While most SUVs in this day and age will never see a hint of dirt, or mud, or gravel, or sand despite their claims of having a high-ride height and on-demand AWD everything – it is good to know that those systems are there in case you need them.
However, there is one hazard in Malaysia that can strike at any time – flash floods. It’s times like this I believe most SUV owners are grateful their cars can manage a taller water level than most sedans and hatchbacks.
With that said it pays to know the water wading depth of your vehicle, so you don’t get stuck the next time you drive through a flooded area or on roads with high standing water.
What is water wading depth?
Water wading depth refers to the maximum height of water a car can safely DRIVE through without stalling or causing any damage to its vital drivetrain components. The water wading depth is determined not necessarily by the height of the car itself – but by the location of vital engine sensors and safety components, air breathers, transmission components (which are typically very close to the ground), and of course, the exhaust system.
This is not helped by the fact, every manufacturer wants to place the engine and drivetrain components as low down in the chassis (especially if it’s an SUV) to lower the centre of gravity for better handling and stability. Therefore, there’s always a trade-off.
Typically lorries and pickup trucks have the highest water wading depth because they’re designed for more challenging terrains and therefore need to be able to get over large obstacles such as rocks or high standing water. The Ford Ranger for example has an impressive water wading depth of 800mm, almost up to hip level if you’re standing next to the truck.
However, modern SUVs and crossovers have much lower water wading depth.
Get to the point, how high a banjir can I drive a Perodua Ativa through…
Well, the answer is 250mm or around 25cm, or just about as tall as the long rulers we use to have in school (30cm) which might not sound like much but it shows that Perodua has thought about the SUV capabilities of its new SUV. It also pays to know that most other crossovers have about the same water wading depth.
The ground clearance of the Ativa is set at 200mm; where the lowest edge of the body starts, therefore the water wading height is slightly higher than that. A good reference point is the top portion of the side skirts, which should be the highest point of water the Ativa can safely drive through.
Besides that, given’s the Ativa’s relatively low overhangs, the Ativa has good approach and departure angles of 20 degrees (front) and 32 degrees at the rear which should be good for climbing rocks and scaling V-gulleys in the jungle. No, we’re just kidding, it just means the Ativa will make light work of going up even the steepest of car park ramps and residential housing entrances. There you have it, some nice off-roading facts about the all-new Perodua Ativa. For more information, check out our launch articles here.
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