Major rivals Mitsubishi Xpander will go against
First, Mitsubishi Malaysia teased us with the all-new Xpander, next it confirmed the car’s arrival before the end of 2020, and now we are just waiting for the seven-seater crossover. Until the time it doesn’t make an entry, we are left with no choice but to study the Xpander post-arrival scenario. You can check out the features we expect the 2020 Xpander to carry here.
We are now concentrating on the type of impact the Xpander will have on the market, especially in the 7-seater crossover segment it belongs to. Our first guess is that it’ll be a success and grab good sales figures for the automaker. And, with a new, capable player in town, it will keep its counterparts on toes.
Before heading straight to the Mitsubishi Xpander’s rivals, let’s first see what the car offers (taking clues from the Indonesia-spec model). In the words of Tomoyuki Shinnishi, Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia Chief Executive Officer, “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. 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.”
On the design front, the Xpander will feature the company’s famous ‘Dynamic Shield’ design that expresses high performance and a sense of protection. The company claims it is a blend of functionality and SUV-inspired styling. Its attributes like roominess, convenience, functionality make it a suitable car for Malaysia.
Though the company has not revealed much about the Malaysia-spec Xpander, likewise, its price tag is also undercover. However, we can get an idea from the Indonesia-spec model, where the car ranges from RM 63,625 to RM 80,364.
Once entering the Malaysia market, the Xpander will compete with the likes of Toyota Avanza and Honda BR-V.
The first car on our list is from Toyota, thus confirming its reliability and trustworthiness. The Avanza is a seven-seater that is quite popular and has a good standing in the segment. It is available in three variants - 1.5S+, 1.5S (AT), and 1.5E. Toyota Avanza price starts from RM 77,963 and goes all the way to RM 84,848.
On the design front, it looks quite masculine and has a noticeable road presence. Some of its highlighting exterior features are Bi-LED headlamps, shark fin antenna, 15-inch alloy wheels, and speed-sensitive intermittent wipers. Moving to the cabin, the Avanza is a spacious car with best quality fit and finish. It features a 6.75-inch touchscreen audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This system also supports Wi-Fi, voice recognition, Bluetooth, and USB. Its three-spoke multifunction steering wheel comes with tilt adjustable features.
A common 1.5-litre 4-CYL DOHC with Dual VVT-i mill powers all the three variants of Avanza making 105 PS at 6,000 rpm and 136 Nm at 4,200 rpm. The car is also equipped with a reasonably good safety kit that includes ABS with EBD, dual SRS airbags, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, reverse sensor, and ISOFIX.
We posted a feature article wherein we pitched the BR-V against the Xpander and realised they both are great cars with respective pros. When compared to the Xpander in terms of looks, the BR-V without a doubt is a more subtle looking car. A few highlighting bits at the exterior are its auto projector headlights with LED DRLs, fog lamps with chrome garnish, chrome front grills, bold front bumper, and adjustable ORVM with turn indicators. Its 16-inch dual-alloy wheels and roof rails add to the style quotient.
The BR-V cabin is designed very thoughtfully and comes with innovations that provide riders maximum comfort. Also, the company claims that the BR-V is the only car in the segment that comfortably fits seven adults with room for more. Features like rear air-con vents, eleven cup holders, spacious 3-rd row, auto air-con system, multi-functional steering wheel are features that make it a perfect family car.
The BR-V specs sheet shows it is available in two trim options - E and V, both are powered by a 1.5-litre 4-CYL SOCH i-VTEC power plant that develops 120 PS at 6,600 rpm and 145 Nm at 4,600 rpm. Doing transmission duty is a CVT unit. On the safety front, the BR-V benefits from dual front SRS airbags, vehicle stability assist, traction control system, ABS + EBD & BA, hill start assist, reverse camera and sensor, and immobilizer.
Other options include
Though Toyota Avanza and Honda BR-V are two of the most suitable options, we’d like to suggest a few other options. Like the Proton Ertiga that though is a cheap option but is a complete 7-seater family car.
Next, we’d like to suggest that the RM 81,502 Chery Eastar. It is relatively spacious and has a decent 1.9L power plant.