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Perodua Kelisa Hatchback engines, drive and performance

2002 - 2008 (change model)
Performance rating: 2.5 out of 52.5

Written by David Ross Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

There’s just one engine available and the three-cylinder 55 bhp 1.0-litre engine is suited to town driving. It’s nippy low down and well geared to make the most of the power. Short motorway trips aren’t out of the question, but with a top speed of only 88mph and a 0-60mph time of 14.8 seconds, it does take some time to get up to speed and there’s considerable noise from wind and the engine.

The upside is excellent fuel economy. You can expect 55mpg in everyday driving and nearly 65mpg on a longer run.

It may not much, with it’s small wheels and narrow tyres, but the Kelisa is actually good fun to drive. The small dimensions and safe handling mean you can nip through traffic easily and on open roads it’s composed in corners. The ride is actually quite firm – surprising for a car designed for the city – so it can crash over potholes and fidgets on rough roads.

Short motorway trips aren’t out of the question but the light weight means crosswinds can easily affect it.