I know it is conservative but ignoring the dollars I would still be happy with the HR, the interior works pretty well for me, overall best build quality if we exclude any Malos and small features for me make her a better all round long term cruiser.
I should go back and look at the similar sized current model Malos. I cannot remember why I dismissed them. Maybe because the comparitive model(s) are getting a bit old now.
I guess these deserves a separated answer. I guess the Swedestar is a bit less expensive if compared with HR 412 and the XC 42. Those two have similar prices, the last time I checked up, about 450 000 euros for a decently equipped boat.
Regarding the Malo40 I don't think that it is outdated, specially the classic version (I found the standard one a bit heavy on the transom design in what regards aesthetics but even so I don't think the transom of the HR looks better).
In what regards hull design and design typology I would say that the Malo will stand between the Swedestar and the HR or XC (you did not expect that, at least in what regards the XC
Comparing with the HR 412 the Malo is a lot less beamier (3.83 to 4.11m) it has a slightly better B/D (38% to 36%) for just less 7cms in draft, similar keels but most of all it weights less 1.5T for a not very different sail area (87 to 90m2).
This makes almost the Malo a performance boat compared with the HR 412
Beside the weight the biggest difference is in hull design. The HR follows the main tendency in what regards increased beam. That will give a more stable boat (at least in small sailing angles of heel) a boat that will sail with less heel, a better boat in downwind sailing (less roll), a worse boat and less comfortable in upwind sailing even if in what regards comfort the superior weight can contribute to compensate that.
Regarding the XC42, even taking into consideration that it is a bigger boat, it is comparable with the HR in beam and weight but the XC42 but has a much better B/D than the two other boats (43% to 38% and 36%). That (and beam) will make it by far the boat with a better overall stability and probably the best bluewater boat.
Now, to your surprise, probably, in most sailing situations, the Malo will be faster