Practical and pretty in blue
This handy wagon is designed for commuting and general hack work, at which it excels, PETER BARNWELL writes
SMALL SUVs are rocking out of car dealers’ doors, with every manufacturer worth their salt getting in on the act.
Mitsubishi was there years ago with the ASX city size that has now morphed into a Citroen Aircross and a Peugeot 4008.
Mitsubishi has upped the ante on its donor vehicle with a revised ASX. The entry point is now at $24,990 for the LS frontwheel-drive manual model — add two grand for the CVT.
This base-model 2WD (FWD) vehicle is an impressive offering, with plenty of kit and with the optional, six-step CVT transmission, better acceleration and fuel economy, now rated at 7.4-litres/100km using regular unleaded.
We drove the five-speed manual, which feels like it could do with another cog.
Our drive car was in Mitsubishi’s new bright blue — a striking colour for the revised ASX, now with more chrome, external-body hardware, different grille and lights, and more shiny stuff inside.
Mitsubishi fitted larger, 17inch alloys, roof rails and an emergency stop light into the bargain, joining quite a satisfactory array of standard kit for the money.
Power comes from Mitsubishi’s tried-and-true 2.0litre petrol, four-cylinder engine, with MIVEC variable valve timing to optimise performance. It’s the same engine as in the Mitsubishi Lancer and has been around for ages.
Outputs are 110kW/197Nm. which is acceptable — want more and it will have to be the diesel 4WD at a lot more money.
But you really don’t need it because the car we drove had good overall performance and uses relatively little fuel.
If you’re in the CVT, select Sports mode, use the sequential shift and it’s even better. But the ASX is not about sporty driving — it’s a practical wagon designed for commuting and general hack work, at which it excels.
Essentially, this type of vehicle is the new small family wagon — a vehicle that has a multitude of uses and can function as a van, people mover, or utility vehicle, and can even cruise on the freeway with ease and good fuel economy.
The fact that it isn’t all-wheel drive is immaterial in the big picture because 99.9 per cent of the time, you won’t need it.
The ride is comfortable and the drive feel is better than expected.
Inside is quite pleasant, with a simple dash layout and comfortable seats. But the Bluetooth syncing system is a pain. It’s just too hard to hook up the phone and continue to reconnect all the time.
Though dated, the interior still stands up well against the competition — to look at and to use. Mostly. The ASX LS 2WD tips the scales at 1355kg, which means it has a reasonable towing capacity.
It rates five stars from ANCAP, with all that it brings.