Last month, Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) expanded its Leaf subscription service to include the X-Trail Hybrid as well, offering a monthly payment of RM2,500 per month on a three-year contract. Well, a cursory browse through the official Nissan Malaysia website revealed that the company has now slashed that price down to RM1,800 per month – a whole RM700 cheaper than before.

This 28% reduction means you’ll pay way less over three years, the total amount dropping from RM100,452 to just RM75,252. The two-month security deposit has also been reduced to RM3,600 per month, meaning the subscriber needs to pay less than RM10,000 upfront to use the car, at RM9,900 inclusive of insurance.

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As before, ETCM continues to tout benefits that include free maintenance, full warranty coverage within the contract period and zero depreciation headache, although the subscriber would still need to fork out money for insurance, road tax and the replacement of wear and tear items.

As the company points out in its handy infographics, these numbers are now competitive even compared to a seven-year hire purchase loan. With an interest rate of 2.8%, a loanee would not only have to pay more upfront (RM17,388 for a 10% downpayment), but they would also have a higher monthly instalment (RM2,093) and would need to pay for servicing and maintenance for the third year.

The total over three years would amount to RM98,688 for the purchaser – RM23,436 more than going down the subscription route – and they would still have to continue paying for another four years. Of course, by the end of the tenure they would have a car to sell (the subscriber simply returns the car to ETCM after three years), but the car would be worth significantly less after seven years, especially a hybrid car out of warranty.

Those who clock up high mileage will have to note that the subscription plan comes with a mileage cap, which is 60,000 km over the three-year tenure – this works out to just under 1,700 km per month on average. Any extra mileage will be charged 50 sen per km. As the car does not belong to you but ETCM, subscription cars will also have a telematics device installed.

The X-Trail Hybrid was introduced in April as part of a wider facelift for the local range. It is powered by a 144 PS/200 Nm MR20DD 2.0 litre direct-injected naturally-aspirated engine, paired to a 41 PS/160 Nm electric motor. As one of the range-topping models, it also comes with the Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite of driver assists, including autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. It is priced at RM159,888.

GALLERY: 2019 Nissan X-Trail 2.0L Hybrid