Say hello to the 2021 Perodua Ativa Merdeka Special Edition!
2021 Perodua Ativa AV Merdeka Special Edition
Neither of our national automakers is especially keen on delivering a commemorative or celebratory ‘Merdeka’ edition of their cars, which is fine because it means that it grants us a little freedom to do some artistic experimentation.
Of course, you can already tell it’s based on Malaysia’s newest and cutest B-segment SUV/crossover. Specifically, the range-topping AV version with the nicest interior trimmings and most safety features.
There’s a lot to love about the Ativa as is, but injecting some added national pride to it seems like a good idea, if only to set it apart from the different examples of the high-riding 5-seat, 5-door Perodua.
Design And Exterior
The Ativa AV’s usual dual-tone colour scheme is retained but instead of the usual exterior body colour palette of 5 - Garnet Red, Pearl Diamond White, Cobalt Blue, Granite Grey, and Glittering Silver - we’ll have a 6th option of ‘Harimau Orange’.
This not only gives the Ativa AV a striking presence on the road, but adds subtle stripes that run along the side so it’ll look at home in both the urban setting and in the countryside. Maybe even the jungle?
Elsewhere, to match the tiger motif even more, we have replaced the chrome or metallic exterior accents with a matte black finish that nicely complements the roof, upright pillars, and protective cladding around the wheel arches.
Speaking of which, the Ativa AV Merdeka Special Edition also gains a new wheel design in gloss black. Partly inspired by the Myvi GT that graced the 2018 Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS), its new all-disc brake rotors gains painted callipers in contrasting bright yellow.
Unfortunately, the live Malayan Tiger isn’t part of the package, but we’ll throw in a mini stickable Jalur Gemilang. Berkibarlah!
Inside, the cabin will be left mostly untampered. However, some tasteful changes will have been made to the seats, dashboard, and door trim.
Orange accents will be peppered in select areas to indicate to occupants that this isn’t an ordinary Ativa, but are low key enough for this reminder to be gentle and not overbearing.
A ‘Merdeka Special Edition’ plaque will be placed on the lower centre console alongside a serial designation since this is one of only 640 examples to commemorate our nation’s 64th birthday. Alongside this, the same text will be embossed on the front seatbacks and the floor mats.
Lastly, the touchscreen infotainment screen has been given a special visual upgrade with an orange on black theme for the user interface. Owners can also select a special themed wallpaper to complete the look.
Engine And Powertrain
Why change what’s already a solid package? The Daihatsu-sourced 1KR-VET 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and D-CVT transmission are a strong pair that provides the Ativa with punchy performance, smooth operation, and great fuel efficiency.
With 98PS at 6,000rpm and 140Nm from as early as 2,400rpm, the compact and lightweight mixes enjoyable driving with economical operation. So far, this is the most impressive continuously variable transmission (CVT) ever fitted to a Malaysian car, putting the still-prevalent Punch-sourced gearboxes in Protons to shame.
Despite some misconceptions around 3-cylinder engines and their tendency toward vibration, the growly engine note and springy character gives the Ativa an unmistakably endearing quality that reminds us of Perodua’s first few cars.
As part of Perodua’s Merdeka Special Edition efforts, this limited run Ativa AV can also be optioned with a few extras - for a price, of course.
For starters, buyers can choose to have their cars fitted with an Alpine upgraded sound system and external amplifier. Perfect for blasting your Merdeka-themed tunes, among other tracks.
However, besides this, a matching Gear Up bodykit can be had in the same orange and black colour scheme, even blending into the striped pattern with the new side skirts. And further enhancing its sportiness, a set of lowering springs can be fitted from the factory to give the Ativa a more hunkered-down stance.
Unlike aftermarket options, these springs were designed and engineered by Perodua with a local partner to improve the drive and handling of the Ativa AV Merdeka Edition while working perfectly with the existing shock absorbers so that comfort and safety are not compromised.
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