To find the perfect family car is no easy task. The ones that have all the space required to carry a load of children and their apparel, often cost an arm and a leg. And then if you do go the budget route, you’re often left feeling a little bit like your passengers should be paying you for the lift, via an app (if you get my drift…it’s uber-simple). Mitsubishi may have the answer to your prayers, in the form of the new Xpander.
THE X WHAT?
The Xpander is a seven-seater MPV masquerading as an SUV. With customers being so SUV-crazy, this was a stroke of genius by Mitsubishi. It is a modern yet practical-looking car which is thanks to Mitsubishi’s so-called Dynamic Shield Design, which is intended to express performance, but also protection. The Xpander adds a more sporty design to this. With 16-inch alloys on the automatic derivative and wide flared fenders, not to mention the high ground clearance of 205mm, the Xpander really could just be competing against some popular SUVs. SO what does it compete against, you ask? Well, the likes of the Suzuki Ertiga, Toyota Avanza and Honda BR-V.
A part from seven seats, there are also a few standard features, not many because remember, this is a budget-friendly car and is not competing with the premium brands. Some features include automatic air conditioning with a rear overhead cooler, electric windows all round, a USB port, Bluetooth, and rear-view camera. When it comes to safety, the Xpander has two airbags, ABS with EBD, seatbelt pre-tensioners and Isofix anchorage points.
The flexibility and versatility of the Xpander is what is such a drawcard for families. The flexible seating can be configured to suit a variety of needs, ranging from carrying passengers and luggage to transporting lifestyle-focused items. The second- and third-row seats have a 60/40 split, while the seats of the third row can be folded completely flat and stowed to create additional space in the cargo area. The latter also features a floor box with lid for safe storage of smaller items.
The Xpander is powered by a 1.5-litre engine that produces 77 kW and 141 Nm of torque. You can choose between a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Fuel consumption claimed at 7.0l/100 km. What stands out for me while driving this car is that it doesn’t feel budget at all. It is comfortable, solid, and refined. And I certainly did not feel like I should be picking anyone up, beside maybe family and friends. I would highly recommend taking this car for a spin if you are in the market for a budget-friendly seven-seater, because I think you will be pleasantly surprised by it. I certainly was.
- 5L MIVEC M/T: R299 995
- 5L MIVEC A/T: R319 995