ASX PACKS MORE INTO ‘COMPACT’ THAN STRIKING DESIGN

Mitsubishi_ASX_frontMitsubishi has given its compact sports utility vehicle, the ASX, a thorough spring clean, with upgrades across the range and the addition of a new entry-level variant, the ES.

This brings the 2019 range to three specification levels – ES, LS and Exceed – or four with a $1000 optional safety package for the ES, which includes blind spot warning, lane change assist, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert and forward collision mitigation, along with reversing sensors, dusk sensing headlamps and rain sensing wipers.

All variants are powered by Mitsubishi’s 2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, mated with either a five-speed manual or continuously variable transmission. Despite the SUV appearance all come in two-wheel drive only.

The ASX ‘opens the batting’ with the ES five-speed manual priced at $23,490, plus on-road costs. The CVT puts $2000 onto the price, while the range tops out at $30,990 for the Exceed CVT.

Mitsubishi Australia CEO John Signoriello says ASX is the cornerstone of the company’s SUV line-up and leads the market in its combination of stylish looks, outstanding value and compact SUV practicality.

Mitsubishi_ASX_rear

“ASX is a perennial favourite with SUV shoppers, so we’ve taken the time to introduce meaningful improvements without altering ASX’s winning formula,” he says, “We’ve sharpened ASX’s value proposition by introducing a new entry-level ES range – complete with Advanced Driver Assist Systems safety option.”

On test was the top-of-the-range ASX Exceed CVT.

STYLING
There’s no pretence here, the Mitsubishi ASX Exceed is an out-and-out urban runabout. It has a fashionable front grille with chrome highlights.

In profile the ASX the roofline has a shapely coupe-style form while, in the Exceed, still leaving room for the panoramic glass roof with the workings of an electric retractable sunshade and LED mood lighting.

Two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels and chrome exhaust tip lift the ASX ‘top dog’ above the ordinary.

INTERIOR
There’s soft touch leather, adjustable steering wheel with built-in phone contorls, audio and cruise control switches. Indulgence is on offer with Exceed’s heated front seats and leather upholstery.

INFOTAINMENT
Smartphone Link Display Audio with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Connected to a 7-inch touchscreen.Access to a personal phone’s compatible apps allows the user to find directions, make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music from any source, including DAB+ radio.

With a smartphone storage tray and USB connectors in the centre console, everything is at hand.

Mitsubishi_ASX_interior

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
Powered by Mitsubishi’s 2-litre, four-cylinder MIVEC petrol engine, mated with a continuously variable transmission, maximum power of 110 kW comes in at 6000 rpm, while a tidy 197 Nm of torque arrives at a rather high 4200 revs.

SAFETY
Five-star safety has been added to by new features: lane change assist which sounds an audible alert and displays a blinking warning in the door mirror when the system detects danger from a vehicle coming from behind within 3.5 m from the ASX side or 70m from its rear bumper.

Mitsubishi’s forward collision mitigation system detects obstructions ahead and issues a visual and audio alert when there is a danger of collision, automatically applying the brakes to avoid contact or reduce any impact.

Rear cross traffic alert system helps detect a moving vehicle approaching from behind when reversing. A buzzer alert sounds and an indicator light appears in the combination meter and blinking light in the side door mirror.

DRIVING
Mitsubishi claims 7.6 litres per 100 kilometres in a combined urban / highway cycle, a figure that could not be bettered by the test vehicle in a mix of suburban and motorway driving.

Infinitely variable gear ratios are attuned to operating at optimum revs for greater power and economy, whatever the vehicle speed, while the MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension do their best to smooth out any bitumen blemishes. Shock absorbers and stabilisers are tuned for a comfortable, if not really you would describe as sporty handling.

The 2670 mm wheelbase makes the best of cabin room without compromising on cargo space. However, limited head and leg room could be a squeeze for the more robust person. All the same, there is no feeling of claustrophobia in the well-lit cabin. And, hey, this is a ‘compact’ car after all.

Convenience is well represented with such things as automatic rain sensors that detect water on the windscreen and activate the wipers at the right time and speed and a Smart Key that unlocks the doors and tailgate, if it’s not too deeply tucked away in a trouser pocket.

SUMMARY
The Mitsubishi ASX offers a compact experience at a compact price, while the top spec Exceed goes one better with the sophisticated safety package, plus little luxuries, as standard. It’s all worth the investment.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL LINE-UP
ASX ES 2-litre 5sp manual 2WD: $23,490
ASX ES 2-litre CVT 2WD: $25,490
ASX ES with ADAS option: $26,990
ASX LS 2-litre CVT 2WD: $27,990
ASX Exceed 2-litre CVT 2WD: $30,990
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Mitsubishi dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Mitsubishi ASX Exceed 2-litre 4-cylinder petrol CVT 2WD SUV)

ENGINE:
Capacity: 1.998 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 110 kW @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 197 Nm @ 4200 rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 91 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.6 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 176 g / km

DRIVELINE: Continuously variable transmission, 2WD

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4365 mm
Wheelbase: 2670 mm
Width: 1810 mm
Height: 1640 mm
Turning Circle: 10.6 metres
Kerb Mass: 1365 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 63 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Five years / 100,000 km

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