Review: New 2022 Perodua Myvi is better than ever, but the Iriz still wins at one thing
Arvind · Jan 14, 2022 04:00 PM
The comprehensive facelift brings new D-CVT transmission
Safety features and ADAS on par with cars costing twice as much
Fuel economy even better than initial tests
The “King” has returned – if we had to sum up the review of the 2022 Perodua Myvi facelift in a single line – that would be it.
And by now, you will surely have heard that this is no ordinary facelift. The Myvi has received new engines in every generation, but stubbornly retained a four-speed automatic in all three generations, until the introduction of this ‘D51A’ 2022 Myvi facelift.
Taking on the new D-CVT transmission, first seen on the Perodua Ativa, the 2022 Myvi is now better to drive, more economical, and of course – faster.
You might ask, so many gains from just a change of the transmission? Yes, you best believe it, let’s dig in.
This might come as a surprise but the team’s opinions are somewhat split on the new aesthetic updates of the Myvi.
Some in the team reckon the new headlights’, though sleek, look a wee bit squinty-eyed, and that the vertically arranged DRLs would have looked better if it was flush-fitted within the bumper as opposed to being ‘tacked on' as one put it.
With that said, the changes do give the 2022 Myvi a more imposing look that sets the facelift model apart from its predecessor.
Interior – Looks snazzy but not that great to sit in
There’s a lot of red, a bit more than we’d like, at least in the 2022 Myvi AV variant.
As opposed to the Perodua Ativa which has red trim highlights stylishly peppered around the interior to give contrast, Perodua’s choice to cover large swathes of the seats in bright red, looks a bit ah beng, for lack of a better expression.
Another common comment is that the front seats are not as supportive as before. Now, whilst the seat design has not changed, and besides the fact that it lacks thigh support – the seat material also feels a bit harder.
You won’t feel uncomfortable over short drives but if you spend more than say two hours at a time in the car, you will feel the need to get out and stretch.
At the back though, things are better, with ample legroom and headroom for two passengers, three is a bit of a squeeze.
Driving experience –Ignore CVT haters, they can't argue with the speed
The 2022 Myvi accelerates to 100 km/h way faster than before.
And as we’ve said, that’s mostly down to the D-CVT transmission which features a combination of steel chain and planetary gear set, the latter is used to complement the steel belt to reduce a typical CVT’s rubberband response whilst giving it a more direct feel and less power loss.
This has resulted in a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 10.6 seconds in internal tests. To give you some context – the (GN) Honda City did it in 11.4 seconds, and the circa RM 100k Mazda 2 (with a sublime 6-speed automatic) just nips ahead of the Myvi with a 10.5 second sprint time.
The 2NR-VE isn’t as punchy as the older 3SZ-VE engine (from the Myvi Lagi Best generation) which worked well with the four-speed auto. It’s also less powerful at 103 PS /137 Nm versus the 3SZ-VE’s 109 PS / 141 Nm.
Where the Myvi Lagi Best was torquey and urgent, the pre-facelift Myvi always felt like it ran out of breath at high-revs or whilst trying to accelerate hard. It was as if the four-speeder didn't have the right gearing to fully exploit the engine's potential.
All of that has since disappeared. At speeds above 40 km/h, the transmission feels connected, intuitive and urgent, and there’s almost no “rubberband” feel as you slow down and accelerate in city driving.
It gets even better on the highways where the engine revs are kept low and at a point where the engine’s torque is readily available if you need to overtake.
At 110 km/h, the 2022 Myvi has its rev needle pegged at just over 2,000 rpm, and by the time it hits 2,500 rpm, you’re already travelling at around 130 km/h. Therefore, perhaps most impressively is the Myvi is now a capable cruiser on the highways.
In terms of the overall experience, the D-CVT offers the same smoothness as the conventional auto that came before it, only this time, it has a multitude of gear ratios to play with.
The only criticism I would have is the initial response of the transmission when starting off from a standstill.
During initial acceleration – approximately 0-25 km/h – the CVT transmission holds a rather low gear ratio which revs out rather quickly.
Thus, you could simply prod the throttle to slowly set off from a traffic light, and the car might lunge forward pretty abruptly. It’s no deal-breaker, but it will catch you by surprise sometimes.
Ride and handling – Good, but the Proton Iriz is better
There's no two ways about it, the suspension in the Myvi needs a touch more fine-tuning. As it stands, whilst it may be faster and more economical than the Proton Iriz, it cannot hold a candle to how the Iriz steers and drives.
The 2022 Myvi handles larger bumps and potholes quite well, but it’s clumsy on smaller, sharper road imperfections and highway expansion joints.
This is compounded when you’re travelling at speed.
Where the Iriz rounds off small undulations and settles quickly, the Myvi starts to jink back and forth as the ride quality starts to become crashy - almost as if the absorbers lack control of the springs in situations like these.
When coupled with the front seats that lack support and bolstering, you can imagine why driving for elongated periods can be a bit tiring in the 2022 Myvi.
The steering also needs to be improved. On the roads, steering weightage feels a bit irregular turning from lock to lock, and our female colleagues also noted that it requires quite an effort (and feels heavy) when parking.
Though we’re not saying the 2022 Myvi needs to steer like a Toyota GR Yaris, better feedback and more linear weightage will make it easier to point the car around corners and make driving the 2022 Myvi so much more fun.
With that said, cabin noise levels are pretty decent for a car at its price tag. But still loses out to the Iriz, especially around the 90 km/h mark where the Iriz is some 3 dB quieter than the Myvi.
Powertrain noise is mostly kept in check unless pushed hard during overtaking or when the transmission’s ‘PWR’ mode is enabled.
Tyre noise is audible without being overly intrusive, but it must be said more of this tyre and road noise comes from the rear where the Myvi noticeably has less sound insulation.
Elsewhere, wind-noise levels are pretty much non-intrusive at speed.
2022 Perodua Myvi facelift noise levels
Fuel Consumption – Smashes the older Myvi and all its competition
Perodua claims a fuel economy of 4.7 litres/100 km for the Myvi 1.5L (and 4.5 litres/100 km for the 1.3L).
Though we didn’t hit those numbers, during our tests, the Myvi returned an overall fuel economy of 5.9 litres/100 km, thus it’s a superb improvement over the older 4-speed transmission which typically returned approximately 7.0-8.5 litres/100km depending on driving conditions.
Perodua claims an overall 5 percent improvement in fuel economy, though numbers suggest it's even more in the real world.
The test route included 60/40 percent highway/city driving in the searing afternoon heat and evening rain, plus we threw our 0-100 km/h acceleration tests in the mix for good measure.
Taken as a whole, the 2022 Myvi’s updates build on all the aspects that have made it the most popular and best-selling car in Malaysia.
The D-CVT has had a positive impact on fuel economy and refinement levels and perfectly matches the engine for better performance and drivability.
It’s not perfect though, seat support and ride comfort need improvement. When viewed objectively, buy the Myvi for its features and drivetrain, but buy the Iriz for the overall driving experience and cheaper prices.
One area where the Iriz cannot compete with the Myvi is its comprehensive list of PSDA features which has now made SAE Level 2 autonomous driving accessible for under RM 60k.
Thus, when you factor in the 2022 Myvi's package as a whole, you can surmise why the "King" of Malaysian roads has well and truly returned.
Arvind can't remember a time when he didn't wheel around a HotWheels car. This love evolved into an interest in Tamiya and RC cars and finally the real deal 1:1 scale stuff. Passion finally lead to formal training in Mechanical Engineering. Instead of the bigger picture, he obsesses with the final drive ratio and spring rates of cars and spends the weekends wondering why a Perodua Myvi is so fast.