Mitsubishi Xforce – Not Just Another Crossover

Mitsubishi has launched its contender into the tightly contested small crossover market, the Xforce. Another small SUV, yes, but what makes it stand out?

The Mitsubishi Xforce isn’t just another crossover. Despite being front-wheel drive, it boasts the capability of an SUV, a fact we discovered during a test drive on a natural off-road course before its public launch. 

Much of the Xforce’s off-road capability comes from its several drive modes: Normal, Wet, Gravel, and Mud. These modes are preset mappings that adjust the car’s electronic traction control, active yaw control, acceleration gain, and steering effort depending on the road conditions. Plus, with a ground clearance of 222mm, the Xforce can handle terrains that many competitors in its class would struggle with.

The Xforce, introduced last year as the XFC concept SUV, carries the latest evolution of Mitsubishi’s dynamic shield design language. This design gives the Xforce a modern appeal, both from the front and the back. The full automatic LED lighting is particularly eye-catching, and during our drive, I found myself admiring the front fascia repeatedly through the rearview mirrors. 

However, my favorite view is from the rear, which boasts an imposing style that sets it apart from other small SUVs.

Practicality is another strong suit of the Xforce. It offers a massive cargo area capable of holding up to four small suitcases, with ample space left on top. The second row provides decent space, comfortably seating two passengers, though it might be tight for three. Rear passengers benefit from A/C vents, USB charging ports, and reclining seats for maximum comfort. There are also several storage points within the cabin, including a pocket for smartphone behind the front passenger seat, cubbyholes behind the rear seats, hooks for tying cargo, and underseat storage for shoes/sandals under the front seats.

The steering wheel of the Xforce might feel familiar to those who know the Mitsubishi Xpander, as it shares several components. However, the Xforce distinguishes itself with features like a massive screen with wireless smartphone connectivity and wireless charging. The multi-widget interface displays various car information, including a clinometer, a feature typically found in off-road vehicles. Another interesting addition is the driver scoring system, which evaluates your driving smoothness based on G-force measurements.

A unique touch in the Xforce is the cloth trim on the dashboard. Mitsubishi assures that these trims are easy to clean in case of stains. Additionally, the center storage box is refrigerated, allowing you to keep drinks cold on the road. This feature can be toggled on and off as needed.

The Xforce also impresses with its sound system, developed in collaboration with Yamaha. The Dynamic Sound Yamaha Premium system offers preset modes to cater to various listening preferences, and it delivers excellent sound quality right out of the factory.

Safety and driver-assist features are plentiful in the Xforce, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and other advanced systems. The Active Yaw Control from the Mitsubishi Xpander Cross is also present, enhancing safety on slippery surfaces.

Under the hood, the Xforce is powered by a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter gasoline engine, producing 103 horsepower and 141 Nm of torque. This engine, paired with a CVT, delivers a smooth and efficient driving experience. In comparison to the Xpander’s 4-speed automatic transmission, the Xforce’s CVT offers more comfort and efficiency. And yes, you don’t need to be in tune with the force to get the car moving (pun intended).

The Xforce also includes a Sport mode for when more power is needed and a Low gear mode for uphill climbs. Despite its off-road capabilities, the Xforce excels as a highway cruiser and city runabout. During our 135 km initial test, the Xforce returned an impressive 13.4 km/L, despite not being particularly mindful of fuel consumption during the three-day test drive event.

Handling is another area where the Xforce shines. Like most Japanese vehicles, it provides excellent feedback from the road, making the driving experience engaging and enjoyable. The improved steering gear ratio and Montero Sport-sized shock absorbers contribute to a well-balanced ride that is both comfortable and responsive.

The Mitsubishi Xforce arrives at a time when the small crossover market is saturated with options. However, with its standout design, practical features, comfortable ride, and impressive efficiency, it makes a compelling case for itself. Priced at around P1.3 million, the Xforce is an option that buyers should seriously consider.

Most Popular


More Articles Like This