2003 Perodua Kembara EZ 1.3 DVVT from Malaysia


Much better than previous older models


Second day after delivery, power steering oil leaked. Seems the clamp on the hose/tube wasn't secured. Hydraulic oil all over the left inside engine compartment.

Steering was not aligned, turned out to be the wheels not aligned! The very first day!

Driver door a bit too rigid, need slightly more effort to close securely.

Wipers don't function automatically after turning on the window washers. Was told this is normal for Kembaras?? Manual indicates wipers SHOULD automatically activate.

General Comments:

I just got this car so obviously I am praying and hoping it will continue to run smoothly and comfortably as I have found it to thus far.

I have driven a friend's 2001 EZ and I wasn't impressed at all. Like the other reviewers here, I found the transmission to be very jerky!

But not so on this model, it's great, the transmission is smooth and problem free.

Pick-up is a bit slow though.

First day, I had the Overdrive system off and so the car functioned as a 3 speed auto. I drove at over 60 km/h for a total of 100 km. Thankfully I switched on OD as the car was really guzzling fuel as a result of it operating as a 3 speed auto. Now it is much better and averages about 1 liter for every to 9 km (approx.).

Am hoping fuel consumption becomes much more economical when the break-in period is over.

Went to the service center/dealer to fix above problems. Was told to drive to a tyre workshop for alignment. Threw a fuss since the car was supposed to be aligned before delivery to me. Managed to claim the cost. Didn't pay anything else.

Sales girl was helpful and friendly so that helped douse my frustration and intention to write in to complain!

So far, very happy with this car. COnstantly check its oil levels now, just a bit paranoid. Everything seems to be okay and it drives well on road. Quite comfortable too.

Roll-over might be a high risk though as the car is rather narrow and as I negotiated a corner at a fairly high speed, I almost could feel it "flying."

So be careful out there.

Air-cond works well, very cool (almost too cool) at night and quite cool on a hot day. Cools quite quickly too.

Sound system is average though, lack bass and treble.

Seating space is okay, since I only usually carry a maximum of three passengers, not a problem, plenty of room left. But I imagine 3 passengers in back will be quite cramped.

Looks great and sporty with the new headlights and bumper designs.

At just 300+ km driven so far, and based on my time with it thus far, I would buy another, yes! :) But quality control can be higher though.

No air bags.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2003

10th Mar 2004, 03:46

This review was written a year ago at 360kms, hardly a comprehensive test of the car.

I would be interested in reading a follow-up review after another years useage and 40,000 more kms.

21st Feb 2005, 06:27

I am currently in the process of looking for a reasonably priced SUV to buy. Kembara keeps popping up in my conversations with my colleagues. However, apart from the fact that it is value for money, has a good height clearance and additional fittings, the major problems seems to be high fuel consumption and not very reliable service centres. Any truth?


26th Sep 2005, 09:47

Response to 2 earlier comments on Kembara.

I have a Kembara 2001 EZ and presently have clocked in 110K KM.

Have driven it around the country and also extremely happy with its.

1) Height clearance -- gets one in and out of floods and puddles very effectively

2) road handling on wet roads -- feels very in control and that tires really grips the roads even when a heavy downpour is on

3) head lights -- have changed to white lights and angle of illumination is wide and sees clearly at night

4) on highways -- cruising is smooth, but could do with a little more sound proofing.

Overall the last 4 years have been quite a good experience considering the price one pays for the car...

No major complains except :

1) hi revving or jerky revving on city driving

2) hi consumption of fuel app 10KM per litre

3) suspected QC issue for wiring as I had to get rewiring done to eliminate a problem with engine halts due to low idling.

Till today, roof lights still lights up on going through bumps.

Word of advice..

1. do get tires balanced and aligned every 10K KM

2. get reliable mechanic who really are concerned with your kembara.. too many pay attention to higher priced cars or models and can be careless when it comes to maintenance of entry level cars like kembara.. mine did not change the transmission oil for 50K KM.. ended up replacing the gearbox..

3. give car regular polish.. the body deserves this care as it is manufactured very well.

However, these are my experiences, I really appreciate any other observations from long time or Kembara enthusiasts to be careful about or possibly enhance my Kembara experience.