It’s official: the 2022 Mitsubishi Xpander has broken cover ahead of its in-the-flesh public debut tomorrow - November 11th - at the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS) in Jakarta.
While the Malaysian market has only got its first taste of the model late last year, it has been gracing showrooms for close to 4 years elsewhere in ASEAN, explaining the revision within a year since it arrived locally.
The 7-seat MPV-turned-wannabe-crossover now features a new front fascia with a revised ’T-shaped’ headlamp cluster, new front bumper to accentuate the automaker’s Dynamic Shield nose design. In between, the revised profile adds quite a bit of overall length with 75mm more front overhang and 45mm rear overhang
There’s also a new set of 17-inch alloy wheels to complement this new set of proportions, said to portray the Xpander in a more upmarket feel. At the rear, there are LED illuminators for both the main and brake lights.
Besides the visual, Mitsubishi says that a new front strut mount, high-performance damper valves, and new rear shock absorbers improve the Xpander’s refinement levels, rigidity, and handling, which was already one of its most positive attributes.
The interior doesn’t go under the knife for quite as long, emerging with merely a few key alterations, but welcome ones nonetheless. Its dashboard has now incorporated a horizontal element to emphasise a feeling of added spaciousness and width while the central touchscreen infotainment screen has grown to 9.0-inches.
Additionally, there’s a new steering wheel, new HVAC control knobs, an electronic parking brake, and both USB Type A and Type C outlets for rear-seat passengers.
Mechanically, Mitsubishi has not touched the engine, which remains a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre 4A91 MIVEC petrol. Outputs are also static at 105PS and 141Nm, but crucially drive now reaches the front wheels via a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) instead of the pre-facelift’s 4-speed automatic.
This change alone should bring a lot of quality improvements to the Xpander’s drive, which suffered from the previous transmissions' very limited set of forward ratios that typically left the engine either breathless or underutilised.
We’ve no indication when the rest of the ASEAN region will be receiving the 2022 Xpander, but the wait might not take too long with its Indonesia rollout set to take place shortly after this week’s motor show premiere. That said, once it does make Malaysian landfall, it shouldn’t be too far off last year’s RM91,369 OTR price.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.