The locally-assembled Mitsubishi Xpander was officially launched last week to the tune of RM91,359 including SST exemptions. On the same day, we borrowed a test unit for a couple of hours to shoot our usual introductory video of the car and in that brief period of time, the 7-seater crossover as Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia wants to call it did spring a few pleasant surprises.

We got the Apple CarPlay going and went straight to Spotify for some tunes, as is the case with most of you, and here’s what surprised us first – the sound system.

It’s got six speakers and nothing more Mitsubishi could shout about but both myself and the videographer were not expecting that level of sound quality at all. It didn’t have the strongest bass but tunes were crisp and sharp and did not crack even when we turned the volume up. What we found to be quite intrusive was how the music goes off entirely, instead of fading out, when Waze is giving out directions.

It also led us to notice another thing, the Xpander’s cabin insulation. When Mitsubishi previewed the Xpander to us weeks before its launch, it was repeatedly highlighted to us that the glass used for the front and rear windows are thicker than industry standards and how it’ll have a positive effect on noise insulation.

Of course, we took it with a pinch of salt but as we were driving around Petaling Jaya, reaching speeds of up to 100 km/h, the effect was hard to ignore. Now we won’t go so far as to say that it’s as quiet as the Subaru XV, which in our opinion is the segment benchmark in this department, but it’s noticeable how much of the wind noise is blocked out, especially at higher speeds.

And then there’s the way it rides. It felt more composed than I had expected it to be and did not feel as if I was balancing a kayak. Body roll was minimal and there’s a sense of sure-footedness from the firmness of the “Lancer Evolution-inspired suspension“.

It was hard to not notice some of the glaring shortcomings of the car though; like its performance. It felt adequate in urban areas but the Xpander was only carrying us two then. We can’t help but wonder how it would cope with a full load.

Also, while we were positioning the car at various angles for our shoot, it was hard to ignore the quality of the reverse camera display. Simply put, it does enough to give you an idea of what’s behind the car and that’s it.

There’s plenty more of the Mitsubishi Xpander facelift to share we reckon, so keep your eyes peeled. We’ve also got a full review coming up on YouTube very soon!