MPVs, or multi-purpose vehicles, are vehicle types that mix versatility and value-for-money for a vehicle that oozes with practicality. As its name implies, an MPV can be used as a people-hauler as well as a cargo hauler, or both, with its multiple seating configurations. MPVs also usually come with seven seats with a foldable last row to allow large cargo to be loaded at the back.
Just like SUVs and crossovers, MPVs come with a two-box body design, with the cargo area integrated within the cabin area. The engine sits upfront while drivetrain usually comes in a front-wheel-drive configuration, with the exception of some brands employing a rear-wheel-drive layout.
What differs MPVs from SUVs and crossovers is the styling. MPVs come with a more subdued design, characterized by a nose-down fascia and a safer design execution. Recently, however, more MPVs get an aggressive design that some people often mistake them as crossovers or SUVs. But with the lack of off-road capability and ground clearance, MPVs remain in its segment as a practical family car rather than a lifestyle vehicle. Another difference is the number of tech features found inside MPVs. To keep them at a certain price point, MPVs often come basic when compared to crossovers and SUVs.
Popular MPVs in the Philippines include the Toyota Avanza and Innova, Honda Mobilio, SsangYong Rodius, and Suzuki Ertiga. The newer breed of MPV includes the Toyota Rush and Mitsubishi Xpander – two names that go head-to-head in the aggressively-styled MPV category. Of note, the Toyota Avanza recently got a facelift in 2019, while the Ertiga stirs the segment with an all-new model.
In 2020, we expect Nissan to bring in the Xpander-based Livina to get a healthy share of the 7-seater MPV pie in the Philippines.