Mitsubishi Xpander launching in Malaysia this year – seven-seat MPV to rival the Honda BR-V, Perodua Aruz –

Well, it’s official. Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) has confirmed that the Mitsubishi Xpander will make its launch debut here this year. The seven-seat “crossover MPV” first made its global premiere in Indonesia back in 2017 and has since been introduced in other ASEAN countries.

“The Xpander is not just an important model for MMM, but across the ASEAN region as well. As of June 2020, the car has reached cumulative sales of around 256,000 units,” said Tomoyuki Shinnishi, chief executive officer of MMM.

The success of the Xpander in our neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam reflects how well-suited this car is to meet the needs of Malaysian customers. MMM is very excited for a thrilling year ahead with the introduction of this impressive seven-seater crossover in Malaysia later this year,” he added.

An exact launch date wasn’t provided in the company’s official release, and other details like specifications and pricing remain a mystery for now. It also isn’t known what variants we will be getting, as the Xpander comes in both standard and Cross guises, as seen in other markets.

The only bits of information we do know is our local-spec Xpander will be the facelifted version, which was introduced in Indonesia a few months ago, based on spyshots posted earlier this month. Additionally, the Xpander sold in other markets is only powered by a 4A91 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic driving the front wheels.

As there are no other engine options available for the Xpander, the MIVEC mill is likely the one we will be getting, with 105 PS at 6,000 rpm and 141 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. From a local context, the Xpander will compete against the Honda BR-V and Perodua Aruz, both of which feature 1.5 litre engines as well.

Of the three, the HR-V’s powerplant pushes out 120 PS and 145 Nm, while the Aruz serves up 102 PS and 133 Nm. Aside from the BR-V that comes with a CVT, the Xpander and Aruz come equipped with four-speed automatics instead.

In terms of dimensions, the Mitsubishi model is 4,475 mm long and 1,750 mm wide, which is 18 mm longer and 15 mm wider than the BR-V, while its 2,775 mm wheelbase is 113 mm longer than the Honda’s. The Xpander also has larger dimensions compared to the Aruz, which measures 4,435 mm long, 1,695 mm wide and has a wheelbase spanning 2,685 mm.

Focusing on pricing, an important aspect in this segment, the BR-V range currently retails for RM86,726 (OTR without insurance) for the base 1.5 E, with the higher-spec 1.5 V going for RM93,420.27 – these prices factor in the SST exemption scheme that runs till the end of 2020.

The Aruz also comes in two variants, with the base 1.5 X priced at RM68,526 and the 1.5 Advance at RM73,226. As we don’t have official pricing for the Xpander yet, we can only infer Indonesia’s figures, which range from 217.8 million rupiah (RM63,625) and peaks at 275.1 million rupiah (RM80,364).

With the Xpander finally set to be launched here, the budget, seven-seat crossover MPV segment is about to get a lot more interesting. Which of the three options attract your interest best? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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