We’ve seen bits of it, we’ve driven it, and we’ve written much of what’s there to be written about it. The all-new Perodua Bezza has officially broken cover and is now available for viewing in what will likely be very crowded Perodua showrooms across the country.
Built on an expanded version of the Axia’s platform, the Bezza is positioned as an A-segment entry level sedan similar in size to the Proton Saga and Mitsubishi Attrage.
Whilst leveraging on the vast parts bins of Daihatsu and Toyota, Perodua insists the Bezza is very much a homegrown effort with up to 95% local content. So, even though some individual components are based on Daihatsu designs, the integration of these parts into one working package is a fully localised effort developed at a total cost of RM 300 million. Unlike the Myvi, there is no equivalent of the Bezza sold elsewhere in the world by Daihatsu or Toyota.
A pair of new aluminium-built engines power the Bezza, namely the 1.0-litre three-cylinder KR-VE and the 1.3-litre four-cylinder 1NR-VE. The 1.0-litre powerplant is based on the same unit used in the Axia, but enhanced with intelligent variable valve timing (VVT-i) on the inlet side. Outputs of this engine are rated at 68PS and 91Nm.
The 1.3-litre engine, meanwhile, hails from Toyota’s latest generation of engines, belonging to the NR family that already powers the Avanza and will soon make its way into the Vios, albeit in 1.5-litre displacement. In the Bezza, the 1.3-litre 1NR engine boasts Dual VVT-i, enabling it to push out 91PS and 121Nm.
Like the Axia, the Bezza is also claimed to be an energy efficient vehicle (EEV), with all variants claiming fuel consumption values below 5.0 litres/100km. The 1.3-litre engine comes fitted with auto start/stop when specified with the range-topping Advance trim.
Both engines are available with a choice between 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic transmissions. A praiseworthy detail is that despite being expected to account for only 5% of total sales, the Bezza’s manual transmission is enhanced with double synchromeshes for all ratios. It is a measure that addresses a long-held criticism against Perodua vehicles that their manual transmissions feel too rubbery in their gear change.
The Bezza’s engines and transmissions are all manufactured locally. The Bezza itself is being manufactured at the new RM790 million Perodua Global Manufacturing plant which also makes the Axia.
Safety is also given a significant boost; all variants get dual airbags, ABS, and EBD as standard. Electronic stability control is available too, for the first time in a Perodua, but it is for now exclusive only to the most expensive variant.
Evaluation by ASEAN NCAP has yielded highly commendable scores of 15.38 over 16.00 for adult occupant protection and 85% for child occupant protection. This translates to a rating of four stars in both adult and child occupant protection for the Bezza; the variant with ESC gets a fifth star for adult protection.
The Bezza’s price and production positioning pits it directly against both the Proton Saga and Proton Persona. Here’s how the five variants of the Bezza line up against both the Saga and Persona:
Equipment levels of the three trim levels of the Bezza are as follows:
1.0 Standard G – M/T & A/T
1.3 Premium X – M/T & A/T
1.3 Advance – A/T only
Order taking for the Bezza opened on Saturday and as of noon today, Perodua has collected 4,028 bookings. The company targets to sell an average of 7,600 units monthly, but expects sales in the first three months to go as high as 10,000 units per month.
For preliminary driving impressions of the Bezza on Perodua's test track, click here.