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The Mitsubishi ASX is the compact crossover that you probably left off your shortlist. Does the latest improved version deserve your attention? Andy Enright reports.
The Mitsubishi ASX has been refreshed, but the changes aren't too far-reaching. Still, the pricing is very competitive and there's a lot to like about this versatile and reliable contender for compact soft roading SUV and Crossover customers. It deserves better than the reception it gets, in the UK at least.
Market economics being what they are, it's often a very fine line between a product being a winner and an also-ran. Take Mitsubishi's ASX for example. In the hotly-contested crossover market, it was always one of the better cars available, yet never returned decent sales, in the UK at least. Why? Simply because you could buy better cars for less, so people did. The ASX didn't actually need very much doing to lever it back into contention - the margins are so fine in this division - and remains a really smart used car pick, so Mitsubishi has regrouped, taken a look at the car and improved it. Is it enough to punt it back into contention? That's a tough one. Mitsubishi will never have the promotional budget of a Ford or Vauxhall. Instead, it relies on industry plaudits and word of mouth to do a lot of its reputational legwork for it. Is the ASX good enough to generate this groundswell of opinion? Let's have a closer look at Mitsubishi's proposition.
Not a whole lot has changed in the drivetrain department. The rear multi-link suspension has been mildly retuned to offer better ride quality and body control but aside from that, the engines and transmissions have been carried over from the original version. Is that a problem? Not really. The powerplants in question are advanced petrol and diesel units that were developed in-house. The petrol engine option is a 1.6-litre 115bhp unit with MIVEC variable valve timing technology. It's offered exclusively with the front-wheel-drive transmission and generates 154Nm of torque at 4,000rpm. Most opt for the 1.8-litre DiD diesel which packs 114bhp and 300Nm of torque from 3,500rpm. That's a lot of grunt for a unit of this size and there's no shortage of technology behind it. The engine is of all-aluminium construction with common-rail injection. It's a little gruff but undeniably effective and the extra soundproofing added to these current models helps refinement. This DiD unit is offered in both front or four wheel-drive guise with a six-speed manual gearbox in place of the petrol's five-speed item. It replaced the 148bhp diesel unit that the ASX was launched with, and while this engine's meagre 114bhp can't of course match the performance of its predecessor, it offers much lower carbon dioxide emissions, which is often an easier sell these days. There's also a flagship 2.2-litre diesel automatic variant.
The ASX was always a fairly handsome thing with its Mitsubishi Evo-look front end and the styling updates added to this car in recent times preserve that basic feel while sharpening up some of the detailing. If your experience of the ASX is limited to the original launch models, then you'll notice that the front has been toned down a bit, with a more subtle grille treatment that mirrors the family look sported by cars like the Mirage supermini. Mitsubishi claims this ASX now gives us a "Solid - Safe - Simple" 'engineering-driven' look, but it's rather lost on me I'm afraid. The rear bumper has been refreshed, but in this instance, the back of the car looks a bit more assertive than before. There's a chrome accent for the doors which also gives a slightly more upmarket look. The interior was always the original ASX's weakest link. It was too dull and too patchy in its materials quality and although this more recent model features improved upholstery, the basic architecture of the dashboard and the materials used haven't changed greatly. You do these days get a push button instead of a rotary dial to switch into four-wheel drive mode but the changes are subtle. Rear passengers have a good amount of legroom and headroom but there are no individual sliding seats, as found in some rivals. Fold the 60/40 split bench and you free up to 1193-litres of boot space, which is a lot better than a Qashqai but nowhere near the 1436-litres of a rival Hyundai ix35. A capacity of 442-litres with the seats in place isn't the best in class but will probably be sufficient for most owners.
Pricing has been usefully reduced in recent times and now opens at around £15,000 and stretches up to no more than £24,000 for the latest ASX line-up. The trim levels have been revised, although Mitsubishi do this so often it may well be worth checking on the company's website to ensure we're up to speed on this score. The range opens with the ASX2 petrol-engined model. This gets Bluetooth mobile phone preparation, a CD stereo with MP3 compatibility, seven airbags, hill start assist, plus stability and traction control. All models feature alloy wheels, air-conditioning, electric windows and keyless go. There are also ASX3 and ASX4 models to consider. You'll need to find around £22,500 to get yourself in an all-wheel drive diesel in '4' trim, which might well be the pick of the range. There's also a 2.2-litre diesel flagship model priced at nearly £24,000. How does it fare as a value proposition? Not too badly actually. The Nissan Qashqai is probably its closest rival in terms of appeal and capability and this costs nearly £2,000 more to get a four-wheel drive diesel version. You may well be able to carve a bit more off the Mitsubishi's price than you would the Nissan's with a bit of determined negotiation. Given the problems many Japanese manufacturers have had with exchange rates and the fact that the Nissan is built in Sunderland, you really do have to wonder how much money Mitsubishi makes on ASX models sold in Britain.
The one change that may have escaped some buyers is the fact that Mitsubishi these days offers the ASX with a lower power, low emission 1.8-litre diesel engine. While its 0-60 time isn't going to be as punchy as the 148bhp diesel unit this model was launched with, it can return 55.4 mpg and emit from 134g/km of carbon dioxide with a front-wheel drive chassis. More impressive though is that fact that if you go for the 4WD model, economy is almost the same and CO2 returns are only marginally worse at 136g/km. Lower mileage drivers might prefer to stick to the affordable 1.6-litre petrol engine and this will also return decent economy as long as you're not heaving some serious weight about with it. Here you're looking at 137g/km, which is barely any worse than the diesels, and a combined economy figure of 47.1mpg. For £15,000, this suddenly seems quite the bargain.
Mitsubishi's ASX may not have been a big seller in Britain but it's been hugely popular worldwide, with over a quarter of a million global sales since its launch in 2010, including about 140,000 cars in Europe and Russia. This latest model gets lower pricing, engineering tweaks and extra equipment which much improves its value proposition against Qasqai-class rivals. Overall, if you get yourself the right deal on this car, it'll make a really sensible choice if you're thinking of a soft roading RAV4-style compact SUV or a Qashqai-like Crossover. Overall of course on a global level, Mitsubishi won't care even if this car does stay a bit-part player in Britain in its chosen market segment. The ASX does good business for them worldwide and will continue to do so. But it deserves wider recognition here.
The Mitsubishi Asx is an entry level SUV that was released in 2010 to the public. This is an ideal family car with 5 seats and an economical 1.6-2.2l engine to make the most of your money! Why not head over to the Mitsubishi Asx car leasing hub and check out some high-res picture, videos and in depth reviews to help make up your mind?
The Mitsubishi Asx has some fantastic safety features including anti-whiplash head restraints, brake assist, an emergency-stop signal system as well as a 5-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating. With the choice of a 1.6l, 1.8l or 2.2 and a choice of either petrol or diesel with a manual or automatic gearbox - there's plenty of choice to pick from! The Mitsubishi Asx has an attractive stylish dashboard that is well set out and to go with this every model is fitted with air conditioning and electric windows. There is no competition when comparing storage, the Mitsubishi Asxhas plenty of storage including some hidden storage in the boot and fool-proof foldable seats.
Not only is the Mitsubishi Asx a cracking deal to lease, it comes as standard with a stunning glossy paint that will be sure to glisten in the sun and a set of good quality 20" alloy wheels. If you are looking to lease a high quality SUV but dont want the expensive price the Mitsubishi Asx is the one for you. With low monthly lease payments, one of the safest cars around can be yours!
To conclude, the Mitsubishi Asx is a great family car coming with 5 doors and a choice of economical engines. With good road handling and plenty of features to keep the kids amused, the Mitsubishi Asx will be ideal for those long journeys! So if you want a luxurious SUV but at an unbeatable lease price, the Mitsubishi Asx is the car for you.
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