TEST DRIVE: Mitsubishi Xpander – the Leader for a Reason

ATHERTON takes it across state borders to truly test it out. 

The Mitsubishi Xpander has built such a strong reputation that it has earned its place as the market leader in Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia in the c-segment category. Buyers have flocked to showrooms to get their hands on one and the waiting time has stretched to 4 to 6 months!

So, what is so great about the Xpander? Well, for the family, a 7-seater at an extremely exciting price point plays a massive part. Coupled with its looks, the Dynamic Shield design, it is no wonder that many have placed their bookings.

The new Xpander was already been launched in Indonesia and Thailand before making its way to Malaysian shores. It is powered by a 1.5L 4-cylinder naturally aspirated engine that produces 105hp and 141 Nm of torque; it is mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels.

A simple, clean and ergonomically designed cockpit.

The Xpander has automatic LED headlamps, halogen fog lights and daytime running lights, keyless entry, side-mirror-mounted cameras and rear LED combination tail lamps that is L-shaped. Wheels are 16 inches.

The side-mirror-mounted cameras really help you when you need to manoeuvre in tight gaps and they are also able to give you a visual while driving by pressing a button mounted on the dashboard on the driver’s side. Pretty nifty.

A shark-fin antenna has been installed to replace the previous bee-sting unit and you also get a rear fog lamp located smack in the middle of the lower half of the rear bumper.

Four roof-mounted air-con vents.

In terms of space, with the third row seats up, there are 495 litres of space and if you fold the seats down, it gives you 836 litres – ample enough to carry all your luggage for an away trip. Should there be a need to carry more, you can fold the middle row seats to get a cavernous cargo space of 1,600 litres.

You can see from the pictures how much cargo space the Xpander can accommodate. Right behind the third row seats, there are three compartments to keep shoes or a small bag. The designers really made it a point to maximise space.

No issue carrying three full-sized luggage bags.

If you have five passengers, you can still load two large luggage bags and one cabin bag quite easily.  

There are black leather seats all around with a diamond-like cut design and it is quite comfortable even on long trips as I took it outstation. On the highways, it is smooth and refined even at higher speeds. Beyond 140km/h, you feel as though you’re stretching it a bit as NVH levels are raised. But keep it within highway limits and it works just fine.

Second row seats are comfortable and if you don’t have anyone utilising the third row, you get ample leg/knee-room and head-room. There is an armrest in the middle of second row seats. As for the last row, it is more suitable for young children or small adults. But do bear in mind, compared to other competitors in its class, its wheelbase is the longest at 2775mm

Knee-room and thigh support are not enough for a long drive if you’re almost 6-feet tall. But for short jaunts, it’s okay.

The Xpander has car-like driving characteristics and even though it is 205mm off the ground (only 15mm lower than the Triton) you don’t feel like you need to lug it around. It is able to get through small roads and tight alleys, no problem at all. And because you sit high, the greater visibility is always a welcome.

UBAH RON95 KEPADA RON98 DENGAN X-1R OCTANE BOOSTER:

Mitsubishi has installed a 9-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which works well. And nowadays, with ‘wonderfully adept’ drivers on the road, a forward-facing dashcam is included. The reverse camera is good but making it a bit sharper would be great. You get two USB ports for your charging needs.

Compartments to store shoes and small bags.

Safety-wise, the Xpander has dual-airbags, hill-start assist, brake assist, active stability control and ISOFIX child seat anchors. Six airbags would be ideal in this day and age. The other gripe I would have is the doors do not close easily—you need to slam it a bit harder. We hope Mitsubishi would look into that in their future face-lifted or new model. Other than that, I think it is a great car for a family or small business.

But all in all, the Xpander is worth your money. If you’re looking for a Japanese 7-seater people mover that has most of the right features below RM100,000.00, then the Xpander is an exciting proposition.

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