Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest?

Eric · Dec 27, 2020 09:00 AM

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 01

Before we get started, let’s dive into the figures first. Capping the period to 5 years/100,000 km, the Honda City costs RM 3,669 to maintain, while the Proton X50 costs RM 4,326 and the Mitsubishi Xpander costs RM 4,215.

But before we go further, there is a reason why we are comparing an SUV, a sedan, and an MPV.

The simple reason is because like all crossovers/SUVs these days, the X50 and Xpander are aimed at sedan/hatchback owners looking for an upgrade.

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There's no real reason why anyone needs an SUV over a sedan. It all boils down to personal preferences and these three cars are all chasing after the same group of buyers.

Here's a quick recap of all three models.

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 01

The 2020 Proton X50 was launched a couple of months back, with prices ranging from RM 79,200 to RM 103,300. It is a B-segment SUV that competes against the Hyundai Kona and Honda HR-V.

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 02

Launched back in October, the 2020 Honda City is priced from RM 74,191 to RM 86,561. The petrol-electric City RS' price will be made known in January 2021. The Honda City competes against rivals such as the Nissan Almera and Toyota Vios.

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 03

As for the 2020 Mitsubishi Xpander, bookings for the model was opened back in October, with prices confirmed a month later. The sold variant is priced from RM 91,369 and it goes head-to-head against the Honda BR-V and Perodua Aruz.

 

Sedans are cheaper to maintain, correct?

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 04

By observing the figures above, the logical conclusion would be to think that a sedan is cheaper to maintain than a SUV, correct?

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 05

But that’s only half of the whole picture.

2020 Honda City service costs
Month Mileage (km) Cost (RM)
1 1,000 0
6 10,000 243.74
12 20,000 301.69
18 30,000 319.53
24 40,000 446.83
30 50,000 243.74
36 60,000 391.29
42 70,000 243.74
48 80,000 446.83
54 90,000 319.53
60 100,000 712.79
Total 3,669.71

One big reason why the Honda City is considerably cheaper to maintain than the Mitsubishi Xpander or Proton X50 is because Honda offers free alternate labour charges up till the 5-year/100,000-km mark.

2020 Proton X50 service costs
Month Mileage (km) Cost (RM)
1 1,000 0
6 10,000 275.54
12 20,000 342.70
18 30,000 358.22
24 40,000 459.35
30 50,000 358.22
36 60,000 637.15
42 70,000 258.22
48 80,000 459.35
54 90,000 640.10
60 100,000 438.10
Total 4,326.95

Proton and Mitsubishi do not offer free labour charges.

2020 Mitsubishi Xpander service costs
Month Mileage (km) Cost (RM)
1 1,000 37.10
6 10,000 219.18
12 20,000 322.39
18 30,000 279.48
24 40,000 546.64
30 50,000 219.18
36 60,000 911.41
42 70,000 219.18
48 80,000 546.64
54 90,000 279.48
60 100,000 634.70
Total 4,215.38

What about the most expensive service?

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 06

All three cars mentioned here have varying levels of servicing fees.

In the case of the Proton X50, the most expensive service is at the 54-month/90,000-km mark, which costs RM 640.10. Here, the dual clutch transmission (DCT) oil is replaced, bumping up the total servicing cost.

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 07

As for the Honda City, the priciest service is performed at the 60-month/100,000-km mark, as the iridium spark plugs require replacing. These iridium spark plugs don’t come cheap, costing RM 554.20 for a set of four. The iridium spark plugs effectively bump the price of this service to RM 712.79.

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 08

With that said, the car with the most expensive service in this stipulated period is the Mitsubishi Xpander. Thanks to its fuel filter replacement job at the 36-month/60,000-km mark, that bumps the overall service cost to RM 911.41.

Don’t forget tyre cost

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 09

While car manufacturers do provide a maintenance schedule for models they sell, stuff like tyres usually isn’t included in the total cost, so keep that in mind.

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 10

Out of the trio, the Honda City has the smallest tyres, measuring 16-inches on all four corners. The Mitsubishi Xpander also gets 16-inch tyres, which should help keep costs down.

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 11

Expect to pay anything between RM 180 to RM 230 for each of the City’s 185/55R16 tyres, while the Xpander’s 205/55R16 tyres cost between RM 200 to RM 250.

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 12

With tyre sizes ranging from 17- to 18-inches, the Proton X50, rather unsurprisingly, has the costliest tyre replacement cost.

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 13

The smaller 215/60R17 tyres on the Proton X50 Standard and X50 Executive are priced between RM 400 to RM 500 per piece, while the larger 215/55R18 tyres are priced from RM 450 to RM 550 per piece. These prices are more than double the price of the Honda City’s 16-inch tyres.

Conclusion

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 14

While all three cars are priced closely with one another, the cost to maintain the cars varies by a fair bit.

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 15

Granted, although the Proton X50 is the by far most powerful of the trio, it also comes the priciest maintenance cost and also more expensive tyres. Don’t forget, getting into a comfortable driving position in the Proton X50 isn’t easy and it lacks support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 16

Then there’s the Mitsubishi Xpander. The Xpander, thanks to its MPV nature, offers the best practicality of the trio, with numerous storage spaces littered throughout its cabin. It also supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on its massive 9-inch touchscreen head unit. Shame that the Xpander only offers 2 airbags.

Maintenance cost comparison: Proton X50, Honda City, Mitsubishi Xpander - Which car is the cheapest? 17

That leaves us with the Honda City. The City may not offer the performance of the X50, or the practicality of the Xpander, but what it offers is a very well-rounded package. Like the Xpander, the City also offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, but via a slightly smaller 8-inch infotainment system. But putting equipment aside, the City is the cheapest to maintain out of this trio – and yes, tyre replacement for the City is also cheaper than the other two.

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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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