Four years since the Xpander was first unveiled at the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS), Mitsubishi has now given the seven-seater MPV/crossover its (technically) second facelift – although calling it just a facelift discounts what Mitsubishi has done on the model!
As we’ve already seen from the teaser last week, the new 2021 Mitsubishi Xpander receives a reworked front fascia, headlined by the new T-shaped headlight enclosures that’s placed low within the bumper, replacing the trapezoidal units in the pre-facelift model.
The LED positioning and daytime-running lights above remain unchanged from before, although the grille elements have now been cleaned up with new, cleaner gloss black slats that join the two “brows” together.
Further down, the skid plate elements on the bumper have been reworked with a cleaner yet sophisticated look – now featuring a single wide intake as opposed to the original four, joining the foglamps together.
The same motif is also repeated on the rear bumpers, with a significantly cleaner design, while the main LED tail lamp assemblies receive a new T-shaped light signature, joined by new LED-illuminated third brake lights positioned within the roof spoiler. As for the wheels, the range-topping trim level gets new 17-inch two-toned machine alloys.
In addition to just equipment updates and surface redesign, the new 2021 Mitsubishi Xpander also gets slight revisions to its proportions, with an increase of 75 mm on its front overhang and 45 mm at the rear, apparently for a more “high-class feel” per the Japanese carmaker.
Its ride height have also been increased by 15 to 20 mm (depending on variant), thus giving it a ground clearance of 220 to 225 mm – supposedly the highest in its class, giving it better off-road performance.
Mechanically, the biggest update on the new Mitsubishi Xpander is the adoption of a new CVT gearbox for improved fuel consumption, in place of the ancient four-speed box from the pre-facelift model.
The 1.5-litre inline-four mill remains unchanged with 105 hp and 141 Nm of torque, although it has been fitted with a new external exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system to further help with fuel efficiency.
Other driving-related upgrades include a new front strut mount with improved rigidity, and larger cylinders (with new high-performance damper valves) have been fitted on the rear dampers to help improve ride quality.
Moving inside, Mitsubishi has given the new 2021 Xpander a reworked dashboard with a more horizontal design motif to add visual width within the cabin, and a touch of class when paired to the beige leather upholstery and trims.
Equipment wise, the central touchscreen is now upsized to nine inches in diameter (same size as the Malaysian-specification Xpander), while the air-conditioning controls now get a digital unit (although still manual), replacing the pre-facelift model’s rotary controls.
Also new here is the electric parking brake, replacing the old-school hand lever on the pre-facelift model – which, in addition to freeing up space on the centre console, also gives the Mitsubishi Xpander a new automatic brake hold function.
With more space on the centre console now, Mitsubishi saw fit to add a larger open tray to fit your smartphones, while higher-end trims also get a new armrest with a storage bin underneath that can house up to four 600 ml bottles.
Other additions in terms of conveniences include new Type C USB ports at the back of the centre consoles (for models with a centre armrest), and new cupholders in the second-row seat armrest.
The new 2021 Mitsubishi Xpander will be manufactured at the Mitsubishi Motors-Krama Yudha plant in Bekasi, West Java in Indonesia, and will first go on sale in Indonesia ahead of being rolled out for other markets in the ASEAN region – Hopefully not too long of a wait for it to be locally-assembled and launched here in Malaysia!