For the first time in more than seven years Mitsubishi has expanded their commercial range and released a new Express van.
The new Express is very different to the old model in both size and layout and is offered in both a long and short wheelbase and has a choice of manual and automatic transmissions. One of the best features is the dual sliding doors across the range.
The Express is the first product for Mitsubishi manufactured in France by their Alliance partner Renault and it was first released in Australia before hitting the rest of the world.
There are two engine options for the Express; 1.6L twin turbo diesel and a 2.0L single turbo diesel engine, both fitted with a 25 litre AdBlue tank for improved emissions. The 1.6L engine, one we tested, is only available with a six-speed manual transmission, while the six-speed dual clutch transmission (6DCT) automatic models are available with the 2.0L diesel.
All variants are front wheel drive with Extended Grip – a traction control mode activated by the driver to assist in low grip conditions.
The load area comes in both 5.2m3 (SWB) and 6.0m3 (LWB) volumes, so that business owners can select the right size for their needs. In addition, Mitsubishi has worked with a number of suppliers so that this space can be configured to suit the load.
The van’s gross combination mass gives businesses the ability to carry loads within the van, or across van and trailer.
The exterior is built to support busy delivery drivers, with dual sliding side doors and glazed rear barn doors with 850 and 1600 stops. The rear bumper has an integrated step for easy loading and unloading.
16” steel wheels are standard and a full-size spare is stored under the cargo floor.
Inside, the Express has three seats. For comfort, the driver’s seat is complete with centre retractable armrest, manual height and lumbar adjustment, as well as height and reach steering wheel adjustment. The audio unit is enabled for Bluetooth and USB connection, offering hands free telephone and music streaming.
The dash has been created with the delivery driver in mind as it has open storage on top while all variants include an integrated smartphone cradle.
While the interior is modern and has hard plastics that should last the life of the van and the seats are actually really comfortable, there is no screen for satnav and the one that hurts the most is no reverse camera with the manual. While it has sensors, they don’t always pick up what is behind, the size and lack of visibility looking backwards really makes parking or even getting out of driveways tough.
The drive of the new Express is actually surprising and it doesn’t feel like you’re behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. The driver’s position gives plenty of room all around with plenty of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel.
Empty or with a load the van handles the streets in a smooth yet enjoyable way. The turning circle is better than expected and the delivery of power is pleasing.
The new van has a number of key driver assistance features including cruise control with speed limiter, auto stop and go (with manual off switch), hill start assist. Also standard are Rear park assist, Antilock Braking Systems (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), and a driver blindspot mirror in passenger sunvisor.
The Express features five airbags: driver and passenger front and curtain airbags, in addition to a driver thorax airbag. It is possible to manually deactivate the passenger front airbag in instances where the cabin is configured for other uses.
Mitsubishi Express van price starts at $38,490 plus on road costs and will give the Hi-Ace a run for its money.