The improved model is the new Kembara DVVT which will be in the showrooms this weekend and the most significant change is in the ‘heart’. There is a brand new K3-VE engine with a variable valve timing mechanism called Dynamic Variable Valve Timing (that’s where the ‘DVVT’ comes from). Together with improved manual and automatic transmissions, the K3 engine –which is also a 1.3-litre 4-cylinder unit - addresses the two issues which customers had with the previous Kembara.The development period for this new model was about two years and this speediness was because the same platform has been used. Most of the body panels are also the same but the headlights, signal lights, bumpers and rear light clusters are new. The dual unit headlamp housings are sporty in appearance and flank the familiar Perodua corporate grille. To give a bolder look, the centre part of the bumper is a dark colour (with the model name embossed on it – a nice touch) which extends down to the airscoop that is flanked by large foglights.
The rear presentation is essentially the same as before with the spare wheel mounted on the side-hinged door. The characteristic vertical light clusters are on each roof pillar and there is now a more conspicuous reversing light set in the large bumper.However, in terms of safety features, the Kembara DVVT is as good as others in its class with a sturdy bodyshell that has sufficient crumple zones and anti-intrusion bars in each door.
The powertrain is described in detail in a separate story (link below) so let’s move on to the chassis. Here, things are also the same although it is understood that the suspension (especially at the rear) has been retuned for comfort and better handling. As before, the front suspension uses MacPherson struts that act independently of each other, while the rear is a 5-link live axle. New 15-inch alloy wheels are at each corner and these are shod with 205/70R15 Sime Alpina tyres.
Stopping power comes from disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear, the entire system hydraulically connected by a dual-line system as a precaution against one line leaking. In the event of a leak on one line, there is still at least 50% braking power available. The parking brake operates on the rear drum brakes.
The steering system is a rack and pinion type with power assistance to take the effort out of parking. The system is a conventional hydraulic pump type which is powered by the engine.