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June 28, 2024

Here's Our Honest Take On The 2025 Mitsubishi Xforce GT


Compact crossover buyers can sense a great disturbance in the force. Just when you thought the market has settled down to a constant rhythm, here comes the Mitsubishi Xforce and its promise of bringing everything you know and considered on its head (check out the full specs here or watch our video here).

A full month before its official launch, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines gave us the keys to the top-of-the-line Xforce GT and we obliged them by driving it from Manila to La Union (and back). Here’s what we honestly thought of the Xforce after a close-to 600-kilometer drive.



Exterior

Easily, this is the best thing we love with the Xforce. The overall design concept, Silky & Solid, reads like something you see in a cheese carton, but there’s no denying it works. The design makes the upper part of the Xforce look visually lighter and athletic, while the bottom part thicker and more masculine. In short, it’s like a pit bull lying down. Alright, before you ingrain that image in your mind, simply put: the proportions are spot on and the stance is compact, yet strong. A 10 out of 10 in our design book.

Getting into the details, the trademark Dynamic Shield face is much better integrated here than on any past Mitsubishi model. Flanking it are T-shaped LED headlights and DRLs. Notably, compared to the Xpander, the Xforce’s platform mate, the lighting units here are integrated as one piece. This results in a clean looking front-end as well as a candidate for one of the largest front turn signal lights ever fitted in a production vehicle.

Over to the back, Mitsubishi decided not to echo the Dynamic Shield; instead, it’s got the Hexaguard Horizon motif. This three-dimensional, continuous piece of uninterrupted sheet metal makes the Xforce look visually bigger than it is. Sadly, it’s a form over function choice as the rear camera placement (near the license plate) means it’s susceptible to splatter rendering it close to useless in the rain. The tailgate is sandwiched by the same T-shaped lighting. Weirdly enough, the rear turn signals appear to be just one or two diodes in size. Sure, it passes regulations for visibility and brightness, but it just looks weird.



Interior

JDM purists typically balk at products “designed for ASEAN markets,” but Mitsubishi has embraced it fully with the Xforce. Despite sharing its underpinnings with the Xpander, they didn’t simply do a cut-and-paste job here. The overall motif is still the Horizontal Axis, but it’s been peppered with thoughtful details that you don’t find in just about every so-called “global” model out there.

First up, there are the seats. Because Asians aren’t exactly vertically gifted, the front seats are mounted quite high. This gives everyone, especially petite individuals, excellent exterior visibility. Of course, those who prefer to sit low—like most of the CarGuide.PH team—will find the front thrones a bit too high, even at their lowest setting. A gander at the seat mounting points reveal their trick. Instead of being bolted onto the floor, they’re mounted to a bracket on the inner side.

Also, because ASEAN countries suffer from hot climate all year round, Mitsubishi has gone ahead and imbued the seats with an “anti-temperature rise finish.” Having driven the Xforce with zero tint in the middle of the day, we can say that they do work.

Packaging-wise, Mitsubishi’s done their homework on the Xforce. Again, showcasing the fruits of their ASEAN FGDs, it can seat three adults comfortably at the back thanks to its wide shoulder room and even more impressive knee room. The rear seats are also reclinable 16 degrees in eight steps.

The Xforce also rates high in terms of fit and finish. The material choices are spot on for its price range and the combination of light and dark finishes do their work of creating a premium look and feel. The application of the light mélange fabric on the dashboard itself is enough to give designers a chef’s kiss, but the gold accents simply knock things out of the ballpark. All the switchgear feels delightfully solid too and operate with a nice, crisp feel.



Technology

Compared to its direct Japanese rivals, the HR-V and Corolla Cross, the Xforce makes its tech play obvious. It flaunts tech to the point that sometimes it’s there for tech’s sake. Let us explain.

Digital gauges are always a big draw for would-be crossover buyers and the Xforce has a generously-sized one. The beauty of these gauges is that, compared to analog ones, it’s supposed to relay important information at the relevant time. Here, it’s a case of information overload. For example, cluster highlights this needless speedometer bar graph, while offsetting the speed read out (the more important one) to the right. There are two selectable views, and sadly, they’re both similar.

It’s the same story with the center 12.3-inch infotainment screen. The home screen and its large, scrollable widgets give it some BMW vibes, plus if you want to dig deeper it’s got several modes including one that’ll judge you on how badly you drive, and another that’ll give all sorts of info like real-time horsepower and torque readings, coolant temp, tire pressure, G forces generated, and even barometric pressure. Regardless of screen, the responsiveness leaves a lot to be desired. The lag when switching screens is so noticeable that the Mitsubishi engineer riding with us at the first leg—Manila to Tarlac profusely apologized for it. He didn’t do a hara-kiri, but he confirms a fix is on the way.

It’s clear that the Xforce could use a bit more polish when it comes to tech implementation, but it does manage to nail down others beautifully. For example, there’s the dual zone climate control that’s tuned, again, for ASEAN climates. Not only does it have nanoe X installed, but it’s got a Dry mode to quickly dehumidify the cabin. Heck, you can even save a preset using a built-in Memory function. Worth saying that the AC also powers a chiller beneath the arm rest, and as a nod to Mitsubishis of old, a crotch vent for the driver.

The crème dela crème though has got to be the 8-speaker Dynamic Sound Yamaha Premium speaker system. The wording reads all jumbled up, but the fact of the matter is that it leverages Yamaha’s 130-year history in craftsmanship and tuning. It’s especially made for the Xforce and takes into account the vehicle’s unique aural characteristics to subtly tweak the equalizer to produce near-perfect sounds at any speed. It means Toto’s Africa never sounded better in an OE system.



Drive

Spec-wise, the powertrain isn’t anything to write home about—it’s a perfectly practical 1.5-liter normally-aspirated 4-cylinder mated to a CVT. The 4A91 is shared with the Xpander, but thanks to the wider ratios afforded by the gearless gearbox, the low-end response is much better. It feels quick on its feet—a boon in urban confines. As the speeds climb, it starts to lose steam, but what it gives up in pace, it returns in fuel economy. At best, we managed close to 16 km/L. On hilly ascents or descents, the gearbox’s smart enough to quickly shift ratios to maximize available power. Climbing up 20-degree slopes with four fully-fed motoring journalists onboard proves to be no problem.

Like its drivetrain, the Xforce uses the Xpander’s general platform. Thankfully, this isn’t the case of chopping up the wheelbase and calling it a day. Mitsubishi engineers have thoroughly reworked it giving the Xforce its own unique character. For instance, the steering gear ratio’s more aggressive giving it improved high-speed stability, directness, and a tight 5.2-meter turning radius. Work’s been done on the suspension itself with the front MacPherson Strut getting an expanded caster trail. The rear Torsion Beam, meanwhile, has new suspension bushings and, get this, a shock absorber that’s the same diameter as the Montero Sport’s for ride comfort. True enough, this crossover wouldn’t bottom out even when taking the sudden “jump” on the left-most lane of NLEX near San Simon. Over the rough stuff or over smoother pavement, the ride quality feels polished. It’s also more impervious to strong crosswinds compared to the Xpander.

As a two-wheel drive crossover, off-roading’s the last thing on your mind when it comes to the Xforce, but Mitsubishi understands that us Asians have limited options, at least in this price bracket, to help us fulfill our outdoorsy lifestyle dreams. This is where the Drive Mode system comes in. With just the flick of a switch, the Xforce goes through one of four available modes adjusting several parameters like steering effort, accelerator pedal responsiveness, Active Yaw Control and Traction Control intervention. Mind you, it’s no substitute for a real all- or four-wheel drive system (we learned the hard way), but it manages to make light trails a piece of cake.

With a price tag that starts at P 1.367-million (P 1.581-million for the top-of-the-line Xforce GT), it finds itself in a category filled with a dizzying array of choices. The complexity of the segment means new vehicles like the Xforce may struggle to have itself stand out from the crowd. Mitsubishi is banking on three main aspects to set their crossover apart: Excitement, Comfort, and Practicality. Adding to that their expertise in the ASEAN region, and you end up with a crossover that lives up its promises. There’s truly a disturbance in the force, and yes, it’s one brought on by the Xforce. Its prospects are truly exciting and that’s something that should worry its rivals.


34 comments:

  1. Walang turbo, hindi rin naman hybrid and nothind special it is just so overpriced! With 1.5M bili na lang ng mazda cx3 or toyota corolla cross 1.5G hev. After 3 months, mitsubishi will give big discounts due to poor sales.

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    Replies
    1. Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8G HEV, with proven platform...

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    2. yeah, that's probably what's gonna happen. this shyte is so booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooring!

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  2. For something so apparantly "tech focused", there is a glaring omission of 360 cameras and front parking sensors. I'm quite suprised that PH spec comes with ADAS and complete airbagas when the Indonesian spec is devoid of these features even on their highest trim.

    Also, does the Yamaha sound system come with a subwoofer? If it doesn't, do you think it still sounds good?

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  3. How was the NVH? This is usually the biggest downside with made for ASEAN vehicles like the Yaris Cross. I think it desparately needs the Xpander Hybrid's powertrain to be a complete pacakage.

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  4. Agree, a 2nd hand mu-x would be reasonable as well

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    Replies
    1. Not all people want to buy a 2nd hand PPV SUV like the ancient MU-X

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    2. Facelifted ASX, which has a bigger engine - 2.0.

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  5. Same price: xforce GLS vs HRV S(with ADAS, with 55k discounts). Xforce GT vs HRV turbo (with 100k discount)

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    Replies
    1. Good luck getting HRV Turbo that is if Honda dealerships have stocks of it 🤣
      HCPI only imports 50 to 60 units of HRV every month as Honda Indonesia won't supply nor produce too many LHD units of the HRV for the Philippine market

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  6. It's expensive but leaves room for Mitsu to discount later. But it's a good price and fit for their line up. The target market is not the families who will certainly gravitate towards the Xpander. It's for the Single urban professional who has more disposable income and does not want the family vibe of the Xpander.

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  7. Sad that the price is not competitive.

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  8. Why would I buy this over the Xpander? Same engine, 5-seater, more expensive than many 7-seaters. Sa Xpander brother pa lang, talo n s sales ang XForce..

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    Replies
    1. The XForce has different target marker as the Xpander, which is for family or for multi purpose utiliy. This XForce is for urban professionals who has the money, and who wants to drive to the office with a car that has the aggressive style.

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  9. I just wish the Xforce had either a turbo or a bigger engine option. Unfortunately all the extra gadgets that are added for the top spec model isn't worth the extra cost over the lower model.

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  10. This reads to me as infomercial than an honest take.

    Having said that, for the price would you get this over the revised corolla cross (hybrid) or hrv (turbo)? Heck I would even consider the super old cx3 (perhaps 50/50) over this.

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    Replies
    1. RG is a weird guy. I mean he hates Ford and pretends he owned one

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  11. Underpowered engine and CVT, no sunroof, no 360 camera, no power adjustable driver seat, no front parking sensors, obviously poor driving dynamics and refinement being built on cheap Xpander platform.. and for 1.6M pesos? That price would have been palatable if it used the Xpander's new hybrid system. But as it stands, the Yaris Cross HEV is way better value for money at that price. The Xforce GT has comparable specs to the Yaris Cross V but for about 300k more! This is not even including the Chinese competition which just blows the Xforce out in the water.

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  12. Isn’t the Yaris Cross it’s competitor at Toyota and not the Corolla Cross? Yaris is Toyota’s B Crossover.

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    1. If you have the money and freedom to buy a yaris cross with DNGA and corolla cross TNGA with 1.5M what will you choose?

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    2. definitely TNGA Corolla Cross. But again, I will say Corolla Cross is not a competitor vehicle for Xforce since the CCross is C-segment wherever you check. XForce vs. HRV vs. Yaris Cross is the proper apples to apples comparison.

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  13. I have no doubt this will be a good product, but I don't know about the price. 1.3 million base when the Yaris Cross V (the top-of-the-line gas only model) has the same set of features as the XForce GT that costs 1.5 million is kind of puzzling. Plus, you have the Kicks e-Power being one of the value plays of the class along with the base Corolla Cross Hybrid, and the obvious Chinese crossovers. Mitsubishi better have a plan to make this a common sight as they may have a challenge on their hands.

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  14. Yikes 1.3m to 1.5m lol

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  15. Would still pick the aging Mazda CX-3 for 1.5m with a more powerful engine, 6AT vs X-Force's CVT, more premium interior, BOSE speaker + subwoofer setup, 360 degree camera and 5 year PMS package included. Especially since the X-Force seems to target young people who do not want the family look of the Xpander. HRV's interior feels cheap so wouldn't even consider that while the Yaris has a cheap platform and poor sound insulation.

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  16. I like the car. Its a sweet spot between a turbo and an HEV. It doesnt have both, but the NA engine and CVT is a good combo for what it offers. Im optimistic the price will go down once the smoke clears out. Give it at 1.1M to 1.2M and this car will be a steal.

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  17. I find it funny how Mitsubishi is trying to market this thing as a capable off roader when in fact, it is just a FWD crossover with a CVT. If you need off road capability, you can get a proper 4x4 Jimny or a pickup for the same price as the Xforce GT. Those off road modes cannot do anything once the Xforce gets stuck. Heck, even the manual Montero Sport GLX will do much better than this poser off roader even as a 2WD.

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  18. The interior door panel looks incredibly cheap. Mas mabuti pa ang Xpander may soft finishes sa gilid, eto puro hard plastic except sa elbow rest.

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  19. Manual transmission please 🙏....

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  20. Good product, but with tough competition due to its price point. Mitsubishi should have harped on an "X Factor" that fits the name. This "X Factor" should be something that the competition do not possess. Perhaps a turbo? Panoramic sunroof? AWD? There are so many possibilities out there. Another thing to consider is its close proximity to the Xpander, which offers 7 seats.

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  21. The X-factor here that mitsu implies are the amount of gadgetry the car offers. The only mechl tidbit that comes close to having an Xfactor is the active Yaw control.

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