Multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) offer the best of both worlds. Most MPVs ride and drive like a compact sedan, but with seats and space for seven people, and without the bulk of a midsize SUV.
Those are a few reasons why MPVs, like the Mitsubishi Xpander, are popular with families. Aside from the usual MPV qualities, the Xpander added good looks to the mix with its Dynamic Shield front fascia, with LED detail lamps that form "eyebrows" above the unusually placed headlamps.
The stylish MPV is moved by a 1.5-liter MIVEC mill that makes 103hp and 141Nm of torque, paired to a four-speed auto or five-speed manual transmission.
The Xpander's prices range from P1.008 million for the base manual model, to P1.255 million for the SUV-inspired Xpander Cross.
Will the Xpander's looks and spec enough to steal its competitors' sales?
Made from the start as a crossover, the Rush offers a raised ride height and SUV-esque body cladding. Its seven-inch touchscreen infotainment, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connections, make the model more car-like.
Basically an Ertiga on stilts, the body-cladded XL7 packs nifty safety features which include reversing sensors, the standard-equipped rearview camera and hill hold control.
Hill hold control is designed to prevent the XL7 from rolling backwards during standing starts on slopes. When the driver moves his or her foot from the brake to the accelerator, the brakes stay engaged for up to two seconds,
The G50 from the European-bred brand provides seating for eight, with a 2-3-3 seating configuration. A 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine nets 166 horses and 230Nm pulling power, which is mated to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic.
For the price of the Xpander, used examples of what's regarded as a luxury off-road icon can be had, if you're so inclined.
The Pajero is powered by a 3.2-liter turbocharged and intercooled VGT Di-diesel engine that puts out 189hp and 441Nm of torque. This engine is mated to a an INVECS-II 5-speed automatic with Sports Mode, aided by a Super Select four-wheel drive system that offers reliable off-road performance.
The later-model Pajero features a 6.9-inch touchscreen interface, which links to a multi-media entertainment system with GPS navigation functions.
Interior comfort is provided by power-adjustable seats (10-way for driver, four-way for front passenger), rear aircon vents, audio and video jack, USB port, and genuine leather upholstery in its three row of seats.
Photos from Mitsubishi, Toyota, Suzuki, Maxus