The Mitsubishi XPANDER is another one of those hotly anticipated new models to launch at the tail end of 2020, but any delay that might have been caused by the big bug and the resulting Movement Control Order(s) could have only served to ramp up the hype.
In a new video streamed live over Facebook this morning, Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia went into more detail on their newest model to hit local showrooms. While the actual units of this high-spec single variant are not actually in dealerships yet, the company wanted to squeeze in a little more insight into the 7-seater’s feature set and assembly process.
The first examples of the Malaysia-spec XPANDER have already rolled off the assembly line in Pekan, Pahang, with full CKD operations expected to be in full swing by November. However, we still have no prices or any indication that there is more than a single variant.
As my colleague Adam explained at a closed-door preview event last week, the XPANDER will more or less be identical to the versions that first made their debut in the Indonesian market back in 2017, selling around 270,000 units so far. There are a few SUV-inspired cosmetic touches that has lead Mitsubishi to term this as a crossover - we strongly disagree. This is an MPV, deal with it.
Other highlights include 16-inch wheels, LED headlamps, a 9-inch infotainment system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, leather seats, a 360-degree all-round view monitor, and an ample selection of storage compartments. It also claims to offer best-in-class cabin space.
Unfortunately, these are all aspects of this particular ASEAN-specific model that we (mostly) are all familiar with. In essence, the XPANDER as a new car proposition has pretty much already been clearly communicated to the public, except for that all-important price tag. This video overview, while very well produced and does show it in a rather stylish light, does not provide any new information.
In, case you missed it, powering the new Mitsubishi is a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre MIVEC petrol engine that outputs 105PS and 141Nm of torque. That’s near-enough level with its closest competitors, the Perodua Aruz, Honda BR-V, and Toyota Avanza.
But again, the price point can either greatly enhance or sour the XPANDER’s appeal at launch, especially because there will likely be some overlap between it and the Proton X50 despite them occupying different segments. Hopefully, MMM will choose to reveal it sooner rather than later, along with a full launch. Expect that in November too.
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.