2020 Mitsubishi Xpander
What is it
The Mitsubishi Xpander is a seven-seater multi-purpose vehicle built to carry around large families. Designed in Japan and produced in Indonesia, the car is best known for its polarizing front end.
Why does it look like that?
It's unique, that's for sure. In a world where every car looks like a badge-engineered version of another car, Mitsubishi managed to give the Xpander an unmistakable face. For one reason or another, the Three-Diamond Mark decided to swap the placement of the DRL and headlamps, giving the car an alien look. The 2020 facelift made some additional changes, adding a bigger badge and a slightly reworked front grille. Beauty is to the eyes of the beholder and the author is quite fond of the design, a view not shared by the rest of the Shift team.
What's it like on the inside?
Storage space. There's so much of it. It seems Mitsubishi has turned every flat surface on the car into a storage cubby of some kind. The dashboard alone contains eight different places for you to store your stuff, and that's excluding the large glove compartment. Every door card has a storage tray with an integrated water bottle holder, while the cavernous center console is topped up with a pencil tray. The theme continues elsewhere, with the passenger seat featuring a shoe tray under the seat and three separate pouches in the back. Speaking of seats, they're made of cloth but branded seat covers are available as an option. The middle seats are adjustable, meaning adults seating in the cramped third row can have some actual legroom if the people at the front are willing to sacrifice some of their own. To alleviate some of the discomforts, there is a dedicated ac unit for the rear passengers and three 12-volt sockets are spread across the car for everyone's charging needs. For hauling non-human goods, both second and third-row seats can be folded down, giving you a massive 1,608 liter of cargo space. Additional cargo room can also be found under the rear trunk liner, while the tools are hidden under a difficult-to-operate panel on the left D pillar. The rear storage comes at the cost of the spare tire, which has been relocated under the car. You need to undo two bolts in the trunk to access it.
How does it drive?
About what you'd expect, with a few surprises. Mitsubishi has taken great pride in designing the car's lightweight structure, the effect of which can be felt during driving. The car almost behaves like a subcompact sedan when driven reasonably, however, a spirited drive around a corner will quickly remind you of what it actually is. Visibility is great thanks to the extended A pillar, giving the interior a very open and spacious feel. The 205 mm ground clearance gives the driver a commanding view of the road, as well as allowing the car to navigate most of Dhaka's road with ease. The sound deadening works rather well, with the engine only becoming audible when you floor it. One annoying issue about the driving position is the lack of a center armrest, leaving you no place to rest your left arm.
If you are looking for a family wagon that stands out on the road but is conventional otherwise, this is for you. The Xpander blends the minivan practicality and bog-standard Japanese reliability with a front facia that will make most people stop and think "what it that?" for a few seconds.
Engine: 1.5 litre 16-valve DOHC MIVEC 4 cylinder (103 HP, 104 lb-ft)
Transmission: CVT, FWD.
Safety: ABS, EBD, Active Stability Control, Dual SRS Airbags, rear parking camera
Features: LED Daytime Running Light, touchscreen infotainment, multi-function steering wheel, CD/USB/AM/FM/Bluetooth, keyless entry.
Photos: Akif Hamid
For details, contact Rangs Ltd.