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Perodua Nippa (1997 - 2001)

MALAYSIAN INVASION (some text hidden)


Introductionword count: 92

Nippas ahoy! Whilst Proton have certainly established a Malaysian beachhead in this country, Perodua aimed to make an assault on the British market with the Nippa citycar. Carrying the title of Britain's cheapest new car, the Nippa certainly made a few friends with its aggressive pricing and tried and tested Daihatsu technology. If it represented great value when new, does the pocket Perodua make an even better used buy? With its cheap sticker price to a certain extent nullified, does the Nippa have anything else to fall back on? Find out here.

Modelsword count: 7

Models Covered: 5dr hatchback, 850cc [EX, GX]

Historyword count: 203

Those of you with an eagle eye for spotting recycled designs will recognise the Perodua Nippa as a facelifted Daihatsu Mira. Indeed, Perodua have made quite a business from appropriating other manufacturer's ageing designs, with their Kembara and X690 model s being based on the Daihatsu Terios and Nissan Micra respectively. This in itself makes sound business sense if you are planning to play the value card, as it means that Perodua don't have to recoup a big development budget. The fact that the Mira was never seen in significant numbers in the UK's roads adds to the subterfuge. Introduced in 1997, the Nippa was available in two basic trim levels, both powered by the Daihatsu derived 850cc engine. The entry-level EX version wore the "Britain's Cheapest" title whilst the slightly more upmarket GX offered metallic paint and colour keyed bumpers in a modest raid on the Perodua options list. Three special editions were available in 1999, the metallic yellow Saffron (launched in June), the Sepang of August and the EX2 of October. In 2000 the GX was withdrawn from sale, leaving the bargain basement EX to continue blazing the discount trail. The car was eventually replaced by the Kelisa in January 2002.

What You Getword count: 229

Whilst the little Perodua's shape is generic citycar, it won't have people tittering when you drive by, unless they catch site of admittedly pretty daft Nippa badge on the back. For a compact car, the Nippa is deceptively large with a cabin that creates something of a Tardis effect. It will swallow up to 188 litres of luggage in the boot and will take larger loads with ease if you use the handy split/folding rear seat. Wide-opening doors allows for easy access and, once inside, passengers will appreciate the spacious interior. Its clever design ensures that four adults can travel in reasonable comfort with adequate legroom and headroom, making even longer journeys viable. The Nippa's practical design combines style with safety. There are steel side impact bars in all four doors, while the rear pair also benefit from child locks, a move that hints towards this car's real purpose in life - the second car. It's the runabout you use for the school run, for trips to the shops and generally having a little bit of fun around town. In addition, the specially designed 'crushable' body also absorbs and disperses shocks in the event of collision, making the passenger compartment much safer. You'll search in vain for airbags, seatbelt pretensioners and anti-lock brakes, the Nippa justifying its low price with a back-to-basics approach across the board - including safety.

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Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Small Runabouts

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This is an excerpt from our full review.
To access the full content library please contact us on 0330 0020 227 or click here

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