
Cons of my car:
- Poor throttle / pedal response.
- Rattling noise in door panels and boot area.
- Bad speakers.
- Restrictive stock ECU.
- Gear ratio could be improved.
Total Score: 4
Quality & Features: 3
Ride Comfort: 3
Fuel Economy: 4
Price & Cost: 5
The 2019 Perodua Myvi is not the “final destination” for an automotive and motorsport enthusiast like myself – hence my hesitation to pour any more cash to it than I already have. I’m sure many before me have reviewed this car through the economical or dayto-day driving perspective so allow me to provide my input through the eyes of someone who’s somewhat dabbled upon grassroot motorsports since the tender age of 6. I firmly believe that it (the Myvi G3) is a platform that is capable of teaching drivers a thing or two as their seat time increase. It is a car that rewards the driver once you develop an understanding on how to drive it, especially if it is far from stock. It is also pretty reliable as I’ve done a couple of track days where the car was driven to and from the track with no issues despite doing multiple continuous hot laps.
That said, this does not necessarily mean it is the best platform to enter the world of motorsport as there are plenty other cars that are within the same price range or even cheaper that could provide a better experience as well as having more variety in-terms of aftermarket parts. If I could advice other drivers that are driving the same model of car as mine and are planning to modify their car – don’t fall for marketing gimmicks and please do plenty of research. Go for what you deem as the best, not the salesperson or word of mouth.
Within the span of a little bit over 2 years of ownership of this car, I have completed a cumulative total of 50 laps on Sepang International Circuit. My proudest achievement will be when I broke my personal best as well as breaking the 3-minute barrier by setting a lap time of 2:58.86 at Sepang International Circuit.
Being able to lap the 2.7km circuit in a 1500cc N/A, 4AT car, stock ECU, with worn out tires and in a drizzling weather was truly challenging but nevertheless, it was a longtime dream come true. At that moment in life, I was content and it is a memory I will cherish for all my life.
With a record broken, I’ve since ventured my motorsport journey to Melaka International Motorsport Circuit (MIMC) to participate in proper time attack events where I have also secured a podium finish of being 5 th out of 17 competitors for the 1.5 N/A category on my first participation on the new (to me) track. I look forward to drive and race on more beautiful and challenging tracks that Malaysia has to offer. Essentially, I would highly appreciate if brands will approach me to sponsor my passion for motorsport in any valuable form.
Aside from self-accomplishments, I am also delighted to know that I have managed to inspire a couple of people to join track days. I believe that more people should consider to participate in track days where it is a safe and controlled environment for one to improve their driving skills and push their car to the absolute limit.
What’s next? Well, my journey is still a work in progress. My adventure with my car, Spirit, will continue for a little while before I step unto the next project car with bigger goals in mind. Until then, thank you for reading a part of me.
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