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The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

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.

SAFETY

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.

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