ASX out to make in­roads

KARLA PIN­COTT road tests and re­views the Mit­subishi ASX

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE -

A GRENADE has been lobbed into the com­pact off-roader bat­tle­field with the ar­rival of the Mit­subishi ASX.

The sec­tor has boomed more than 30 per cent this year, with the likes of the Nis­san Dualis and Suzuki Grand Vi­tara fight­ing for share with the re­cently ar­rived Hyundai ix35.

Mit­subishi’s ASX wants a big slice too and has been armed with a sharp and pointy price of $25,990 to do bat­tle at the base level 2WD with man­ual gear­box ($2500 ex­tra for the CVT).

The 4WD is $31,990 and the top-spec As­pire is $36,990 both with ei­ther six-speed man­ual or CVT trans­mis­sion

Also in its arse­nal are ex­cel­lent qual­ity and fit-out for that price, plus solid com­fort and han­dling.

The ASX has both diesel and petrol en­gines, with the lat­ter be­ing the 110kW/ 197Nm 2.0-litre, four-cylin­der MIVEC petrol en­gine from the Lancer, mated to ei­ther a five-speed man­ual or a sixspeed con­tin­u­ously-vari­able trans­mis­sion (CVT) with pad­dle-shifters on the steer­ing wheel.

The diesel is an all-new and all-Mit­subishi 1.8-litre turbo unit, with 110kW and 300Nm be­ing de­liv­ered via a sixspeed man­ual trans­mis­sion.

The Out­lander has do­nated its three-mode elec­tronic four-wheel drive sys­tem, that al­lows you to switch be­tween front-wheel, all-wheel and locked modes.

The diesel man­ual 4WD is the econ­omy win­ner at 5.8L/100km, with the 2WD us­ing 7.7L in man­ual and 7.9L in CVT ver­sions, while the 4WD with CVT comes in at 8.1L.

Stop-start technology is avail­able in Europe, with a brake re­gen­er­a­tive sys­tem cap­tur­ing en­ergy for the bat- tery dur­ing de­cel­er­a­tion and brak­ing.

But it is tied to smaller en­gines than the ones Aus­tralia is get­ting, and Mit­subishi prod­uct man­ager Craig Maxted said there was lit­tle fu­ele­con­omy ben­e­fit.

The ASX was seeded from the cX con­cept that was un­veiled in 2007 at Frank­furt mo­tor show, and de­vel­oped on the Out­lander plat­form shar­ing that base­line with the brands hero per­former, the Lancer Evo­lu­tion.

It’s 34.5cm shorter than the Out­lander and at about 1450kg is some 200kg lighter, but there are sim­i­lar styling cues around the front from the Mit­subishi fam­ily face.

How­ever at the rear it has a much neater look, al­though it misses out on the sib­ling’s handy split-fold tail­gate.

Mit­subishi has put some ef­fort into the cabin,qual­ity plas­tics and a stacked equip­ment list.

Stan­dard kit in­cludes tele­scopic steer­ing col­umn, sta­bil­ity con­trol, hill-start as­sist, anti-skid brakes with brake­force dis­tri­bu­tion and as­sis­tance for ex­tra help.

The spare is a space saver, but there’s a full-size op­tion avail­able.

The ASX is de­signed for com­fort rather than speed.

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