ASX out to make inroads
KARLA PINCOTT road tests and reviews the Mitsubishi ASX
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.