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Saturday, November 01, 2008

FULL REVIEW: Daihatsu Terios @ Perodua Kembara

FULL REVIEW: Perodua Kembara 1.3/DVVT

For this blog entry, I’m reviewing Perodua Kembara 1.3 especially the DVVT. Perodua Kembara was launched in end-1998 (in the middle of recession). It originally came with 4 cylinder SOHC 16v. Maximum power 61kw and 105Nm of torque which many owners complained underpower and drinks petrol.

In 2003, Perodua shut the critics by introducing 4 cylinder, 1.3 DOHC 16v DVVT Engine with 63kw. Maximum Torque for DVVT Kembara stands at 120Nm.

In this blog entry, I'm glad to say that I have a relative owning Kembara DVVT. Here's the photos and brief write-up by me (as I only behind the view for 15 minutes, as usual can't review much) on the Kembara DVVT. My aunt's Kembara DVVT was the 1st batch delivered. Launched in November 2003, delivered in December 2003. So far, the Kembara had clocked 150,000kms. Apart from the 15 minutes ride, I took lots of photos of this car.

The ride & handling:

The Kembara has high ground clearence of 19.5cm. As pointed out by at least 5 of the owners' review (later), it has great visibility, it can drive through floods and can go through plantations easily (ie. some off-road).

As I only spent 15 minutes driving the car, here's my brief impressions on the Kembara DVVT. The engine's a bit noisy when pushed, the Kembara's Automatic (my aunt's car is a 4 speed Auto) kickdown came in quite fast (slight uphill). This give the impression of "Good Pickup" but it's NOT. It will drink petrol. I'd prefer smooth linear acceleration than just dropping a gear. Being a DVVT, the car's quite nippy in town and handles quite well due to the Permanant 4 wheel drive traction. The "DVVT" Kicked in from 3000rpm to 5000rpm band.

It attacked "roundabout" at quite high speed (90km/h) and it move as if it's on rails. Bodyroll's there, but considered minimal for a tall and narrow 4x4 car.

The car's fitted with Dunlop SP Sport 490, size 205/70R15. It did its job quite well, though can be a little bit noisy in the highway.

Interior: The Kembara came with 60:40 split folding rear seats. Apart from that the car's rear legroom (I'm 5'9) and shoulder room's CRAMPED. This Kembara can only seat 4 adults (or 3 kids). That's all I can comment. I'll let the various pictures I took do the talking.


The engine Mounted longitudinally, it has a belt-driven single overhead camshaft Fuel Injection and 16 valves (DOHC DVVT from Nov 2003 onwards). It's made of Light Alloy and cast iron block. For the DVVT (Dynamic Variable Valve Timing), its bore x stroke is 72x79.7 and a compression ratio of 10:1 compared to 9.5:1 for the Earlier NON-DVVT version. The Maximum output for the DVVT's 63kw@6000rpm and the torque's 120Nm@3200rpm. This is an improvement of 2kw horsepower (at 6100rpm) and 15Nm (at a high 5100rpm) of torque over earlier NON-DVVT Kembara.

The Kembara uses a constant four-wheel drive system and has a centre differential lock, engaged via a button in the cabin, to maintain power to all four wheels.

SUSPENSION: TERIOS suspension comprises MacPherson struts and lower A-arms and coil springs up front and a five-link rigid axle with coil springs at the rear. A rubber-mounted front anti-roll bar maintains stability, up to a point.


From November 2003, in line with the introduction of DVVT, Perodua introduced ABS and Dual Airbags in their flagship, Kembara CT Elegance. It was priced at RM58,000 at that time. It was considered expensive back then as it's the same price as a Waja 1.6.

. The Kembara DVVT comes with better quality headlamp as seen in this photos compared to Kembara NON-DVVT.

The Kembara uses a monocoque chassis rather than the more traditional off-road ladder frame unit, so it should perform better in a collision. Like virtually all passenger cars today, the car has front and rear crumple zones and side impact beams in each of the doors. A high-mounted brake lamp is set on the inside of the back window.

RESALE VALUE: How much you pay for a used Kembara? Here's a guideline from my research (AVERAGED) from Motortrader, The Star Classifieds and a random visit to dealers. As at June 11 2008. ALL are Automatics except 1998 and 1999.

1998: RM12,000 (Manual)
1999: RM13,800 (Manual)
2000: RM16,800
2001: RM18,800
2002: RM20,500
2003: RM22,000 / RM28,800 (DVVT)
2004: RM31,000 (DVVT)
2005: RM34,000 (DVVT)
2006: RM38,000 Auto
2007: -No transactions seen/heard so far (from March to June-)

Without further ado, I present a review by GOAuto Australia, on NON-DVVT Terios (Kembara). Followed by Specifications of the Kembara (Both DVVT and NON-DVVT and 11 YES 11 Owners' review on their Kembaras.

Here's review of Daihatsu Terios 1.3 61kw NON-DVVT by GoAuto Australia in 1999.

Our Opinion (GOAuto's opinion)

THE Terios was launched in mid-1997 and is a product of yet another motoring trend sweeping its home country Japan - glamorous yet cheap "recreation" vehicles for the image-mad Ginza set. It is a niche inhabited by the Terios alone.

It is a little like a LandCruiser zoomed down by 44 per cent, making the tiny but tall Terios look toy-like.

Inside, there is room for four with good legroom and headroom thanks to the upright seating.

Rear-seat comfort can be enhanced by a minimally reclining backrest, which also benefits cargo space.

With the rear seat in place, luggage room is okay though bettered by boxy superminis like Mazda's Metro. Folding the rear seats maximises the boot space considerably.

The lofty driving position makes Terios seem much larger although sitting shoulder to shoulder with your passenger soon betrays its true narrowness.

Disappointments include the base model's plastic-feel cloth trim, seats which are too thin and flat for proper support, an alarming lack of oddment space, non-illuminated minor switch gear and no left foot rest.

Power comes from a willing 61kW, 1.3-litre, 16-valve engine. It does a decent job but torque is lacking, reaching a meagre 105Nm at a very high 5100rpm, just 1000rpm lower than the power peak.

Hard revving for going hard is a must, resulting in quite a din from the engine. Short gearing and noticeable wind rush at 100km/h do not help noise levels either.

The short gear lever's short throw makes for a notchy and uncooperative action although the clutch and standard power steering are nicely light and progressive.

Like RAV4, Terios has a weight-reducing, car-derived monocoque chassis, rather than the common 4WD ladder frame design.

The Terios uses a permanent four-wheel drive system but, unlike the Jimny, does not come with ultra-low gear ratios. Light off-road work only is the go here. The centre differential can be locked to provide more traction.

The car-like chassis means the soft suspension provides a decent ride although undulated roads may make Terios squirm and hop about - the live rear axle does not help here and underlines the car's lack of refinement compared to, say, the fully independent RAV4. It is also prone to some body roll while the narrow body exacerbates this.

Like all fads, it will be interesting to track the longevity of the Terios concept. Its shrunken 4WD wagon body restricts space yet offers no real off-road benefits, while compromising on-road driveability, refinement and versatility.

- Automotive NetWorks 05/07/99

Here's the Specifications (DVVT Data in Bracket):


4-cylinder in line petrol SOHC 16v 1298cc EFI
(K3-VE, petrol, water-cooled, in-line 4-cyl, 1298cc 16-valve, EFI DOHC (with DVVT system))

Bore stroke(mm) 76x71.4 (72 x79.7)
Max. Output 61kw@6100rpm (63.0 Kw@6000 rpm)
Max.torque 105Nm@5100rpm (120.0 Nm@3200 rpm)
Compression ratio 9.5:1 (10)
Fuel system Electronic fuel injection (EFI)
Fuel tank capacity (litres): 46 (unleaded fuel only)

Clutch (Manual Transmission):

Dual single plate with diaphragm spring and Hydraulic actuation

5 M/T Forward 5-speed manual, all synchromesh
4 A/T Forward 4-speed, full automatic shift - Electronically controlled.

Gear Ratio 5 M/T 1st: 3.769, 2nd: 2.045, 3rd:1.376, 4th:1.000, 5th:0.838, Rev.:4.128 (DVVT Identical)

4 A/T 1st: 2.800 (2.730), 2nd: 1.540 (1.526), 3rd:1.000 (1.000), 4th:0.700 (0.696). Rev.: 2.333 (2.290)

Transfer Full-time 4WD with mechanical centre differential lock

Final reduction gear ratio 5 M/T 5.571 (DVVT Identical), 4 A/T 6.285 (5.857)

Steering type: Rack-and-pinion with integral type power assist.
3.5 turn lock to lock


Front Disc brakes with booster
Rear Drum brakes, leading and trailing

Suspension Front MacPherson Struts with coil springs and stabilizer
Rear 5-link rigid axle with coil springs

Tyres ( standard ) 205/70R15


Top Speed: 150km/h, 145km/h AT (-NA-, 157km/h AT)
0-100km/h: 14.6 secs, 15.5secs AT (-NA-, 13.0 secs AT)
(0-400m 18.9seconds DVVT)

END OF REVIEW. Thanks for having the patience to read this.


  1. Bought a CT AERO 1.3 AT Kembara in Nov 2011 for RM28,000.

  2. i think my Kembara did well then the performance that you told so..
    top speed 165 km/j
    0-100 = 10.55 secs
    that's all..
    but i bet i cannot be treat like i do always, because kembara is not a racing car or jeep.. peace out

  3. i have drive at 160KM/hour tommorw
    its its 1.3 auto year 2000
    tht is faster... its nver overhaull more...its 13 years engine...i think its still good

  4. Anonymous7:14 PM

    My Kembara meter showing 160km/h, but actually is 145 km/h based on my Gps device, Some Japanese car meter reading is overstated whereas the German Car is very accurate.

  5. Nice blog.lot of information available in your blog. Keep update information.
    flyers and brochures

  6. Full tank only can reach 330km.If Ratio gear at 4th can be reduce to 0.630 it will be smooth on highway with lower rpm.