Pros and Cons: 2020 Perodua Bezza – Excellent fuel economy but why the fixed steering?

Eric · Jan 01, 2021 09:00 AM

The Perodua Bezza is Perodua’s first-ever sedan, developed from the ground-up utilizing the Perodua Axia’s platform. It competes directly against the Proton Saga in the A-segment sedan market.

It received its mid-life update back in January 2020, whereby the little sedan from Perodua received a restyled exterior, additional safety equipment, and new interior trim. Powertrain options remain unchanged.

Four variants are available, with prices ranging from RM 34,580 to RM 49,980. These prices are inclusive of the 10% SST.

Here’s a quick overview of the 2020 Perodua Bezza’s pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Excellent fuel economy
  • LED headlights for all variants
  • Cheapest sedan to offer AEB

Cons:

  • Poor ride and handling
  • Fixed steering column
  • Poor infotainment system

Pros - Excellent fuel economy

2020 Perodua Bezza 1.3 Fuel Economy

There is a good reason why the Perodua Bezza has become the de-facto choice for many ride hailing drivers – its stellar fuel economy.

Thanks to its fuel-sipping engine and light kerb weight, the Perodua Bezza aced our instrumented fuel economy test, returning an average of 6.34-litre/100 km, beating the Proton Saga’s 7.2-km/100 km figure by a fair margin.

Do note that we disabled the automatic start/stop feature during our tests as the activation is rather noticeable and rough. However, if you can live with that, then expect even better figures.

Pros – LED headlights for all variants

Yes, you read that right. All variants of the 2020 Perodua Bezza get LED headlights.

While some people may be on the fence with regards to LED headlights, it is a solid selling point that the Proton Saga lacks. Alongside the LED headlights is a restyled front-end with a more prominent lower grille.

As before, the tail lights also feature LED illumination – another feature that the current-generation Proton Saga lacks, but the previous-generation model had.

Pros – Cheapest sedan to offer AEB

Perodua has effectively claimed the title for the cheapest sedan to offer AEB with its range-topping Bezza 1.3 AV.

2020 Perodua Bezza ASA cameras

Stereo cameras that help keep an eye on the road. Forgive the pun.

While the Bezza 1.3 AV’s RM 49k price tag may seem hefty for an A-segment sedan (the Proton Persona is one segment larger and is priced closely to the Bezza), keep in mind that the next closest sedan to offer AEB is the 2020 Nissan Almera – itself nearly double the price of the Bezza.

As such, the Bezza has carved its own niche, offering AEB on an entry-level sedan as Proton does not currently offer such a feature on either the Saga or Persona.

Cons – Poor ride and handling

The Perodua Bezza may be the fuel efficiency king, but its ride and handling is no match for the Proton Saga.

Although Perodua has tweaked the Bezza’s suspension, allowing it to absorb smaller bumps with better confidence, it still struggles with bigger bumps as its wheelbase is shorter than the Saga. (Bezza: 2,455 mm vs Saga: 2,555 mm).

Cons – Fixed steering column

Surprising as it may sound to some, but the Perodua Bezza’s steering column is fixed, just like the Perodua Axia it’s based on – there’s no tilt or telescopic adjustment

It’s not a foreign concept as past Perodua A-segment models traditionally did not offer an adjustable steering column, like the Kancil and Viva.

For those who are shorter or taller than the average person for the Bezza’s seats, getting into a comfortable driving position might be tough, so it’s best to sit in one and try to get comfortable before signing that loan agreement.

Cons – Poor infotainment system

Like the rest of its stablemates, the Perodua Bezza’s infotainment is nothing to write home about.

Never mind the lack of Android Auto or Apple CarPlay  (the Saga is also guilty of this), the Bezza’s infotainment system is slow and clunky, while the user interface is far from being intuitive.

The Saga and its new 7-inch floating-type infotainment system has a better edge over the Bezza in this regard, offering a slightly better user experience and sound quality.

Conclusion

Putting aside the infamy associated with the Bezza, it does what it’s supposed to do really well. Looking for a fuel-efficient sedan that is spacious enough for a weekend getaway? The Bezza ticks all the right boxes.

Adding to the Bezza’s appeal is its proven and reliable powertrain. The 1.3-litre Dual VVT-i engine and four-speed automatic transmission combination is practically bulletproof. We reckon if the powertrain is given the right care and maintenance, it will outlast a lot of similarly-priced cars.

While maintenance is a tad bit higher than the Proton Saga, the main reason is because Perodua uses longer-lasting iridium spark plugs and fully-synthetic engine oil. You might pay more upfront, but the parts last longer.

With all said and done, it is no surprise why the Perodua Bezza continues to outsell the Proton Saga and maintain its position as the best-selling entry-level sedan in Malaysia.

 

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