Good points for ASX

Carmarthen Journal - - Motoring - ROBIN ROBERTS

MIT­SUBISHI has al­ways risen to a chal­lenge.

It has pro­duced some mem­o­rable mod­els and then moved on but with a few ex­cep­tions like the pop­u­lar Shogun and L200 pick-ups.

The Ja­panese car maker has also set bench­marks with mod­els like the Out­lander MPV PHEV and it seemed only a mat­ter of time be­fore it en­tered the boom­ing cross­over sec­tor with the ASX.

That was in 2010 and there have been four gen­er­a­tions of the five-door and five-seat car since, im­prov­ing fea­tures and rais­ing prices each time and al­ways ap­peal­ing to buy­ers.

Now the range com­prises a mix­ture of 115 or 117ps 1.6 petrol in front wheel drive form, 114ps 1.6 turbo-diesel as two-wheeldrive (2WD) or four-wheel-drive (4WD) and 150ps 2.2 TD in 4WD and, de­pend­ing on choice of power, it has five or six-speed man­ual gear­boxes or an au­to­matic.

The Mit­subishi ASX was launched to build on the suc­cess of the com­pany’s big Shogun off-road­ers while meet­ing the needs of modern users who do not need the go-any­where ca­pa­bil­ity or tow­ing abil­ity but want to have more room than a con­ven­tional hatch­back, and in some mar­kets it’s called the Out­lander Sport, re­flect­ing its MPV na­ture.

The 1.6 petrol engine is a quick starter and has mod­est per­for­mance from rest but it’s ob­vi­ously geared to make the most econ­omy of the five ra­tios avail­able in the man­ual gear­box.

It needs fre­quent up-changes to keep the power and ac­cel­er­a­tion flow­ing, and when you get into the top ra­tio you feel yet an­other gear is needed.

The lack of a sixth ra­tio on this car was def­i­nitely a short­com­ing. It means the engine has to work hard through five gears, sounds noisy when pressed on the mo­tor­way and you see a low over­all econ­omy.

Thank­fully the light pro­gres­sive clutch and slick change through the ra­tios mean it is al­most ef­fort­less in town or cross coun­try, just an­noy­ing you have to keep chang­ing gear as the engine’s power char­ac­ter­is­tics mean it is not par­tic­u­larly flex­i­ble, an­other rea­son for the high fuel con­sump­tion.

Steer­ing has a good turn­ing cir­cle, it’s light but re­tains good feed­back, and it did not suf­fer from vi­bra­tion or kick­back.

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