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Buying Guide: A Summary Of SUVs Below RM150,000

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Buying Guide: A Summary Of SUVs Below RM150,000

For many families upgrading from a small sedan or a hatchback, a mid-size Accord/Camry-class sedan is no longer the default choice. Instead, many now prefer an SUV for their next car.

The SUV segment is now one of the fastest growing segment in Malaysia. The all-new Volkswagen Tiguan’s launch earlier this year was soon followed by the all-new Honda CR-V, with Mitsubishi stepping up the competition further by a very competitively priced locally-assembled seven-seater Outlander. Mazda too is expected to launch its highly anticipated all-new CX-5 next.

Indeed 2017 is fast becoming the year of SUVs and the increased competition will certainly result in many good deals for consumers.

Here’s a list of recommended SUVs sorted in alphabetical order, for those of you shopping within the sub-RM150,000 price range.

Honda CR-V (from RM142,400)


  • ​Class-leading interior space, benchmark in practicality
  • Good standard safety features, even for base model
  • Powerful 193 PS (243 Nm) turbocharged engine


  • No 4WD option for hi-specs model
  • Slight delay in throttle response for turbocharged model
  • Some might prefer to have third-row seat option available in other markets

Mazda CX-5 (estimated from RM134k)


  • Good standard safety features, even for base model
  • The preferred SUV for enthusiast drivers
  • Improved cabin refinement


  • Cabin is more spacious than before, but still can’t match the CR-V or Outlander
  • Boot space a bit smaller than competitors
  • Base model is affordably priced, but Mid/Hi-specs models offer better value

Mitsubishi Outlander (from RM139,988)


  • High level of safety features – 7 airbags and electronic stability control is standard
  • Spacious cabin, full-size seven-seater that fits seven adults
  • Value for money – Reliable 2.0-litre MIVEC engine with 7 seats, standard 4WD, decent features


  • Lacks rear air-conditioning vents
  • Cabin doesn’t look as good as its competitors
  • Exterior styling can a little conservative for some

More on the new locally-assembled Mitsubishi Outlander here.

Nissan X-Trail (from RM137,000)


  • Low starting price
  • Smooth CVT
  • Comes with 7-year warranty


  • Poor safety features - only 2 airbags across the range
  • It’s starting to show its age
  • Third row seats are tiny – doesn’t fit adults but still takes up boot space. Better suited as a 5-seater rather than a 7-seater

Review for Nissan X-Trail (T32) here.

Volkswagen Tiguan (from RM148,990)


  • Ideal for comfortable, long distance driving
  • Effortless performance from a 250 Nm (150 PS) turbocharged engine
  • Funky Active Info Display instrument panel


  • After-sales service can be a concern
  • Not as spacious as Japanese equivalents
  • No 4WD option

Review for Volkswagen Tiguan (MQB) here

Of course, beyond this price range are several larger SUVs like the Kia Sorento (from RM153k), Hyundai Santa Fe (from RM168k) and Toyota Fortuner (from RM170k) – all are full-size seven seaters.

Between the three, only the Fortuner is recommended if you intend to use the third row seats often. Both the Sorento and Santa Fe’s second row seats only slide forward but don’t tumble, making access to the third row difficult.

However If you are not ready to spend over RM170k on a car, the Mitsubishi Outlander is ideal. It might not have rear air-conditioning vents but the significantly lower price tag compensates for that, plus you still get a similar amount of cabin space you need along with all the crucial safety features.

Alternatively, those who want an SUV-style vehicle but prefer to drive something smaller can consider crossovers like the Mitsubishi ASX (from RM119k) and Honda HR-V (from RM98k), or if you don’t mind paying a bit more for style, the Mazda CX-3 (RM131k).

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