Next up in our line-up of cars from the important crossover segment is the Mitsubishi ASX
Mitsubishi ASX review
What is it?
The Mitsubishi ASX, known as the RVR in its Japanese homeland and the Outlander Sport in the US, is a compact crossover SUV (ASX is an abbreviation of Active Sports Crossover) which first went on sale in the UK in July 2010. Its distinctive “jet fighter” grill and aero-dynamic design give it a contemporary look and it shares a lot of Mitsubishi “design DNA” with other cars in their stable. The ASX design is said to create a “tension effect” which means it gives the appearance of motion whist stationary. There are 7 models and two engines to choose from starting with the entry level ASX 2 1.6 petrol at £16,599 OTR up to the ASX 4 1.8 Diesel 4×4 at £24,699 OTR. The model we tested was the ASX 3 DiD 1.8 Diesel 4×4 which has an OTR price of £22,299. (click here for ASX Spec Sheet). The ASX comes with Mitsubishi’s fuel improving Cleartec technology with Auto Stop & Go, electric power steering, regenerative brakes (Generation Control System), low rolling resistance tyres, low viscosity oil, LED lighting and weight reduction measures as standard.
First impressions are good, firstly there is no denying that the ASX is a great looking car, maybe not as immediately attractive to look at as the Kia Sportage but striking nonetheless. Secondly being a Mtsubishi and not “mainstream” means you will certainly stand out from the crowd. So if it’s exclusivity you’re after the ASX may offer just what you are looking for as I had never seen one on the road prior to conducting this review and haven’t seen one since. Inside it is not as striking as the exterior, it comes accross as more “functional” than anything else and does seem a little dark.
What’s it like, then?
As I’ve said the ASX is a great looking car and, probably more importantly, is lovely to drive. The ASX 1.8 DiD is the first passenger car to have a variable valve timing diesel engine (VVT) and is both very flexible and remarkably economical (we managed over 57mpg without even trying). The interior is roomy but, as I mentioned above, the aesthetics are, how can I put this, a little “functional” (some may go as far as to say drab) but everything is where it should be and the feel is one of robust quality. Comparing the ASX with the Sportage the ride is definitely gentler and I certainly found it more comfortable. There is some road and engine noise when travelling at higher speeds but all in all the ASX offers the driver and passengers a refined experience
Standard equipment on all the models in the range include alloy wheels, air conditioning, Auto Stop & Go, Active Stability Control and Traction Control, aux-in jack, keyless entry, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, dual stage front side and curtain airbags, driver’s knee airbag, tilt and telescopic steering column. The ASX 3 which we tested gains fully automatic air conditioning, one touch starting, cruise control, heated seats, privacy glass, audio wheel controls, Bluetooth™, leather covered steering wheel and shift knob, automatic lights and windscreen wipers and chrome exterior detailing so it is certainly well equipped for the price.
Should I buy one?
I had the pleasure of the ASX’s company for a week and covered around 350 miles doing the school run, a trip to the seaside, the usual supermarket runs and a few trips down the dual carriageway. It was pretty much used it as the family car it purports to be and quite frankly I would definitely buy one. It’s a real all-rounder and somewhat exclusive given the lack of others on the road but for me the real deal closer is the engine. The fuel economy was nothing short of sensational and with the fantastic build quality I was left with the distinct impression that this was a car that would never let me down. Of course I can’t know that for sure but it certainly made an impression on me and the family.
There are only 7 versions to choose from so the choice isn’t exactly frightening and having not driven the petrol variant I can’t really give an opinion but if you were going to buy one the 1.8 DiD would probably be very hard to beat.
The service interval for the Diesel is just 9000 miles which is a bit disappointing if you do cover a lot of miles as it will obviously add to the running costs. The service interval for the petrol is a more wallet friendly 12,500 miles.
As the ASX is only likely to sell in reasonably low volumes and is well kitted out and reasonably priced residual values should be good.
Test car data:
Model tested: Mitsubishi ASX 3 1.8 DiD 4WD (147bhp) 5 Door Compact Crossover SUV
Price: £22,299 OTR
Engine: 1.8-litre, Turbodiesel, 147bhp
Transmission: Six speed manual gearbox with four wheel drive
CO2: 150 g/km
Performance: 123mph, 0-62mph 10.0 seconds, 56.5mpg (extra-urban) (57.9mpg actual),
VED Band F £125
Insurance group: 19
For: Fuel economy, lovely to drive, striking looks, not many others on the road
Against: Uninspiring interior, service interval on diesel model (9,000 miles)
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