Think large MPVs and admittedly, the Mazda Biante wouldn’t be the first box on wheels that comes to mind. That’s understandable though. Mazda’s now discontinued take on the segment had a slightly wider demographic that attempted to include alongside the usual large families some traveling businessmen as well.
The Biante has plenty going for it, after all, it was in production during Mazda’s renaissance period around the 2010s. Among them were powered sliding doors, a much plusher ride, and better interior packaging as well as that characteristic Hiroshima sharper handling than its peers.
Having gone out of production in 2018, used Biantes can now be found for around RM60,000 for 2014 models and bring to the table a much more well-rounded package as a family mover.
A 2014 Mazda Biante SKYACTIV-G 2.0 sold on CARSOME for RM66,900
The Mazda Biante Range in Malaysia
Although it was launched in Japan back in 2008, the Biante only made its way here about 5 years later in 2013. You could have it in any configuration so long it was the sole variant available, a CBU SkyActiv-G 2.0 that sold for RM 145,719.
Key features comprised the aforementioned dual powered-sliding doors, stop/start i-Stop idle, keyless entry, and a reverse camera.
Power came from a SkyActiv-G 2.0-liter four-cylinder that made 149 PS and 190 Nm of torque. A six-speed SkyActiv automatic drove the front wheels.
Unfortunately, the Biante wasn’t given a fair shot at realizing its potential as sales in Malaysia were halted in 2017; a relatively short lifespan here. Furthermore, Mazda chose to focus on the burgeoning SUV segment moving forward and didn’t plan on a successor for it, making it the last of the Mohicans as a Mazda MPV.
Read More: Used Mazda CX-5 Buying Guide
The Variant to Buy & Current Market Prices
Well, this might seem like a moot point given the lack of any variants but that obviously doesn’t mean you walk out there and buy the first Biante you see. Being an informed customer, it helps to know what common issues and maintenance costs are. Factors such as mileage and if any of the common problems have already been addressed should play heavily into the final decision.
The early batch of 2013 and 2014 units are advertised for around RM60,000 while the final batch of 2017 models commands a much higher premium in the RM80,000 range.
Maintenance & Common Problems
Depreciation is a wonderful thing when it comes to purchasing a used car but one thing to bear in mind is that maintenance isn’t subject to it. A car might be more affordable pre-owned but the cost of keeping it running wouldn’t have gone down by much.
That said, the Biante isn’t pricey to keep on the road but it always helps to know beforehand what you’ll be putting your money on.
Some of the basic, non-mechanical running costs to keep in mind include the following:
|220-330 (a piece)
|Battery 70AH EFB
On a larger scale, the cost of maintenance is estimated to be approximately as follows:
The SkyActiv mill is identical to that found in the Mazda 3 and 6 from that period. Hence, it isn’t difficult to find a workshop that specializes in the Biante and Mazdas of that era.
Timely maintenance is key and a primary factor in selecting the right unit. As always, a complete service history goes a long way in ensuring your Biante will continue to go a long way more.
The Biante’s service schedule is relatively straightforward without the need to replace any major components in the first 120,000km.
Mazda Biante maintenance schedule:
|Engine oil, oil filter, plug washer
|Engine oil filter
|Fuel filter and retainer
|Replace brake fluid
|Spark plugs (iridium)
No car is perfect and that means there will be some issues plaguing them. We spoke to independent Mazda SkyActiv specialists JTech Autoserv and they kindly shared some of the common issues that owners might expect during their Biante ownership experience.
|Bumpy ride, increased road shock
|Front lower arms
|Vibrations, road shock noise
|Engine oil control valve
|Loss of power, foul smell, increased engine noise
|Check engine light, erratic idling
|Check engine light, engine knocking
|ABS speed sensor
|ABS warning light
|Engine oil leak
|Oil leaks at valve cover gasket, rear bearing oil seal
Many modern vehicles come with a caveat of a lifetime lifespan for the transmission fluid and the Biante’s SkyActiv six-speed auto is one of them.
Nonetheless, most workshops will call absolute baloney on that statement. JTech Autoserv advises owners to replace the ATF every 40,000km or so to extend the transmission’s lifespan and keep it running optimally.
The workshop also implores owners to perform preventive maintenance in the form of walnut blasting every 6-10 months.
Older petrol direct injection engines will suffer from a build-up of carbon and oil sludge on the valves. The process of walnut blasting; as the name suggests, sees a high-pressured blast of finely crushed walnut shells on the valves to clean them.
However, SkyActiv powertrains are generally reliable, robust, and ready to serve if cared for as recommended by the manufacturer.
Mazda truly pieced together a proper mid-sized MPV with the Biante. Practical, spacious, and able to comfortably swallow 8 adults, it’s more than capable of taking the fight to the Serena or Voxy and isn’t deserving of playing second-fiddle in that segment.
On the bright side, that very bridesmaid tag translates into being priced lower than its peers to make for a real value-for-money proposition. Granted, not many units of the Biante were sold during its time here so the pool might be a little shallow in terms of choice.
Prospective buyers looking for a used, mid-sized MPV should take the time to look around and definitely keep the Biante in mind.