Function usually rules over form in MPVs, whose upright, spacious shapes cater to families rather than fashionistas. The main aim of MPVs, after all, is to move at least seven people and their things.
Launched in 2018, the Mitsubishi Xpander showed that MPVs can look stylish. Its fascia is wears Mitsubishi's signature Dynamic Shield design, with LED detail lamps that form "eyebrows" above the headlamps, with the grille flowing below those lamps to make a letter "X" with the chrome upper grille.
Viewed from the side, the Xpander wears boxy fenders front and rear, while an indentation runs below the greenhouse. The C-pillar has a black panel to make it look that the side windows are one with the rear windscreen, while the L-shaped LED tail lamps stylize the rear.
The Xpander has four variants with prices ranging from P1.008 million for the GLX MT to P1.255 million for the Xpander Cross. We take a look at the good and the bad.
1. Street cred
Aside from the said stylish appearance, the Xpander is available in classy colors, while the Xpander Cross' body cladding and 20 millimeters added ride height make it an SUV.
2. Ample space
If an MPV isn't practical, then what's the point? The Xpander offers ample space for all seven passengers, and access to the third row is made easier with the second-row seats that tumble.
When the the second- and third-row seats are folded flat, 1,630 liters of cargo room is said to be available.
3. Creature comforts
For infotainment, the Xpander has a seven-inch touchscreen with built-in navigation system, MP3, Aux, USB port, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Phones can be charged in all three rows with the 12V power outlets, and an air-conditioning system for the second- and third-row keep the cabin cool.
While the Xpander cars have fabric in their seats, the Xpander Cross uses leather.
4. Safety features
As expected in a family car, the Xpander packs reassuring safety systems. One of which is the Hill Start Assist, which automatically maintains the brakes to prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards when driving on a steep slope.
Active Stability Control automatically applies the brakes and suppresses the engine output to stabilize the vehicle during sudden maneuvers on slippery surfaces.
Lastly, the Xpander received a four-star safety rating in the tests conducted by the ASEAN New Car Assessment Program (ASEAN NCAP).
1. Old-fashioned transmission
The four-speed automatic, which is paired to the Xpander's 1.5-liter gasoline mill, may affect fuel economy and refinement. The four speeds may not be enough in highway driving, where an extra gear is needed to make the most out of the engine.
Power and torque output of the 1.5-liter engine are rated at 103hp and 141Nm, while a five-speed manual transmission is available in the base GLX.
Photos from Mitsubishi