Mitsubishi has created a quality and versatile seven-seater compact SUV, one that offers comfort, functionality and great value for money.

For many years we at FACT magazine have had the privilege of thoroughly inspecting and test driving a large array of motor vehicles from a diverse range of brands. We have not, however, had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi model, that is until now. The Japanese manufacturer dates its motor car origins as far back as 1917 with the introduction of the Mitsubishi Model A. This hand-built, seven-seater sedan was the company’s first series-production automobile and now, over 100 years later, FACT gets to test drive the latest seven-seater compact SUV, the Xpander, compliments of the great team at Qatar Automobiles Company – Mitsubishi Motors Qatar.

The Xpander has a striking and unique look to its exterior. In order to accomplish this bold concept, the designers at Mitsubishi have styled this moderately sized, multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) to look more like a sports utility vehicle (SUV) by giving it a rugged finish and high ground clearance. Staring at it head on, this car has a futuristic look to it with its chrome upper grille, swept-back headlights and daytime running lights that sit low down on the bumper. The LED lamps sit in crystal-like blocks and have been situated in a higher position for increased visibility. At the flanks, well designed side bumpers, side panels and rear quarters complete the sturdy and chiselled look, whilst 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels in a two-tone finish add a touch of class. At the rear, the L-shaped LED combination lamps extend onto the tailgate and emphasise the vehicle’s sturdy posture. It is also possible for the exterior of the Xpander to be customised through the use of body kits and different wheel options.

Once Inside, we were immediately impressed by the sporty and spacious Interior as well as the high-quality materials used throughout the vehicle. The supportive front seats are set in a very upright position and give you a commanding view of the road ahead. The steering wheel sports both tilt and telescopic adjustability, allowing you to find the perfect driving position. The second and third rows of seating are also spacious with plenty of head and leg room, allowing the Xpander to be called a true seven-seater.

When the rear seating is in the upright position, the boot can hold an item or two of luggage. However, the rear seats can be folded down completely flat which expands the storage capacity to the largest in its class. There is plenty of other storage space on offer throughout the vehicle, including the glove box, drink holders, door bins, seatback pockets, a floor console box, a passenger seat under-tray and an underfloor luggage area. Each of the three rows of seating has its own 12V power supply adjacent to a convenient storage space. Entertainment and hands-free operation are provided by the responsive and clear 7-inch Smartphone-link Display Audio (SDA) which is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Performance-wise, the Xpander houses a 1.5-litre, 16-valve dual overhead camshaft engine with advanced Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electric Control system (MIVEC), allowing the car to carry seven adults uphill with relative ease. With reinforced suspension, high-performance shock absorbers and a lightweight body, we found this car to be very comfortable to drive as well as responsive and easy to handle. An added bonus is the quietness of the ride, as all noise and vibration is absorbed by materials incorporated into the interior design. This combined with a great air-conditioning system and four rear roof vents ensures a pleasant experience for all occupants.

“The steering wheel sports both tilt and telescopic adjustability, allowing you to find the perfect driving position”

As far as safety features are concerned, the Xpander boasts a Reinforced Impact Safety body (RISE) that efficiently absorbs energy and maintains high cabin integrity in the event of a collision. All four doors are also equipped with a support beam to reduce door deformation in the event of a side collision. Additional safety features include Emergency Stop Signal System (ESS), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Active Stability Control (ASC) and Hill Start Assist (HAS). All of this, combined with very few blind spots, ensures a safe journey for you and your loved ones. ✤


Photoshoot at The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa