even luxury people movers are now going electric in australia

Image: Riz Akhtar

People movers in Australia are not a common sight on our roads, let alone a luxury ones. What’s even harder to spot is an electric people-mover. But that’s exactly what Chinese brand LDV has just launched into Australia with their new Mifa 9.

I got to test drive one last week so today I share what this rare vehicle was like to drive, and where it sits in the EV lineup that is finally making it to Australian shores.

440 km of range with 7-seater comfort

LDV’s new Mifa 9 is the first 7-seater in Australia to offer more than 400km of WLTP range. (The Tesla Model X had more than 400kms of range, and capability of seven seats, but could hardly be described as a “people mover”).

This LDV EV comes with a 90kWh battery pack across the range which powers the front motor, which produces 180 kW of power and 350 Nm of torque.

Charging speeds are reasonable too with the battery capable of charging from 30% to 80% in 36 minutes. All three of the Mifa 9 variants have a rated consumption of under 22 kWh/100 km.

Getting in the car and looking around, you get to see all the luxury materials packed into the people-moving form factor.

Starting at the front seats, the driver and passenger seats, the steering wheel, the dashboard and the centre console well filled with leather and soft-touch materials.

even luxury people movers are now going electric in australia

Image: Riz Akhtar

The second row includes captain chairs with reclining and lumber support adjustments which have been unheard of by many brands in the EV space, let alone in an EV people mover.

even luxury people movers are now going electric in australia

Image: Riz Akhtar

The third row also looked quite comfortable with leather across all seats and no obvious compromise on quality materials all around. The tailgate was also electronically closed.

even luxury people movers are now going electric in australia

Image: Riz Akhtar

Doesn’t feel like driving a big people mover

Getting into 5.27 metre long LDV Mifa 9, you feel the space around you.

even luxury people movers are now going electric in australia

Image: Riz Akhtar

There is a small LCD screen in front of you that shows the driving information in a minimalistic way. It reminded me of the driver’s screen in the BYD Atto 3.

even luxury people movers are now going electric in australia

Image: Riz Akhtar

The steering wheel itself felt quite nice to hold and shifting it into gear was easily done with a stalk on the right-hand side, similar to the Tesla models.

even luxury people movers are now going electric in australia

Image: Riz Akhtar

On the road, the Mifa 9 felt quieter with good visibility. It didn’t feel like driving a large people mover but more like a mid-sized SUV. The steering wheel and the front-motor drivetrain setup made it easy to drive on country roads around the Southern Highlands.

even luxury people movers are now going electric in australia

Image: Riz Akhtar

At 12.3”, the centre infotainment screen was of a good size and didn’t feel bigger than it needed to be. This people mover is all about passenger comfort. While sitting in the captain’s chairs you do get a sense of comfort, particularly on longer journeys.

Overall, the Mifa 9 was quite nice to drive and handled corners, bumps and just about anything else with ease.

Models and prices to suit a luxury segment

The LDV Mifa 9 7-seater EV will arrive in the Australian market with three trims that target the luxury segments. The prices start at $106,000 before on-roads.

  • Mifa 9 Mode – $106,000 before on-roads
  • Mifa 9 Executive – $117,000 before on-roads
  • Mifa 9 Luxe – $131,000 before on-roads

All models come with 5 years/200,000 km warranty on the vehicle and 8 years on the battery pack. Service intervals are every 2 years or 30,000 km, whichever comes first.

even luxury people movers are now going electric in australia

Image: Riz Akhtar

The Driven’s view: The LDV Mifa 9 does come in on the steep end, but it drives well, has lots of features and is comfortable on the road. It will target a segment that is dominated by Kia Carnival ICE people mover where 6,853 vehicles have been sold in 2022 so far. The top end of the Carnival sits at $73,000 before on-roads.

It may not be for everyone looking at making the switch to an EV today. Having said that, those customers looking at an EV for airport-transfer hire-car and limousine services may find that the LDV Mifa 9 EV ticks most of the boxes.

Keyword: Even luxury people movers are now going electric in Australia

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