Can the Mitsubishi Xpander match the Adventure’s fuel efficiency?

Updated Jan 05, 2021 | Same topic: Car Owners Speak Up

Even full load won’t make it guzzle down gasoline.

As the spiritual successor to the venerable Mitsubishi Adventure AUV (Asian Utility Vehicle), the Xpander has particularly big shoes to fill.

What made the Adventure such a household name is its versatility as both personal transport and business vehicle. Fortunately, Mitsubishi’s newest multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) is proving that it’s every bit as capable in that regard.

Which 2020 Mitsubishi Xpander should you buy? – Variant Comparison

The previous light truck chassis that the Adventure used is gone; in its place is an all-new platform that gives the Mitsubishi Xpander ride comfort and handling akin to that of a sedan, albeit with an increase in ride height. Interior space is cavernous, with configurable seats able to strike a balance between passenger and cargo capacity.

Mitsubishi Xpander white

The Xpander is the refined version of the old Adventure AUV

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As the Xpander was clearly meant to follow in the Adventure’s footsteps, there’s one consideration that buyers keep an eye on: fuel consumption.

Throughout its 20-year run, the Adventure ran on an ancient 4D56 diesel engine (the 4G63 gasoline option shared with the Galant sedan was phased out in the mid-2000s), paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox.

Mitsubishi Adventure

The Adventure was popular with families due to its versatility

Despite the Adventure’s heavy frame, the diesel-and-manual combo enabled it to reach double-digit fuel economy numbers in mixed highway and city driving.

So, does the Xpander compare to the Adventure in terms of fuel efficiency? 

The MPV seems to be at a disadvantage at first glance. First, it uses a 1.5L gasoline engine, which drew a fair amount of criticism for being a bit too small to haul a seven-seater vehicle.

>>> Related: Mitsubishi PH's vehicle lineup

4A91

A smaller gasoline engine has to haul the Xpander's mass

Most of the range is also equipped with a 4-speed torque converter automatic, which did not help things due to its inherent inefficiency (a 5-speed manual is available on the base trim).

However, there are elements of the Xpander that mitigate this perception somewhat. The new chassis and RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) body contribute to weight reduction, and the power steering is electrically-assisted, reducing the load on the engine.

>>> Related: Which 2020 Mitsubishi Xpander should you buy? [Philkotse Guide]

Xpander gearshift

There's an overdrive button on the 4-speed automatic

The front-wheel drivetrain does away with the extra burden of a driveshaft and live rear axle. Plus, despite the smaller displacement on the Xpander’s 4A91 power plant, its Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system (MIVEC) automatically shifts cam profiles according to engine speed, balancing power and efficiency in a range of driving conditions.

A fuel efficiency run previously conducted by the Department of Energy yielded a fuel consumption of almost 23 km/liter, running an average distance of 236 kms. along the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx).

xpander fuel consumption

As is the case with most vehicles, you need to give the Xpander room to stretch its legs 

In real-world driving scenarios with stop-and-go traffic, that figure goes down to around 8 or 9 km/liter with two occupants on board. Driving from Antipolo to Subic for instance, with four occupants and luggage at the rear, netted an average of 16.4 km/liter, which still isn’t a bad figure overall.

From the looks of things, Mitsubishi made the right call in passing the Adventure’s torch to the Xpander.

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Know more about Mitsubishi Xpander

Mitsubishi Xpander

The new Mitsubishi Xpander entered the growing segment of small MPVs. It looked sharp due to the influence of the Montero Sport styling. It features a seven-seater cabin, a modern but simple dashboard, and an infotainment system located high right at the center. For safety, all its variants come with a standard ABS with EBD and dual airbags. The range-topper variant is equipped with additional safety kits such as hill start assist, traction control, and electronic stability control. Under the hood of the Mitsubishi Xpander, a 1.5-liter 4A91 MIVEC naturally-aspirated four-cylinder gasoline engine produces 141 Nm of torque and 103 HP. It is mated to either a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual transmission that can be found under its hood. Mitsubishi Motor Philippines Corporation offers the Mitsubishi Xpander in three variants: Mitsubishi Xpander GLX MT, Mitsubishi Xpander GLX Plus AT, and Mitsubishi Xpander GLS AT. The model is also available in five different color options namely Titanium Gray, Jet Black Mica, Red Metallic, Quartz White Pearl, and Sterling Silver Metallic.

From ₱1,008,000

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Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Author

Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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