Mitsubishi Xpander vs Toyota Rush - The modish MPV & SUV tussle
The Philippines roads are filled with cars that are more inclined towards the efficiency quotient, especially the bigger MPVs. And while speaking about efficiency, we can barely miss the all-new Mitsubishi Xpander, a car that has been doing tremendously well since its inception. In fact, the Xpander received over a thousand orders from the pre-booking itself.
And then comes the new Toyota Rush, a car that dons the entry-level SUV space quite fittingly, thanks to the versatile 7-seater variant. The car has impressed one and many at the first impression as it resembles something that we can call the “Baby Fortuner”. And the price at which it is sold at, the big seven-seater looks quite tempting.
The Xpander is a unique car if you consider the entire Mitsubishi line-up. The car looks a lot like any concept model from the front fascia. There is a huge air intake grille on the well-chiselled nose. The headlamps and fog lamps are placed with precision at the most unorthodox places. The wheel arches are squarer than most of the cars but look a little too big for the 15 or 16-inch wheels. The sharp lines along the shoulder meet the urbanised tail lights. The rear boot spoiler has an inbuilt stop light.
The Toyota Rush, on the other hand, has a more mainstream design. The car is well suspended over MacPherson strut in the front while the rear has 5-link suspension. Plus, due to the bigger 17-inch wheels, the ground clearance stands at 220 mm, which is quite impressive for an entry-level SUV. The car gets more black cladding than the Xpander and is more sanely muscular. The skid plates are more prominent.
Interior and safety
The Mitsubishi Xpander has a very big cabin and almost all the rows are very spacious with ample legroom for all occupants. Plus, even with all the seats up, it has a very deep and wide cargo hold. On the dashboard, there is a 7-inch touchscreen display, 2-DIN tuner with Bluetooth, Aux-in, and USB connectivity. The music is routed to six speakers on the higher variants while the base trim has just four.
Speaking about the safety, some features like ABS and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, ISOFIX, and dual SRS airbags (for driver and passenger) are standard in all the trim levels. The top end variant gets additional features like Traction Control, Active Stability Control, and Hill Start Assist.
The Toyota Rush, on the other hand, is available in both 5-seater and 7-seater layout. While the 5-seater trims are not a suitable pick for larger families, the 7-seater is the key to the success of the Rush. The bigger variant is competently spacious, with ample legroom for the last row. The materials on the inside are of good quality fit and finish and resemble the smaller Vios. The biggest highlighting point about this car is that it scored a higher rating on the NCAP crash test than the competing Xpander.
Plus, it even ranks high in available safety options as there are more number of airbags, has ABS with EBD, vehicle immobilizer, stability control, and rear parking sensors. The car can be connected to smartphones with the help of Weblink, besides the standard AUX, Bluetooth, and USB.
Engine and efficiency
The Mitsubishi Xpander and Toyota Rush aren’t very different when it comes to the power delivery on the road. The former is powered by a 1.5-litre, inline four-cylinder engine which can produce a maximum power of 105 hp along with a peak torque of 141 Nm. Transmission options include a 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual.
The engine is very smooth to drive and the accelerator pedal does not feel very laggy, though you don’t get outright power. The maximum power and torque come at low RPM, which means, the motor does not gobble up a lot of fuel.
The new Toyota Rush is also powered by a 1.5-litre engine which makes 102 hp at 6,000 RPM and 134 Nm at 4,200 RPM. On paper, it is slightly inferior to the Xpander, but when it comes to the actual road condition, the two cars have identical performance. Even the transmission options are the same as the Mitsubishi car, a 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic. However, the 5-seater Rush tends to be a little more punchy and more fuel efficient at the same time since it sheds some load off.
The more efficient car wins
Though we have already seen a lot of the Mitsubishi Xpander and love everything it offers, including the luxury 7-seater cabin and good fuel efficiency, the Toyota Rush should be a threat to its growing popularity.
However, the 5-seater Toyota Rush may fail to be as versatile and impressive over some of the MPVs. The bigger 7-seater trims will pose a greater challenge to most of the competitors, including the Xpander, with its versatility and efficiency.