It comes in two variants — the 1.5 X and 1.5 Advance — priced at RM72,900 and RM77,900 (on-the-road without insurance) respectively.
The Aruz’s powertrain, built in Sendayan, Negri Sembilan, consists of an aluminium-block 1.5 litre four-cylinder engine with Dual VVT-i - producing 101hp and 133Nm of torque, and mated to an electronically-controlled automatic transmission (E-AT) that sends power to the rear wheels.
The Aruz has already attracted 2,200 bookings since order-taking began on Jan 3.
"SUVs are enjoying a big rise globally. Buyers like their versatility, comfort, high seating position, good visibility, and increased space while still maintaining a compact footprint,” said Perodua president and chief executive officer Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad.
The Aruz scored a 5-star Asean NCAP safety rating and has standard safety features such as Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Hill Start Assist (HSA), ISOFIX and six airbags, all of which are standard across the range.
The 1.5 Advance variant has an upgraded version of the Advanced Safety Assist (ASA) active safety suite, called ASA 2.0 which adds pedestrian detection (up to 50kph), Pre-Collision Warning to 100kph and Pre-Collision Braking to 80kph, Front Departure Alert and Pedal Misoperation Control.
The Aruz features bold LED headlamps with follow-me-home function (auto lights on Advance variant), 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels and a ground clearance of 220mm.
Smart Entry with Push Start/Stop Button is also standard, while the Advance variant adds fog lamps and roof rails.
The interior is functional, stylish and practical, with the Perodua-developed anti-snatch hook to deter handbag thieves and fold-away utility hooks on the backs of the front seats.
All variants get a touch-screen infotainment unit with reverse camera display, digital air-con with two memory settings, air vents for the rear passengers and a built-in toll card reader.
The second row is split 60:40 while the third row is split 50:50. Both rows can slide, fold and tumble, yielding a multitude of seating and loading configurations. Also, there are charging ports in all three rows.
Interior equipment exclusive to the Advance variant are leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with call-receive controls, plus an integrated driving video recorder. It also gets HDMI, Smart Link, Bluetooth and navigation.
It comes with five colour options – Ivory White, Glittering Silver, Electric Blue, Granite Grey and the new Amazon Green.
With 95% of its components locally-sourced, the Aruz is Perodua's fourth Energy-Efficient Vehicle (EEV).
The Aruz touts a class-leading fuel economy of 15.6 km/l. It is offered with a five-year/150,000km warranty (whichever comes first)
Zainal also said that the monthly sales target for the Aruz is around 2,500 units or 31,200 units by the end of 2019.
Also present was Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Darell Leiking, Perodua chairman Tan Sri Asmat Kamaludin and Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Makio Miyazawa.
First drive of Aruz
Before this evening's launch, the local media were given an opportunity to test drive the vehicle on Perodua’s test track in Serendah late last year.
With four persons on board, the Aruz’s 1.5-litre engine is still perky enough to launch the vehicle quickly.
Ride is firm and not too jarring as we drove the vehicle on specially-designed rough surfaces to test the vehicle’s comfort.
Despite being a rather tall vehicle, the Aruz was able to hold its line well without excessive body roll as we travelled at 120kph on a banked stretch. At this speed, the Aruz is quiet and tyre noises were not intrusive.
While we expect the Aruz will be able to deliver more than sufficient performance for a full-load of seven persons at level road driving, steep inclines may require the driver to be heavier-footed.