Published on January 12th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


What MPV Should You Buy This Year?

what mpv_mazda biante

This is an age old question for many Malaysian families and one that constantly needs a lot of thought. For most car buyers looking for the ‘right’ MPV to buy, they seek the advice of current MPV owners, so called experts like ourselves and the odd motoring write-up. In this article we hope to have a guide, the ultimate guide in helping you…….make the right decision without much worry or regret.

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The MPV buyer profile. From single child families to the ‘eight is enough’ TV series imitators, the need for a MPV stems from creative marketing from car manufacturers in making many of us think that we need one. If you are a single person, the reasons for buying a 3 seater MPV is for carrying a bunch of car poolers. If not then look at the point why you are driving around a lot of metal that consumes more fuel than a compact car on your daily routine to and fro work. For the family with 2 kids and a maid the MPV starts making sense as the odd in-law will need to be transported.

what mpv_nissan grand livina

So which MPV should you buy? Let us try and offer some suggestions for buyers on a budget. The luxury MPV buyers do not need our advice as they buy vehicles based on emotional needs or the need to show their neighbours and friends their asset value. Point, how many Alphard drivers have just 1 toddler/child and a maid? They drive around most of the day alone in their large MPV and the are just moving a large van/bus around in tight city traffic when all they need is a sedan or a compact MPV at most. Now for the free advice.

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There are small compact MPV’s like the Perodua ALZA with prices starting from RM52,332.00 for a basic 1.5 manual drive with solid colour. But the 3rd row seat is for kids under 7-years at best and with no rear air conditioning it can get a little hot in long drives with 7 passengers on board. With just 5 passengers it is perfect. Seriously, how can you go wrong with this basic reliable Japanese engineered vehicle at a budget?

what mpv_nissan serena hybrid

At RM69,072 you get Toyota’s revised Avanza 1.5 manual drive MPV with a little bit more space and rear air conditioning included for that long journeys and when you have passengers in the last row on a hot day. It’s proven in the used car lot and this latest edition should maintain its position.

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If the Avanza and Alza seem to have too little space for your family needs then from just RM55,591.98 you have the Proton EXORA. Yes, sounds tempting when you think that a full sized 7-seat MPV with rear air-conditioning and a manual drive 1.6L engine can be your from just RM55,591.98. There are many happy owners and even taxi drivers have little issue when in use as a workhorse.

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Move up to RM86,894.00 and you get the Nissan Grand Livina which in reality is no larger than the Avanza and probably has only a little more legroom in the 3rd row seat over the Alza. Yes, it carries with it more cabin features (but no rear air-conditioning) and that Nissan after sales that many love, but a hefty RM17,822 premium over the Avanza prevents its popularity.

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But all these MPV’s have no luggage space when all 3 rows are in use except for the Proton EXORA. So when it is time to balik kampung, you will need the luxurious Mazda Biante with 7 seats and a spacious cabin and it sells for just RM144,500.00. Take note that this high roof MPV is fully imported and comes equipped with Mazda’s latest SKYACTIV technology. A close rival to this Mazda Biante is the Nissan Serena Hybrid which comes with similar interior space and features but is locally assembled therefore its pricing is a tad lower at RM132,978.52. This is a RM11,521.48 price difference, but when you consider the Mazda Biante’s SKYACTIV technology, better safety features and its Japan build quality, the RM11k premium is well worth the spend over the 7 year loan period on the Biante.

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Well, the Avanza and Alza are priced very reasonable and there is a reason. It is compact, tight in space and offers average comfort. The Mazda Biante has twin electric sliding doors and a high roofline for added space and more comfort.

From the real usage and value perspective, the Proton EXORA wins as it has 3 rows that are comfortable, air-con vents for all rows, cupholders on all levels, separate climate controls and priced to suit budgets. The Biante is very similar in usage but has an open center walk thru which mommies will find useful for stashing away the handbag from prying eyes and for moving into the rear of the cabin in traffic to calm an upset child.

what mpv_toyota avanza

Yes we have not mentioned some other offerings like the Peugeot 5008 at RM158,888.00. This is because it’s second-hand used car lot values are very low with an almost 65% loss in value just after 3 years of ownership and its after sales have been sliding leaving many owners with high repair costs coming from engine and turbo issues.

Then there is the Volkswagen Touran at RM166,888.00. The after sales issues and adverse branding issues coming from all sectors have pushed the appeal low with an almost 60% loss in the used car market after 3 years of ownership despite its spacious flexible interior and family friendly safety features.

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Last but not forgotten is the Toyota Innova which sells from RM94,433.00 for the manual drive 2L. It has the space, rear air-conditioning and cabin flexibility, but it is not the most comfortable as a family MPV and starting to look a little aged, however being a Toyota product it’s used value of almost 30% loss is not so severe like the 5008 and Touran.

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The final decision is of course yours when you visit a showrooms and take a test drive with your family. Remember and take note that any MPV purchase should be done with a full or almost full load of passengers to truly appreciate its space, function and needs.

Happy MPV shopping and contact me at [email protected].com if you have any questions or need more help in finding the right vehicle for your budget and your family.

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