Back in 2018, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) has ceased selling its Adventure—which is one of the best-sellers in its segment. But from the same ashes that the Adventure left came the Xpander.
Introducing it back in 2017, Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi enjoyed an instantaneous hit with the Xpander MPV offering. Some two years following its global debut, the Xpander, well, uhmm—expanded its lineup with the Xpander Cross.
But is it as dependable as it predecessor—more so, will it enjoy the same popularity? Kindly read on to find out.
Comparing it to the regular Xpander, the Xpander Cross has an upgraded dimension: it is 25 millimeters (mm) longer, 50 mm wider and 50 mm taller than mid-variants, which gives it an extra chunk of muscle in its overall look.
With a wheelbase of 2,775 mm, the Xpander Cross—just like all variants—gives the front and middle passenger sufficient legroom to enjoy without getting cramps. However, I cannot say the same for the rear occupants as just like most vehicles in its category, the space for seating is not as generous at the back.
The ground clearance of the Xpander Cross is higher by up to 25 mm (225mm, as compared base model GLX’s 200mm), making it a trusty city workhorse, where flooding is quite a norm.
Making it a head-turner are its dagger lines and sharp angles. These are complemented by the “Dynamic Shield design” for its front fascia, making it a smaller version of the Montero. This houses the LED headlights and fog lights. Although it would confuse many where the headlamps are housed because it is unconventionally placed lower than what we are accustomed to, it dishes ample lighting on the road.
The 17” two-tone alloy wheels are quite a solid design (an inch larger than the other Xpander variety). However, it seems that the wheels still looks small as they sit quite deep in the fenders.
While the one we tried is the Quartz White Pearl, it is also available in Sunrise Orange—both appealing for its overall design.
Inside the Xpander Cross is the dark brown/black leather set; very homely colors. While there are still a lot of plastic components, these would ensure that you would not have trouble wiping dirt away.
The steering wheel does not wear too much buttons, signifying that it is designed more for city slickers. Also, the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system needs to be updated as it has yet to be Apple CarPlay or Android Auto-capable.
Just like the Mitsubishi Adventure, the Xpander Cross has its own air-conditioner control located in the middle portion that can be adjusted independently from the front climate control.
Powering the Xpander Cross is the 1.5-liter In-line DOHC 16-valve MIVEC engine (4A91 model), which on paper, can provide 103 horsepower and 141 Nm torque. Experiencing a very horrible traffic condition Metro Manila traffic, it still clocked 8.3 kilometers per liter (average speed is 14.kilometers per hour, covering 135 kilometers). On expressways, it was able to sip around 13 kilometers per liter of gasoline—good numbers for such a big-bodied vehicle. You could just imagine what more it could do if it is on CVT.
Very noticeable on the Xpander Cross is that you can enjoy very low noise from the outside on usual city driving speeds, giving you just enough NVH to know the vehicles around you. It also has enough cubbyholes so every passenger can place one drink inside the vehicle.
The infotainment system has six speakers that can play your music from your mobile device, which, in turn, can be connected via Bluetooth or AUX cable.
Just like the GLS variant, it has active stability control, traction control, hill start assist while having the standard dual front airbags, anti-brake lock system, electronic brake force distribution, ISOFIX and tether anchors and the emergency stop signal.
Since Filipino families are fond of carrying loads of cargo and passengers, the Xpander would definitely meet their needs. Perfectly filling the void that the then-successful Mitsubishi Adventure left, the Xpander Cross can be depicted as the rising phoenix in the Japanese automaker’s lineup—upgrading the look for the utilitarian workhorse.
Photos from Ruben D. Manahan IV