Because everything has to be an SUV these days in one way or another, the Mitsubishi Xpander Cross is a high-riding minivan with a somewhat tough look. It was launched less than three years ago and is already getting a facelift. Lest we forget that Mitsu has a long history when it comes to rugged people-movers as the Delica has been around for decades, complete with all-wheel drive whereas this sends power only to the front axle.
The facelift introduced today brings several changes, but the van on stilts looks as polarizing as before. Unveiled at the 2022 Indonesia International Auto Show and already on sale, the Xpander Cross has a redesigned front fascia with new headlights that continue to have a split arrangement but with a T-shaped layout. The turn signals have been moved in the upper cluster to make them more visible while the hood is now thicker than before.
2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross facelift
Wearing a fresh Green Bronze Metallic paint, the facelifted half minivan, half crossover has had its front and rear overhangs stretched by a total of 95 millimeters (3.7 inches). New (and still quite small) 17-inch alloy wheels have a two-tone look with gray accents to match the front and rear skid plates as well as the door garnishes. The "T" motif we saw at the front is noticeable at the rear in the updated taillights lending the Xpander Cross a more modern appearance.
With a minimum ground clearance of 220 millimeters (8.6 inches), the family hauler should be able to easily handle bumpy roads, but bear in mind this is no off-roader. With the mid-cycle refresh, it does get Mitsubishi's proprietary Active Yaw Control (YAC), but it's obviously not an active rear differential like you get on an Evo. Instead, it applies the braking force on the front wheels to improve cornering, based on the steering angle, brake pressure, longitudinal G-forces, yaw rate, and wheel speed.
Changes have been made inside as well where the 2023 Xpander Cross gets an electric parking brake, a digital instrument cluster, and a larger touchscreen now measuring eight inches. The old-school knobs of the climate control have made way for a screen while a wireless charging pad has been added as well. Shown here is the version with the CVT, but the model is also offered with a five-speed manual gearbox. Fitted with a clutch pedal, the model has a slightly higher ground clearance of 225 mm (8.8 in).
Power is provided by a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter gasoline engine with 103 hp (77 kW) and 141 Nm (104 lb-ft) of torque, so it's definitely not the fastest van out there. However, it's a solid choice for a family looking to buy a versatile and affordable vehicle with three-row seating, just as long as they don't mind the front design...