Refreshed inside and out, the Mitsubishi ASX takes on a host of newcomers to its SUV sector.
The range is renamed and given ergonomic improvements under the skin as well as some of the latest engines in the 1.6 diesel sector.
There are seven models in the series of petrol and diesel powered versions from about £15,400 to £25,140 but all share the same five-door body on a platform derived from the Outlander MPV and Lancer saloon, so it’s a true Crossover with over 700,000 units sold since its launch in 2010.
We tested the highly equipped and very popular top of the range model with leather upholstery and available six-speed automatic transmission.
The ASX powertrain is conventional and while we saw fuel consumption fall to 32mpg at one point it soon picked up with some longer runs and we ended up with about 44mpg overall. That is a reasonable but not exceptional figure and it’s highly variable depending not only how you drive but also the number of people aboard.
It is a good package once it gets going after a slow starting procedure. Pull is good from rest and through the gears and you have a ‘sport’ manual-mode as well if desired which sharpens it a lot.
You always seemed to have something in reserve for overtaking or smart pick up when the road opened up and it was smooth and fairly quiet throughout the rev-range.
The steering was reasonably well weighted for assistance and effort with a good turning circle, no vibration or kick-back over bad surfaces and it had a reasonable reach and tilt adjustment range on the column.
Underfoot, the brakes were strong and needed only modest pressure on the pedal to effect a rapid stop without any drama while the parking brake securely held it on our usual test slope.
Secondary controls were close to hand and infront of the driver, with only a few very minor switches out sight low down on the right of the fascia. Simple instruments were very clear infront of the driver and the multi-function on board computer cleared displayed their function if a little on the small side to read.
Heating and ventilation was effective and straightforward with good controls, output and direction. The windows were power assisted and the ASX had a large sunroof to give the cabin a delightfully airy look.
Oddments room was fairly plentiful even if the individual compartments and cubbies were small and the boot space increased from a basic minimum of 442 litres to 1193 litres when the seats folded. Access was easy to boot and cabin.
The seats were nicely shaped if not figure hugging infront and the rear bench was too flat for my liking, lacking sport and location as a result, although room throughout was very good for four while slightly squeezing in a small person in the middle of the back row.
Noises really came from tyres and road more than the engine or wind disturbance and the transmission was nearly silent in operation.
The ASX is a familiar cross over shape and it’s loved by families for its access and roominess as well as its style and finish. The forward and side visibility is good and the lights and wipers also do a very good job but the back window is shallow and the combination with the high tail means you rely on the camera to see those low down objects when reversing.
The ride quality in the ASX is good over most road surfaces but some undulations will set it wallowing and a few tarmac breaks and poor bits of road did rough it up a little.
The handling is entirely safe and sure-footed, not particularly agile but it responded well, and there were no worrying vices in its character.
Personally, I think it is one of the better-looking modern crossovers and rarer than many rivals, with an easy-going character and good all-round ability at a price which will not break the bank, particularly if you go for the cheaper end of the range if you do not want the luxurious top end model we tested.
|Mitsubishi ASX 4WD||Price: £25,134|
|Insurance Group: 20||Mechanical: 148ps 4cyl 2268cc turbo-diesel, 6sp|
|Max Speed: 118mph||0-62mph: 10.8sec|
|Combined MPG: 44mpg||C02 emissions: 152gkm|
|Bik rating: 26%||Warranty: 5yrs/ 62,500miles|
Equipment, performance & economy reasonable, roomy
Rear visibility, bad-surface ride.