MITSUBISHI SUV ADDS MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD SAFETY-FIRST

Mitsubishi_ASX_frontMitsubishi has promised a happier new year for ASX buyers with the addition of a new variant to its top-selling small SUV range. The LS ADAS (Advanced Drive Assist Systems) is also standard fitment to the top-line XLS.

Drivers of the new mid-level 2018 LS ADAS gain the advantage of forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning and automatic high beam features as well as design upgrades and the latest is smartphone connectivity.

The LS 2.0-litre petrol 2WD manual remains the entry level model, coming to the market at $25,000, plus on-road costs, while the new mid-level LS ADAS petrol 2WD automatic slots in at $28,500 under the XLS 2.0-litre petrol 2WD automatic ($32,000) and top-line XLS 2.2litre diesel 4WD automatic ($37,500).

On test was the recently added LS ADAS petrol 2WD automatic with the advanced drive assist package costing $28,500, plus on-roads.

STYLING
Many automobile manufacturers have a styling thread running through their entire product lines, which places each model at a glance within the brand. Mitsubishi is no exception.

The ASX carries the company’s Dynamic Shield front end, this time featuring a revised design with integrated LED daytime running lights and foglamp lower bezel.

Exterior changes also can be found at the rear with a new bumper and tailgate design. Up-to-date touches include rear roof spoiler with high mount stop lamp, door mirrors with integrated turn indicator, chrome exhaust tip and shark fin antenna.

Mitsubishi_ASX_rear

INTERIOR
Minor changes inside the cabin are limited to the floor console panel, which now includes a geometric design silver finish, soft knee rests, new armrest with a larger console box and new design automatic transmission shift lever.

Occupants are isolated from intrusive outside noise with the MY18 Mitsubishi ASX upgraded with new acoustic absorption materials throughout the body.

INFOTAINMENT
All 2018 models take advantage of the latest smartphone connectivity technology with Mitsubishi’s Smartphone link Display Audio and DAB digital radio. To complement the new smartphone technology the new centre console design has two USB ports and a mobile phone tray with removable padded liner.

Everything is controlled via a 6.1-inch full colour touch screen. On hand as well as DAB digital radio are AM / FM radio, plus CD and MP3 played through four speakers. Add to this a USB Input and iPod control.

Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming with voice control include multi-information display with trip computer, outside temperature and average fuel consumption.

Mitsubishi_ASX_interior

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine of the test vehicle was mated with a continuously variable transmission. Peak power of 110 kW comes up at 6000 rpm and maximum torque of 197 Nm at 4200 rpm.

SAFETY
A five-star safety rating is all down to active stability control, traction control, anti-lock braking, electronic brake-force distribution, emergency brake assist and smart brake, plus emergency stop signal.

Also weighing in are reverse parking sensors and reverse camera, hill start assist, driver and front passenger front and side airbags, curtain airbags and driver knee airbag.

DRIVING
Earlier this year I drove a Mitsubishi ASX XLS 2.2-litre diesel 4WD in quite demanding off-road conditions in Kakadu. The only setback was the lack of ground clearance. However, I digress.

The recent test LS ADAS petrol 2WD automatic did likewise under much less stress under foot on bitumen in the city and on the open road. ADAS worked well in crowded traffic conditions, with forward collision mitigation and lane departure warning to the fore.

Pleasantly surprising was the automatic high beam and headlight dimming system, which took some of the stress out of coming across other road users on badly lit country lanes.

The 2-litre engine does not reach anything like peak power until 6000 rpm, while torque is similarly tardy, at 197 Nm at 4200 revs. With optional continuously variable transmission performance was adequate in city driving but came up wanting on overtaking. Sports mode had the ASX upping the ante with six-step operation.

On 90 octane petrol combined urban / highway fuel consumption is claimed to be 7.7 litres per 100 kilometres, which even with company conservatism seems a tad thirsty against some rivals.

Passenger comfort is well taken care of with climate control air-conditioning, rear air-conditioning ducts and heater dusts sharing a spot under the front seats. A pollen filter is an added bonus.

Belongings can be stowed in a floor console with upper and lower sections and front door pockets, or in the illuminated glovebox. The passenger seat back incorporates a pocket, while the rear cargo area luggage is fitted with tie-down hooks.

SUMMING UP

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE
ASX LS 2.0L petrol 2WD manual $25,000
ASX LS 2.0L petrol 2WD automatic $27,000
ASX LS 2.2L diesel 4WD automatic $32,500
ASX LS 2.0L ADAS petrol 2WD automatic $28,500
ASX XLS 2.0L petrol 2WD automatic $32,000
ASX XLS 2.2L diesel 4WD automatic $37,500
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Mitsubishi dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Mitsubishi ASX LS ADAS 2-litre petrol 2WD automatic 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 90 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.7 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 179 g/km

DRIVELINE: Continuously variable transmission

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4355 mm
Wheelbase: 2670 mm
Width: 1810 mm
Height: 1640 mm
Turning Circle: 10.6 metres
Kerb Mass: 1335 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 63 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Five years / 100,000 km

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