Best SUVs in Malaysia under RM 150k - here's our picks!

Sanjay · Jan 03, 2021 12:30 AM

Once the forays of the wealthy, sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are now commonplace. It's hard not to take notice, and recently a reader got in touch with us through our WapCar Forum asking what's the best sub-RM 150k SUV they can buy in Malaysia.

And since we're all about the details, the cars we list here take into account the extension of SST exemption until 30-June 2021. Oh and do take note that the government's plan to revise the existing Open Market Value (OMV) calculations has been shelved too - meaning no drastic increase in car prices next year.

So, without further ado, let's help you find your perfect car by diving into this week's Top Rank.

Proton X70

The Geely-Proton partnership started out on the right foot with the introduction of the Proton X70 in 2018. Since then, the X70 flew off showroom floors, selling circa 44,000 units since it first broke cover. 

Rear seat passengers have nothing to complain about.

And it's for good reason too. Beneath the sultry exterior, it offers fantastic value proposition: it's practical, really comfortable to be in (especially in the higher-end Premium variants, with Nappa leather seats), drives great and offers good features too, like ventilated seats, powered tailgate with handsfree operation and of course, a suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

Boot space is 512 litres, easily fits 2 large suitcases.

And therein lies why we picked this over the Proton X50 - this is altogether a better package, more comfortable and more practical than its newer sibling. The seats support is better than the X50's iffy units, which already nets the X70 more points.

We got 10.8-litres/100 km on our fuel economy test.

The Proton X70 is powered by a 1.8-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 184 PS and 300 Nm, paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). However, do note that the engine is a little thirsty, and fuel consumption figures can leave you a little wanting.

Read the quick review here. Prices for the X70 are as below:

2020 Proton X70 price list
Variant Price
1.8 Standard  RM 89,900
1.8 Executive RM 101,000
1.8 Premium RM 113,100
1.8 Premium X RM 115,800
All prices valid until 30-June 2021.

Honda HR-V

Before the X70 barged into its space, the Honda HR-V was once the king of the B-segment SUV roost. But that doesn't mean it has lost its lustre, in fact still remains as one of the best SUVs you can buy today.

436-litre boot space sounds small, but can fit plenty of stuff inside, due to clever design.

The HR-V line-up is practical and returns great fuel economy. The HR-V's cabin practicality is impressive (bettered only by the Honda CR-V), there's good ergonomics as everything is within easy reach and you'd be surprised just how much stuff can fit inside the cabin despite the boot size being smaller on paper compared to the X70. 

Our gripes with the HR-V is very poor infotainment system and lack of ADAS. All currently on-sale variants of the HR-V are powered by a 1.8-litre, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder mill making 105 PS and 172 Nm, mated to a CVT. Fuel efficiency as tested was 7 litres/100 km for the RS variant.

Read the full review here. Prices for the HR-V are as below:

2020 Honda HR-V price list
Variant Price
1.8 E RM 104,000.21
1.8 V RM 113,421.92
1.8 RS RM 118,581.81
All prices valid until 30-June 2021.

Subaru XV

We hold the Subaru XV to quite high regards here, and we'd even go as far to say it's the ideal 'one car that fits all needs'. We love how it looks, and couple that with its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and Subaru Global Platform underpinnings, it's also quite pleasant to drive. 

Boot space is 345 litres, even smaller than the HR-V's.

But it also does the 'SUV' job pretty well. The interior is practical, with enough space to keep five family members happy whilst making sure your stuff doesn't tumble around. If we were to sum it up, it's a car that offers space, grunt, comfort, style, practicality and off-roading capability, but we wish that there's more space in the cabin.

You can read our review of the XV here. The XV is powered by a 2.0-litre, naturally-aspirated Boxer engine making 156 PS/196 Nm, paired to a CVT. Fuel consumption as tested was 9.5 litres/100 km.

Prices for the XV are as below:

2020 Subaru XV price list
Variant Price
2.0i RM 112,138
2.0i-P RM 118,788
2.0i-P GT Edition RM 133,788
All prices valid until 30-June 2021.

Mitsubishi Xpander

The Mitsubishi Xpander is one of the hidden hits of 2020, causing a bit of a sales storm at Mitsubishi dealerships nationwide. Malaysian drivers suddenly have a very compelling reason to choose an SUV and it's fair: it's very attractively priced for what it offers.

There's 7 (comfortable) seats, tons of cubby spaces, lots of cupholders - the Xpander doesn't stinge when it comes to space and practicality. And you'd be wrong to think it drives like a boat: it handles really well, soaking up bumps gently and giving almost car-like levels of comfort. Good enough to be a base for a rally car, good enough for us. 

The Xpander has a maximum boot space of 1,630 litres.

Powertrain-wise, the Xpander comes with a 1.5-litre, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder mill pushing 105 PS and 141 Nm, paired to a four-speed automatic transmission. Only one variant of the Xpander is offered here, and it's priced from RM 91,369

Mazda CX-5 

Rounding up this list is the Mazda CX-5, one of the best SUVs you can buy today. However, note that only the base 2.0G Mid and 2.0G High fits into this list - the 2.2-litre diesel and 2.5G variants are significantly more expensive. 

To explain the price gap, the Mid variant loses out on ADAS functions and cosmetic enhancements, like LED DRLs and bigger wheels. But those notwithstanding, the CX-5 offers the famous Mazda attention to detail across the range, and the smaller wheels/thicker tyres combination lends itself to a very comfortable ride too - much better than the higher-end variants with lower-profile tyres.

442 litres of boot space.

Cabin materials and quality is still miles ahead of rivals (think better than Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V), but interior and boot space will leave buyers a little wanting. 

Fuel consumption as tested is 9.3-litres/100 km.

In terms of driving performance, the 2.0-litre, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder mill (162 PS/213 Nm), paired to a six-speed automatic transmission is perfectly adequate for daily driving. There's just enough prod, but can feel a little bit underpowered when you're ferrying more passengers. Ride quality is good, if a little busy at times. 

Read our review here. For prices, refer to the table below:

2020 Mazda CX-5 price list
Variant Price
2.0 Mid, 2WD RM 132,404
2.0 High, 2WD RM 148,563
2.5 High, 2WD RM 161,103
2.2D High, 2WD RM 167,274
2.5 High T/C, 4WD RM 174,852
All prices valid until 30-June 2021.


Sorry X50, try harder next time

More Malaysians are expected to get behind the wheel of their new cars, especially considering the sales tax exemption extension to 30-June 2021. If you're one of them, we hope this list comes in handy for you.