Recently, Mitsubishi Motors made several exciting announcements which include the next-generation Stada and Montero Sport. But the pick-up and SUV aren't the only new products we'll be seeing from the Japanese automaker. As early as now, the Japanese automaker said that there will be a new Xpander model coming in 2022.
However, we don't know just how "new" the 2022 Xpander will be. After all, Mitsubishi said it was new, rather than all-new. Then again, Mitsubishi could just be using that as a general term, so the chances of it being redesigned may still be on the table.
The current Xpander was introduced in late 2017 and, by 2022, it will be five years old by then. That makes it potentially ripe for a full model change, but that might not necessarily be the case. For the past couple of years, Mitsubishi hasn't exactly been following the five-year product life cycle Japanese automakers typically follow. While it's understandable for products like the Strada and Montero Sport, they've done the same for their passenger cars. Just take a look at the Mirage, for instance. The subcompact hatch was introduced in 2013 and yet Mitsubishi hasn't redesigned the car in the last seven years.
Then again, Mitsubishi is under the wing of the Alliance, which includes Renault and Nissan. Should Mitsubishi give their MPV a full model change, the Xpander could share some bones from a Nissan product. Also, Mitsubishi is determined to have an even stronger hold on the ASEAN market. If they want to make the product even more appealing, a total redesign is a must. ASEAN is the area Mitsubishi Motors has a very a strong presence in, and an all-new model could make that even stronger.
Making the case stronger for an all-new Xpander is a hybrid option. Mitsubishi made it official that the MPV will be offered with hybrid power alongside the standard engine. The Japanese automaker could simply adapt a gas-electric system to the current generation. However, that might require extensive re-engineering on Mitsubishi's part which, in turn, could cost the company more in the long run. This is why it might make more sense for Mitsubishi to build a new platform that can easily accommodate both a gas-powered engine or a hybrid system. Rather than reconfigure an existing vehicle, it will be easier to swap in (or out) parts which, in turn, makes the product easier to build.
Among its competitors, the Xpander is one of the youngest in its class. The Honda BR-V is now approaching its fifth year in production, making it two years older than the Xpander. The Toyota Rush on the other hand came out the same year as the Xpander, but it's based on the current Avanza which dates back to 2011. Unless Honda and Toyota are keeping their plans close to themselves, it looks like Mitsubishi could beat them both of them to the punch.