Sexy lit­tle ur­ban­ite

ASX to have share of ad­mir­ers

NT News - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

YOUNG ur­ban cou­ples and ma­ture-aged empty nesters have a new model to choose from in the boom­ing sub­com­pact SUV seg­ment.

Mit­subishi has en­tered the mar­ket with the ASX, a funky petrol or diesel cross­over be­tween a small hatch and a com­pact SUV.

The en­try level petrol twowheel-drive mod­els come in five-speed man­ual for $25,990.

Mit­subishi Mo­tor Aus­tralia prod­uct plan­ning man­ager Chris Maxted said it was the sub-com­pact SUV seg­ment (Nis­san Dualis, VW Tiguan and Hyundai ix35) that is the driv­ing force be­hind a 33 per cent hike in com­pact SUV sales so far this year.

‘‘This sub-com­pact SUV blurs the lines be­tween light pas­sen­ger cars and SUVs,’’ he said. ‘‘This is an emerg­ing mar­ket that’s not yet es­tab­lished and ma­ture.’’

He said ASX stands for Ac­tive Smart Cross­over, not Aus­tralian stock ex­change, and that the choice of name came down to RVR, which is used in Ja­pan, or ASX, which is used in the rest of the world.

‘‘We liked both names but went for ASX,’’ he said.

Call it what you like, it is a sexy lit­tle ur­ban­ite that doesn’t mind get­ting its fin­ger­nails dirty oc­ca­sion­ally and has at­trac­tive fea­tures with com­pet­i­tive price tags.

It cer­tainly looks young and funky.

In­side, it’s al­most sexy with that dim­pled rub­bery soft-touch trim.

Driv­ing dy­nam­ics don’t quite live up to that sexy im­age, but they aren’t far off.

It is a lively han­dler that doesn’t have the usual pitch and roll as­so­ci­ated with topheavy SUVs.

Con­tin­ued next page

Pic­tures: AMY BRA­BIN

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