Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Maxus Mifa 9 MPV review

"The Maxus Mifa 9 is a new all-electric MPV with seven seats and a driving range of around 270 miles"

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review

Pros

  • Decent driving range
  • Lots of room for passengers
  • Comfortable to travel in

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Odd looks
  • Unknown brand

Verdict - Is the Maxus Mifa 9 a good car?

While it looks like one of those airport taxis based on a van but kitted-out with lots of seats, the Maxus Mifa 9 was actually intended to be an MPV – or people carrier – from the outset; there’s no van version at all. It’s one of the most versatile EVs on sale, but its high price means that if you’re simply looking for a seven-seater family car, it would be a big leap of faith to choose one over a more established brand. For example, a Mercedes EQV is about the same price and comes from a brand with more than 100 years of history – plus plenty of repair and maintenance options available.

Advertisement - Article continues below

However, there really aren’t many electric cars currently on sale that have room for seven people. Plus, while the brand might be a relatively new one in the UK, SAIC – the company behind Maxus – also owns MG and is a huge company at home in China.

Maxus Mifa 9 models, specs and alternatives

Maxus is a relatively new brand in the UK, although it’s technically been around here since 2010 when the Chinese firm bought LDV – a van-maker that used to be called Leyland DAF. You’ve been able to buy Maxus vans here for a while, but the Mifa 9 is the first passenger car from the company, and despite its van-like looks, was never designed to be a commercial vehicle.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

It’s a seven-seater MPV and uses electric power only, which makes it a rather niche model in the market; most people who want a car with lots of space buy SUVs instead, although MPVs like this one offer far more space inside. There are lots more electric SUVs on sale as a result.

The Mifa 9 costs about the same as a Mercedes V-Class, which is also available in electric EQV form. While the Maxus doesn’t have the brand appeal, engineering kudos or reassurance of such a big name, electric cars usually cost quite a bit more than equivalent petrol or diesel models, so while it looks expensive – at around £70,000 – it’s not hugely unreasonable. The EQV costs over £10k more.

Advertisement - Article continues below

At this price, though, it also competes with luxury alternatives including the Volvo XC90 plug-in hybrid, which offers seven seats and much more luxury, plus a better driving experience. It’s much pricier than van-based MPVs such as the Peugeot e-Rifter, though.

The Mifa 9 uses a 90kWh battery pack, which is quite large and allows it a range of between 267 and 272 miles depending on which trim level you choose. It can charge from 30 to 80 per cent at a public rapid charge point in half an hour, or eight and a half hours to full at a typical wallbox charger.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The 245bhp electric motor drives the front wheels and has plenty of power. It’s a heavy car, as you’d expect from a seven-seater with a large battery pack on board, but the punchy drivetrain means it’s surprisingly fast. The best aspect of the motor is that it means the interior is quiet and relaxing to travel in, though.

Trim levels are Elite, Luxury and Premium. Standard kit includes fake leather upholstery, sliding side doors, lane keep assist, a reversing camera, LED lights, climate control and adaptive cruise control. You also get a 12.3-inch display on the dash with smartphone connectivity, DAB, Bluetooth and USB, plus a seven-inch screen in place of regular dials.

Maxus Mifa 9 MPV alternatives

The market for large electric MPVs is currently limited to just a few models, so the Maxus Mifa 9 is a welcome addition. If you need a big electric car with more than five seats, quite a few large SUVs may also fit the bill.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Range, charging & running costs

“Large battery means the Mifa 9’s range is good, but it could be costly to recharge”

Like most electric cars, the Maxus Mifa 9 uses a battery pack under the floor of the car to power an electric motor driving the front wheels. It’s a 90kWh unit that supplies enough energy for a range of 272 miles in the lightest, lowest-spec model – or 267 miles in the heavier, higher-spec versions.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The range is a decent amount longer than its main rival, the Mercedes EQV, which has around 210 miles available on a single charge. While the EQV can charge from 10 to 80 per cent in about 45 minutes, we can’t directly compare figures as Maxus only quotes a charging time for the Mifa 9 of 30 minutes from 30 to 80 per cent. That’s at a public charger capable of rapid DC charging.

The Mifa 9 takes eight and a half hours to charge to full at an AC charger, according to the brand. This is the kind of charger that will mostly be used overnight – a wallbox that’s installed at home or at work to plug in while you’re not using the car. 

At the moment, electric MPVs are mainly appealing to business users – taxi firms and other companies that need to transport people in comfort and ease, while keeping running costs down. The 270-mile range offered here is pretty good and should be enough for that kind of work, especially for places where it’s mainly short hops, like between airports and city centres.

Insurance

Insurance groups haven’t been confirmed for the Mifa 9 yet, but we expect generic cover to be quite pricey. The Mercedes EQV is a similar electric MPV and that sits in the highest group 50, even in entry-level form.

Electric motor, drive & performance

“The Maxus Mifa 9 is comfortable to ride in, and surprisingly powerful”

The Maxus Mifa 9 uses an electric motor driving the front wheels only. It’s a potent one, however, with 245bhp and 350Nm of torque – significantly more than in a Mercedes EQV, for example. It means the Maxus feels surprisingly fast, especially for a two-and-a-half-tonne people carrier. It’s not exactly thrilling to drive, however, and accelerating quickly isn’t what the car is best suited to.

It’s clearly been designed for comfort, and the light steering, soft suspension and near-silent electric motor means that it’s great for passengers. It’s not fun to drive, but we can hardly mark it down too much for that as it’s clearly not the intended purpose. It’s comfy to sit in and (as you can see in the next section, below), there’s loads of space inside so all the passengers can relax.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The upright, blocky styling and large door mirrors do mean there’s a bit of wind noise on the motorway, but the Maxus is still pretty quiet at 70mph. It’s at its best at lower speeds, where you’ll also benefit from better efficiency as well.

Interior & comfort

“Higher-spec models come with loads of equipment as standard, plus there’s lots of room”

The Maxus Mifa 9 is over five metres long, so the interior is huge. But unlike many van-based MPVs there is a more modern-looking cabin to enjoy here; the wide dashboard has a simple design but it works well and houses two display screens with all the info and features you need.

You can read more about the main screen in our infotainment section below. The smaller of the two screens is a seven-inch unit behind the steering wheel, very much like the ones found in electric cars such as the Volkswagen ID.3. This displays speed, range and lots of other useful driving stats – looks smart enough, and has all the info you need. Controls on the steering wheel mean accessing functions like the cruise control and radio volume are easy.

In the front part of the cabin there’s a large centre console with space for a phone and two cupholders, plus a large storage tray below. The seats are trimmed in leather – either a PVC vegan alternative in lower-spec cars, or the real thing in top-spec Premium trim.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The entry-level version is named Elite, and comes with manual sliding side doors, lane-keep assist, a reversing camera, LED lights, climate control and adaptive cruise control, plus the 12.3 and seven-inch display screens. Move up to the mid-range Luxury model and you also get a leather steering wheel, eight-way adjustment on the driver’s seat, upgraded seats for the other passengers, plus electric side doors, a powered boot door, wireless phone charging, tinted windows and more interior lighting.

Top-spec Premium trim adds real leather alongside further upgraded seats with heating and more adjustment options, extra stereo speakers, a 360-degree camera, a video feed from the rear that displays on a screen instead of a main mirror, plus front and rear radar safety protection tech.

Infotainment and navigation

The main screen on the dash measures 12.3 inches across and has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. There’s no built-in sat-nav so if you do need navigation, you’ll need to plug in a smartphone. There’s Bluetooth, USB and DAB radio, plus you can access charging information and settings here.

It’s not very easy to use and makes a lot of beeps and noises, plus the menus can be confusing, so it’s not ideal - especially as it also controls the climate functions. We also struggled to keep our phone connected seamlessly to the media system.

Practicality & boot space

“Loads of space for passengers and luggage means the Maxus Mifa 9 is one of the most practical electric MPVs around”

The Maxus Mifa 9 is a huge MPV, so it’s good to know there is a lot of space inside. The layout is 2-2-3, which is unlike many other models that use a 2-3-2 layout with only two seats in the rearmost row. This means the second row of seats features two armchair-like ‘captains’ chairs’ that are adjustable and comfortable to sit in. The third row is smaller and has three seats available.

The seats slide back and forth for access and comfort, plus there are smartphone-style screens on the armrests that control the functions including massaging and heating in higher-spec models. There are table trays and multiple charging points for your devices in the cabin, too.

Size

The Mifa 9 is 5,270mm long and 2,000mm wide, so it’s very large and sits alongside vans rather than cars in terms of size. As a result, it’s not suited to tight streets or parking spaces. It’s also 1,840mm high, so certain car parks might not even allow access. The top-spec Maxus MPV weighs over 2.5 tonnes, and has a towing capacity of 1,000kg in all forms.

Boot space

Maxus doesn’t quote a boot space figure for the Mifa 9 but there’s a small space for luggage behind the rear seats. You can also fold the third row of seats down to increase its capacity, but unlike some of the van-based MPVs, it’s not really ideal for carrying large objects and is clearly designed to carry people instead.

Reliability & safety

“Maxus is still a rather unknown brand, but electric power should mean it’s reliable enough”

The Maxus brand has been around for a while producing commercial vehicles, plus it’s owned by huge company SAIC (which is also the owner of MG), but is not a big name in the UK – and the result is that there isn’t widespread dealer support for the cars yet. There are about 60 dealers in the UK at the moment, as Maxus models are distributed by the Harris Group. If you’re a private buyer it won’t be your typical dealership experience, as these dealers are more geared up for truck and van sales.

Another consequence is that there’s no data on reliability for the Mifa 9 yet, although electric cars tend to be more reliable than petrol or diesel models overall. You get an eight-year warranty for the battery and a five-year warranty for the rest of the car, which is pretty good and should give peace of mind.

Safety

Safety features including seatbelt reminders for all seats, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and autonomous emergency braking, plus lane-change assist, driver tiredness warning, speed assist, auto headlights, a reversing camera and rear-collision warning are all standard on the Mifa 9, plus a 360-degree parking camera comes on the higher-spec models.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Have You Considered

Dacia Jogger review - the best-value seven-seater
Best Family Car: Dacia Jogger
In-depth reviews
9 Feb 2024

Dacia Jogger review - the best-value seven-seater

Ford Tourneo Custom review - the UK's best 9-seater?
Ford Tourneo Custom
In-depth reviews
24 Oct 2023

Ford Tourneo Custom review - the UK's best 9-seater?

Most Popular

New Alpine A290: fast, stylish and very blue electric hot hatchback revealed
Alpine A290 front quarter
News
13 Jun 2024

New Alpine A290: fast, stylish and very blue electric hot hatchback revealed

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
12 Jun 2024

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
14 Jun 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024