Take for instance Honda’s HR-V – the hottest compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) that’s sent many scrambling to the nearest dealership to become a proud owner of something that has a cute disposition - mainly attracting the lasses.
Out of three variants, it’s the range-topping HR-V V-spec that many tend to “gun” for, which comes with a 1.8-litre single-overhead cam engine producing 140bhp and 172Nm of torque.
Considering its compact size, budding families will find the cabin rather accommodating with enough comfort and conveniences dialled in from the versatile cargo space to the keyless entry with push-start button and the plethora of passive safety equipment.
Also in the compact SUV segment is the Mazda’s CX-3 - a smaller sibling of the CX-5, which comes costing RM135,218 (OTR with insurance).
This upstart is setting its sights on those who seem to have been love-struck by the Honda HR-V.
The Japanese brand is not only known for it’s handling prowess, but also for its fuel-efficient SkyActiv technology and with a 2.0-litre SkyActiv-G engine producing 155bhp and 204Nm of torque.
With only 2,000 units being brought in from Japan under the first shipment, the CX-3 should be locally assembled given its demand.
On the larger front, the X-Trail is Nissan’s mid-sized SUV that promises efficiency, power and plenty of usable space for large families and what’s more – it’s capable of seating seven in total.
Inside the leather-clad interior, the Infiniti-like cabin provides that premium feel along with plenty of shoulder and headroom with 10 cup holders throughout the cabin and 510 litres of boot space that’s expandable to 1,520 litres with the second and third row seats folded down.
With traction in mind, the 2.5-litre all-wheel drive would be main choice, providing 168bhp and 233Nm of torque that’s managed via a continuously variable transmission for better fuel economy, but more importantly there’s plenty of passive safety equipment.
Talking about premium brands, the GLA from Mercedes-Benz could provide a stylish option for well-heeled budding families, although the car uses the same platform as the A-Class hatchback, the GLA is one that’s got more interior space.
It may sit slightly more raised off the ground for a more commanding view, but it’s the overall physical dimensions that help provide more head and shoulder room inside along with a respectable 421 litres of boot space.
The GLA would feel compact and cosy, yet capable of seating a total of five quite comfortably and when reaching any particular destination – it’s always about arriving in style.
Standing toe-to-toe against Mazda’s CX-5, it’s a more affordable mid-sized SUV proposition from Korea and it’s all about providing what’s necessary and then including a little more.
The front-wheel drive Tucson with its leather upholstery does well to exude luxury while its re-tuned suspension provides a sportier feel.
When running-around in the city or cruising the highways, conveniences include a reverse camera, automatic headlights, auto cruise control and depending on variant there’s keyless entry and powered driver’s seat.
Toyota Camry Hybrid
As with most hybrids, performance can sometimes feel lacking and that’s where the Toyota Camry Hybrid has managed to quell such (albeit often) misconceptions about hybrid vehicles with its sportier drive that now goes hand-in-hand with that executive-feel.
With a 2.5-litre engine providing 158bhp and 213Nm of torque that’s supplemented by an electric motor providing 140bhp and 270Nm of torque – combined output stands at 203bhp.
Not only can the Camry Hybrid cruise and be abused, it’ll bring frugality to the fuel-economy table when in stop-go city traffic, while family members enjoy the comfortable leather-clad interior and the shopping/groceries in the 421-litre boot.
Mitsubishi Triton VGT Adventure
Just introduced a few months ago in four variants, the range-topping Mitsubishi Triton VGT Adventure priced at RM113,600 will have many realising its car-like comfort and handling qualities.
The aerodynamically-improved Triton uses a 2.5-litre turbo diesel with a variable geometry turbo that produces 175bhp and 400Nm of torque and is the first pickup truck to feature an all-independent suspension setup.
Additionally, it also features a number of luxury items such as automatic Xenon HID headlights, daytime running lights, automatic wipers, keyless entry with push-start button and paddles shifters to name a few.
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso is no ordinary MPV as its space-age looks sets it apart from its people-carrier rivals.
The ultra-modern design continues inside but manages to be practical too as the rear seats slide back and forth. Also, the total boot space can be expanded from 537 litres to an enormous 1,709 litres by folding the seats.
Despite it size, the Grand C4 Picasso is both comfortable and fun to drive.
The MPV is available in two variants - the 2.0 Turbocharged BlueHDi diesel priced at RM189,888 and the 1.6 Turbocharged Petrol at RM179,888.
Land Rover Discovery Sport
This new offering is going to attract weathly families that have an adventure streak in them as the Discovery Sport is bold-looking and comes with a plush premium interior with a 5+2 seats.
It has all the makings of luxury, comfort and off-road capabilities. Not to mention, a massive loading space of up to 1,698 litres with all rear seats folded.
Some of the features that come standard with the Discovery Sport includes the eight-way powered front seats, configurable mood lighting, electric parking brake and cruise control.
All-terrain performance is a cinch with a wading depth of 600mm and its geared to handle almost any terrain with its Terrain Response Systems which has four settings: General, Grass/Gravel/Snow (for slippery conditions), Mud and Ruts, and Sand.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport features a 2.0L Si4 Petrol engine with a base price of RM399,000. A diesel variant can be ordered on request.
This little wonder of a hatchback has been a bestseller in Malaysia for 10 years now and for good reasons. Affordability, realibility and practicality.
The 2015 line-up are the 1.5 SE, 1.5 Advance, 1.3 Standard, the 1.3 Premium X and the recently launched 1.3 Premium XS variants.
Standard on all variants include dual front airbags, a multi-info display with service info, a tissue holder at the back of the front passenger seat, an anti-theft hook for handbags, a retractable cup holder under the driver’s right air-con vent and a multi-purpose compartment.
The Myvi is also offered in manual and automatic transmissions and prices start from RM41,500.