The best SUVs in Malaysia
SUVs, or Sports Utility Vehicles, are a common sight (and getting even more common by the day!) on our roads these days. This class of vehicle is so in-demand, that even luxury automakers are making them, like the Bentley Bentayga, and the Lamborghini Urus. However, in this list, the sky is not the limit and we have decided to only look at SUVs under RM150k. Here’s what we think are the best SUVs in Malaysia going into 2022.
The Proton X70 almost literally flew off the showroom floor upon its launch in 2018. Up till November 2021, the cumulative sales figures of the SUV stand at 86,379 units.
And it's for good reason too. It's practical and comfortable, especially in the higher-end Premium variants with their Nappa leather seats. The SUV drives great and offers good features , like ventilated seats, powered tailgate with handsfree operation and of course, a suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
The Proton X70 has a 1.8-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 184 PS and 300 Nm, paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT), and we think the car is still one of the best SUV you can buy today.
Why did we choose the Proton X70 and not the smaller Proton X50 as one of the best SUVs of the year? We think the Proton X70 is a much better package – more comfortable, more practical, and even the seats are better in the Proton X70.
You can read our review here.
Before the Proton X70 and Proton X50, the Honda HR-V was the best SUV you can buy in Malaysia. The coming of the Proton pair may have dethroned the Honda HR-V, but it is still one of the best in our market.
The Honda HR-V has a practical line-up and the engine returns great economy. Its cabin is impressively practical, and good ergonomics puts everything within easy reach, not to mention the generous amount of cubby spaces everywhere.
Our main displeasure with the Honda HR-V is its lack of ADAS, and its lackluster infotainment system.
Read our full review here.
The excellent Subaru XV comes very close to being the best SUV in Malaysia in this price bracket, and we think it’s the best one, if you can only have one car in your garage. It looks great, is underpinned by Subaru’s fantastic Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, and is a pleasure to drive.
That doesn’t mean it does the SUV part badly. The interior is practical and there’s space to keep five people happy. It’s a car that offers adequate space, driveability, comfort, style, practicality, and soft-roading capability. If there’s something we want more, is space inside the car.
The Subaru XV is powered by a 2.0-litre, naturally-aspirated Boxer engine making 156 PS/196 Nm, paired to a CVT, and is certainly one of the best SUVs you can buy today.
Read the full review here.
There can’t be a list of the best SUVs on sale in Malaysia without the Mitsubishi Xpander, one of the ‘sleeper hits’ available for sale today. It is fairly handsome, and more importantly, has a highly attractive price tag of RM92,263.
The Mitsubishi Xpander has 7 comfortable seats, loads of cubby holes, and more than enough cupholders. It has generous space, and is practical to a fault. What’s more, it doesn’t handle like a yacht – soaking up bumps with almost car-like levels of comfort.
Power comes from a 1.5-litre, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder mill pushing 105 PS and 141 Nm that is paired to a four-speed automatic transmission. Only one variant is on sale in our country.
Rounding the list with perhaps the best SUV available today is the Mazda CX-5 – but only the Mazda CX-5 2.0 Mid and Mazda CX-5 2.0 High can enter the list as the other variants are too expensive.
The Mazda CX-5 2.0 Mid manages to sneak into under the price point as it does not come with ADAS and other cosmetics like LED DRLs and bigger wheels. Even without the additional luxuries, the famous Mazda attention to detail is evident across the range, while the smaller wheels/thicker tyres combination lends itself to a very comfortable ride.
The cabin experience is still noticeably ahead of many rivals, but there are some shortcomings, like the smaller interior and boot space.
You can read our review of the Mazda CX-5 here.
Under the hood is a 2.0-litre engine good for 162 PS and 213 Nm, mated to a sweet 6-speed automatic transmission. The mill is underpowered when the cabin is full, but otherwise adequate for everyday driving. Some entrants of this list may be arguable, but we think no list of ‘best SUVs of the year’ will be complete without the Mazda CX-5.