Mitsubishi ASX has all-round ap­peal

Pilbara News - - Motoring - Alis­tair Kennedy

The Mitsubishi ASX is the small­est, but biggest-sell­ing, of the Ja­panese car maker’s Aus­tralian four-wheel-drive/SUV range.

On sale since early 2010, it has been a ma­jor suc­cess for Mitsubishi, con­sis­tently sit­ting among the top three or four sell­ers in the highly com­pet­i­tive com­pact SUV mar­ket seg­ment and pipped at the post by Mazda CX-3 for top spot in 2016.

Like most of its com­peti­tors, ASX is aimed more at on-road use than tack­ling the Aussie bush, al­though it does come with the op­tion of all-wheel drive and so can be used on dirt roads, for­est trails and the like. We’d rec­om­mend tak­ing up the full-size spare wheel if look­ing at off-road driv­ing.

Two equip­ment lev­els are of­fered, badged LS and XLS, both with ei­ther 2WD petrol or AWD diesel.

The Mitsubishi ASX was given an up­grade late last year with a num­ber of styling and func­tion­al­ity changes.

The most ob­vi­ous of the ex­te­rior tweaks is a new grille that uses the Mitsubishi Dy­namic Shield that has pre­vi­ously been used on ASX’s larger si­b­lings, the Out­lander and Pa­jero Sport.

There are also new black and chrome fin­ishes to the front bumper and grille as well as a new shark-fin an­tenna. Com­bi­na­tion­style front fog lamps re­place the pre­vi­ous day­time run­ning lamps. As be­fore, the XLS comes with a panoramic sun­roof. All mod­els re­ceive 18-inch al­loy wheels.

There is good in­te­rior space with plenty of rear leg and head­room and a large, eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble boot that caters for 393 litres with the rear seat back in place, and up to 1193 litres with them folded.

Ex­tra seat base bol­ster­ing has been added to the rear seats for im­proved com­fort. The LS gets a new high-grade fab­ric seat trim with red stitch­ing while the switch for the heated front seats has been moved to the in­stru­ment panel.

LS has key-in-ig­ni­tion start while XLS has key­less en­try and start/stop. The steer­ing wheel is both height and reach ad­justable.

En­gine ca­pac­ity and out­puts are un­changed from the pre­vi­ous model, with the choice of 2.0-litre petrol with out­puts of 110kW at 6000 rpm and 197Nm at 4200; and 2.2-litre turbo-diesel peak­ing at 110kW at 3500 revs and 360Nm at 1500 rpm.

The lower specced LS petrol vari­ant gets the choice be­tween fivespeed man­ual and con­tin­u­ously vari­able au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

The XLS petrol only comes with the CVT. Both LS and XLS diesels get a torque-con­verter six-speed au­to­matic.

Safety fea­tures on all mod­els in­clude ABS brakes with elec­tronic brake­force distri­bu­tion and brake as­sist, sta­bil­ity and trac­tion con­trol, seven airbags (front, side, cur­tain and driver’s knee), rear park­ing sen­sors, re­vers­ing cam­era, IsoFix rear child seat an­chor points and hill start as­sist.

The LS model uses a 6.1-inch full colour touch­screen for its in­for­ma­tion dis­play while the XLS steps up to the Mitsubishi Multi Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Sys­tem with a 7.0-inch screen and two ex­tra speak­ers with satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion added.

Other stan­dard fea­tures in­clude Blue­tooth phone and au­dio, dig­i­tal ra­dio, USB and voice con­trol. The XLS also has SD card in­put.

En­try and exit don’t re­quire ex­ces­sive bend­ing and stoop­ing. The front seats are com­fort­able and rea­son­ably sup­port­ive.

Our test car was the man­ual XLS two-wheel-drive petrol. It’s slug­gish ini­tially but sharp enough once it gains mo­men­tum al­though, as men­tioned, peak power isn’t reached un­til a high 6000 rpm.

A five-speed man­ual gear­box is un­usual nowa­days but the ab­sence of an ex­tra gear didn’t af­fect cruis­ing com­fort. Gear changes are slick and smooth.

Typ­i­cal of its genre there’s not a great deal of driv­ing fun to be had but it feels safe and pred­i­ca­ble.

Fuel con­sump­tion is listed at 7.7 litres per 100km in the LS man­ual, we av­er­aged in the mid-eights.

ASX comes with the stan­dard Mitsubishi five-year war­ranty al­though, dis­ap­point­ingly, the dis­tance com­po­nent is now only 100,000km — down from the 130,000km on pre-2015 mod­els.

Pric­ing and style to­gether with prac­ti­cal­ity and limited off-road abil­ity are prov­ing an ex­cel­lent com­bi­na­tion for Mitsubishi ASX.

There are new black and chrome fin­ishes to the bumper and grille.

Pic­tures: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

There is good in­te­rior space.

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