MIT­SUBISHI COV­ERS THE BASES

Three of its SUVs get new starter ver­sions

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page - CRAIG DUFF

Eas­ier en­try to own­er­ship is the ra­tio­nale be­hind a trio of new base model SUVs from Mit­subishi. That’s no small feat, given the Ja­panese com­pany has in­creased sales in the past 12 months with an age­ing line-up (Eclipse Cross ex­cepted) thanks to con­tin­ued up­dates to fea­tures and a keen eye on the price.

A new ES ver­sion of the ASX — al­ready the coun­try’s best-sell­ing small SUV — now starts at $23,490 plus on-roads for the man­ual and $25,490 with con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion. Stan­dard are seven airbags, re­vers­ing cam­era, 18-inch al­loy wheels, smart­phone con­nec­tiv­ity and dual-zone air­con with rear vents.

Cru­cial ac­tive safety is bun­dled in a $1500 pack that in­cludes au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, lane de­par­ture and blind spot warn­ing, rear cross traf­fic alert and auto lights and wipers.

The LS ver­sion, pre­vi­ously $25,000 for the man­ual, is now $27,000 and CVT only, with such ex­tras as AEB and lane de­par­ture.

The top-spec Ex­ceed at $30,990 (for­merly $30,000) adds blind spot warn­ing, lane change as­sist and rear cross traf­fic alert. The all-wheel drive diesel ver­sions have been dropped from the range, largely due to low take-up.

Mit­subishi Aus­tralia CEO John Sig­noriello says the changes re­in­force the ASX’s sta­tus as a mar­ket leader in terms of value, looks and prac­ti­cal­ity.

“The ASX is not a new car but con­tin­ual up­dates means it re­mains the best value in its seg­ment,” he says.

“The ES gives us a way to in­tro­duce buy­ers to the compact SUV ex­pe­ri­ence without break­ing the bank.

“The up­dates are a solid start­ing point for us ahead of a range of new prod­ucts in the next 12 months or so. We’ve pretty much run un­der the radar re­cently … that’s about to change in the near fu­ture.”

The Eclipse Cross like­wise adopts a new ES base model from this month, low­er­ing the price of en­try by $2000 to $29,990 plus on-roads.

Stan­dard equip­ment in­cludes au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, auto lights and wipers, pad­dle-shifters on the steer­ing wheel and smart­phone mir­ror­ing.

LS pric­ing is $31,990, with lane de­par­ture warn­ing and front and rear park­ing sen­sors, elec­tric park brake and key­less en­try/start.

Fi­nally, the re­vised Out­lander plug-in hy­brid gets a de­cent price trim to help ap­peal to pri­vate buy­ers, who rep­re­sent only about 10 per cent of the 2100 PHEVs sold since the SUV launched here in 2014.

The ES Out­lander hy­brid now kicks off at $45,990 and gets new front and rear bumpers, big­ger di­am­e­ter dampers to im­prove the lowspeed ride, sharper steer­ing and up­dates to the ex­haust in­su­la­tion. The mid-sized SUV is still pow­ered by 60kW elec­tric mo­tors front and rear, boosted by a 2.0-litre en­gine when re­quired.

A $1500 pack adds AEB, lane de­par­ture warn­ing, adap­tive cruise con­trol and auto high-beams.

The top-spec Ex­ceed has been trimmed by $1500 to $53,990 with a full ac­tive safety suite as stan­dard, along with leather seats and au­tolev­el­ling LED head­lamps.

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