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New MAXUS MIFA 9 Takes Luxury to the Max.

MAXUS MIFA 9 Takes Luxury to the Max.

Innovative, thought-leading and future-focused, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) is the largest automotive group in China, and is the name behind the MAXUS brand. Based in Shanghai, SAIC produces almost seven million vehicles each year for both domestic and international markets and is a Fortune Global 500 listed company with almost 100,000 employees. After acquiring LDV in 2010, SAIC manufactured its Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) under the MAXUS moniker for the home market in China and select left-hand drive markets in Europe. Then in 2020, LDV rebranded as MAXUS across right-hand drive markets in Europe, and the MAXUS brand continues to represent outstanding performance, high efficiency and superb reliability across its range of vehicles. The fully-electric MIFA 9 is the first passenger car from the MAXUS brand to be launched in Ireland, but it is due to be joined in 2024 by the smaller MIFA 7, with more passenger cars set to be launched over the following years. The mighty Harris Group on Dublin’s Naas Road are the driving force behind the MAXUS brand in Ireland, so buyers will benefit from their commitment to relentless innovation, integrity and exceptional customer service.

Striking Design & Upmarket Cabin.

The sharp lines of the MIFA 9, along with its commanding presence, create a striking, sleek exterior that is truly eye-catching. The MIFA 9 was designed to be a Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) from the start, so this is not a people-carrier version of a commercial vehicle by any means, and it is one of the most versatile EVs on the market. What lies underneath the MIFA 9 is an all-new platform, and it is powered by the latest version of MAXUS’s battery and electric motor technology. The MIFA 9 uses a relatively-large 90kWh battery that provides a range of up to 440km when fully charged, and it can be charged from 30% to 80% at a public rapid charge point in around 30 minutes. A domestic wallbox charger can provide a full charge (0-100%) in around 8.5 hours. The MIFA 9 measures in at almost 5.3 metres long and the list of standard equipment across the three trim grades (Elite, Luxury and Premium) is equally enormous. In keeping with the current trend, the cabin design is modern and minimalist in equal measure, and the seats are comfortable, supportive and well-constructed. The central touchscreen is where most functions and settings can be found, and the screen has a high resolution, with the menu structure easy to navigate. The horizontal silver strip below the touchscreen houses key controls for the heating and ventilation, with the fan speed and temperature functions operated via touch-sensitive sliders for ease of use. The MIFA 9 features a 2-2-3 seating configuration that makes getting into the third row a simple exercise thanks to a decent gap between the second-row seats. The rearmost backrests recline and the seat itself is on rails, so it is possible to vary passenger space with luggage space when necessary. With all three rows in place, there is 446-litres of space available, but if you drop the third row the space on offer increases to 1,702-litres. However, with both back rows tucked away, the space available measures in at a gigantic 2,017-litres.

Test Car Details.

My MIFA 9 test car came in flagship ‘Premium’ trim and it looked particularly elegant in its Obsidian Black metallic paintwork which is, in my opinion, the ideal colour to highlight the Z-shaped chrome trim on the C-pillars, chrome beltline, and chrome trim on the front and rear bumpers. Key standard ‘Premium’ specification includes: leather & PVC leather seat upholstery, multi-adjustable electrically-operated front & second row seats with power lumbar support/ heating/ ventilation and massage functionality, a 12 speaker audio system, and a streaming media rear-view mirror, along with twin sunroofs. Also standard are two luxurious captain’s chairs in the second row that are electrically adjustable in virtually every direction possible. A smartphone-style touchscreen on the outer armrests enable occupants to control the seat height, lumbar position, massage function, heating and cooling, along with the ability to recline the chairs all the way when required. Middle row passengers can access an aircraft-style table that lifts up and folds out of the armrest, while multiple charging points are located throughout the spacious cabin. In a similar fashion to cars from Tesla and Polestar there is no starter button, so the MIFA 9 recognises when the key is in the car and it is ready to move off once you select Drive. The front-mounted electric motor in the MIFA 9 produces 245bhp and 350Nm of torque, and even though it weighs in at over 2.5 ton unladen, the punchy drivetrain means it is surprisingly swift at all times. With its light steering, strong brake pedal feel and stalk-mounted gear selector falling easily to hand, it is an enjoyable car to drive, while parking manoeuvres are greatly helped by way of the standard front and rear parking sensors and 360-degree cameras. The MIFA 9’s overall driving dynamics are well judged and it possesses an admirable degree of energetic  cohesion and control. The blocky styling of the MIFA 9 does contribute to some wind noise on the motorway, but it is never intrusive, and the near-silent electric motor lends a sense of calm to the super-spacious cabin.

Verdict & Pricing.

The new MIFA 9 successfully blends its eye-catching exterior design with a distinctly-spacious cabin that looks and feels upmarket, while its swift and silent EV performance, along with a range of up to 440km, make it a desirable fully-electric MPV for families and commercial enterprises alike. The new MAXUS MIFA 9 is priced from €79,995 and is covered by a 5 Year/100,000km warranty, along with an 8 Year/200,000km battery warranty.

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