2021 Perodua Ativa (D55L) SUV: All you need to know

Here comes a new challenger in the compact SUV segment—the Perodua Ativa. Only known as the D55L up until late Friday, the Ativa SUV introduces several novel features for a Perodua vehicle. Available for booking now, it is priced between MYR62,500 and MYR73,400, on-the-road without insurance, with sales tax exemption (SST).

Aside from revealing the official name, two slides highlighting a selection of new features, a spec sheet of the different variants (X, H, and AV), and colour options, Perodua has yet to reveal the full exterior and interior design, as well as detailed technical specs.

Daihatsu Rocky
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Credit: Daihatsu Japan

Exterior design

We’ve so far been teased with the new Perodua-designed headlamps featuring Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB) and rear LED tail lamp. Most of the exterior and interior imagery you’ve observed so far are of the Daihatsu Rocky/Toyota Raize, the JDM model the Ativa is based on.

The Ativa sports redesigned wheel arches filled up with up to 17-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels.

Interior design

Again, the imagery thus far has been lifted from Daihatsu Rocky’s. The tightly cropped image of the 9-inch floating infotainment display gives us clues of what the interior design may look like. It is widely believed to be similar with the Rocky—a two-tone cabin featuring black and silver trim. Note that the 9-inch floating display is available for the H and AV variants only and will support voice commands. It’s up in the air whether the system offers Android Auto or Apple CarPlay support.

The Ativa will be the first Perodua car to feature an all-digital instrument cluster, consisting of a 7-inch TFT multi-info display. Available only for the H and AV variants.

Daihatsu Rocky interior
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Credit: Daihatsu Japan

Powertrain and drivetrain

The Avita is powered by the 1.0L 1KR-VET turbocharged three-cylinder engine, the same powerplant that drives the Rocky and Raize in Japan. It’s the first time Perodua is using a turbocharged power mill for its fleet. Just so you know, the naturally-aspirated 1KR-VE is used on the Axia and Bezza.

It’s also the first Perodua vehicle to be based on the latest Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) platform.

Based on Rocky/Raize performance figures, the diminutive engine pushes out 98PS @ 6,000rpm and 140Nm of torque from 2,400-4,000rpm.

For the first time, Perodua is using a stepless automatic, mating the 1.0L DOHC VVT lump to a CVT. This combination returns an impressive 18.9km/l fuel consumption figure.


Since the introduction of the Advanced Safety Assist (ASA) with the 2018 Myvi, Perodua continues to offer cutting-edge safety features in its segments. The Ativa gets an enhanced package, now known as the ASA suite, comprising Pre-collision Warning (PCW), Pre-collision Braking (PCB or AEB), Front Departure Alert (FDA) and Pedal Misoperation Control (PMC). The ASA suite comes standard across all variants.

Perodua says AEB has been improved over version 2.0, found on the 2019 Aruz—able to operate at higher speeds and now capable of detecting two-wheeled vehicles aside from pedestrians.

Daihatsu Rocky
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Credit: Daihatsu Japan

The range-topping AV variant is full Level 2 autonomous, thanks to its array of additional safety features namely Lane Keep Control (LKC), Blind Sport Monitor (BSM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

Daihatsu Rocky
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Credit: Daihatsu Japan

The Ativa also boasts Perodua Smart Drive Assist consisting of Driving Assist, Parking Assist, and Headlamp Assist.

Standard across the board is also an exhaustive list of passive safety features including six airbags (front, side, curtain), ABS, EBD, BA, VSC, Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), Hill Hold Assist (HHA), and ISOFIX child seat anchors.

The impressive array of safety features should ensure a 5-star ASEAN NCAP rating. Just so you know, the Daihatsu Rocky rocks (pun intended) a 5-star JNCAP safety rating.

Daihatsu Rocky
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Credit: Daihatsu Japan


The base X and H variants offer Glittering Silver, Granite Grey and Cobalt Blue (new) colourways, while the H also comes in Pearl Diamond White (new) and Pearl Delima Red (new).

Top rung AV also gets five colour options in addition to two-tone options (black roof and A pillars).


  • Perodua Ativa – MYR62,500
  • Perodua Ativa H – from MYR67,300
  • Perodua Ativa AV – from MYR72,600

Prices are on-the-road without insurance, inclusive of SST exemption. Prices are for Peninsula Malaysia only.

For more information, visit Perodua. Ready to book? Head over here.

With the coming of the Ativa, has the Proton X50 found its match? While battling in the same segment, they’re both different beasts, packaged for different price points. What do you think?

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By Vernon

Vernon is the founder and chief editor of A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.

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