In case you haven't seen it yet, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) recently launched the 2022 Xpander. Receiving an extensive makeover inside and out, the 7-seater MPV gets a fresh new look, as well as more standard equipment across the range. Moreover, Mitsubishi also made the 2022 Xpander longer and taller than its predecessor.
With the Xpander now available in dealerships, the 7-seater is competing directly against the 2022 Toyota Avanza that was also launched a few months ago. But compared to the Xpander, the Avanza is all-new from top to bottom. More importantly, the Avanza has switched from a rear-wheel drive (RWD) platform to a more passenger-friendly front-wheel drive (FWD) monocoque construction.
What better way to compare the two new MPVs than by doing another spec-check between the Toyota Avanza and the Mitsubishi Xpander. Will the all-new generation Avanza be able to outdo the refreshed contender from Mitsubishi? Or will the Xpander still outclass the new Toyota?
Let's get started by checking out the dimensions of both vehicles. Beginning with the Avanza, Toyota's new 7-seater measures 4395mm long, 1730mm wide, and 1690mm tall. The top-spec 1.5 G variant is slightly taller at 1700mm thanks to the 16-inch alloy wheels while the E variants all stand at 1690mm via 15-inch wheels. As for the J model, it's the shortest of the bunch at 1665mm tall.
The wheelbase was also stretched from 2655mm to 2750mm thanks to the new Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) that allowed the Avanza to switch from RWD to FWD. But the new unibody construction meant the MPV has a shorter ground clearance than before. Instead of having 200mm of clearance, the new Avanza now only has 190mm in the G model. There's even less in the E and J variants which only have 180mm.
Over to the Xpander, all variants from the GLX to the GLS have similar dimensions. That's right, every variant measures 4595mm long, 1750mm wide, and 1750mm tall. The Xpander also has a longer wheelbase than the Avanza which comes in at 2775mm. Last but not least, the Mitsubishi has better ground clearance at 225mm.
Overall, the facelifted Xpander managed to beat the Avanza when it comes to sheer size. With its roomier cabin and higher ground clearance, the Mitsubishi offers more peace of mind when it comes to stowing cargo, ferrying passengers, as well as crossing some puddles of water in a downpour.
In this day & age where vehicles are filled to the brim with amenities and features, we're not surprised that the Xpander and Avanza are choc-full of equipment. But which of the two MPVs offers more bang for the buck?
Beginning with the Xpander, both the GLX and GLS come with a new 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Not only does it offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but it also comes with Bluetooth, USB, and AM/FM radio. It also has a new digital air-conditioning system, with the GLS variant benefitting from automatic climate control.
Other available features present in the Xpander include an electronic parking brake (EPB), a leather-wrapped steering wheel with tilt & telescopic adjust, push-button start (GLS exclusive), cruise control, soft-pad touch panels for a more premium feel, charging ports for the second-row and third-row seats, cupholders on the second-row armrest, and a front armrest for the driver/front passenger.
As for the Avanza, the 1.3 J only comes with a 6.75-inch touchscreen system. It doesn't come with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but it still has Bluetooth, USB, and Aux. The larger 8-inch touchscreen is only available in the E and G variants and has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
The Toyota also has a tilt & telescopic steering column but it's only available for the 1.5 G. The rest of the lineup can only do with a standard tilt-adjust column. It's a similar story with the push-button start as it's only fitted in the G variant. Other amenities available in the Avanza include rear cupholders on the doors, digital air-conditioning, charging ports for all rows of seats, audio controls on the steering wheel, and center armrests for the front and second-row passengers.
Comparing the two, it seems Mitsubishi was a bit more generous with its cabin equipment since it's available across the lineup. Meanwhile, the Avanza has plenty as well but most are only fitted in the E and G models of the MPV.
1.3L and 1.5L Engines
Don't expect to find big engines under the hood of these 2 MPVs. Both the Avanza and Xpander only come with small-displacement four-cylinder engines.
The Avanza is the only vehicle in this comparo that's available with two Dual VVT-i engines. For the J and E variants, it has a 1.3-liter 1NR-VE inline-four that makes a humble 98 PS at 6000 rpm along with 122 Nm of torque at 4200 rpm. Depending on the transmission, it can come with either a 5-speed manual or a CVT.
The other engine is the 1.5-liter 2NR-VE four-cylinder that puts out 106 PS at 6000 rpm and 138 Nm of torque at 4200 rpm. This engine is exclusive to the top-of-the-line G variant and only comes with a CVT.
The Xpander only comes with one engine choice, the 1.5-liter 4A91 four-cylinder MIVEC engine. It produces a modest 105 PS at 6000 rpm plus 141 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm. Transmission choices for the Xpander include a 5-speed manual gearbox and a 4-speed automatic transmission.
Looking at the output figures, it looks like both MPVs are evenly matched. The only clear difference between the two vehicles is the choice of automatic gearboxes. Toyota went for the newer CVT while Mitsubishi stuck to the traditional torque-converter design.
Since MPVs are sometimes the preferred choice for a family vehicle, they are equipped with the latest technologies when it comes to safety. The Avanza and Xpander are no different and come with plenty of safety kits.
Both MPVs come with anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, active stability control with traction control, hill-start assist (AKA hill-hold control), and dual front airbags. The Xpander also has a reverse camera along with rear parking sensors which are standard across the range. Meanwhile, only the E and G variants of the Avanza come with the reverse camera and parking sensor package. This means the base model J lacks any parking aids.
Only available on the Avanza 1.5 G, however, is blind-spot monitoring. It serves as an extra pair of eyes for the driver and helps keep a lookout for anything that's in the vehicle's blind spot. It's also the only variant to come with an additional front curtain and front side airbags for extra peace of mind in case of an accident.
All in all, both 7-seaters are equipped with plenty of features to keep passengers safe while on the road. However, the Avanza in 1.5 G trim comes with some neat extras which provide some extra sense of security. Hopefully, Mitsubishi can retrofit some similar upgrades for the Xpander in a future update.
What's the price?
After looking at all of the figures and stats of the two vehicles, it's now time to see the pricelist of both MPVs.
The 2022 Avanza starts at PHP 813,000 with the entry-level 1.3 J. Moving to the 1.3 E M/T, this one is selling for PHP 928,000. If you prefer it with a CVT, the price goes up to PHP 984,000. Go for the top-spec 1.5 G CVT, and you'll have to cough up PHP 1,039,000.
Over to the 2022 Xpander, the range starts at PHP 1,050,000 for the GLX M/T. The GLX A/T variant is slightly pricier at PHP 1,110,000. But if you prefer the variant with all the bells and whistles, the GLS A/T version is available at PHP 1,180,000.
Some might say that the Avanza has the Xpander beat in terms of price alone. While that's true, some will argue that the Xpander is a better quality vehicle than the Avanza which is actually made by Daihatsu.
If you're in the market for a new MPV, will you choose the Toyota Avanza or the Mitsubishi Xpander? Let us know in the comments what you think is your preferred 7-seater MPV.