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Mitsubishi locks in Express van for July

First Mitsubishi van in seven years coming in form of Renault Trafic-based Express

22 Apr 2020

MITSUBISHI Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) has confirmed that July will mark the return of the Express mid-size van, which will arrive in Australia as a re-badged version of the Renault Trafic.


MMAL last offered the Express in 2013, with the ageing L300 that went on largely untouched from its original arrival in 1986.


The new Express is the first Mitsubishi product manufactured in France by Renault, and will be offered locally with the choice of two wheelbases, two turbo-diesel engines and either an automatic or manual transmission.


The two engine choices consist of a 1.6-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder unit paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, and a meatier 2.0-litre single-turbo unit paired with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.


Both engine choices will be available regardless of wheelbase size.


MMAL has not provided engine outputs for the Express however it is likely to mirror that of the Trafic, where the twin-turbo 1.6 produces 103kW at 3500rpm and 340Nm at 1500rpm, all while sipping 6.2 litres per 100km in short-wheelbase guise.


The 2.0-litre engine produces 125kW at 3500rpm and 380Nm at 1500rpm under the bonnet of the SWB Trafic, while sipping 7.3L/100km.


All variants drive the front wheels only, and are equipped with the Extended Grip traction control mode that assists in slippery conditions.


Cargo space comes in at 5.2 cubic metres for the SWB, up to 6.0 cubic metres in the LWB, with total GVM ranging between 2960kg and 3070kg.


Like Express vans of yore, the new version comes standard with dual sliding doors across the range, for enhanced practicality.


While Renault offers the Trafic in four-door Crew guise, the Express will only come in a two-door, three-seat setup with the driver scoring manual height and lumbar adjustment, tilt and reach steering wheel adjustment and a retractable centre armrest, while the audio unit is compatible with Bluetooth and USB.


From the outside the Express largely mirrors the styling of the Trafic, with black cladding around the front and rear bumpers and side skits, and 16-inch steel wheels with a full-size spare.


Four colours will be offered on the Express range, with white, black, red and platinum grey – a.k.a. silver – available.


Standard safety kit for the Express extends to cruise control, hill start assist, rear park assist, driver blind spot mirror in the passenger sun-visor and five airbags. Dual-clutch versions also score a rearview camera, dusk-sensing headlights and rain-sensing wipers.


The arrival of the Express will essentially double MMAL’s light-commercial vehicle range, which currently consists solely of the popular Triton pick-up.


No pricing has yet been announced for the Express, however punters can expect a similar asking price as the Trafic, which kicks off at $38,490 for the twin-turbo 103kW SWB grade, and tops out at $45,490 for the LWB 2.0-litre.


The most affordable Trafic costs just $32,990 and uses a detuned, single-turbo version of the 1.6-litre mill.


In 2019, the medium van segment accounted for 18,260 sales, with the Toyota HiAce proving the most popular option with 6127 units sold.


Through the first quarter of 2020 the segment has fallen 12.3 per cent, with the HiAce the only offering to so far crack 1000 sales.

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