While most young families opt for sporty hatchbacks or compact sedans, older families yearn for a car that can comfortably seat all their kin.
But such options are few in the local market, unless you have the financial power to purchase a near eight-figure SUV or are willing to settle for the mediocrity of a reconditioned slab-sided JDM minivan.
Here are three brand new alternatives to that mediocrity, each with its own distinct features and advantages:
Dealer: Uttara Motors Ltd
Price: Tk 23,50,000
The most affordable option of the three, the Suzuki Ertiga certainly does not look "cheap". From the outside, it resembles an overgrown station wagon with a smart front facia and some beautiful 15-inch alloy wheels.
The interior is bright and is classed up with textured seats and faux wood trims. Nice creature comforts such as actively cooled front cupholders and automatic climate control are present, along with 12-volt power sockets for all three rows.
This technological accessibility is somewhat hindered by the lack of a rear parking camera and a proper infotainment system, which, in Ertiga, is basically a glorified radio with a tiny bitmap display.
The 1.5-litre mild-hybrid powertrain generates 103HP and 102lb-ft of torque, providing the car with decent fuel economy and rapid acceleration. The suspension is a bit floaty, something expected from a car in this category.
Overall, if you are looking for a cheerful well-put-together family car with good looks, the Ertiga is a great option.
Dealer: Rangs Ltd
Price: Tk 32,00,000
While the Ertiga's front end can be considered pretty, the Mitsubishi Xpander's one is polarising. With its inverted DRL and headlamps and large front wheel arches, the Xpander looks less like a car and more like a spacecraft from science fiction.
The Xpander's interior is much more conventional, except for its absolute bonkers amount of storage space. The dashboard alone contains eight different storage areas, with dozens others sprinkled all over the car. Backup camera and a touchscreen infotainment screen come standard, along with three 12-volt power sockets.
The 1.5-litre MIVEC engine sends 103HP and 104lb-ft of torque to the front wheels, while the car's lightweight but durable structure gives it sedan-like handling when driven reasonably.
To summarise, the Xpander is a decently equipped family wagon that grabs attention. Its unique nose will cause most people to stop and think "what is that?" at least for a few seconds.
DFSK Glory 580 i-Auto
Dealer: MA Enterprise
Price: Tk 31,50,000
While the Ertiga and Xpander are designed to be somewhat utilitarian, the opposite is true for the DFSK Glory 580 i-Auto.
Externally, the Glory looks like a proper crossover. With its large "starlight" pattern front grille and bulky appearance, the vehicle can be easily misidentified as a rugged off-road SUV, despite only being front-wheel drive.
Compared to the other two options on the list, the 580 i-Auto's interior is opulent and is packed with luxury features. Panoramic sunroof, powered front seats, six-speaker sound system, AI voice assistant, the tech and luxury items found in the Glory are something one would expect in cars three times its price.
The Fiat-derived 1.5-litre turbocharged engine produces 148HP and 162lb-ft of torque, providing the car with gradual and relaxed acceleration, even when you are flooring the gas pedal.
To sum it up, the Glory has the presence, luxury and comfort sought by a modern family while falling under the same price bracket as a brand new Japanese compact sedan. Backed up by a five years/1,00,000KM warranty, this can be an attractive option for any family looking to be "ballin on a budget", so to speak.