The minivan segment was once very popular in the United States and Europe. And while there are still some decent MPV offerings at both sides of the big pond, the variety is generally kept to a minimum. That is not the case in China, however, where large and boxy people haulers are now becoming increasingly popular and many local and foreign automakers are releasing new models. One of the latest to join the party is the Denza D9, which is available with plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains.

Let’s start with the brand itself. Denza is an equally owned joint venture between BYD and the Mercedes-Benz Group, which produces luxury vehicles for the People’s Republic. Most previous models of the brand felt more like rebadged BYDs (a Chinese mainstream marque) but with this new product, Denza took things to another level. The D9 was launched in China last year and our friends at Wheelsboy recently got the chance to test and film an example.

Gallery: Denza D9

To keep things complicated, Denza offers the luxury minivan with a selection of three available plug-in hybrid powertrains depending on the battery and motor. The one featured in the video at the top of this page is the range-topping configuration with a peak output of 401 horsepower (299 kilowatts) and 502 pound-feet (681 Newton-meters) of torque. These are very respectable numbers for an unpretentious minivan. The range on purely electric energy is up to 112 miles (180 kilometers) and interestingly for a PHEV, DC charging is available with up to 80 kilowatts, which isn’t quite often for a plug-in hybrid.

The interior is possibly the most impressive thing about the D9. There are a total of seven screens onboard the Chinese minivan, three at the front, two for the rear seats located on the front seatbacks, and two in the second-row armrests. The capacity touch buttons on the center console might not be our favorite solution, but the overall quality and material selection inside the cabin look fantastic. All this doesn’t come cheap, though – this particular range-topping version of the model costs around $65,000 in China – around the same price Jeep wants for the flagship Grand Cherokee L in the United States, for example.

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