The Perodua Aruz is the most expensive product that bears the Perodua badge exiting its assembly plant at Rawang.
However, it is also one of the most affordable SUVs after the compact Haval H1. Compared to its internationally available competitors, the Perodua Aruz offers plenty of features at a price level that might be unfamiliar to the majority of Perodua owners.
After enjoying plenty of success since its launch in late 2016, the Honda BR-V is now met with not only Toyota’s all-new Rush but also the Rush’s ‘sibling’ from Perodua.
Perodua has formalized the prices of its new Aruz just last night, with the 1.5X starting from RM72,900 and the 1.5AV (or Advance) starting from RM77,900. The Honda BR-V meanwhile occupies the RM80,000 price range and the Toyota Rush sits in the RM90,000 price range.
So, with three different price ranges, what are the differences between the Perodua Aruz and Toyota Rush which are made in the same plant?
We also take a look where the entry Honda BR-V 1.5E lacks compared to the entry Aruz 1.5X and Rush 1.5G.
The Honda BR-V accelerates away with quite a large margin in the sense of engine power and how efficient the power is transmitted to the wheels (smooth CVT versus 4-speed auto). Honda's engine has the highest output of 120 PS and 145 Nm of torque. While the Rush and Aruz share the same 2NR-VE engine, the Aruz listed 3 PS and 3 Nm lower values compared to the 105 PS and 136 Nm found in the Rush.
In terms of size, all three vehicles create the same footprint on the ground. However, being a longitudinally arranged powertrain with a propeller shaft driving the rear wheels, both the Aruz and Rush are taller.
This in turn affects cornering comfort, as a taller height with a higher centre of gravity tends to lean in the corners a lot more. The transverse layout of the Honda BR-V’s powertrain also explains the better comfort during cornering.
However, with the front wheels able to rotate more (no driveshaft linkages), the Perodua Aruz and Toyota Rush have a much smaller turning radius of 5.2 metres. This makes negotiating U-turns and parking easier. The front-wheel drive BR-V is much more at 5.6 metres.
All three vehicles have ground clearance above 200 millimetres, but both the Aruz and Rush has an even higher value at 220 millimetres. Depending on what you are looking for, this can either be a positive or a negative attribute. A tall ride height makes the car more resistant to flash floods, but it also makes it harder to get and out of, especially if you have children or elderly members in your family, as well as the aforementioned compromises in handling.
The Honda BR-V 1.5E doesn’t match the impressive exterior features offered by the entry Aruz 1.5X and Rush 1.5G. The Honda is only shod with 16-inch wheels, halogen head lamps (automatic on/off function though), and a standard remote control unit key lock/unlock.
Comparing the Aruz with the Rush, both actually have the exact same features (differences in the bumpers at each end), but UMW Toyota Motor has added the ‘R-Blade design’ bodykit on the Rush, something Perodua does not offer. Standard features on both models from Rawang include LED head lamps, 17-inch wheels, and keyless entry and push start button.
Inside, all three SUVs are equipped with a rear air conditioning system and easy-access one-touch tumble second-row seats. Leather upholstered seats are only reserved for the high-spec variants in all three models. Automatic air conditioning is standard on both the Aruz and Rush while the BR-V is only making this feature available in the high-spec 1.5V variant.
The front air-conditioning system in the Aruz includes a multi-direction/mode feature, front demister, plus a memory system for two settings. These are features not available in the Rush, which only blows the cold air through the front-facing vents.
The infotainment unit in the Honda 1.5E does not feature a large display touchscreen, where the Aruz and Rush impress occupants with this feature. The Toyota Rush increases the specification count here further with the Panoramic View Camera fitted as standard. This feature greatly assists the new driver who might not be familiar with the extended length of the 7-seater, with camera offering views in front as well as the sides.
Both Toyota Rush and Perodua Aruz also feature 6 airbags and availability of the autonomous emergency braking feature available on both high-spec variants. (1.5S and 1.5AV respectively). The Honda BR-V however, makes do with just two airbags.
We should applaud both Perodua and Toyota for making this feature available. Currently, it is only exclusive to both these models that are manufactured in Rawang, Malaysia. The Rush/Terios pair that is made in Indonesia does not have this advanced driving assistance system.
Toyota’s Rush gains another safety feature: Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA). All three models also specify front fog lamps as a differentiator between high-spec and entry-spec variants.
The Honda BR-V meanwhile only offers 2 airbags and does not feature the autonomous emergency braking feature.
In terms of warranty coverage, all three models are covered by the same 5-year term. Both Toyota and Honda also have unlimited mileage coverage on their Rush and BR-V models.
Perodua meanwhile only provides warranty coverage up to 150,000 kilometres.
In terms of driving experience and comfort, the BR-V is clearly the leader in the segment. With the highest power output and riding on a passenger car-like monocoque chassis versus the Rush/Aruz's truck-like (semi) ladder frame chassis, the BR-V is also the most refined of the trio. Our review of the BR-V revealed that the BR-V is marginally more comfortable than a Honda City, thanks to its longer wheelbase and wider track width.
We have yet to drive the Aruz but we have briefly reviewed the Toyota Rush, which is mechanically identical to the Aruz so the driving experience will not differ much. Yes, the Aruz has a slightly different suspension tuning but that won't address the Rush/Aruz's weakest points - noisy cabin, noisy engine and below average handling.
The video below is a demonstration of how agile the BR-V is. This video was produced in 2017, before the Aruz/all-new Rush was introduced.
What about other alternatives if you still require 7-seat capacity and within a similar budget? The ageing Nissan Grand Livina is available with the highest engine output (1.8 litres) but safety equipment of two airbags and ABS has not been updated since its debut in 2007. We expect a new Grand Livina based on the Mitsubishi Xpander to materialize within this year.
The Toyota Avanza, the basic vehicle platform for the Perodua Aruz/Toyota Rush, shares similarly low levels of safety features as the Grand Livina. The Toyota Avanza is also due for a facelift, as seen in the spy shots that made its rounds in Indonesia.
Like everything else in life, there are pros and cons to each car. The Perodua Aruz wows with its high level of safety and convenience features, with the bonus of being the cheapest of the trio. Its sister-car the Toyota Rush adds a 360-degree panoramic view parking camera and blind spot warning, but asks for about RM15,000 more too. The Honda BR-V does not match the high level of features fitted on the Aruz/Rush but it drives the best and is the most comfortable of the trio.
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