Indonesia’s budget MPV market has a new player other than the new Mitsubishi Xpander. The Wuling Confero is the first fruit of SAIC-GM-Wuling’s Indonesian factory, which started operations in Cikarang last month. The US$700 million plant is the GM joint venture’s first manufacturing site outside of China, and it has an annual capacity of 120,000 vehicles.

Confero is Latin for “bring together”, which is appropriate for a family MPV. Seven variants are available, priced from Rp 128.8 million (RM41,433) to Rp 165.9 million (RM53,365) for the top spec Confero S LUX+.

All Conferos are powered by a 1.5 litre petrol engine with 107 hp and 142 Nm of torque from 3,800 to 4,400 rpm. The DOHC DVVT four-cylinder unit is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox – there’s no auto option – which sends drive to the rear wheels, like in the Toyota Avanza.

At 4,530 mm long and 1,691 mm wide, the Wuling is 74 mm longer but 44 mm narrower than a Honda BR-V. The wheelbase is pretty long at 2,720 mm (between the BR-V and the Xpander) and there’s a choice of seven seats (two individual chairs in the middle row) or eight seats in a 2-3-3 formation.

Available equipment include 15-inch alloys, roof rails, remote tailgate release and window opening, second row USB charging, electric fuel tank opener (button on the dashboard), tyre pressure monitoring system, front and rear parking sensors, dual airbags, ABS and EBD.

Against the likes of the Toyota Avanza, Daihatsu Xenia, Suzuki Ertiga and Honda Mobilio, the Wuling Confero battles on space and price, which is close to smaller 1.2L Low Cost Green Car (LCGC) MPVs such as the Toyota Calya and Daihatsu Sigra.