If you're fond of MPVs, chances are you're excited by all that's on the horizon - Mahindra will soon launch the shark-inspired Marazzo, and we expect the all-new Maruti Suzuki Ertiga (which we have exclusively driven) to be launched in India closer to Diwali this year. Now, we can also tell you Mitsubishi is lining up its own MPV, the Xpander, for an India launch.
At the sidelines of the launch of the new Outlander, Uttam Bose, Managing Director, Mitsubishi India, mentioned that along with the Eclipse Cross SUV, the brand will also bring the Xpander MPV, both of which are a part of the company's long-term product plan. That said, he did add that the new products are still a couple of years away, and of those, it's the Eclipse Cross that will be launched here first, in 2020, with the Xpander expected to follow in due course.
If you're unfamiliar with the Xpander, here are some things to know about it. The MPV was revealed mid-2017, and it's a properly striking-looking thing. With an imposing front-end and squared-off, muscular wheel arches, the Xpander looks little like any other MPV on the market. At 205mm, it also has plenty of ground clearance for a people carrier. There are design flourishes aplenty – note the prominent shoulder line and the pinched window line – and the crystal LED pilot lamps and chrome detailing add bling that should be a hit with Indian audiences.
The Xpander is a proper seven-seater that's roughly the size of the incoming second-generation Ertiga. It's about as wide and tall as the Ertiga, while being slightly longer and having a bigger wheelbase, which means it's likely to fit in between the Ertiga and the Marazzo.
Inside, the Xpander follows the 'Omotenashi' (meaning Japanese hospitality) theme, and while the dashboard design is relatively simple, Mitsubishi offers the choice of either a dual-tone beige-and-grey interior colour scheme or an all-black interior. Part of the Xpander package are features such as a 6.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system, keyless entry, steering-mounted audio controls, leather seats, a slide function for the rear bench and a reverse camera, among other things. Safety kit includes two airbags, ABS with EBD, traction control and active stability control.
Abroad, the only engine on offer on the Xpander is a 1.5-litre MIVEC petrol making 105hp and 141Nm of torque. It can be had with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic gearbox, both of which send power to the front wheels. When it does eventually make it to India, we expect Mitsubishi to offer a BS-VI-compliant diesel engine option as well.
While it certainly looks promising, the Xpander is still some time away. It will only be launched in India post the arrival of the Eclipse Cross SUV, which itself won't be here until 2020. But when it does come, the Xpander will go up against the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and the Mahindra Marazzo.
Think the Xpander looks promising? Let us know in the comments.