As the Kenari ads indicate, this model is all about interior space. While the cabin is 6.3% larger than the Kancil’s, it is the height that is impressive. With 320 mm from floor to ceiling, the Kenari’s interior height is 60 mm more than the Kancil, giving a cabin volume that is almost 20% greater.
The dashboard is set low with depressions on the top and above the glovebox which can be used for small items. The depression over the glovebox is actually intended for airbag stowage if the safety device is installed (mainly for export models where safety regulations require airbags).
The central section of the dashboard contains the ventilation controls at the upper level and the integrated radio/cassette player on the lower level. Over to the right side where the driver faces is the instrument panel with all meters (made by VDO Malaysia) easily viewed. The steering wheel has three spokes and horn buttons are situated on two of them. Besides the usual warning lights, the reminder that the lights are not switched off when leaving the car will be welcome.
The front seats are well structured with substantial side support and adjustable head restraints. The plush fabric upholstery is two-tone with some ‘hieroglyphic designs’ on them, presumably to add visual ‘excitement’. The two-tone colour scheme is also found on the door panels which have a combination of fabric on the upper half and vinyl on the lower half. The use of fabric on the upper section may not be such a good idea as this area is where people will rest their arms or hold with their hands; over time, stains are likely to appear.
The rear seats are as generously sized at those at the front and the backrests are divided exactly in two equal halves. Adjustable head restraints are also provided and to make things more comfortable, each backrest can be reclined all the way backwards to an almost flat angle – great for having a nap at the seaside!
Alternatively, for carrying large and bulky items that need more length than the boot space available, the backrests can be folded forward to lie flat on the seats, either individually or together. Golfers will be pleased to note that the length from the back of the boot to the back of the front seat is sufficient to accommodate a golfbag.
The large rear door is hinged on the right side and side hinging makes more sense than having the door open upwards because, in tight spots, at least you can still open the door a bit to put things in. And with the low sill, loading or unloading heavy stuff won’t be a chore.
Perodua’s product development team must believe that Malaysians are heavy consumers of canned drinks as there are can-holders on each front door and also built into each rear door armrest. Those in front fold away when not needed.
Another useful built-in feature is a coin-holder with slots for a few 1-ringgit coins on the driver’s armrest, just behind the power window switches (only the front doors have power windows).
For convenience, the Kenari’s central door lock system has an auto-lock feature which operates a few seconds after starting off. The system works on all five doors and they have to be manually unlocked to open the doors. It’s a feature which female drivers will appreciate as the doors on the other sides will be automatically locked, thereby reducing the possibility of ‘unwanted passengers’ getting in while the car is stationary.