I could call this my first proper car… except well it isn’t. As a car it looked like a fake Nissan Micra. A bit like when shops make fake versions of real toys. This was reflected in the price- £450. The car itself when I bought it had no stereo- not a good start. But mechanically it was simple and unlike the previous car I had, it wasn’t broken. Overall the car had some good and bad features with it.
First of let us get the bad stuff out the way…
Tech and gadgets: non-existent, or as they would say in a school report- ‘could do better’. No electric windows, the air ventilation just made noise and blew air in your face and didn’t do anything, the rear windscreen was heated which probably was the best feature at times.
Noise level: ok being this car looks like a Nissan Micra, you would like to think there is some level of comfort. Not really the windows let air in so on motorways you got used to the wind noise, the car vibrated a lot as well. It did have a parking sensor but… it was crap. There isn’t any other way to describe it, you could hear it down the other end of the street but it wasn’t helpful and beeped at nothing. Until you get cross with it and reverse into a wall (gently) to shut it up!
Cabin: Seats were not adjustable very well backwards, forwards, upright or lie down and die. Interior wasn’t a particularly nice place to be- all grey but had fared well over its mileage. When going around town passengers did have a tendency to notice the body role and squeal at normal speeds…
Performance: you don’t expect much from a 1litre engine, it supposedly had 60bhp. But going up hills on motorways third gear had to be used, particularly if the car was loaded with people /luggage. Compared to modern 1litre engines you would want a bit more fizz for the engine size.
On the other side whilst these areas could cause irritations there where a lot of positives to the little Kelisa. Whilst it didn’t have a techy spec or much power at high speeds it was good for some things. Certainly the boot was surprisingly big for the car size which came in useful when being used to deliver pizza. This was also helped by really good mpg round town usually averaging over 40mpg although after one particular work shift 52 mpg was achieved. Ok so that’s quite dull to be honest I was pretty fed up after that drive. The upside was although the car lacked power on motorways it constantly achieved around 60mpg so you could drive with your foot flat. If you stuck to 70 most of the time (until hills or temporary speed limits uuughhhh) it was happy as. One of the benefits of pizza delivery with this car was the amount of driving and time to get to know the car. The handling on the car was fantastic despite not having the power in the bends it gripped and gripped. The steering was direct and at times it felt like the car was saying come on faster faster faster!!! Is that all you got! The engine whine that went with it was perfect. I likened the driving of it to that of a go kart. Sure the body rolled but the car was great at staying where you wanted it and putting the power down, using all the power all the time because there wasn’t much going. On the right roads and at the right time it could keep up with early Impreza’s and the like, just make sure there are no hills around, it hated hills.
Despite the fact that it looked like a fake Nissan Micra and had a noisy cabin and its other faults, it was a gem of a car. The handling and driving experience was excellent. I drove the car for miles and miles and it never let me down apart from when I ran out of fuel because I was a melon and didn’t fill up until the last minute. Driving that car was a happy experience despite its terribleness and the mockery it took, I respected it. Ok so if you went over a sharp bump the stereo fell out or stopped working and going up hills was painful because you were with the lorries and occasionally overtaken by them because they where faster. I loved it this was the first time I had a car that I could really enjoy driving for the pleasure of it. If you asked me why I wouldn’t be able to tell you- I couldn’t put my finger on it there was something special about my tiny little car. The thing that annoyed me was parting with it, due to a change of circumstances the insurance was just not affordable and so we parted ways. Now the cars being used by good friends one of whom is learning to drive and asides the stupid parking sensor it’s a good car for it, just don’t overtake uphill.
Link to the spec on the Perodua Kelisa http://www.myvi.co.uk/kelisa_specs.htm.
Apologies horsepower was actually 54bhp not 60bhp.