Our time with the Perodua Ativa Hybrid was flawless and quite an eye-opener as well regarding what to expect from a potential affordable hybrid in the Malaysian market.
You can’t buy an Ativa Hybrid… yet, but that was precisely the reasoning on why Perodua did what they did. Essentially, the SUV was rebadged from a CBU Daihatsu Rocky from Japan and leased on a subscription basis in Malaysia to assess the feasibility of producing an affordable hybrid locally.
Only 300 units were brought in and leased out for RM 500 a month for a period of 5 years. Given that the RM 500 covers servicing, maintenance, insurance and road tax.
Successful owners will only need to fork out for petrol, which being a hybrid wouldn’t amount to much anyways. Simply put, it’s a fantastic value-for-money proposition for the car you’re getting.
Also Read: A nearly 600-km journey in one tank, we take the Perodua Ativa Hybrid down south
Perodua’s first hybrid itself will look familiar to everyone as it shares a resemblance with the combustion only Ativa sold here. Nonetheless, it wears the Daihatsu Rocky front fascia given its CBU origins.
Even with the battery for the electric motor, the storage space in the rear remains the same. That applies to the interior as well though you’ll find that the electronic-parking brake frees up 2 additional cupholders in the centre console. There’s also an Auto-hold function.
On the propulsion end, the Ative Hybrid is a series hybrid, meaning the engine functions solely as a generator to charge the battery that drives the electric motor, which turns the wheels.
The engine is a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder unit with output being a modest 105 PS and 170 Nm of torque. As for the transmission? You can understand it as a CVT, but it's nothing like a conventional belt-type CVT. Technically, the transmission is only a belt-less "hybrid vehicle transaxle." So long as it gets the job done.
Also Read: Here's the explanation of why you can't buy the Perodua Ativa Hybrid
During our time with the Ativa Hybrid, it returned a combined 4.6 l/100 km (as tested). In comparison, our previous long-term regular combustion only Ativa did 7.37 l/100 km (as tested).
A little flick of the abacus worked to the Ativa Hybrid being 33 percent cheaper to run in terms of fuel consumption.
While our time with the Ativa Hybrid has concluded and we did shed a tear, it did clarify plenty of things regarding Perodua’s intentions for the programme in first place.
As an affordable and compact SUV, the Ativa Hybrid isn’t perfect but is pretty close to it. Being a hybrid might mean it’s a little pricier if it does make it to the market but in the long run, the fuel savings would translate into comprehensive savings and that’s always going to benefit you, the owner.
Is the market ready for an affordable hybrid? The Ativa Hybrid makes for a very convincing case. Our very own Adrian agrees and sums things up in the video above.