The Mitsubishi Xpander, which made its world debut and Indonesian market debut at the 2017 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS), is coming to Malaysia next year, according to Mitsubishi Motors Corp CEO Osamu Masuko, reported by Reuters.

“We will export this car across ASEAN countries starting next February,” Masuko said of the Indonesian-made Xpander. MMC will start exporting to the Philippines, followed by Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, the report said.

The Xpander is made in MMC’s new plant in Bekasi, West Java, with a volume of 80,000 units per year. Indonesia’s auto market, the largest in ASEAN, is dominated by MPVs, and only a quarter of the 80k total will be exported.

In the Republic, the Xpander is a much-anticipated entry into the country’s core “Low MPV” segment, one dominated by the likes of the the Toyota Avanza, Daihatsu Xenia, Suzuki Ertiga and Honda Mobilio.

The Xpander’s unique selling point is its looks, which are highly-stylised and sculptured for a car in this utilitarian class. Mitsubishi has a rich off-roading 4×4 heritage, and has of late turned itself into an SUV company – this seven-seater “small crossover MPV” plays on those points with SUV-inspired styling. That’s a trick also used by Honda for the BR-V, which the Xpander will rival in Malaysia.

The three-row, seven-seat Xpander is 4,475 mm long and 1,750 mm wide, which is 22 mm longer and 15 mm wider than the BR-V. The Mitsu’s 2,775 mm wheelbase is a 113 mm longer than the Honda’s. The ground clearance – at 205 mm – is the highest in class and 4 mm higher than the BR-V’s.

The Xpander is powered by a 4A91 1.5 litre four-cylinder engine. The DOHC MIVEC unit produces 104 PS and 141 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. Power goes to the front wheels via a five-speed manual or a four-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

In its home market, the Xpander is available in five trim levels – GLX, GLS, Exceed, Sport and Ultimate – and is priced from Rp 189,050,000 (RM60,843) to Rp 245,350,000 (RM78,968). What do you think of this Honda BR-V challenger?

GALLERY: Mitsubishi Xpander Sport A/T

GALLERY: Mitsubishi Xpander Ultimate A/T