2023 Perodua Axia D74A open for booking – DNGA, 1.0L NA CVT, LED DRL, digital meter, from RM38.6k – paultan.org

The most significant car launch of the year is just around the corner now. The 2023 Perodua Axia is now open for booking, and we have the first official details of the all-new Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) model codenamed D74A. It’s a ground-up new model, and there are many changes and surprises, but we’re going to kick off by apologising – sorry, no turbo.

The 2023 Axia will be powered by an “EEV engine with D-CVT”. That’s all that the official flyer mentions when it comes to the powertrain, and while there’s no explicit mention of the engine being naturally aspirated, there’s no mention of turbo either, and such a big development would definitely merit a shout. We understand that the 1KR-VE 1.0L three-cylinder VVT-i engine with 67 hp/91 Nm has been carried over.

The big change is in the gearbox. Gone is the four-speed torque converter auto and in comes the D-CVT gearbox that was first seen in the Ativa in March 2021, before the Myvi facelift made the 4AT to CVT switch later the same year.

D-CVT stands for Dual-Mode CVT, the world’s first split gear CVT system. Basically, the unit combines belt drive with a gear drive for improved fuel efficiency, acceleration feel and quietness.

From rest to medium speeds, the D-CVT functions like any other CVT, with engine torque going through a torque converter (like Toyota and Honda CVTs, Proton’s Punch CVT uses a clutch pack) and into the input pulley, before being transferred to the output pulley via a belt and then to the wheels. At higher speeds, D-CVT shifts into its split mode, engaging the gear drive to provide more efficient power transmission (less energy loss), while the rotation to the belt drive is decreased significantly. More on D-CVT here.

With the new gearbox, fuel consumption is now 25.3 km/l, or up to 27.4 km/l with the Eco Idle auto start-stop system. These claimed figures are in what P2 calls the Malaysian Driving Cycle (MDC), which supposedly follows local road conditions and driving patterns. By the way, in the Myvi facelift, FC was 5% better with the 4AT-CVT swap (engine was unchanged) while 0-100 km/h acceleration improved by a whopping 20%, so expect a more economical and faster new Axia.

This new 1.0L NA D-CVT combo is standard across the new Axia board, which has four variants – G, X, SE and AV. The latter two variants add on Eco Idle and Power mode (PWR button on the steering’s right spoke, as per Ativa).

You can tell the SE and AV apart from the outside thanks to LED daytime running lights, housed in a sideways T-shaped trim, which reminds me of the pre-facelift G20 BMW 320i Sport. Yes, LED DRLs are now available on the Axia. LED headlamps are standard from the X onwards.

The wing mirrors on all Axias are electric, but those on the SE/AV are auto retractable. Keyless entry is standard from the X onwards, and the graphic shows an electrostatic sensor, where just a touch will do instead of a button press. This is as per the Ativa and an upgrade from the Myvi’s black button.

Another feature highlight is the digital meter panel. The range-topping AV gets a 7.0-inch TFT instrument panel. That’s the same size as the MID in the Ativa and Alza, and the flyer shows a “3D ring” tachometer, so it’s probably the same unit coupled with a digital speedo. Also exclusive to the AV is a floating-style 9.0-inch display audio. Once again, that’s the same size as the Ativa’s and the graphics look similar as well. Every other variant gets a non-touchscreen radio.

Moving on, there are two levels of seats, divided between G/X and SE/AV. The cheaper variants get “standard” front seats and rear seats with “pillow headrests”. The higher end variants get “semi-bucket” front seats and “separate headrests” for the rear seats. As for upholstery, only the AV gets two-tone semi-leather covers. Solar and security window tint is reserved for the SE and AV.

These days, we kind of expect new Perodua models to have massively upgraded safety over previous versions, and the Axia doesn’t disappoint. The top variant will have six airbags (dual front, side and curtain), a big jump from its predecessor, which maxed out at two front airbags.

Perodua Smart Drive Assist (PSDA) is also available. Advanced Safety Assist (ASA, which includes autonomous emergency braking, AEB) made its debut in the 2019 Axia facelift, and it should also be available here – we’ll have to wait to see which variants get ASA. VSC is standard across the board.

By the way, the PDSA umbrella also covers the “Driving Assist” pack, which has lane keeping functions, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control – it remains to be seen if the new Axia has these semi-autonomous features in the AV, or will it be just ASA. In any case, it’s a lot of safety for the money, and this being a new DNGA product, expect five stars in the ASEAN NCAP crash test.

Finally, colours. The new Axia can be had in five shades – Granite Grey, Lava Red, Glittering Silver, Ivory White (solid) and the new Coral Blue. The latter is the launch hero colour for the D74A and it has hints of the pre-facelift G3 Myvi’s cheerful Peppermint Green.

Estimated prices are from RM38,600 for the G, RM40,000 for the X, RM44,000 for the SE and RM49,500 for the AV, all on-the-road without insurance. That’s higher than before, so you do pay more for a better product and the new features. For reference, the launch prices of the 2019 Axia facelift were RM34,990 for the GXtra with VSC and RM43,190 for the AV.

No mention of a cheap and kosong E spec, but perhaps P2 will come back to this variant later. We understand that the “driving school spec” has the lowest demand among all variants, so it’s the easiest to put on hold. Also not in the new line-up is the SUV-inspired Style variant; later, perhaps.

So, what do you think of the preliminary specs and features of the all-new Axia? Expect a raft of teasers from now till launch, which will most probably happen in February. Stay tuned.

Tags: Perodua Axia 2023 D74A

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