Mitsubishi Xpander 2021 Review
As a brand, Mitsubishi is pretty slow to move and react to trends, as well as to develop new products. They aren’t the largest company out there, and most of their business and production is dedicated to pick-up trucks and the cars based off of these trucks. Over the years, their range of mass market passenger cars has been pared down – eventually with a heavy focus on just SUVs and omitting sedans and hatchbacks entirely.
But there was a time when Mitsubishi made MPVs, and their most recent development marks a return to this. It’s the Mitsubishi Xpander – a compact seven-seater MPV that is based on the same platform that underpins the current generation Nissan Livina. It was launched here late last year in a singular variant that has carried on until today.
This happens to also be a product designed for the ASEAN region, as the only markets with it on offer are Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Mexico, and South Africa. In that sense it is also better engineered and produced to match our region’s appetite, needs, and budgeting constraints. In a technical sense there isn’t much of a predecessor to the Xpander, meaning it’s the first of its kind.
Mitsubishi Xpander 2021 Specifications
It’s interesting that the Mitsubishi Xpander is powered by an engine that hasn’t really been seen in this part of the world for a very long time – really the only engine options available locally were either a 1.2-litre petrol engine in the now discontinued Mirage, a 2.0-litre engine for the Lancer GT and ASX, and the 2.4-litre engine for the Lancer Sportback and Outlander.
In this case, the engine is the 4A91 1.5-litre petrol engine which is the successor to the 4G9 series of engines that was around since the early 2000s. In this state of tune, the engine makes 105 PS and 141 Nm of torque from 4,000 rpm. For the Malaysian market, the sole transmission option is a four-speed conventional automatic transmission that delivers power exclusively to the front wheels.
Dimensionally, the Mitsubishi Xpander isn’t a particularly large car which is surprising considering its interior space. The wheelbase is 2,775 mm in length as you would expect from a three row car, with a length of 4,475 mm, a width of 1,750 mm, and a height of 1,730 mm. The kerb weight stands at a relatively low 1,275 kilograms.
Mitsubishi Xpander 2021 Exterior
When it comes to the Mitsubishi Xpander, it’s really more function than form. The exterior wraps around the cabin in the same way a cockpit wraps around the driver for a sports car, leaving little in the way of body lines or styling – but there is a fluidity and smoothness to the way it is constructed and designed, as well as Mitsubishi’s current styling cues.
The singular variant of the Mitsubishi Xpander gets LED headlights with daytime running lights, chrome door handles, chrome beltline moulding, a shark fin antenna, and a rear spoiler. The wheels in question are 16-inch dual tone alloy units, wrapped in 205/55 R16 tyres.
Mitsubishi Xpander 2021 Interior
The inside of the Mitsubishi Xpander is a relatively pleasant place to be. Seats are wrapped in a leatherette material, with manual adjustment for both the front seats – the driver seat getting additional height adjustment. The second row of seats has one-touch tumble and sliding to make it especially easy to access the third row. There is also an underseat multi-purpose storage space for the rear, giving the Xpander some hidden cubbyholes to store your various knickknacks and items and stop them from rolling around the cabin. If you really need the additional cargo space to carry some especially large items, the second and third rows of seats fold completely flat to expand your storage space massively. There is also a sliding lid for the centre console storage, and tilting and telescoping adjustment for the steering wheel.
Mitsubishi Xpander 2021 Safety Features
Despite being launched in the last year or so, the Mitsubishi Xpander doesn’t quite benefit from any advanced safety systems such as autonomous emergency braking or lane keep assist. It could be a matter of engineering at this price point, but it doesn’t meant that you’re left completely high and dry. With the Xpander, you still get items like electronic stability control, ABS with EBD and brake assist, traction control, hill start assist, and a rest reminder. There are two airbags up front, and the high-strength safety cell design known as Mitsubishi’s RISE body with side impact door beams provide passive protection as well.
Mitsubishi Xpander 2021 Strengths & Weakness
There’s beauty in the simplicity of the Mitsubishi Xpander. It doesn’t set out to be the most complex and sophisticated vehicle in its class, but it delivers on the promises it makes readily and is a the kind of people mover one needs to carry a quickly expanding family. It may not have the most potent of powertrains, nor does it have a chassis designed to take the most extreme of conditions, but it can move seven people around in comfort.
In that sense, there is also nothing truly unique about the Xpander that sets it apart, and it is set to compete against both simple MPVs and the hybrid seven-seater SUVs that we see more and more commonly these days. Consumers these days are spoiled for choice when it comes to their people movers, which means it is even harder for a newcomer to stand out.
Mitsubishi Xpander 2021 Price
There is but one variant of the Mitsubishi Xpander that is available in our market, and it goes for RM 92,263 – inclusive of all the things you need to get it on the road, short of automotive insurance. This pricing is also with the current SST exemptions in place.
Mitsubishi Xpander 2021 Features
While there is just one variant of the Mitsubishi Xpander, it comes pretty complete in terms of the common features you would expect from a car at this price point. There is a nine-inch touch screen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto functionality ready for implementation, as well as six-speaker sound system. There is cruise control, smart phone storage at the front, a rear air circulator, and a 4.2-inch TFT color LCD screen for the instrument meter panel. There also happens to be push start ignition with keyless entry.
There are also additional options that one can take on if they wish to improve the functionality of their Mitsubishi Xpander. There is the all-round monitor that essentially provides a bird’s eye view for easy maneuvering and parking in tighter situations, as well a driving video recorder that is essentially a fancier dashcam that is integrated and installed at the dealer level.
Mitsubishi Xpander 2021 Fuel Consumption
While there is no official manufacturer quoted fuel consumption figure for the Mitsubishi Xpander, there have been tests done around the world and the closest specification to the one found in our market will return 22.9 kilometres per litre – if you’re especially frugal with the way you drive. Being naturally aspirated with a simple four-speed automatic transmission, there isn’t much you can do to wildly swing the figures unless you’re constantly in stop-start traffic or pushing the engine particularly hard.
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- Body Type: MPV
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 1500 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 7
- Price: RM 91,369
18 Jan 2021
First Drive: 2020 Mitsubishi XPANDER - An Unexpected 7-Seat Handling King
Quite remarkably, the XPANDER tackles corners with both accuracy and stability while even managing to provide decent mid-corner feedback to the driver. As you’d expect, there is a tendency to understeer if you manage to get it up to speed and come into a corner too hot, but if you tap the brakes to get the chassis just a little unsettled and weight front-biased before turning in, you’d be surprised at how quickly this thing can take a bend and how confidently it carves a tight line. Good thing too that I had the 9.0-inch infotainment system playing a decently awesome rock track via CarPlay to really lean into the mood. It’s 1.5-litre engine is a naturally aspirated four-cylinder MIVEC (good for 105PS and 141Nm) that, if nothing else, is almost bulletproof. It can also be termed as 'adequate' on flat ground, where its refinement is a highlight, but show it a hill and it runs out of breath much too quickly even while carrying just a couple of people, making the four-speed automatic very hesitant to select a lower ratio given how jarring that might be compared to its top gear (fourth).View full review
User Review of Mitsubishi Xpander