A Mitsubishi Express van will return to Australian showrooms after a seven-year absence as a rebadged version of the Renault Trafic.
It has been made possible thanks to the recent joint venture between the Japanese and French brands.
Prices, warranty details, and service intervals are yet to be announced, but most other details of the 2020 Mitsubishi Express have been released ahead of its arrival in Australian showrooms in July.
As is common practice in the European van market – because of slim operating margins – the cosmetic changes to the Mitsubishi Express versus the Renault Trafic are limited to a new grille, bonnet, and badging.
Mitsubishi will offer slightly different models to the Renault Trafic and, we suspect, a slightly sharper price based on some of the equipment it’s missing.
Conspicuous by its absence on both the Mitsubishi and Renault vans is the lack of autonomous emergency braking, technology which has been rolled out on every new van in the past two years, including the top-selling Toyota Hiace, as well as the Peugeot Expert, Ford Transit, Volkswagen Crafter, and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
Two of the four models in the Volkswagen Transporter range have forward crash alert and city emergency braking, while the other two do not.
Other notable differences between the Mitsubishi Express and Renault Trafic include the Mitsubishi’s lack of availability of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A rear camera is only fitted to selected models.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available on five of the seven Renault Trafic models and all versions of the Renault Trafic have a rear view camera and sensors as standard.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not yet available on any of the Mitsubishi Express variants. All models have rear parking sensors but only automatic models come with a rear camera.
All Mitsubishi Express vans will come with three seats. The driver’s seat has a retractable armrest, manual height and lumbar adjustment.
The steering wheel has height and reach adjustment. While the infotainment system is basic and missing Apple CarPlay and Android, bluetooth is standard.
The cruise control also has a speed limiter. On the safety from there are five airbags, anti-skid brakes, stability control, wide-view side mirrors, and a handy reflective strip on the back of the passenger sun visor that gives a wider view of the adjacent lane.
Four colours will be available: white, black, red and a silvery grey. The interior trim on all models is black fabric.
Potential differences between the two otherwise identical vans: the Renault Trafic van has a three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty and 12-month/30,000km service intervals.
Most models in Mitsubishi’s passenger-car, SUV and ute line-up have a seven-year/150,000km warranty and 12-month/15,000km service intervals.
Mitsubishi says the price of the Express van range, warranty coverage, service intervals and capped price servicing costs will be announced closer to the showroom arrival date in July.
The Mitsubishi Express will be offered in both short- and long-wheelbase, manual and automatic transmissions, sliding doors on both sides of the vehicle, and rear “barn” doors with 90-degree and 180-degree stops for easier loading.
The load area is identical to the Renault Trafic (pictured above), available with a choice of 5.2m³ (SWB) and 6.0m³ (LWB) volumes. Mitsubishi says it has worked with a number of suppliers so van owners can personalise the load space to suit their needs.
The Mitsubishi Express van will have two choices of diesel engine.
As with the Renault Trafic, the 1.6-litre twin turbo diesel (103kW/340Nm) is only available with a six-speed manual transmission.
The 2.0-litre single turbo diesel (125kW/380Nm) – fitted with a 25-litre AdBlue tank to meet advanced emissions standards – comes solely with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. All models are front-wheel-drive.
The company would not give any indication on price, but in a media statement Mitsubishi Motors Australia CEO, Shaun Westcott, was quoted as saying the Express will be “a strong value proposition”.
The Renault Trafic currently starts from $37,990 drive-away, however in its most basic guise it has previously been advertised for close to $30,000 drive-away.
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