For small families who want a small MPV with good fuel economy and a big cargo area
Perodua launches Kenari, its budget mini-MPV Perodua Kenari

PERODUA is introducing another budget car in Singapore and this time, it is a 'mini-MPV' called the Kenari.

'It is for small families who want a small MPV with good fuel economy and a big cargo area,' explains John Ng, managing director of Perocom Auto, the Perodua franchise here. He says other buyers being targeted are singles. 'The design is very sporty and we hope to attract young executives too,' says Mr Ng.

Whether the Kenari's styling is sporty may be moot, but there is no denying the snazziness of the variant names that Malaysia's second national carmaker has come up with. The one-litre Kenari, which shares the same engine as the relatively popular Kelisa five-door hatchback, is available as either a GX Aero or an EZ Aero. The former comes with a five-speed manual gearbox and costs $36,800, while the latter has a four-speed automatic transmission and is listed at $38,000. Both prices include COE.

Mr Ng says the car has just been homologated and his company will start taking orders this week.

Like the other Perodua models, the Kenari is based on an erstwhile Daihatsu model, which in this case, is the Move from the late 1990s.

Apart from its price tag, this Japanese-based technology is another reason for the marque's steady sales. Between January and October this year, Perocom Auto has sold more than 500 Kelisa units alone, or an average of about 50 a month.

The Kelisa costs $33,800 with a manual box and used to be Singapore's cheapest car until the China-made Chery QQ entered the local market. The Perodua range in Singapore also includes the Kembara SUV.