The Mitsubishi Xpander has received over 4,000 bookings to date, and of that, over 500 units of the seven-seater people carrier have been delivered to Malaysian customers as of end November. Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) is now increasing production from the planned 500 units to 700 units in December to minimise the waiting period, according to senior VP Hoffen Teh

Order taking started from October 22, when the Xpander was previewed to the media. The first units of the CKD locally assembled model rolled off the line at Hicom Automotive Manufacturers in Pekan on October 28, with the price confirmed as RM91,369 (OTR without insurance, with 2020 sales tax exemption) on November 5. At that point, it was “over 2,000” bookings.

Behind that bold Dynamic Shield face is a 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated engine with 105 PS and 141 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The 4A91 MIVEC unit sends drive to the front axle via a four-speed automatic gearbox.

A single variant is being offered, with the best possible specs available for this model, and some local additions not found in other ASEAN markets. Speaking of ASEAN, the Xpander has been a successful product for MMC, achieving sales of around 270,000 units since its debut in Indonesia in August 2017, which we covered live.

The facelifted Xpander comes with bi-LED reflector headlamps and LED daytime running lights. The LED eyes mark this out as the facelift (the original car had halogen lamps), along with U-shaped louvres that replace the triple slats on the grille. Also fitted are LED tail lights and 16-inch two-tone alloys.

Inside, a black interior with quilted leather seats, a 9.0-inch touchscreen head unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a 360-degree camera system and dashcam are unique-to-Malaysia features. Elsewhere, the Xpander also comes with keyless entry with push start, a 4.2-inch colour multi-info display, six speakers and four roof-mounted rear air vents.

Safety-wise, there’s two airbags, ABS/EBD, stability control, hill start assist and Isofix child seat anchors. The one thing that MMM couldn’t do was to add to the airbag count, as this affordable people carrier was engineered mainly for the Indonesian market, and there was no strong demand for more than two airbags. This was told to us by MMM’s management – check out our interview with Teh and CEO Tomoyuki Shinnishi here.

It’s a sprint to the finish for the sub-RM100k new arrivals jostling for a space in your porch, and besides MMM, Proton and Honda have been eager to share end-Nov delivery figures. With one month to go, Proton has delivered 2,203 units of the X50, a fair bit off the 5,100 units of the new City that Honda has fulfilled.

GALLERY: Mitsubishi Xpander in Red Metallic

GALLERY: Mitsubishi Xpander colour options