Which is a better buy? Perodua Ativa (D55L) vs Proton X50 vs Toyota Vios

Eric · Feb 23, 2021 10:31 AM

Now that the Proton X50 has officially gone on sale, the next highly-anticipated model from our quasi-national car maker is the 2021 Perodua Ativa.

With estimated prices topping out at the RM 73,400 mark, the top-spec Perodua Ativa 1.0 AV comfortably undercuts other well-established rivals such as the Proton X50 1.5T Standard and Toyota Vios 1.5 J.

Why compare the base spec Toyota Vios and Proton X50 against the top-spec Perodua Ativa you ask? Simple, seeing that all three cars cost below the RM 80k mark. 

Model Price (RM)
Perodua Ativa 1.0 AV 73,400 (estimated)
Toyota Vios 1.5 J 74,623
Proton X50 1.5T Standard 79,200

Plus, despite being SUVs, it's not like the Proton X50 or Perodua Ativa offer better terrain-crossing abilities than the Toyota Vios. All three cars also offer the same number of seats and more or less the same interior space. 

Engine Performance – X50 wins hands down

Out of the trio, both the Proton X50 1.5T Standard and Perodua Ativa 1.0 AV benefit from turbocharging. The Proton X50 1.5T Standard does 150 PS and 226 Nm from its turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, while the Ativa does 98 PS and 140 Nm from its tiny-but-turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine.

As for the sole naturally-aspirated four-cylinder option, the Toyota Vios does 107 PS and 140 Nm.

Power output
Model Power (PS) Torque (Nm)
Perodua Ativa 1.0 AV 98 140
Toyota Vios 1.5 J 107 140
Proton X50 1.5T Standard 150 226

While the Perodua Ativa may appear to be the least powerful of the trio, that's quite far from the truth. If the Ativa's kerb weight mirrors the Japanese Toyota Raize/Daihatsu Rocky donor cars, then it should tip the scales at just 980 kg, returning a power-to-weight ratio of 100 PS/tonne.

As for the Proton X50 1.5T Standard, its power-to-weight ratio is 113.2 PS/tonne, seeing that it tips the scales at 1,325 kg.

Power-to-weight ratio
Model Power-to-weight ratio (PS/tonne)
Toyota Vios 1.5J 93.4
Perodua Ativa 1.0 AV 100
Proton X50 1.5T Standard 113.2

Being the sole non-turbocharged option, the Toyota Vios offers a meagre power-to-weight ratio of 93.4 PS/tonne.

Even when it comes to 0-100 km/h times, the Ativa's sub-1-tonne kerb weight should give it an advantage. Although Proton did not share the 0-100 km/h times of the MPI variants of the Proton X50 (the X50 1.5 TGDI did the 0-100 km/h test in 8.6 seconds in our tests), we reckon that the Ativa's 0-100 km/h time should be quite close to the MPI variants of the X50. 

0-100 km/h times
Model 0-100 km/h (seconds)
Proton X50 1.5T Flagship (TGDI) 8.6*
Toyota Raize 4WD 9.6** 
Toyota Vios 1.5 G 12.7* 

*As tested by WapCar. We will update once we've reviewed the Perodua Ativa
**As tested by 
ベタ踏みちゃんねる on YouTube

For reference, the heavier AWD version of the Raize completes the 0-100 km/h sprint in just 9.6 seconds, 1 second more than the Proton X50 1.5T Flagship. We believe that the front-wheel-drive-only Ativa should shave a couple of miliseconds off that time, perhaps even closing the gap with the Proton X50 1.5T Standard.

Also Read: Think the 98 PS Toyota Raize/Perodua D55L is slow? Watch it smoke bigger engine cars

Fuel Consumption – Ativa shines

The downsized turbocharged engine in the Perodua Ativa definitely shines here, despite not being the most powerful of the bunch. When coupled with its Dual-mode CVT, Perodua claims that the Ativa returns 5.3-litre/100 km.

Claimed Fuel Consumption Figures
Model Fuel Consumption (litre/100 km)
Perodua Ativa 1.0 AV 5.3
Toyota Vios 1.5 J 5.8
Proton X50 1.5T Standard 6.5

Also Read: 2021 Perodua Ativa (D55L) fuel consumption, lower than Proton X50 & Aruz, up to 680 km per tank

Although not fitted with a downsized turbocharged engine, the Toyota Vios managed to returned the second best claimed fuel consumption, coming in at 5.8-litre/100 km. 

The most powerful car here, the Proton X50 1.5T Standard, unsursprisingly returns the worst fuel consumption figure, coming in at 6.5-litre/100 km.

 All three figures here are claimed fuel consumption figures by the respective manufacturers. We will update the fuel consumption figures once we've put the cars through WapCar's instrumented tests.

Also Read: What’s the Proton X50’s tested fuel consumption?

Safety features – Ativa offers the most comprehensive package

Perodua, in recent times, have been upping their game in terms of safety features.

The top-spec Perodua Ativa is no different – it is Perodua’s first model to feature the ASA 3.0 ADAS suite, encompassing features such as Lane Keep Control (LKC), Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

These safety equipment is in addition to stuff like Pre-Collision Braking (PCB), Pre-Collision Warning (PCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP). 

Also Read: 2021 Perodua Ativa: D55L name and specs confirmed, AEB & 1.0T CVT as standard!

On top of that, there also the Ativa’s adaptive LED headlights (Adaptive Driving Beam) – a feature never seen before on a Perodua, let alone a sub-RM 100k car. 

Also Read: Adaptive LED headlights on the Perodua D55L; cheapest new car to offer this feature!

Moving on to the Toyota Vios 1.5 J, its safety credentials include seven airbags and stability control. No ADAS for base Vios 1.5 J here, unfortunately, as those are only limited to upper variants of the Vios.

The same can be said for the Proton X50 1.5T Standard. While the top-spec Proton X50 1.5T Flagship gets all the fancy safety equipment, the entry-level one we're comparing here is relatively spartan. Even the airbag count is just a measly four, as it does not get curtain airbags like the upper variants.

Safety features
Model Active Safety Passive Safety
Perodua Ativa 1.0 AV LKC, LDW, LDP, ACC, BSM, RCTA, PCB, PCW, ESC, TCS 6 airbags
Proton X50 1.5T Standard ESC, TCS 4 airbags
Toyota Vios 1.5 J ESC, TCS 7 airbags

Pricing – The Ativa is unbeatable

With estimated prices ranging from RM 62,500 to RM 73,400, the Perodua Ativa is the cheapest new SUV money can buy in Malaysia, undercutting both the Proton X50 1.5T Standard and the Toyota Vios 1.5 J.

Seeing how competitively priced and well-equipped the Perodua Ativa is, it could very well be the beginning of the end of B-segment sedans as we know here in Malaysia.

Also Read: Perodua Ativa to hit Toyota Vios/Honda City, not Proton X50 the hardest

Conclusion – Still want that Proton X50 or Toyota Vios?

For all intends and purposes, the Perodua Ativa 1.0 AV ticks all the right boxes – great fuel economy, sufficient power, and safety features never before seen in a sub-RM 100k model. All of these are wrapped into an SUV body – the in-thing these days.

However, if you crave more power and want a more upmarket cabin, then the Proton X50 1.5T Standard should be a better pick. After all, even the entry-level Proton X50 1.5T Standard's cabin is a decent place to be in, which itself is an upgrade over the Ativa’s utilitarian interior.

But if you’re a traditionalist that prefers a sedan over an SUV, the Toyota Vios makes for a compelling option. Granted, the Vios in this comparison is the entry-level 1.5 J variant, it actually offers the most airbags here, coming in at seven, three more than the Proton X50 1.5T Standard.

With all being equal, the Toyota Vios also offers better comfort and handling than the SUVs mentioned here, owing to the Vios' smaller tyres (15-inch vs 17-inch). What's more, the Vios' smaller wheels are also cheaper to replace than the X50 or Ativa. 

So, which one of these three is your pick? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also Read: Don't skip the Toyota Vios/Honda City for Perodua Ativa yet, here are 5 things sedans do better