Later this month, Perodua is expected to introduce a new Axia. The refreshed Axia line-up will also introduce a new Axia variant called Axia Style (to be priced at RM 38,890). Not much details is known about the Axia Style but we do know that it will have larger 15-inch wheels instead the standard car’s 14-inch.
Rumour has it that the Axia Style will feature faux mini SUV-like styling details and a taller ride height. Perodua has yet to release any official pictures of the Axia Style yet so we can only speculate.
One thing we can be certain however, is that the Axia Style will retain the same 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine as a standard Axia, paired to a 4-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels (no all-wheel drive option).
While the Axia Style’s crossover positioning is merely speculation, it is not without any basis as plans for an Axia-based crossover had been mooted as early as 2013.
In fact, Perodua’s technical partner Daihatsu had already presented a very production-looking concept called the Ayla X-Trek as far back as 2013, at the Indonesia International Motor Show.
To recap, the Indonesian Daihatsu Ayla was the donor car for the Perodua Axia. Apart from a Malaysia-specific interior design and some differentiation in the front and rear bumpers, the Perodua Axia is mechanically identical to a Daihatsu Ayla.
Thus, if the Axia Style is going to adopt a crossover styling, it will most certainly be a further development of the Indonesian Daihatsu Ayla X-Trek concept, tweaked by Malaysian designers at Perodua’s design centre in Rawang.
The idea of taking a tiny A-segment hatchback and injecting it with some quasi-SUV design elements to turn it into a mini-crossover is not new.
Europe’s Volkswagen Cross Up! and Fiat Panda City Cross, along with Japan’s Daihatsu Cast Activa (Toyota Pixis Joy) and Suzuki Hustler Tough Wild are just some recent examples of beefed up A-segment minicars.
The motivation is simple. Such products allow manufacturers to satisfy consumer’s growing interest in SUVs and since these derivative products are mechanically identical to the standard cars, the required investment is minimal.
Also, not all consumers are willing to pay for the higher running cost of a larger crossover/SUV, and many still prefer to ease of parking a compact car, so everyone’s happy.
When launched later this month, the Axia Style will be priced at RM 38,890, that’s a RM4,000 premium of a similarly equipped Axia GXtra.