Heels & Horsepower Magazine

NEW ON THE TARMAC: Meet the all-new Mitsubishi Xpander; a new breed of lifestyle-oriented MPV

Mitsubishi’s all-new seven-seater Xpander is set to take the highly competitive South African market by storm.

Combining the traditional versatility and practicality of a multipurpose vehicle (MPV) with the rugged and sporty looks of a sport-utility vehicle (SUV), Mitsubishi’s all-new seven-seater Xpander is set to take the highly competitive South African market by storm.

“As the name suggests, the much anticipated Xpander is all about broadening one’s horizons, whether that be in terms of lifestyle choices, or family dynamics,” explains Nic Campbell, General Manager of Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA). “With the introduction of this very exciting addition to our line-up, we hope to strengthen our positions in both the MPV and compact SUV segments of the local market.”

The interior of the new Xpander might be all MPV, but the exterior screams SUV, so it’s equally well suited to everyday commuting, family road trips, and leisure activities. In addition, its stylish ruggedness and practicality mean you can take on a variety of terrains in confidence, without having to compromise on comfort.

There are two models in the local line-up. Both feature a 1.5-litre engine and the main difference between the two is the use of either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.

Exterior – a striking first impression

With sporty alloy wheels – 15-inch on the manual model and 16-inch of the automatic derivative – and wide flared fenders, the Xpander portrays toughness and power from the first glance. Crystal clear headlights, daytime running lights, and L-illuminated LED taillights that extend onto the tailgate add to the overall look.

The Xpander’s higher ground clearance of 205 mm is another feature that is immediately noticeable and emphasizes its sporty, but practical character.

Interior – ‘Omotenashi’ in every detail

Mitsubishi strongly believes in the principle of ‘Omotenashi’ – a Japanese word that captures the way in which Japanese hosts pay attention to detail and anticipate the needs of their guests. This approach is evident in the cabin of the all-new Xpander, which provides ample space for up to seven adults to travel in comfort and style.

The flexible seating can be configured to suit a variety of needs, ranging from carrying passengers and luggage to transporting lifestyle-focused items. The second-and third-row seats have a 60/40 split, while the seats of the third row can be folded completely flat and stowed to create additional space in the cargo area. The latter also features a floor box with a lid for the safe storage of smaller items.

Creature comforts – features to make your passengers comfy

Occupant comfort is further enhanced through full automatic air-conditioning with a manual rear overhead cooler, electric windows all round, USB port in the front, 120 Watt power sockets to supply every row of seating, and clever storage compartments under the seats to ensure that personal items are out of the way but within easy reach.

Driver comfort is ensured through a tilt and telescopic multifunction steering wheel that features Bluetooth voice control for hands-free communication and a multi-information display. The rear-view camera has a high resolution that delivers optimal visibility and a wide field of vision. 

The all-new Xpander is powered by a 1.5-litre DOHC 16-valve aluminium block engine. This spirited powerplant features Mitsubishi’s Intelligent Innovative Valve Timing Lift Electronic Control (MIVEC) system and ECI multipoint fuel injection and pushes out 77 kW at 6 000 r/min, with 141 Nm of peak torque on tap at 4 000 r/min. 

With a fuel tank of 45 litres, the average fuel consumption in a combined cycle is 6.9 litres/100 km for the manual model and 7.0 litres/100 km for the automatic derivative.

Safety – technology where it’s needed most

Befitting its status as a people carrier, the all-new Xpander features a range of innovative safety features as standard. Designed to protect not only the driver and passengers but other road users as well, these include airbags for the driver and front passenger, seatbelt pre-tensioners with force limiters, an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), as well as an impact-absorbing structure at the front-end of the vehicle. Additional safety for young occupants is provided through ISOFIX child seat anchors.

The Xpander also benefits from coming-home and welcome lights which enhance its overall safety, security, and practicality.

Warranty and service – added peace of mind

The new Mitsubishi Xpander is covered by a three-year/100 000 km manufacturer’s warranty and a two-year/30 000 km service plan. The price also includes five-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance. Service intervals are set at 15 000 km/1 Year whichever comes first.


Xpander 1.5L M/T: R299 995

Xpander 1.5L A/T: R319 995


What Parents Auto Know About The Different Types of Car Seats

Parents should not only understand car seat categories but also need to strap their toddlers in at all times.

-vuyi mpofu, editor, heels & horsepower magazine

I find it truly mind boggling that some parents elect not to strap their infants and toddlers into appropriate child car seats; what is also incredulous, is that they themselves securely buckle themselves in.  When you consider that most motorists drive above the speed limit as well as drive distracted my sense of bewilderment increases all the more. 

Similar to seat belts, car seats are an essential piece of safety apparatus.  They are built to withstand tremendous amounts of pressure in the event of an accident and when used correctly, could save your child’s life.  

It is imperative that parents ensure that their children travel in appropriate child restraints, which:

  • Conform to the United Nations standard, ECE Regulation 44.04 (or R 44.03) or to the new i-size regulation, R129. Look for the ‘E’ mark label on the seat.
  • are suitable for your child’s weight and size
  • are correctly fitted according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Parents are responsible for their child’s safety and it is an unforgivable act of selfishness not to strap them in.  

– vuyi mpofu, editor heels & horsepower magazine

There are many different types of child seats available. These are divided into categories, according to the weight of the child. Car seats correspond broadly to different age groups, but it is the weight of the child that is most important when deciding what type of child seat to use.  

Here are the various categories parents should know when shopping for a child’s car seat. 

Type of Child Restraint Weight Range Approx. Age Range
Rearward-facing baby seat Group 0:  0 – 10kg
Group 0+: 0 – 13kg

i-size : Not based on weight, but check child’s height is within the range for the seat
0 to 6 – 9 months
0 to 12 – 15 months
Up to at least 15 months
Combination seat (Rearward & Forward-facing) Group 0+ and 1 : 0-18 kg
Group 0+, 1 & 2 : Birth to 25 kg
0 to 4 years
0 to 6 years
Forward-facing child seat Group 1 : 9-18 kg

Group 1, 2 and 3 : 9 – 36 kg
9 months to 4 years
1 to 11 years
High-backed Booster Seat Group 2 : 15 – 25 kg
Group 2 and 3 : 15 – 36 kg
4 to 6 years
4 to 11 years
Booster Cushion Group 2 and 3 : 15 – 36 kg 
Group 3 : 22 – 36 kg
4 to 11 years
6 to 11 years

You and your family will never overcome the loss of your child should you be involved in an accident

– vuyi mpofu, editor heels & horsepower magazine

Parents are responsible for their child’s safety and it is an unforgivable act of selfishness not to strap them in.  The fact that children don’t like car seats and prefer the freedom of jumping about on the seats in a moving car, does not excuse parents from doing the right thing.  

Granted, some little ones scream blue murder at the suggestion of being buckled up and rather than fight with the, most parents relent.  After all, who wouldn’t opt for a peaceful drive?  However, there are two important things to remember about strapping your child:

  1. Your child will eventually stop making a fuss irrespective of how loudly they protest.
  2. You and your family will never overcome the loss of your child should you be involved in an accident

Make it a rule that everyone in the car is buckled up, no matter the distance of your travels. It’s the loving thing to do.

What are ISOFIX fittings?

There is much talk about child in-car safety and one of the most common ways to ensure the safety of your precious cargo is with the aid of ISOFIX fittings.  But what exactly are they and how do they work?

The word ISOFIX is derived from the words “International Safety Organization” (ISO) and “Fixation” (FIX).  It is the international standard for attachment points for child safety seats in passenger vehicles.  They are U-shaped brackets welded to the chassis of a car for the sole purpose of securing an ISOFIX compliant child seat or base. Almost all cars come standard with ISOFIX points.  They are not optional extras nor can they be removed.  Should the car owner not need to use them, they remain unobstructive and do not interfere with passenger seating comfort.

Why do I need them?

Prior to ISOFIX fittings and ISOFIX compliant car seats, there was a myriad of different sizes and shaped of car seats on the market.  It can’t have been easy for parents to know which car seat was best for their child. ISOFIX however was designed to give parents peace of mind and security, and by virtue of their design, added protection for children in the event of an accident.

Does my car have them?

Most manufacturers mark the location of the ISOFIX fittings with either the words ISOFIX or a symbol.  Some are covered with hard plastic flaps whereas others are covered by the upholstery of the vehicle.  They are generally located either in the front passenger or rear seats. 

How do I find them?

To identify them, push your hand through the gap where the backrest and seat meet and run it across from one end to the other. Within seconds you will come across the first metallic U-shaped fitting. Continue sliding your hand across the gap until you locate the second.

What do they do?

Those with more grey hair than they care to admit will remember a time when in-car child safety meant securing the car seat with the use of seatbelts and a prayer for the best!  ISOFIX fittings however, keep the car seat firmly in place drastically reducing the possibility of your child tumbling out of his seat in the event of an emergency braking scenario.  

Asides offering optimal safety, ISOFIX and compliant products include:

  • Ease of use
  • Quick and simple to install
  • Convenience

ISOFIX fittings in a car are so important that they have become major considerations in the car buying process.  They minimise the risk of incorrectly installing a car seat and provide a solid and permanent connection between the car and the framework of the child seat.  Should you be in the family way, ISOFIX compliant car seats are a bit pricey but then again, what price wouldn’t you pay to ensure your child’s safety?