At the outset, the Mitsubishi Xpander has a tough act to follow, as it is the replacement model for the Adventure, an immensely popular Asian utility vehicle that served Filipino motorists for about two decades. Debuting in the Philippines last March 2018, the Xpander, a totally new 7-seat people-mover, quickly proved its mettle by outselling its competitors and emerging as the best-selling small MPV for 2018, with just less than 10 months’ market presence.
This comes as no surprise as the Xpander ticks all the boxes: dynamic styling, interior comfort and convenience, driving pleasure, superior safety, and an excellent price point for all four variants.
Conceptualized to be a head-turning, futuristic vehicle like no other in its class, the Xpander’s front fascia adopts Mitsubishi’s dynamic shield concept with bumper-embedded headlamps. The overall impression is aggressive and bold, yet sleek and tasteful. LED position lights in front and LED combination tail lights further enhance the dynamic exterior, as do the 16-inch two-tone alloy wheels on the more premium variants.
Despite its compact dimensions, the Xpander seats 7 adults in three rows of ergonomically-contoured seats. The spacious interior offers enough shoulder and leg room so passengers can travel in comfort. Neatniks will appreciate the smart storage solutions, like underfloor storage with dividers in the trunk, the front passenger seat undertray, and various pockets and bottle holders on all three rows. To keep everyone connected, 12-volt power outlets are conveniently located at the center console lower tray, the center console box, and the third row. Ceiling mounted rear aircon vents ensure that everyone stays cool through the entire trip.
A newly developed 1.5L DOHC engine is matched to a four-speed automatic transmission to deliver up to 105 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 141 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The suspension system, consisting of McPherson struts with coil spring and stabilizer in front and torsion beams in the rear offer driving stability and comfort, while its 205 mm high ground clearance inspires confidence when traversing rough terrain and the occasional city flood.
The GLS AT variant that we used for the road trip features a keyless start/stop engine button for driver convenience. Its 7-inch multimedia entertainment system includes GPS navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and USB and aux-in ports.
The Mitsubishi Xpander comes in four grades—GLX MT at Php 999,000; GLX Plus AT at Php 1,075,000; GLS AT at Php 1,110,000; and GLS Sport AT at Php 1,175,000. There are three standard color options: sterling silver metallic, titanium gray, and diamond black. Quartz pearl white is offered only for the AT models, while red metallic is reserved for the GLS and GLS Sport.