There are only two 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged cars to choose from in Malaysia right now – The Perodua Ativa and the Nissan Almera. Unfortunately, the 1.0-litre turbo engine for the Honda City never made it here.
Sharing an almost similar engine and both utilising CVT, the Ativa and Almera have pretty much the same powertrain. However, they aren’t exactly equal – one rides better than the other, uses less fuel, and doesn’t vibrate as much. But which one is the better of the two?
Well, to find out, we’ve borrowed a Nissan Almera to compare it against our very own Perodua Ativa.
First things first, let’s check the noise level at the engine bay. With the air-conditioning turned off and the compressor inactive, the Almera is slightly louder, recording 70.5 db over the Perodua Ativa’s 69.2 dB.
With the air conditioning turned on and the compressor spooling, the Almera still records a higher reading of 72.6 dB over the Ativa’s 71.8 dB. Things are not looking good for the Almera.
However, if we jump into the cabin, it’s a different story all together. Inside, the Almera wins, thanks to better sound insulation. With the air conditioning turned off, the Almera’s cabin records 38.2 dB, lower than the Ativa’s 38.8 dB.
In day-to-day use then, the Almera offers better cabin noise quality, doing a better job at muffling the slightly louder engine that it has. The Almera''s cabin is also generally quieter at higher speeds.
|Cabin noise level comparison|
|Nissan Almera||Perodua Ativa|
|60 km/h||62 dB||60 dB|
|90 km/h||66 dB||68 dB|
|110 km/h||68 dB||70 dB|
The main issue brought up by those against three-cylinder engines is the engine vibration. Yes, three-cylinder engines are harder to balance, but continuous research is being done to improve the situation.
So, how do these three-cylinder engines compare to each other?
For that, here’s our video comparing both cars against one another.
The Ativa generally vibrates more, with its doors sometimes vibrating too when open. As a fair comparison, we’ve used a bottle of water to demonstrate which car vibrates.
As shown in our video, the Almera is the more refined option, justifying its higher price tag. The Almera also offers a more refined ride comfort.
Which is faster?
This isn’t really an important thing, but we decided to have a drag race anyway. From our own 0-100 km/h test, the Ativa clocked 13.2 seconds while the Almera clocked 12.4 seconds. The Almera is easily the faster car from a standstill.
However, from a 40-km/h rolling start, the Ativa leaves the Almera in the dust.
Which is more fuel efficient?
We’ve been driving our Ativa for more than 3,000 km now and at best, we’ve obtained 6.4 l/100km. On average, the Ativa records a fuel consumption of 7.5 l/100km.
The Almera is the more fuel-efficient car here with an average fuel consumption of 5.85 l/100km.
The Almera actually tops our overall list in terms of fuel efficiency, even beating the likes of smaller cars like the Perodua Axia.
So, in terms of refinement and performance, the Almera is a better car, justifying its higher price tag.
While cheaper, the Ativa still has room for improvement when it comes to refinement. Still, we’re not discrediting the Ativa. It is still the best Perodua ever made to date.
Oh, and about the rattling problem resurfacing? We’re headed to the Service Centre next week to things sorted out.
Our average fuel consumption so far:
|Perodua Ativa FC meter reading|
|Odometer reading at refuel||FC reading||FC reading|
|421 km||13 km/l||7.69 l/100 km|
|740 km||12 km/l||8.33 l/100 km|
|1,032 km||14.8 km/l||6.76 l/100 km|
|1,453 km||13.2 km/l||7.57 l/100 km|
|1,750 km||11.9 km/l||8.40 l/100 km|
|1,976 km||12.5 km/l||8.00 l/100 km|
|2,200 km||12.6 km/l||7.94 l/100 km|
|2,577 km||12.8 km/l||7.81 l/100 km|
|2,826 km||9.6 km/l||10.41 l/100 km|
|3,217 km||14.1 km/l||7.09 l/100 km|
|3,490 km||13.1 km/l||7.63 l/100 km|
|3,873 km||13.4 km/l||7.46 l/100km|