5 most comfortable 7-seaters that are not an Alphard

Eric · Jun 25, 2021 12:41 PM

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Let’s face it – a brand-new Toyota Alphard isn’t exactly within the reach of many Malaysians. After all, with prices of a new Alphard hovering at the RM 450k mark, most people will end up buying a property instead.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at five family-friendly seven-seaters that isn’t a Toyota Alphard.

Honda BR-V - From RM 86,726 to RM 93,420

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Kicking the list off is the Honda BR-V – the most affordable seven-seater here. Priced from RM 86,726 onwards, the Honda BR-V is a family-favourite.

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Thanks to its passenger car platform, the BR-V’s ride comfort is miles ahead of rivals like the Perodua Aruz and Toyota Rush, the latter two are built on a semi-ladder frame platform. In fact, the BR-V's wider rear track means that it is more comfortable than the previous-gen Honda City, and on par with the current City.

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With 120 PS and 145 Nm on tap, the Honda BR-V is also one of the more powerful seven-seaters priced below the RM 100k mark.

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The BR-V was given a mid-life nip-and-tuck last year, giving it refreshed looks and some new features, including paddle shifters, tweeter speakers, and a cabin filter.

Also Read: Pros and Cons: Honda BR-V – Still better than the Mitsubishi Xpander?

Mitsubishi Xpander - RM 91,359

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Ever since Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) opened bookings for the Mitsubishi Xpander, it proved to be a very popular model, cementing its top position in the ‘non-national MPV’ segment.

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If you thought that the Honda BR-V’s interior was impressive, wait till you step inside the Xpander. Not only does the Xpander offer features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the Xpander also offers a number of practical cubby spaces, including a storage spot under the front passenger seat and a two-tier boot floor.

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On the move, Mitsubishi’s expertise in suspension tuning is evident, as the Xpander offers a surprisingly supply ride. In fact, as surprising as it may sound, but the Xpander's wheelbase is actually longer than the Toyota Innova - ideal for long-distance journeys.

Pity that the Xpander only comes with two airbags.

Also Read: Pros and Cons: 2020 Mitsubishi Xpander is the value for money B-segment SUV you should get

Nissan Serena S-Hybrid - RM 140,226 to RM 152,226

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For families that need to ferry young kids around, it’s hard to argue against the Nissan Serena S-Hybrid.

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Sliding doors vs hinged doors. The latter will be tight squeeze if there's another car next to it.

Sure, it may not have the ground clearance or road presence of an SUV, but the Serena S-Hybrid is far more practical. Want to put your kid into their child seat? It’s so much easier with the Serena S-Hybrid’s power-sliding doors.

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Inside, the Serena S-Hybrid offers second-row captain seats – something that no other rivals at its price point can offer. But that’s not all, as the Serena S-Hybrid offers a whopping seven USB charging ports – enough for the whole family.

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Flipside? Handling isn’t that great, but keep in mind that is this a 1.8-meter tall MPV, not a sports car. Given that the driver's seat is like a sofa, you'll forget about its poor handling anyway.

Also Read: Review: The Nissan Serena will not inspire you, but few other MPVs can do a better job

Mitsubishi Outlander - RM 133,491 to RM 147,762

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The Mitsubishi Outlander is the only C-segment SUV in this list, and for a good reason – the third-row seats are amongst the most spacious in its segment. 

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Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) has two variants on sale, one powered by a 2.0-litre engine, the other by a 2.4-litre unit. Both engines are naturally-aspirated and mated to a CVT. Unlike Subaru's permanently-on AWD system, the Outlander's 4WD system is able to disconnect the rear axle under normal driving conditions to improve fuel consumption, while retaining the faster response time of a full-time 4WD system.

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Despite riding on 18-inch wheels with 55-series tyres, ride comfort is actually rather impressive. The Outlander is more than capable of soaking up bad roads, yet at the same time, doesn’t not jostle passengers.

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Downside is that the Outlander lacks ADAS features and it has no rear air-conditioning vents for the rear passengers. 

Also Read: Review: Mitsubishi Outlander 2.0 4WD; Long in the tooth but still worthy of attention

Kia Grand Carnival - RM 169,888 to RM 183,888

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The list isn’t complete without the mention of the Kia Grand Carnival – a behemoth of an MPV, really.

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With a length that spans well over the 5 meter mark, it is even longer than the Toyota Alphard. The Kia Grand Carnival also sits more people than the Toyota, as 11 people can get comfy in one.

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Don’t mistake this large MPV for a slouch, as its 2.2-litre turbodiesel dishes out 200 PS and 440 Nm. That’s sufficient to propel the 2.2-tonne SUV from a dead-stop to 100 km/h in just 10.5 seconds.

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It’s well-appointed too, as it gets an infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support and USB charging ports. Shame that there’s no ADAS features here.

Also Read: Pros and Cons: 2020 Kia Grand Carnival – are 11 seats too many?

Conclusion

This may not be an end-all list, but it does give a good idea on what seven-seater (or more) options you have.

Granted, there are cheaper options like the Perodua Alza and Proton Exora, but those are ageing models and should not be bought new in 2021.

Instead, if you want a seven-seater from Proton or Perodua, we suggest to wait for the arrival of the new-generation Perodua Alza or the Geely Haoyue-based Proton X90.

Also Read: DNGA-based, next-gen 2022 Perodua Alza could launch at the end of this year

Also Read: 2022 Proton X90 could be priced cheaper than expected, but not necessarily in a good way

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Eric

Editor

Started from the IT industry but somehow managed to find his way into the automotive industry. If he’s not gaming, he’s constantly tinkering with his daily/weekend car.

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