Short sell the ASX
Mitsubishi’s new compact crossover looks good but lags behind the competition, writes Paul Gover
THERE always seems to be room for one more in the compact SUV class. Every time the family fight seems full, something new comes along and this week we have the Mitsubishi ASX. It’s a compact crossover from a company that made its name in SUVs with the Pajero, as well as in passenger cars with the Lancer Evo.
So it’s something between, with the front-end styling of an Evo and the practicality of a Pajero. Or is it? The ASX — a silly name which stands for Active Smart Crossover, whatever that is — drops into the Mitsubishi line-up as a family car for young singles and small families.
It’s intended to do the job for people who like the look of an SUV, but don’t need an off-road battleship or a seven-seater cabin. ASX configurations range from a petrol-powered front-drive price leader to a diesel-engined four-wheel drive.
Priced from $25,990 to $36,990, Mitsubishi says the ASX is their first diesel passenger car.
‘‘The all-new ASX will provide a logical bridge between our popular Lancer and Outlander lineups,’’ Masahiko Takahashi, managing director of Mitsubishi Motors Australia, says.
‘‘Significantly, the ASX will enable us to compete in the new, fast-growing two-wheel-drive compact SUV market segment, and allow us to attract new customers to the Mitsubishi brand.’’
THE ASX is smartly priced at the bottom end, as its $25,990 starting sticker sits well against frontwheel drive rivals such as the Nissan Dualis (from $24,990), Kia Sportage ($25,990) and under the RAV4 ($28,990).
It’s a good-looking car and well equipped at all levels, as you expect in a Mitsubishi. Sales are likely to be sharply split between the front-drive base car and the diesel models, especially the CVT automatic suited to more long-distance work.