21 Things The Axia (E) Manual doesn’t have (Part 2) – 2018 Perodua Axia (E) Manual review

21 Things The Axia (E) Manual doesn’t have (Part 2) – 2018 Perodua Axia (E) Manual review

So, I finally have time again to write the second part of the Axia review. I believe we have 11 more things to cover regarding what the car doesn’t have. Having driven the car more and more, I’ve come to realise that there are more than just 21 things lacking in the Axia (E). So, I’ll be focusing on things that matter more to make a short list of 21.

How has the ownership experience been?

Pleasant (so far) since I’ve been the only person driving the car with at maximum, one passenger only at a time.

Is it fun driving a manual?

Through B-roads, yes. Through highways, yes. Through KL Traffic, no.
Let’s get back to the list…

11. The Axia (E) Has No Reverse Sensor…

…and so does the Mazda MX-5. It’s a small car with very little rear overhang so it doesn’t really matter most of the time.
But sometimes it does.
When you’re reverse parking in an area with parking safety poles.
They can be hard to see when reverse parking and in some parking spots, they can be a little shorter than average. Yes, they do prevent you from reversing straight into a glass wall, but they could use a bit more visibility.
One more case where a reverse sensor would be useful is when you’re trying to parallel park at a busy street in town. Kids and dogs come out of nowhere and so do adults glued to their smartphones. Kids and dogs especially, are harder to see in the mirrors.
Want or Need?
‘Need’. I don’t give a damn if some little Japanese roadster doesn’t have it either. They both need reverse sensors for obvious safety reasons.
12. The Axia (E) Has No Foot Rest
In an automatic, it’s fine to not have a foot rest because your left foot can be anywhere. You could even put it on the seat if you were that reckless. Having a foot rest allows you to rest your left ankle, especially in busy traffic. It’s still fine, I take getting to rest your ankle as being a luxury. You’re also not going fast in an Axia, so you won’t be needing that extra edge for fast shifts. Now, most entry level cars don’t have footrests, especially if they’re a B or A segment car. My guess is that there is just not much space to fit one in there.
Want or Need?
‘Want’. It’s just a matter of having your foot 0.2 seconds faster to the clutch anyway
13. The Axia (E) Has No Radio/Audio Unit & Speakers
You’ve probably heard of the Axia with no radio and this is the car. It’s the most common way to describe the car yet I left this out in the first part, because most of you would have known anyway.
Does it matter that there is no radio?
No. At least not to me in the beginning. Since there was no tachometer and I had to get used to listening to the sound of the engine, it didn’t bother me. But now that I’m used to it, it does get a bit boring when I’m stuck in traffic or when I’m on a long drive.
You could always get a radio unit installed at an accessories shop and it won’t cost you much. Definitely not RM10,000, which is what you’ll be paying more for the Axia (G) Manual with sport rims, a radio, and a few more features.
Want or Need?
‘Want’. A radio is a luxury item and an aftermarket radio won’t cost you much. For now, I just play something on my phone and put it in the cupholder.
14. The Axia Has No Seat Height Adjuster
When was the last time you adjusted the seat height in your car?
Want or Need?
‘Want’. Seat Height Adjusters are barely used.
15. The Axia (E) Has No DVVT Or VVTi (I Was Wrong, It Does)
I was wrong about this. The 2017 Axia does have variable valve timing, Thanks, Kenneth Tong, for pointing it out. I just wanted to post this old video so much at the time of writing this. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

16. The Axia (E) Doesn’t Have Front Corner Sensors

It’s a small car so it doesn’t matter.

Want or Need?

‘Want’. This feature is for fancy people.

17. The Axia (E) Has No Assist Grip (Or Coat Hanger)

..and neither does the Tesla Model S.

Does it matter?

It does to me. As mentioned in Part 1, for most of us, a car is a mobile office or storage space. You go about a working day with the help of your humble little car. Most of us only use the assist grips as passengers in a car cornering at high speeds. It rarely happens, but it does.
Most of the time, we use the assist grips to hang a fresh set of clothes. Whether they come with coat hangers or not, this seems to be the main function of this particular feature for cars in Malaysia.

Want or Need?

‘Need’. It’s 2018. Tesla sent a car to space. Coat hangers/Assist Grips should be standard for cars.

18. The Axia (E) Doesn’t Have A Clock

This one’s a bummer. The only three information you can get from the digital display are the Odometer, Trip Distance, and Distance to Next Service.
Maybe information on fuel range and fuel consumption rates are luxury items, but a clock shouldn’t be one. I can’t look at my phone while I’m driving so unless I’m driving around a clock tower, I can’t tell the time.

Want or Need?

‘Need’. Not everybody wears a wristwatch.

19. The Axia (E) Has No ABS With EBD

My experience with locking wheels (No ABS) was this one time when I was going stupid fast in the rain on the Federal Highway with my Proton Persona (2007). I braked hard and my car started to dive to the right heading towards the divider. I was lucky enough that the overtaking lane was closed off with traffic cones so I didn’t hit anything or anybody.
The point is, if you don’t have ABS, don’t drive like an idiot. I did, but I was super lucky. Twice. This doesn’t mean you can drive recklessly if you have ABS, but in an emergency, your chances of collision would be higher in a car without ABS.

Want or Need?

‘Want’ for the time being. It depends on the percentage of cars on the road with ABS. We’re talking about the cheapest baseline car here.
This is just my opinion, but maybe if 75% of cars on the road have ABS, then all new cars (regardless of price) should be made mandatory to have ABS. It should be a baseline for safety.

20. The Axia (E) Has No Centre Console

The A-segment and B-segment cars that I’ve been in so far have no armrests. I believe it’s a size thing – smaller car means less space for an armrest. You can always buy these at Brothers anyway. I don’t, but you could.
The Axia (E) takes this further by not even having a center console. Usually smaller cars would have a place for you to put some stuff here or they’ll have cupholders in this area. You can see the handbrake sticking out of the carpet and it’s pretty crude.

Want or Need?

‘Want’. You barely look here when you’re driving.
This wasn’t in the list initially but after more than a month of ownership, I’ve decided to add it. Some cars have a vanity mirror on the passenger side and some have it on the driver’s side.
Some cars even have vanity mirrors for both driver and passenger. I’m fine with none because I can always use the side mirrors or rear view mirrors to see if anything is stuck between my teeth.
My problem with this vanity mirror is the fact that it doesn’t have a cover.

When does one pull down the visor?

When it’s glaring.
Having something reflective on the visor doesn’t help make it easier on the eyes.
I can also see my eyeballs in the mirror and it’s very distracting.
Glare and distraction are no good for safe driving.

Want or Need?

‘Need’. Either remove the mirror or cover it. Having a shiny surface on an item that is supposed to block glare is counter-productive.


It has been more than a month of ownership and the Axia (E) will soon be passing the 2,000 km mark on the odometer. The Axia has been driven through backroads, highways, busy city streets, and thunderstorms.
I certainly can live with it and that’s coming from a late 20s married man living in Petaling Jaya. This is also my second car for the family. For family trips, I use an old 2007 Proton Persona (automatic).

Is it comfortable?

Decent enough, it’s just a bit noisy .

Is it fuel efficient?

By my standards, yes. It uses half the amount of fuel my Persona does when driven carefully. At best I get 21-22 km/l

Is it good value for money?

Yes, if you don’t mind driving a manual.

Will it help you save money in the long run?

We’ll have to see.

Should Perodua make the Axia (E) automatic?

A brand new automatic car for under RM25,000 sounds fantastic for the budget-concerned consumer. But it doesn’t seem like much of a profit margin for Perodua.
Arif Chan
With a deep interest and relevant experiences in the automotive industry, Arif writes about everything automotive. His employment history includes being an automotive engineer, a highway engineer, an alternative-fuel researcher, and a motoring journalist.