Time sure flies when you’re having fun. That must be the same feeling, as well, for the multitude of owners of the Mitsubishi Xpander MPV. Before we even knew it, this bestseller from an iconic Japanese carmaker has been providing a safe, convenient, and fun space for Filipino motorists and their families for five years.
This writer first encountered the Xpander in October 2017 for a short spin at Mitsubishi’s 2-km test track in Japan, a few months after the model’s official unveiling at the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show. By November of that year, the queue for Xpander buyers in Indonesia alone ran for over 25,000 units.
Because of its family-friendly design, it was easy to decide on the Xpander. The comfortable cabin space was enhanced by versatile seating configurations. Mitsubishi marketed the Xpander as its “next-generation MPV that will expand your lifestyle”, and it did so by combining the utility of an MPV with the toughness and dynamism of an SUV. In fact, the Xpander had the largest body dimensions compared to most of its MPV competitors in the Philippines.
Driving the Xpander in 2017, this writer felt the sturdiness and stability of the MPV due to its fine-tuned suspension, inertia valve inherited from the Lancer Evolution, the wide tire tread and long wheelbase, and tough and rigid body. In NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) tests, the Xpander also ran smoother and quieter than its MPV competitors.
Now, five years on, has the Xpander lived up to its promise for actual long-term owners here in the Philippines? Let’s read it straight from three of these owners.
Jon Joseph Apostol, 41, an infosec analyst and entrepreneur, bought his Xpander Cross last Dec. 7. He chose the Xpander over two other brands “because of its looks, the style and the features.”
Naming it “Silvie”, Jon explained that his Xpander Cross was usually used “as a family, weekend and out-of-town car.” For his personal use, though, Jon stressed he still used his “ever dependable Mickey Mirage G4”, revealing his term of endearment for his other car.
What makes the Xpander Cross such an ideal out-of-towner for Jon’s family is its vehicle height and cruise control. He recently took his family on a trip to Solano in Nueva Vizcaya. Jon said Silvie yielded fuel mileages of up to 13 km/liter on the highways, and 9km/liter in the cities.
That trip to the mountains of Nueva Vizcaya also tested Silvie’s engine capabilities. Jon was pleased that the vehicle encountered no problems when overtaking the long queue of trucks at the mountain passes. For the entire trip, Jon noted that the Xpander “consumed just one-and-a-half tanks of fuel.”
Despite the Xpander Cross releasing a newer variant with additional features such as auto hold, electronic handbrake and CVT, Jon said he’s content with Silvie, which has given him and his family already over 4,000 kms of safe and memorable trips.
Mary Grace A. Moral, 47, a school principal and a moderator of the Mitsubishi Xpander Owners Club Philippines Facebook page, reveals that her 2018 Xpander GLS A/T already has 27,000 km on the odometer, and yet the vehicle still drives as “swabe” (smooth) as ever.
Driving her Xpander every day, Grace has no reservations when she declares, “I am a satisfied Xpander owner,” and she wouldn’t change anything about her car. “It’s already comfortable, spacious, has a unique design and is affordable.”
Her most memorable drive with her Xpander, so far, was when she drove from Manila to Bicol for the car’s “break-in”.
“I drove the Xpander for the entire trip,” she says proudly.
Companion for everything
Harjinder Sandhu, a 39-year-old freelancer based in Baguio City, owns a 2020 Xpander GLS which, he says, has been his family’s “daily service and companion for everything”.
Harj says he chose the Xpander for its “unique looks, interior design, and price”, winning over two other Japanese brands his family was also considering.
For Harj, the spacious interior sealed the deal. “In my opinion, the Xpander’s interior is better than those of the other MPVs. Plus, it has the tumble seat feature in the middle row.”
Harj’s Xpander has logged over 12,000km, and he assesses that the fuel mileage has been satisfactory, hovering between 9 and 13 km/liter, considering the mountainous terrain of Baguio City.
The family improves on its fuel efficiency through mindful trip planning. Harj reveals, “We use the vehicle only when needed, and we don’t go to the city proper/downtown during the weekend, when we know we can be stuck in traffic.”
Considering that Baguio City climate can present extremes in hot and cold weather, Harj points out that “an auto climate function added to the Xpander would have been awesome.”
Harj said he had the most fun driving his Xpander during a drive on the Nueva Vizcaya-Benguet Road. “The drive with the Xpander was such a breeze, on that winding road and its unpredictable road conditions. Our Xpander made that trip so easy, and the overall comfort we felt was simply outstanding.”