First driver: mitsubishi Xpander is better than we thought
2018 will be an important year for mitsubishi motors. Next year will be the launch of Xpander MPV in our market, a seven-seater model launched this year in Indonesia. Mitsubishi says this is not a replacement for the outgoing risk, but it is a gap that the Xpander will fill.
From the moment I sat inside, I had noticed a very good driving position. My knee is glued to the central console, and I like to do some long driving. Although the right hand driver configuration, it makes the operation of three pedals and changing knobs easy. Yes, this is Japan and I’m on the other side of the cockpit.
This worries me a bit, because I haven’t driven a manual RHD car for 10 years. But the Xpander clutch is also tolerant and responsive. It’s easy to find the clutch, and the leather wrap knob is a happy grip.
Driving practice is one example of why we like mitsubishi so much. It didn’t treat us with children’s gloves and set up a sissy driving class. We did slaloms, lane change and high-speed running in a bank ellipse. You would think this setting would reveal the flaws of a high-speed vehicle like the Xpander. Instead, the driving course highlights what this new model can do.
The body is there, but keep it to a minimum on the turnback. I still felt good about the car at first, but the learning curve was short. In the second gear, it is easy to weave in and out of the cone. Same thing with lane change. The stability of the Xpander is laudable.
At high speed, I had to ask if my Japanese companion had a turbocharge in front, but it was just a natural suction 1.5 liter engine. I was surprised that I could reach speeds of 120 kilometers an hour or even 140 kilometers per hour. Xpander once again felt stable and planted.
As an MPV, I don’t have any complaints about the cabin. Mitsubishi motors’ sales staff believe it is the largest of its kind, but in the tiny MPV area where Toyota Avanza lives. So it’s bigger than Toyota’s small MPV, but smaller than Innova. I looked at it in the third row and it looked very small, but it was a class in this category. Adult is not my body, suitable for short driving.
We spent only a while on the new Xpander, but it was a hopeful drive. The model will go on sale in the first quarter of 2018. Based on our experience, mitsubishi looks like another winner.