is 370mm shorter. That makes its seating room on par but will lose out to it’s bigger brother in cargo room. The Outlander will swallow up to 1691 litres and the SX only 1193 litres.
It’s interior looks great. It’s simple, accommodating with lots of personal storage space and is easy to use.
The Aspire gets the big central screen for everything from satellite-navigation to audio and has upmarket stuff including leather seats, a trip computer and cruise control.
Mitsubishi’s Lancer, on which the Outlander and ASX are based, has been criticised for its tinnysounding doors. The ASX continues this tradition. The solid thump sound of a closed door reflects build quality.
THE INSIDE STORY
The ASX’s cabin is a nice place to be with more soft-touch plastics.
A steering wheel adjustable for reach and height makes it easy to find a comfortable driving position.
The back seat will accommodate two adults in comfort, three at a squeeze, with good legroom and big gaps beneath the front seats, allowing legs to be stretched.
However headroom is limited by the sloping roof, the bench could provide more under-thigh support and families will be disappointed with the lack of rear, but not front, storage.
The 416-litre boot is of average size, despite including only a temporary spare wheel, but at least the rear seats fold virtually flat to create a decent load space.
Seven airbags, electronic stability control, traction control and a hill holder for the manual transmission models ticks all the boxes. The high seating position aids in visibility and presumes you will be safer in a crash.
UNDER THE BONNET
The 1.8-litre diesel is the pick of the bunch and has the same amount of power as the 2.0-litre petrol of 110kW but substantially more torque (300Nm as opposed to 197Nm) at a low 2000rpm.
The 1.8-litre drives through a six-speed manual gearbox. The drive is selectable. In the suburbs select 2WD from the centre console rotary switch. If things get wet or slippery, click the switch to 4WD Auto. When maximum traction is needed and at slow speeds only – there’s the third option of 4WD Lock. The turbo diesel is the world’s first to feature variable (intake) valve timing and is very quiet on the open road.
ON THE ROAD
Short overhangs make the ASX an easy vehicle to park, the turning circle is decent and the high seating position provides an elevated view of the road.
There’s noticeable turbo-lag and the gearbox can be notchy.