KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — Infamous among Malaysians for the antics of its drivers on the road, the Perodua Myvi has garnered a devoted following since its domestic launch back in 2005.

From official fan clubs to social media pages, Myvi enthusiasts have formed their own community celebrating their beloved car and the memories attached to it.

However, it seems that Malaysia’s ‘King of the Road’ has finally been stopped in its tracks by an unlikely contender — the Perodua Bezza.

That’s right, in 2023 the Bezza took pole position as Malaysia’s most popular car, ending the Myvi’s five-year reign at the top spot. According to data published by the Road Transport Department (JPJ), 56,735 Bezza’s were registered in 2023, outpacing the Myvi which had 45,014 cars registered that same year.

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It’s also surprising to note that based on JPJ’s data, Proton hasn’t been able to clinch a spot in the top three since 2016, with Perodua making a clean sweep of the rankings.

With those figures in mind, what could have influenced the consumer shift towards the Bezza?

Possible factors at play

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Let’s take a look at three factors: price, fuel consumption and luggage capacity.

Price-wise, the Bezza wins. All four models of the Bezza are cheaper in comparison to the Myvi’s five models, making it a wallet-friendly option for drivers. The price of the Bezza (without insurance) ranges from RM35,580 to RM49,980, while the Myvi ranges in price from RM46,500 to RM59,900 (without insurance).

The Bezza is also claimed to be slightly more fuel efficient than the Myvi. On the Perodua site, Bezza’s most fuel efficient model boasts a consumption of 4.4l/100km (22.8km/l), while Myvi’s is 4.5l/100km (22.2km/l).

The marginally better fuel consumption is most likely due to Bezza’s lighter weight of 902.5kg, versus Myvi’s average weight of 1,005kg.

In terms of luggage capacity, Bezza’s far exceeds that of the Myvi. All Bezza models boast a luggage capacity of 508 litres, compared to the 277 litres of the Myvi’s five models. Given that the typical Malaysian household has a median size of 3.8 people, the Bezza is better equipped than the Myvi for travelling, family outings, and transporting bulky items.

By excelling in all three factors, the Bezza shows a clear edge over the Myvi in areas that may be attractive to buyers - especially in times of economic uncertainty.

But does this mean that the Myvi has lost its place among the hearts of Malaysians?

Still a ‘King’ on Google

Search data on Google Trends shows that the Myvi remains a trending topic among people in Malaysia.

From January to December 2023, the Myvi consistently generated more search interest on Google than the Bezza. The term ‘Perodua Myvi’ had an average search interest value of 82, while ‘Perodua Bezza’ had an average value of 38.

People interested in the terms ‘Perodua Myvi’ and ‘Perodua Bezza’ also searched for a variety of related queries. Some of these queries were more popular than others and experienced sudden surges in interest on Google.

For the ‘Perodua Myvi’, the top breakout queries (in descending order) were ‘Proton Saga 2023’, ‘Myvi facelift 2023’, ‘Perodua Myvi 2023 价钱 (price)’, ‘Myvi 1.3 G 2023’, ‘New Myvi 2024’, ‘Myvi advance 2023’, ‘Myvi merah viral’, ‘Myvi X 2023’, ‘Myvi H 2023’ and ‘Myvi 2024’.

In the case of ‘Perodua Bezza’, breakout queries (in descending order) included ‘Bezza 2024’, ‘Harga Axia 2023’, ‘Bezza 2023 价钱 (price)’, ‘Harga Saga 2023’, ‘Harga Myvi 2023’, ‘Harga Proton Saga 2023’, ‘Bezza 1.0 G Auto 2023’, ‘Bezza baru 2024’, ‘Axia rahmah’ and ‘Bezza 2023 launch date’.

Which state showed the most interest?

Further analysis of the Google Trends search data reveals that each state has its own preferences regarding these two car models.

The term ‘Perodua Myvi’ was most popular in Terengganu (100), Kelantan (97), Kedah (86), Pahang (85) and Perlis (82). Meanwhile, ‘Perodua Bezza’ was more popular in the states of Sarawak (100), Sabah (81), Labuan (64), Malacca (54) and Pahang (54).

The popularity of ‘Perodua Myvi’ in the state of Terengganu was concentrated mostly in Cukai (100), Paka (95) and Kerteh (90). Top breakout queries from the state included searches for ‘Myvi 2023 price’, ‘Myvi advance 2023’, ‘Granite grey Myvi’, ‘Carsome’ and ‘Harga Axia 2023’.

Sarawak showed significant interest in ‘Perodua Bezza’, particularly in Bau (100), Sri Aman (83) and Simunjan (80). Top breakout queries from Sarawak included searches for ‘Harga Bezza 2023’, ‘Myvi 2023’, ‘Bezza X 2023’, ‘Bezza advance 2023’ and ‘Proton Saga 2023’.

Which cities and towns showed the most interest?

Interest in the term ‘Perodua Myvi’ was more prevalent in cities and towns located in the east coast of Malaysia. The top 10 cities and towns (in descending order) that googled the term most were Cukai (Terengganu), Paka (Terengganu), Ketereh (Kelantan), Tanah Merah (Kelantan), Pasir Mas (Kelantan), Langgar (Kedah), Wakaf Bharu (Kelantan), Balok (Pahang), Gua Musang (Kelantan) and Marang (Terengganu).

‘Perodua Bezza’ was predominantly searched in the cities and towns of East Malaysia. The top 10 cities and towns (in descending order) are Bau (Sarawak), Sri Aman (Sarawak), Simunjan (Sarawak), Tanjung Kidurong (Sarawak), Beluran (Sabah), Siburan (Sarawak), Bintulu (Sarawak), Lutong (Sarawak), Kudat (Sabah) and Sandakan (Sabah). — Bernama

About the Data

Please take note that the data collected through Google Trends is accurate as of April 5, 2024. Google Trends normalises search data to make comparisons between terms easier. Search results are normalised to the time and location of a query. Google Trends data reflects searches people make on Google every day, but it can also reflect irregular search activity, such as automated searches or queries that may be associated with attempts to spam Google’s search results.