The Kancil was Perodua’s first car after its founding in 1992. It is a small five-door hatchback vehicle on a monocoque framework that can seat five people. The Kancil, like its predecessors, is a slightly modified Daihatsu Mira L200; badge engineering is prevalent in Malaysia’s automotive industry, having begun in 1985 with car maker Proton, which based its cars on retired models of Mitsubishi Motors.
Subsequent Kancils were only rejuvenated cosmetically as Perodua maintained the monocoque structure and tweaked its engines.
The Kancil is named after the mouse deer (chevrotain) native to Malaysia.
Following its release in 1994, the Kancil became an instant success in Malaysia. The Kancil is popular with beginner drivers and is commonly used in Malaysian driving schools. It was also preferable for its fuel efficiency and easier for parking due to its size. In December 1995, Perodua produced its 50,000th Kancil. By January 1997, 100,000 Kancils had been manufactured, and by 1999 250,000 had been built.
The Kancil was sold in the United Kingdom as the Perodua Nippa before it was eventually replaced by Perodua Kelisa, and rebadged in Indonesia between 2000 and 2006 as the Daihatsu Ceria.
FACELIFTS AND REPLACEMENT
The original Kancil underwent two minor facelifts. In 1997, the car’s grille and bumpers were better integrated to support to a larger grille and rounded indicator lights. In 2000, the car was given another slight facelift consisting of body-coloured side mouldings, a new grille and reprofiled front bumper with larger indicators.
The Kancil received more extensive restyling in September 2002, featuring rounder headlights, taillights and bumpers; its rear license plate was also repositioned onto its hatch from the bumper below. Its interior features a flushed dashboard with the combination instrumentation panel placed in the middle similar to that of the Toyota Yaris. However, it is still mechanically identical to its predecessor, except for the EZi automatic transmission option which is given a fuel-injected powerplant. From July 2005 a tuned Kancil SE version was also available.
Production of Kancil ceased on 20 July 2009 and replaced by the basic model of Perodua Viva known as Perodua Viva 660BX which comes in manual transmission only.
The Kancil was sold in three variants:
- Kancil 660EX- 659 cc three-cylinder carbureted in-line engine, 31 hp (23 kW), five-speed manual transmission, black bumpers and door rub strips.
- Kancil 850EX- 847 cc three-cylinder carbureted in-line engine, 36 hp (27 kW), five-speed manual transmission, body-color bumpers and rub strips.
- Kancil 850EZi- 847 cc three-cylinder fuel-injected in-line engine, 49 hp (37 kW), five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission, body color bumpers and rub strips