Xpansion pack: New 2022 Mitsubishi Xpander GLS 1.5G 2WD A/T

Xpansion pack: New 2022 Mitsubishi Xpander GLS 1.5G 2WD A/T

Let's take a moment to talk about and appreciate the Mitsubishi Xpander. First introduced in now what looks like a different era  of 2019, when everything seemed to make sense in the world, many customers and car enthusiasts were baffled at the concept. In a market dominated by large, truck-like, diesel seven-seater MPVs, Mitsubishi Philippines came knocking on the door with an alternative that was more refined, more sedate, and yet features futuristic styling that admittedly took some time to get used to. The name didn't help the initial skepticism.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • How much is new, entry-level Mitsubishi Xpander?

    The new 2022 Mitsubishi Xpander starts at P1.03 million.
  • Is the new Mitsubishi Xpander bigger than the last one?

    Yes, It is longer, wider, and has taller ground clearance.
  • Mitsubishi Xpander quarter front right

    But everyone got it, it's called the Xpander because of the expanded interior space that can comfortably fit seven people, but the name harkened back to the quirky Japanese domestic market MPVs and cars. Names like the Friendee, the Mighty Boy or Fun Cargo and, Homy were names from a time long gone. The Xpander, upon release, proved everyone's fears and apprehensions wrong and became one of the brand's most popular models.

    Mitsubishi Xpanderfront mid left

    A few crazy, trauma-inducing years later, Mitsubishi's hit undergoes a mid-cycle refresh that not only gives the Xpander updated looks on the outside, but even more features to love for its growing base of fans. 

    Exterior

    Beginning with the exterior of the 2022 Mitsubishi Xpander GLS, right off the bat it becomes apparent that not only does the Xpander receive a heavy refresh from the previous model, it now features a more cohesive design language compared to the model it replaces as well.

    Mitsubishi Xpander black grill

    The Dynamic Shield design now features a honeycomb grill pattern right at the middle section, evoking a sense of purposeful aggression and sportiness to a previously unapologetic family transport tool. An updated headlamp cluster now housed in a T-shaped unit that fills out the previous models deep-cut dimple. 

    Mitsubishi Xpander mid profile shot

    If anyone was wondering why the 2022 Mitsubishi Xpander looks bigger than the last one, it's because it is. Measuring at 4,595mm tall, 1,750mm wide, 1,750mm high and with an increased ground clearance of 225mm, It's bigger in almost every discernible way than the outgoing variant.

    Mitsubishi Xpander tail lamp

    More updates include new 17-inch alloy wheels with a two-tone design shod in 205/55 R17 tires, updated body panels like the side sill garnish under the doors, front fender, reworked hood a new tail lamp design that utilizes a more solid LED implementation and a less obvious "rear Dynamic Shield" as it ditches the cheeky lines on the tailgate.  The overall refresh now gives the 2022 Mitsubishi Xpander a cleaner and sleeker look from last year's model. 

    Mitsubishi Xpander comparison old

    Interior

    As much as Mitsubishi Philippines has evolved the exterior of the 2022 Mitsubishi Xpander, it's what is inside that counts the most, especially for this driver. One can truly appreciate how the outside looks like, but drivers spend most of their time behind the wheel. Thankfully, the changes made inside are much more significant.

    Mitsubishi Xpander dashboard design

    The most notable addition for myself are two things — the wonderful center arm rest and the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment screen that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.  Improvements to these two integral parts of the 2022 Mitsubishi Xpander add more comfort and ergonomic features that I'm willing to forgive the shortcomings found in the outgoing variant.

    Mitsubishi Xpander dashboard design

    There are hints and notes about the 2022 Mitsubishi Xpander looking back to its roots and heritage thanks to the Ralliart-inspired steering wheel design. The entire dashboard, shifter column, and center console ditches the curvy design and replaces it with a cleaner and more industrial-looking approach.

    The seats are as comfortable as ever with the Xpander able to fit seven people inside in relative comfort, thanks in part to reworked rear AC vents for more cooling power, and USB ports and power outlets for rear passengers — including those in the third row.

    Mitsubishi Xpander shifter

    Featuring electronic parking brakes and automatic braking assist, the 2022 Mitsubishi Xpander nixes the manual hand-brake lever,  freeing up even more space for everyone. Speaking of space, the Xpander lives up to its name and is able to  accommodate seven people and their luggage. Overall, the interior features more than substantial improvements over the previous variant, that it makes Mitsubishi's best-selling MPV more than adequate to take on newer rivals in the segment.

    Drive fuel economy and safety

    Under the hood of the 2022 Mitsubishi Xpander resides the tried-and-tested Mitsubishi 4A91 engine that makes a modest yet effective 105hp and 141Nm of torque. Power to the front wheels are reigned in with a reliable four-speed automatic transmission with Overdrive function.

    Mitsubishi Xpander on the road

    The numbers are virtually similar to the previous variant's but why fix something if it ain't broke? The transmission helps with power delivery which is smooth. and allows for almost instantaneous feedback from the driver's foot to the pedal then the cylinders allowing proper and efficient propulsion. Just make sure to plan passing other cars on the road ahead of time to make sure the Xpander is within its power band to do so. 

    Mitsubishi Xpander gauges

    Mechanically, the biggest change there is to the 2022 Mitsubishi Xpander will have to do with suspension. MPVs were never meant to  be hardcore canyon carvers, and they truly shouldn't. Thanks to the larger tires and improved performance valves in the suspension set-up, the Xpander now boasts less body roll and improved overall ride quality. After driving the previous variant and comparing it with the new model, I can say with absolute certainty that the ride quality has definitely improved as well. 

    Mitsubishi Xpander wheels

    Fuel economy has also been a primary consideration as to why the original Xpander was quite popular. I'm more than happy to report that despite the bigger dimensions, fuel economy has remained the same at 8kpl in the city and 16kpl on the highway. 

    Mitsubishi Xpander far rear shot

    Safety features include dual front airbags, active stability control, traction control, hill start assist, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, Isofix anchors and emergency stop signal that activates the side turn signals whenever it recognizes that you've come to a sudden stop for safety reasons.

    Pricing and conclusion

     

    Xpander GLX 1.5 2WD M/T

    P1,030,000

    Xpander GLX 1.5G 2WD A/T

    P1,090,000

    Xpander GLS 1.5G 2WD A/T

    P1,160,000

     

    As you can see, the pricing undercuts a lot of its rivals from the Toyota Rush and Avanza, Suzuki Ertiga, and the  Honda BR-V. 

    Mitsubishi Xpander profile front wide

    Car enthusiasts everywhere fear the reality of owning a family car or MPV. Some may say that it will spell the end of their love and passion for capable cars. A few clicks behind the wheel with the 2022 Mitsubishi Xpander allows me to tick a ton of items in my check list  regarding as to what necessitates the perfect MPV. The Mitsubishi is certainly not that but it gets too darn close. 

    Photos by Roy Robles

     

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