The Mitsubishi Xpander is a pandemic era baby, as it was launched here in late 2020. This means that the CKD locally-assembled seven-seater MPV never knew of this thing called sales tax – the launch price of RM91,369 on-the-road without insurance was with full SST exemption factored in.

The tax break was first announced in June 2020. After a few rounds of extensions, SST exemption – which is 100% for CKD locally assembled cars and 50% for CBU imported cars – will finally end on June 30, 2022.

Although that’s still a few months away, high demand for new autos coupled with production constraints (parts supply, playing catch up with Covid/MCO and floods) means that for many models, the SST-exempted price is already not applicable today, as deliveries will only happen in the second half of 2022.

That’s true in the case of Toyota, which released new price lists today with higher SST-inclusive prices. Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia also has new price lists dated April 1, and the price of the Xpander is higher, but it’s still listed with 0% SST. The new OTR price without insurance for the single spec Xpander is RM93,318, which is RM1,949 more than before.

As this is not due to SST being included, we reached out to MMM and the company says that the price increase is due to “cost up constraints”. Like most things in today’s inflationary world, material and logistics costs have gone up by a fair bit since Covid-19 – we also see the impact at the market and restaurants.

In any case, a less than RM2k rise does not change the value proposition of the Xpander, which is powered by 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.

As for equipment, the seven-seater comes with bi-LED reflector headlamps and LED daytime running lights, LED tail lights, 16-inch two-tone alloys, quilted leather seats, a 9.0-inch touchscreen head unit with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 360-degree camera system and dashcam, among other kit. Safety-wise, there are two airbags, ABS/EBD, stability control, hill start assist and Isofix child seat anchors.

GALLERY: Mitsubishi Xpander