Text by Chris Van Hoven
Photos by Neil Pagulayan
Following the success of the Mitsubishi Xpander’s Indonesian launch, the Philippines becomes the second country to introduce the seven-seater MPV/SUV to its automotive market. The newest addition to Mitsubishi Motors’ lineup fills the gap between the Mitsubishi Mirage and ultra-popular Montero Sport models, offering room for seven passengers, loads of luggage space and class-leading comfort and convenience at around the P1-million mark. The Mitsubishi Xpander is offered in four variants, namely, the GLX manual transmission (P900,000), GLX Plus automatic transmission (P990,000), GLS automatic transmission (P1,050,000), and top-of-the-line GLS Sport automatic transmission (P1,100,000).
The Mitsubishi Xpander’s exterior design is a result of Mitsubishi’s Dynamic Shield design concept, featuring a dominant front grille available in chrome with clear smoke coating for the GLS Sport and GLS variants, and gloss black for GLX Plus and GLX variants. The front-endhouses LED position lamps arranged in crystal-like blocks and a unique headlight design that improves visibility for both pedestrians and oncoming vehicles by reducing the blinding effects of headlight glare. Over at the rear, distinctive L-shaped LED tail lamps with rear combination lamps extend over the tailgate. The base GLX variant comes with 15-inch alloy wheels, while all other variants receive larger 16-inch two-tone alloys. Its 205mm ground clearance is the highest in its class, which gives the driver more confidence while traversing poor road conditions as well as light floods.
The Mitsubishi Xpander is the longest, widest, and tallest vehicle in its class, which allows it to provide ample room for its seven passengers and cargo. Access to the third row is made easier with a second row that folds and tumbles, opening up to a maximum luggage capacity of 1,630 liters with the second and third row seats folded. The Mitsubishi Xpander is also the only vehicle in its class with a flat luggage floor without bumps and gaps, which makes it easier to load and secure cargo of all shapes and sizes.
Various seat configurations are also available, making the Mitsubishi Xpander highly versatile whether for hauling passengers or large cargo. The driver gets to enjoy a tilt/telescopic adjustable steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, and a commanding seating position with high visibility and reduced blind spots. The Xpander’s passengers will greatly benefit from 12V power outlets available at each row. The GLX Plus, GLS and GLS Sport variants are equipped with a 2-DIN seven-inch capacitive touchscreen with a GPS navigation system, and support for MP3, USB, Bluetooth and Easy Link connectivity.
Powering the Mitsubishi Xpander is a 1.5-liter 4A91 MIVEC DOHC engine which outputs 105 PS at 6,000 rpm and 141 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm paired to either a manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The 4A91 engine is designed to reduce vibrations and noise for a smooth and quiet driving experience. The engine was chosen as a good balance between power and fuel-efficiency, which makes it ideal for the Philippine market.
The Mitsubishi Xpander comes with an impressive list of safety and convenience features. The Xpander features Mitsubishi Motors’ proprietary RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) body which is reinforced to absorb the impact of collision. All models come with an anti-lock braking system with ESS (Emergency Stop Signal System), while the GLS Sport variant also receives Hill Start Assist and Active Stability Control. These features have gained the Xpander a four-star safety rating in the ASEAN New Car Assessment Program (ASEAN NCAP).