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Mitsubishi starts accepting orders for new Xpander MPV

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Mitsubishi Xpander 1

MITSUBISHI Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) announced it has started accepting reservations for the new Mitsubishi Xpander MPV, a model that made its global debut in Jakarta, Indonesia, in August 2017. The Xpander, built at a new Mitsubishi factory in West Java, Indonesia, has since turned into a “game-changer” in that country, according to MMPC.

The company said it would be taking reservations until the end of April this year, indicating the new model will arrive in showrooms starting in May.

Four variants of the Xpander will be introduced: GLX M/T, GLX Plus A/T, GLS A/T and GLS Sport A/T. Prices are set — MMPC referred to these as “indicative” — at P900,000 for GLX M/T; P990,000 GLX Plus A/T; P1.050 million for the GLS A/T; and P1.1 million for GLS Sport A/T. Colors available are Red Metallic, Titanium Gray Metallic, Sterling Silver Metallic, Quartz White Pearl and Diamond Black Mica, depending on which variant is chosen.

MMPC said the Philippines is the second country to get the Xpander, which is also expected to land in Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bolivia and Egypt. In a presentation held on the sidelines of the Tokyo Motor Show in October 2017, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. officials said total annual production of the Xpander for 2018 is pegged at 80,000 units, with Indonesia accounting for around 70% of the output. Forecast to take the next sizable chunk of deliveries is the Philippines, with an estimated 20% share. Thailand is seen as the Xpander’s third-biggest destination.

Mitsubishi Xpander 2
Mitsubishi offered the Xpander for test-drives at its proving ground in Nagoya during the sidelines of the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. — BRIAN M. AFUANG

During the same presentation, Mitsubishi said the Xpander’s mix of MPV utility and SUV toughness and style is the key to the model’s commercial success. The company said the vehicle — configured in the Philippines to seat seven people — has the roomiest cabin in its class, and even out-sizes the cabin height of a competitor’s larger MPV because of a lower floor. This, Mitsubishi said, is the result of the Xpander’s monocoque structure that does not require its body to be mounted atop a ladder frame (unlike the larger truck-based MPV). A long wheelbase helps in stretching cabin space, too, although some Mitsubishi officials admitted the abovementioned MPV trumps the Xpander in cabin width (the Xpander remains widest among its ilk though, according to them).

The Xpander is powered by Mitsubishi’s MIVEC 1.5-liter, 103 hp gasoline engine that can be mated to a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission, either of which sends power to the front wheels. In Indonesia, the model is positioned to compete against the Daihatsu Xenia (sold as the Toyota Avanza in the Philippines) and the Honda Mobilio.

MMPC said other notable features of the Xpander include hill-start assist, active stability control, emergency stop signal, and a unique fascia that’s marked by Mitsubishi’s proprietary Dynamic Shield Concept styling.

To place their reservations, MMPC said customers can log on to www.xpander.mmpc.ph. A reservation fee of P10,000 is required, which must be paid in a Mitsubishi Motors dealership.