The Maxus brand has created a buzz in the country with its SUV and MPV lineup. Their G50 model is positioned to take on the king of the MPV segment, the Toyota Innova. The competition is intense and many models are still coming into the fray. With the recent price hikes for diesel fuel, the battle may now have shifted to the segment's cleaner and more environmentally-friendly counterparts.
Maxus, with its parent company SAIC, has recently unveiled the Mifa 9 in the UK and China. This looks like the updated and electrified version of the G50. They share the same body lines and characteristics but the similarities end there.
The Mifa 9 will be purely electric. It will feature an electric motor with a battery pack of 90 kWh ternary lithium from CATL that gives it a range of 323 miles 520km (NEDC). It also gets a single 180kW motor with a max torque of 350 Nm.
The MPV is 5270 mm long, 2000 mm wide, and 1840 mm tall. Meanwhile, the wheelbase is at a generous 3200 mm. It also has chunky aero wheels and like the G50 sits low to the ground for easier ingress/egress. This is also to enhance the style on the sides and the rear. The Mifa concept features a large high-set bonnet that doesn’t slope like traditional MPVs. Its front headlights are found in a single narrow housing upfront and there is also a single housing for the rear headlights to unify the look. The Mifa 9’s prominent bumper also helps create a powerful impression on the road.
Three different trim levels are to be offered according to the UK website. A choice of 7 and 8-seater models, plush seating with motorized backrest, leg support, and front and rear movement complemented by functions like ventilation, heating, and massage.
The driving technology they put in this MPV is state-of-the-art. Aside from the usual tech specs list, the Mifa 9 will come with Maxus’s pilot intelligence driving assistance system. This system has features like a function for narrow road traffic, helping to avoid obstacles on both sides, and can park all by itself. This is achieved by the 360-degree camera system found in the vehicle. The MPV will also showcase the intelligent driving housekeeper function that automatically recognizes driving styles through data and scene driving for a better driver assist experience.
With gas and diesel prices skyrocketing, hybrids and EVs are slowly becoming the more popular choice. Only Maxus knows if the Mifa 9 will touch Philippine roads. If it does, can it take a bigger bite out of the lucrative MPV segment?