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Mitsubishi ASX ZC-H 2.2 Diesel 4WD Auto

Click to view picture gallery“As well-known for their rugged off-
  roaders as Land Rover and the
  fastest-growing car brand in the UK
  for the last three years, Mitsubishi
s
  cars are deservedly in the limelight.
  So if you
re looking for a compact
  crossover, the recently revised ASX
  should definitely be in your sights...”


MITSUBISHI'S BEST-KNOWN STAR is undoubtedly their petrol-electric hybrid, the Outlander PHEV, the leading plug-in vehicle in the UK and the No 1 choice for ultra-low emissions motoring.

Also due to get the plug-in treatment is their more compact five-door 4/5-seater ASX although for the moment its power comes from one of three powerplants one petrol (115bhp 1.6-litre) and two turbodiesels; a 112bhp 1.6 that replaces the previous 1.8-litre and a 2.2 with 147bhp with an automatic transmission that also serves in the Outlander.

If an ASX is on your radar, you may also be thinking of checking out the all-new Sportage from Kia, the equally all-new Suzuki, Honda's HR-V, Skoda's Yeti and the Qashqai from Nissan. All good cars and a hard call to make. That said, the ASX really does have a lot to tempt you away from its rivals.

Being a Mitsubishi
and based on the same
platform as the Outlander
off-roader, the ASX
comes with a well-proven
four-wheel drive system
that runs in two-wheel
drive when that’s most
appropriate and
switches to all-wheel
drive whenever traction
or stability
needs boosting...”
It certainly has the stylish SUV 'look' nailed its lines are fluent and its high-riding stance cleverly avoids that 'jacked-up hatch' look that never seems right in the urban jungles where crossovers are to be found in the greatest numbers.

Unlike many of the breed, the ASX's design flows attractively from its Audi-esque nose to clean-cut tail over subtly sculpted, black-rimmed wheel arches housing smart but not showy two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels.

As important as looks are, what's under the ASX's skin matters more and being a Mitsubishi and based on the same platform as the Outlander off-roader, what you'll find there is a well-proven four-wheel drive system that runs in two-wheel drive when that's most appropriate and switches to all-wheel drive whenever traction or stability needs boosting.

A single button press is all it takes to switch the ASX into its 4WD AUTO mode, where up to 50% of the available torque can be directed to the rear axle useful for improved off-the-line traction and for a more confident feel when pressing-on through bends and out of corners. For off-road conditions there's also a 4WD LOCK setting.

Genuine off-road capability aside, the ASX scores heavily with its family-friendly practicality and versatility. With a wheelbase to match the bigger Outlander, passenger room is generous while still keeping it physically compact on the outside at 4,295mm long the ASX has a smaller footprint than, say, a Ford Focus (4,360mm).

While slotting into the 'compact' category beneath its big brother Outlander, the ASX is no straightjacket four large adults can travel comfortably in its cabin. Entry is easy without using the damped grab handles above each door. Once aboard you sit high off the floor (and high above the road) in nicely-bolstered, well-shaped seats that are immediately supportive and still comfy hours later.

Plenty of head, shoulder, and leg room can be taken for granted and large footwells enable ASX drivers to do it with their boots on. The driver goes one up on his or her front passenger in that he or she gets a powered seat the driving position is spot-on and made even better by good all-round visibility. The door mirrors don't appear to be that big but they cover a sizeable area and give an excellent view of what's happening to the sides and behind.

Plenty of head,
shoulder, and leg room
can be taken for granted
and large footwells
enable ASX drivers to do
it with their boots on.
The driver also gets
pampered with
a powered seat —
the driving position is
spot-on and made even
better by the good
all-round visibility...”
The ASX's well thought-out fascia and dash score well for ease of use: everything is logically sited, the knurled rotary climate control knobs are a practical size and easy to use on the move, the handbrake is a traditional one and not cramped by the sliding padded centre armrest, the driver's onboard display shows all the important information while the sharp infotainment touchscreen, straightforward 'SatNag' commands and 3D mapping make reaching your destination a walk in the park.

High-gloss black trim, chrome highlights and leather upholstery boost the cabin ambiance while keyless entry and start and drive-off automatic door locking guarantee quick and secure getaways.

And if you like a tidy cabin you'll definitely appreciate the numerous storage bins and cupholders; there's also a large glovebox that opens sensibly without spilling its contents into the passenger's lap, plus big bottle-holding door bins.

You won't want for anything in this top spec ASX it's got the lot including leather upholstery, 4WD, automatic transmission with paddle-shifters, keyless start and locking (front doors and tailgate), climate control, Mitsubishi Multi Communication System (seven-inch HD touchscreen display, SatNav, DAB radio, CD player, SD card compatibility and reversing camera), powered driver's seat, two-stage heated front seats, cruise control and speed limiter, and a sporty leather-and-gloss black multifunction steering wheel.

Additionally there's a huge panoramic glass roof with one-shot operation and powered non-see-through sunblind with LED mood lighting, privacy glass (from the B-pillars back), power windows (driver gets one-shot up/down), auto lights, auto wipers, auto-dimming rearview mirror, powerfold door mirrors (on demand and automatically on locking-and-leaving), Xenon super-wide HID headlamps with auto levelling and headlamp washers along with LED daytime running lights, LCD trip display, USB + Aux-in points, front fogs, and two-tone 18-inch alloys.

Alongside the all-wheel drive, keeping you safe in your Euro NCAP top five-star rated ASX is Mitsubishi's RISE safety technology which dissipates energy from an impact away from the passenger compartment. Naturally there's also Active Stability Control, Traction Control, Emergency Stop Signal System, Hill Start Assist, ISOFIX child seat anchorages and seven airbags including one for the driver's knee.

The regular rear
roofline provides decent
headroom and also
means you can pack in
442 litres of luggage
with the 60:40-split
backrests in use;
fold them down and
you’ll have a perfectly
flat, full-length
1,193-litre loadbay fit
for ‘man-and-van’
light removals...”
Like the front, the rear cabin is an easy in-out. Three adults can travel side-by-side without any argy-bargy but two will be very much at home courtesy of relaxing backrest angles, masses of foot room, very good knee room and enough legroom to stretch. And, thanks to the extra dimension introduced by the genuinely panoramic roof and high-set seating, there are good views out at ground level as well as skywards. Naturally there are cupholders built into the padded centre armrest.

Helping create a practical and spacious boot is the ASX's regular, as opposed to steeply sloping for styling's sake, rear roofline. Not only does this guarantee decent headroom for rear seat passengers but also means you can pack in 442 litres of luggage with the 60:40-split backrests up the mid-thigh-height load sill makes for easy loading. Fold them down and you'll have a perfectly flat full-length 1,193-litre loadbay fit for 'man-and-van' grade light removals.

On top of that, or rather below that, there's another sizeable storage compartment covering half the boot floorplan where a spare wheel would have gone but where you'll now find a tyre repair and inflation kit. Mitsubishi have thought of everything and the ASX even comes with a tailored heavy-duty rubber boot liner that lifts out easily for cleaning. Finally, if you have the need to tow, then the 2.2 diesel won't break a sweat pulling a braked 1,400kg.

Putting a large capacity turbodiesel into a compact crossover the size of the ASX makes good sense because alongside decent performance even with 4WD and an autobox 0-62 is done and dusted in 10.8 seconds it doesn't have to work anywhere near as hard as a smaller engine with the result that it's also surprisingly fuel-efficient.

Officially, the combined figure is a healthy 48.7mpg. Not really that much down on the 56.5mpg of the less powerful and not so quick 1.6 turbodiesel ASX with 4WD and a manual gearbox. So, also with 4WD but an autobox, what was our 2.2-litre auto's real-world average? A commendable 46.1mpg, a figure that confirms the 2.2 4WD Auto's best-in-class fuel economy.

Having 2.2 litres under the bonnet is undeniably A Very Good Thing its 266lb ft of torque is on tap from 1,500rpm so there's always plenty of oomph, especially in the mid-range sector of the powerband; it steps off the line smartly and it's smooth and quiet at the legal limit.

The ASX is a good drive
— on the open road
it feels nicely balanced
and is happy to be
hustled along.
When you do, you’ll be
reassured by the amount
of grip keeping it
all shipshape...”
The six-speed automatic transmission delivers seamless changes while the column-mounted paddle-shifters trigger quick manual overrides whenever you need some instant muscle for overtaking or, usefully, engine braking. Also well sited is the 4WD button, positioned just aft of the selector lever.

The ASX is a good drive on the open road it feels nicely balanced and is happy to be hustled along. When you do, you'll be reassured by the amount of grip keeping it all shipshape. Body roll is well controlled and the brakes (discs front and rear) deliver strong and fuss-free stopping whenever you need it.

Throw in precise steering and it's an easy car to place on the road. If the weather turns nasty it's not a problem as the 4WD system automatically goes into four-wheel drive mode as and when required so even in the wet the ASX feels reassuringly well planted and secure.

Aided by 180mm of ground clearance and its 4WD Lock mode, the ASX is very capable off-road; crossing challenging terrain it feels very much 'fit for purpose'. Even so, the compliant suspension serves up a comfortable ride on tarmac to the degree that you won't hear a peep of complaint out of your passengers.

At 25K the range-topping 2.2 turbodiesel ASX costs just 1,400 more than the top level 4WD 1.6 manual diesel and gives you all-wheel drive and a desirable automatic gearbox with paddle-shifters. Very satisfying to drive, the comfortable and highly-specced, larger-engined ASX is competent both on and off the road and despite the bigger engine still manages close to 50mpg. ~
MotorBar

Mitsubishi ASX ZC-H 2.2 Diesel 4WD Auto | 24,899
Maximum speed: 118mph | 0-62mph: 10.8 seconds | Test Average: 46.1mpg
Power: 147bhp | Torque: 266lb ft | CO2: 152g/km