More than just a kit | 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross

More than just a kit | 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross

The Mitsubishi Xpander Cross is an essential product for the brand in the Philippines. It represents the highest variant of the best-selling small MPV in the local market. In its previous iteration, the rugged MPV featured aesthetic and mechanical improvements to harken an SUV-like feel from an otherwise pedestrian 7-seater. The status quo was flipped last year when the new Xpander was released.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What is the ground clearance of the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross?

    225mm
  • What is the hp and torque of the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross?

    103hp and 141Nm of torque.
  • Can the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross reach Baguio?

    Yes. the power from the 1.5 liter NA engine is sufficient to carry 7 people and their cargo to Baguio.
  • Featuring sporty styling and modern amenities the “vanilla” 2022 Mitsubishi Xpander made the Xpander Cross look old in comparison. With modern LED headlamps, a much-improved interior, and a body-kit option that made even the most jaded car reviewer in me do a double-take, it was a triumphant mid-cycle refresh that made the MPV worthy of a second look and cemented its position as a best-seller. 

    This put the Mitsubishi Xpander Cross in a difficult position. The Mitsubishi Xpander with all its fancy improvement questioned the need to release an updated variant with built-in fender flares, a roof rail, and SUV styling. I was surely expecting to be deeply disappointed because I was convinced of that mindset. 

    Mitsubishi Xpander Cross Rear Quarter

    When I was invited over by Mitsubishi Philippines to experience the new Mitsubishi Xpander Cross, I didn’t have my hopes up. As I drove to our secret location to cover the vehicle. I had to kick myself for ever doubting the brand. Mitsubishi isn’t the biggest car brand in the world at the moment, but they sure had the biggest stick to surprise everyone with their releases.

    EXTERIOR

    The 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross featured enough SUV styling on the outside to make it mostly distinctive from the regular Xpander. For one, looking at the overall shape, one might think that Mitsubishi simply slapped over fenders onto the MPV and called it a day, but upon closer inspection, I was never so glad to be proven wrong.

    Up front, the Dynamic Shield design of the Mitsubishi Xpander Cross is mounted ever so slightly higher to emphasize the high ground clearance of the SUV/MPV Crossover. The grill is decked in piano black instead of chrome to signify its sporty intentions and separate itself from the fancier chrome-wearing Mitsubishi Xpander.

    Mitsubishi Xpander Cross Wheels

    The headlamps and the chrome trim housing also feature a more geometric and boxy pattern and shape compared to the sharp, arrow-like design of the Mitsubishi Xpander. LED foglamps also make an appearance and are housed within a guard-bar-shaped lower bumper design to further hammer down the SUV styling of the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander cross. 

    Mitsubishi Xpander Cross Headlamps close

    My favorite part of the entire 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross, however, are those sleek, 17-inch alloy wheels. No hyperbole, but the wheels are probably the best and most eye-catching design, OEM wheels I have seen in a very long time. Many car companies do not give a second thought to the design of the wheels, but once they do, magic happens and customers are blessed with what might be a future classic. The wheels blend very well with the side profile and the black, plastic cladding that envelopes the lower end of the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross. 

    Mitsubishi Xpander Cross Tail Lamps Rear

    The rear also features similar styling to the front thanks to the guard-bar design and metallic finish on the faux skid guard. If anyone was wondering what the ground clearance is for this model, it remains at 225mm, the same as the Xpander, but thanks to the design, it seems it has an inch over the vanilla model.  I have no qualms with styling a vehicle to one’s own preference, but the add-ons placed on the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross are so tastefully done that it was as if Mitsubishi’s designers took a trip to my head one lazy Sunday afternoon to take my own ideas. It really hit the spot with me.

    INTERIOR

    My biggest qualm with the Mitsubishi Xpander and Xpander Cross of old was the lack of interior toys and amenities, most egregiously, the lack of a center armrest and console. There may have been a small sliding compartment right behind the aging manual hand brake but it only made me lose my mind because they could have placed a center armrest but instead, they didn’t! Luckily Mitsubishi listened and gave the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross the center armrest it sorely needed that helps with longer drives!

    Mitsubishi Xpander Cross Cockpit View

    The dashboard has also been updated to keep it in line with Mitsubishi’s truck and SUV design language. Not everyone prefers driving around in large-sized trucks or SUVs and people such as myself prefer smaller, more manageable, and economical unibody vehicles. Despite that fact, consumers such as myself do not want to be left out of Mitsubishi’s current design language and I sincerely appreciate the touches done to make the interior more premium. 

    Mitsubishi Xpander Cross Rear Seats

    The deep-washed navy blue finish on the seats and the dashboard provides a sleek and almost corporate look. The seats are also functional and resistant to heat and disperse any accumulated heat faster. The new digital gauge cluster is exclusive to the 2023 Xpander Cross lineup, though I won’t be surprised as much if the regular Xpander gets them as well in the next year or so. The steering wheel is also different, this time taking a page out of the Mitsubishi Montero Sport playbook. While the Xpander’s seems to do a great job mimicking that of the Lancer Raliart and Evolution, the wheel in the Xpander Cross takes inspiration from the aforementioned mid-sized SUV.

    Mitsubishi Xpander Cross Steering WHeel

    While I wish that the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross featured more toys to play with, such as a more advanced touchscreen infotainment system, vanity lights on the visors, and more USB ports for passengers, Mitsubishi makes the most of everything inside. 

    Mitsubishi Xpander Cross Infotainment

    Space is plentiful for both driver and front passenger, and even more so for the second-row occupants. Visibility is also excellent thanks to strategically placed window pillars as well as doors. The seats are wonderfully crafted and are quite comfortable yet not the plushest. The aforementioned touchscreen, albeit looking a tad dated, still supports Apple Carplay and Android Auto and blasts tunes through 6 speakers. It’s not mind-bendingly great and the bass gets a little muddied in higher volumes but at least it gets the job done. The third-row seats are surprisingly adequate as well, considering my 5 foot 10 and a half size.

    Performance and Fuel Economy

    Power gets sent to the front wheels via a 4-speed Automatic Transmission from a 1.5 liter Naturally aspirated Dual Overhead Cam engine that makes, serviceable output for a vehicle such as the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross. Power ratings in this segment don’t really matter as much but numbers hover around 103 hp and 141Nm of torque. 

    Mitsubishi Xpander Cross on the road

    The reason why these power figures don’t matter in this segment as much as we wanted them to is that they might not sound much on paper and in real life. There’s a reason why the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander and to a certain extent, the Xpander Cross is called such and not a “speeder” or a “racer” but an “Xpander”, it’s because Mitsubishi knows their target audience. As long as an MPV or SUV can chug along carrying people and their luggage without any dramas and based on my first-hand experience and drive, I gotta say, It’s just fairly OK and not as bad as you think. I can see this heading up to Baguio, the ultimate litmus test for testing cars, according to Facebook, and back without much of a hiccup. 

    Mitsubishi Xpander Cross On the road hero

    The 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross features Mcpherson struts up front and a torsion bar rear suspension, this setup can usually be found in more budget offerings, but Mitsubishi bounces back and installs one of the most important technical features in this car, and Active Yaw control system. While not exactly the same system found in the rally legends of old such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, the thought stays fairly similar. The automated system controls the acceleration and braking on or between corners ensuring a pliant ride, reducing body roll, and keeping the car safe on the road.

    Fuel economy wasn't tested during this First drive but expect the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross to have similar fuel economy figures to the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander at around 9 km/l in the city and 16 km/l on the highway.

    SAFETY FEATURES.

    Standard Safety features apart from the aforementioned Active Yaw Control include Active Stability and traction control, Dual Airbags, ABS with Electronic brakeforce distribution, hill-start assist, ISOFIX anchors, and a reverse camera.

    Mitsubishi Philippines could have added some additional advanced safety features to add value but doing so might actually add to the initial cost of the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross. 

    ALTERNATIVES AND CONCLUSIONS

    The Mitsubishi Xpander Cross finds itself at odds with some of the most value-packed models in the compact 7-seater MPV market. It is chock-full of potent contenders such as its stable-mate Mitsubishi Xpander, fresh and popular Toyota Avanza, and Toyota Veloz, highly capable Suzuki XL7 as well as potential banger of a hybrid Suzuki Ertiga Hybrid. The sporty and modern Honda BR-V comes to mind as well as the funky Hyundai Stargazer and new Nissan Livina. The Toyota Rush, its natural rival is still on sale and hanging on the top of the sales charts as well. 

    Mitsubishi Xpander Cross Static Quarter-2

    The usual market and buyers for 7-seaters are wholesome, practical families looking for sensible runabout vehicles. When the Mitsubishi Xpander Cross was first launched it introduced us to a whole new world of modern, small MPVs. Mitsubishi might now be the crazy rally-conquering behemoths they once were, but they learned a lot from the lessons of those exploits and applied them to their current lineup. Mitsubishi and ourselves are all grown-up, but sometimes, a little bit of that rebel, the spirit of competition shows, and it is glorious.

    Mitsubishi Xpander Cross Profile Front

    Pricing for the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross starts at Php 1,380,000. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the best deals on the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross and any other car you have your heart set on ZigWheels.ph.

    Photos: Kent Flores

    Roy Robles

    Roy Robles

    Roy Robles is a self-professed car nut who can never stop talking about automobiles. After getting his degree in Economics at the Jose Rizal University in 2014 he worked full time as a banker for different financial institutions but never lost sight of his love for cars. He established his own personal brand focused on motoring called Mototelic, featuring different car clubs, builds and and reviews developing a following in both Facebook and YouTube. His first taste of the mainstream was with Maxspeed Autoportal in 2019 as Content Creator and YouTube Host. He is currently the Managing Editor for Zigwheels.ph

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    Seating 7
    7
    7
    8
    6
    Power Steering Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Air Conditioner Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Rear A/C Vents Yes
    -
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Adjustable Seats Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Foldable Rear Seat Yes
    Yes
    60:40 Tumble
    Yes
    Yes
    Headlamp Type LED
    Halogen
    LED
    Halogen
    Halogen
    Anti-Lock Braking System Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Driver Airbag Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Parking Sensors Yes
    -
    Yes
    No
    Yes
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