A question that's often asked of vehicles that claim seven seats on their spec sheets is, "Is it a true seven-seater?" It seems to be the litmus test for car manufacturers. Like yeah, sure, seven people can probably fit in there, but what kind of people are we talking about? Little children? The average Filipino? Hobbits? PBA players?
One thing we often do with newly launched seven-seaters is test out their third row to see if they're truly up to snuff. We recently gave this treatment to the much-hyped Mitsubishi Xpander. The guinea pigs for this test were myself and TGP editor-in-chief Paulo Subido. Rest assured, despite the Tamiyas and toy cars you may see on our desks, we're not little children. Paulo is roughly 6', and even though I'm blatantly slightly shorter, my frame sits on the wider end of the spectrum. So we figured we're the perfect bodies for this experiment.
And what's our verdict? Despite being smaller than a Toyota Innova, the Xpander's third row is surprisingly roomy. No, seriously. I've experienced long road trips in the first-gen Innova, and my knees were firmly locked in place each time. In the Xpander, I actually had adequate leg and headroom to move and breathe. We were even doing our best manspread. Paulo's long legs had a little less luck, but he went as far as saying it's tolerable. Then again, he'd be the last candidate you'd choose to sit there anyway.
Paired with some well-bolstered fabric seats, the Xpander's final two seats passed our test. Yes folks, this MPV is indeed a true seven-seater.