ASX Exceed 4WD Auto
latest compact SUV,
the ASX, has the benefit of a 4WD
made by people
whove been producing four-wheel
drive vehicles for over eighty years...
FOR 2020 THE ASX has been extensively-revised inside and out. Looks-wise it
sports a dynamic wraparound new face incorporating Mitsubishi's signature 'Dynamic
Shield' grille with LED headlamps and stacked auxiliary lights, all capped by
a clamshell bonnet; along the cleanly-styled flanks distinctive but not
overdone 'squared' wheel arches are wrapped around black and polished-face
18-inch alloy wheels; LED rear light clusters adorn the tail and skid plates
at the nose and tail are an understated nod to its 4WD drivetrain.
Priced from just £20K, the ASX will be sure to make it onto the shortlists of
those also considering the likes of Citroen's C3 Aircross, the Nissan Qashqai,
Seat Ateca and, Peugeot's 3008. Diesel
power is now off the ASX menu but you do get a new 2.0-litre petrol-drinking
four-pot with 147bhp (backed-up by a useful 143lb ft of torque). Go for the
four-wheel drive version and your engine will be partnered with a six-speed
CVT autobox with Sport mode and column-mounted paddleshifters.
new 2.0-litre unit manages without a turbocharger but there's enough power to
deliver zero to 62mph in 12.2 seconds and a top speed of 118mph. While it provides
more than ample performance pootling around, this automatic four-wheel driver
is pretty light on the gas: a week's hard driving over mixed roads resulted
in a 43.2mpg average against the official Combined Cycle figure of 38.7mpg.
So, much better than expected. Despite the absence of any boosting, the 2.0-litre
pulls willingly; if you really want to ramp it up simply select the Sport setting
and plant that right foot.
2.0-litre engine manages
without a turbocharger
to deliver zero to 62mph
in 12.2 seconds and a top
speed of 118mph.
While it provides more
than ample performance
pootling around, this
driver is pretty light on
the gas a weeks hard
driving over mixed roads
resulted in a much
better than expected
Wide door openings make for a good start, facilitating smooth entry and exit.
Inside you'll find a smart, neatly-arranged, good-looking cabin with a logical
dash layout and shapely leather upholstered seats. It's quietly stylish with
subtle touches such as silver seat stitching, tactile soft-touch finishing and
minimal but well used chrome highlighting.
A panoramic glass roof floods the interior with light anytime
that's not to your liking a quick press on a switch summons a powered blackout
sunblind to block the sunshine. An eight-inch touchscreen serving the infotainment
and navigation systems fills the centre spot in the fascia; it's set usefully
high, making the visuals especially easy to take in with just a sideward glance
when on the move.
Immediately below the piano black-framed screen is the panel for the very efficient
climate control AirCon, notable for its big knurled rotary knobs and buttons
that are within easy reach and great on the go as they can be operated 'by feel'.
Ahead of the driver is a trad-style set of dials in their own individual nacelles
separated by a digital multi-function trip display that tells you everything
you need to know. The posted speed limit, incidentally, is shown on the active
From behind the three-spoke, leather-wrapped multifunction steering-wheel (cruise,
phone, audio/media, speed limiter) it's all good news: the cockpit is roomy
with a full fist of headroom even with the seat raised to its highest position.
And, being an auto, the nicely-angled left-foot rest is much appreciated. The
driver's electrically-adjustable seat offers eight-way personalisation while
the front passenger gets manual adjusters. Not that that's a problem because
both seats are very comfortable with supportive backrests and both have two-stage
heating. The long outer armrest and extendable central armrest will be sure
to satisfy any front passenger and prevent elbow clashes with the driver.
driving position is commanding and gives a clear view of the road over the bonnet.
Good-sized door mirrors and a regular-shaped rear screen make it easy to keep
an eye on what's coming up alongside and behind while a rearview camera ensures
you'd expect, there's also a DAB radio, Bluetooth with music streaming, Apple
CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone connectivity, and ample USB ports. Navigation
is by TomTom and it's a cinch to use thanks to large icons, quick responses,
and crystal clear 3D mapping. There's also voice control for the phone and audio.
the well-padded back
seats are wide enough to
most users are likely to
put adults in the front
and youngsters or the
family pooch in the rear.
of foot room and the
knee-room is okay with
enough air between the
roof and passengers
heads to keep most
The ASX scores favourably in the Clutter Test too, coping well with personal
stuff thanks to a sensibly-sized glovebox, a deep storage box (with 12v socket
and a sliding top tray) beneath the central armrest, two cupholders alongside
the trad-style pull-up handbrake and door bins that while on the narrow side
will still take a smaller bottle of O2. A long tray at the base of the centre
stack is convenient for mobiles, as is the pair of readily accessible USB ports
sited close by.
In addition to the kit mentioned elsewhere such as the panoramic glass roof,
leather upholstery, etc, there's also keyless entry and start with an engine
Start/Stop button, four electric windows (driver's is one-shot up/down), powerfolding
door mirrors (on demand and automatically when locking and leaving), an auto-dimming
rearview mirror, Cruise Control, roof rails, and a set of 18-inch alloy wheels.
Safety assists include Active Stability Control with Traction Control, Hill
Start Assist, Blind Spot Warning with Lane Change Assist, and Rear Cross Traffic
Alert. Lighting is full LED with auto levelling for the headlights plus LED
daytime running lights and LED front fog lights. Auto lights and wipes and height-adjustable
front seatbelts are also standard.
With a 4.3-metre-long footprint and a 2.67-metre wheelbase the ASX easily accommodates
five doors and five seats. Travelling in the back is made more enjoyable by
the panoramic roof; sitting noticeably higher than those in front, there are
clear views out for those who rate people-watching higher than smartphone action.
unexpectedly, the well-padded back seats are wide enough to accommodate three
side-by-side although most users are likely to put adults in the front and youngsters
or the family pooch in the rear. There's loads of foot room and the knee-room
is okay with enough air between the roof and passengers' heads to keep most
people smiling. To maximise space there are no door bins on the back doors but
you do get a pouch on the rear of the passenger seat plus a big, well-padded
drop-down centre armrest that incorporates a pair of cupholders. Isofix child
seat fixings are also provided for both rear outer positions.
ASX's ride comfort is exactly what you'd expect from a compact SUV with enhanced
ground clearance and 4x4 underpinnings most of the time your passengers
will not be aware of what you're driving over. That's not to say the SUV-style
set-up makes you immune to pothole aftershocks (just avoid them!) but the ride
is perfectly okay and during a week's testing none of the team heard a single
grumble from any back-seat users.
spite of its taller
ground clearance the
ASX feels reassuringly
agile and serves up
changes helped by the
fact that automatic four-
wheel drive is the default
setting. The steering is
light enough to earn a
thumbs-up in the city
and at faster out-of-town
speeds grip levels are
confident enough to keep
you unruffled through
Two trim levels suffice for the ASX range; the Dynamic model comes with front-wheel
drive while the range-topping Exceed versions get four-wheel drive and an automatic
transmission. In spite of its 190mm ground clearance the ASX feels reassuringly
agile and serves up resolute direction changes helped by the fact
that automatic four-wheel drive is the default setting (driving torque is varied
to maintain traction on loose surfaces or adverse on-road conditions, from 98%
front:2% rear to 50% front:50% rear). Pressing the button ahead of the selector
lever lets you instead select 4WD Lock or 2WD.
Further boosting the dynamics is the ASX's sophisticated multi-link rear suspension
set-up that's a step-up from the less adroit beam axle used by some of its rivals.
The steering earns a thumbs-up in the city and at faster out-of-town speeds
grip levels are confident enough to keep you unruffled through the twisties.
For those itching to get their rubber dirty, or who just want something that
will keep them moving through the winter snow, the ASX's taller ground clearance
(plus usable approach and departure angles) combined with the determind traction
from the four-wheel drive should be just the ticket.
For a compact SUV the ASX comes with some valuable towing muscle, being happy
to haul a braked 1,300kg. Accessing the boot is made easier by a wide tailgate
aperture and parcel-shelf load cover and if you're loading up on the inside
there's far more space than you may be expecting, and certainly more than is
offered by some of the competition. With the 60:40-split rear seats occupied
there's a very useful 406 litres for luggage; enough for even tricky items such
as kiddies buggies to go in without a fight. Fold them down (they lay properly
flat) and you'll have a versatile 1,193-litre loadbay with a seamless floor.
You'll also find
quite a bit of room for oddments in the individual compartments underneath the
boot floor. And, of course, there are roof rails for longer items or a luggage
Compact SUVs are proving especially popular and it's easy to see why. Along
with an eco-friendly footprint, the smart-looking and agile-handling ASX offers
that sought-after 'commanding' driving position along with wallet-saving real-world
fuel economy, plus it's roomy enough and affordably priced. ~ MotorBar
Mitsubishi ASX Exceed 4WD Auto
Maximum speed: 118mph | 0-62mph: 12.2 seconds | Test Average: 43.2mpg
Power: 147bhp | Torque: 143lb ft | CO2: 161g/km