ASX 3 1.8 Diesel 2WD
ASX is Mitsubishis
the expanding crossover market.
An all-new hi-tech diesel engine
not just one of the most
powerful but also one of the most
economical in its class with
in real-world driving conditions...
A SENSIBLY-SIZED FAMILY SUV, the ASX takes up a similar roadspace to conventional
family hatchbacks such as the Golf and Focus. Today's crossover buyers
are a rather demanding bunch they want space, decent equipment
levels, secure handling and the safety advantages of a commanding driving position;
but not necessarily with consumption-hurting 4WD.
They also want something that looks fresh and exudes just a dash of self-confident
swagger. Priced at a competitive £14,999 to £22,049 and with its 'jet fighter'
face (courtesy of the stretched Evo-inspired grille), prominent wheelarches
and squat purposeful stance, the ASX convincingly ticks all these boxes.
Even on the £18,549 '3' trim model reviewed here (the lowest spec available
with the diesel engine), the standard equipment runs to a long list that includes
heated seats, electric windows (one-shot up/down for the driver), power-fold
mirrors (on demand plus automatically on locking), cruise control, Bluetooth
connectivity, reach and rake adjustable leather steering wheel with remote audio
controls, music player connections, auto lights, auto wipers, keyless entry
and go, start button, A/C climate control, cruise control and tinted rear glass.
of sight, Mitsubishi's Intelligent Motion consumption-boosting technology provides
auto Stop & Go stop-start, regenerative braking, electric power steering, an
alternator that charges on the overrun so as not to sap power, low-consumption
LED tail lights and low roll-resistance tyres. Also aiding economy is the ASX's
low, best-in-class drag coefficient.
diesel unit performs its
duties quietly and
sweetly, and all while
returning a pretty
and we most certainly
werent sparing the
kit includes ABS with Active Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, anti-whiplash
seats and height-adjustable seat belts along with seven airbags.
The spacious cabin is functional with good passenger space wherever you're sitting
the cloth-upholstered seats are comfortable and supportive, confirmed
by no complaints from one of our road-testers who suffers from a bad back. The
front seats also feature two-stage seat heating especially helpful if
you do have back problems. The dash is neatly styled and the driver sits high
and benefits from a good range of wheel and seat (including height) adjustment.
The cloth-covered centre front armrest, wide enough to be shared, slides forwards
without getting in the way of the traditional handbrake. The three-spoke, leather-wrapped
multi-function ('phone, ICE and cruise) wheel is nicely grippy and feels good
in your hands.
An LCD screen for the on-board computer separates the two main dials
their bright white graphics are very easy to read and there are digital bar
graphs for fuel and temperature. Economy-minded drivers can keep an eye on the
'ecometer' and gear shift reminder while the climate control does an excellent
job of keeping them cool. Finally, underscoring the ASX's family-friendly persona,
is a goodly number of storage places.
Visibility out is first class, even looking rearwards (the three rear head restraints
drop down over the rear seatback when not in use) although audible rear sensors
take all the guesswork out of reversing making the ASX a breeze to park! Good
sized door mirrors provide reassuring three-quarter vision.
The rear seats are also comfortable, with effective lower back support and relaxing
backrest angles. Rear headroom is good; and legroom is generous even for near
six-footers, and made even better by the large amount of foot room. While three
into two does go, two sharing the 60:40 split rear bench is best and that way
rear passengers can share the fold-down rear centre armrest. A practical load-through
hatch adds versatility. Large glass areas and the 'mini' third rear side panes
make the comfy rear cabin a pleasant place to be.
if it's cargo you need to move then folding the rear seat an easy one-movement
action creates a flat 1,193-litre load bay. Even with the seats up, there's
still a very usable 442 litres.
its cargo you need
to move then folding the
rear seat an easy
creates a flat 1,193-litre
Out of sight under the boot floor is a large, deep 30-litre secret compartment
that can be lifted out to increase the boot depth by a full six inches. No spare
wheel though, just one of the ubiquitous puncture repair kits.
all-new, all-alloy 145bhp 1.8-litre turbodiesel features variable valve timing
(a first for a diesel car powerplant) and endows the 1,798cc unit with the performance
of a much bigger engine along with the economy and emissions of a smaller one.
On the road it's got plenty of get up and go and feels as strong and willing
as a petrol engine, revving cleanly as it delivers its peak torque of 221lb
ft between 2-3,000rpm.
Not only that but it performs its duties quietly and sweetly, and all while
returning a pretty astounding 50.1mpg and we most certainly weren't sparing
the horses. For the record, the official combined figure is 51.4mpg and going
by our test results, the official extra-urban consumption of 58.9mpg should
be achievable for most owners. The stop-start function can be switched off at
any time but you needn't bother it's as unobtrusive and foolproof as
the keyless locking and entry.
The 1.8 turbodiesel will get the ASX from standstill to 62mph in 9.7 seconds,
and on to a maximum speed of 124mph. However, the real advantage of its variable
valve timing-enhanced in-gear flexibility is the way it responds to throttle
inputs, accelerating without complaint from quite low revs. Even in the higher
gears it remains responsive; picking up crisply in fourth for quick, safe overtaking
and even in sixth on dual carriageways and motorways there's plenty in hand
if you need to pull past slower traffic.
And in urban areas you aren't forced to stay in the lower gears when threading
though spurt-and-brake commuter traffic. The other important benefit, of course,
is that progress can be made with fewer gear changes than would be the norm
in a standard turbodiesel. Not that that's a problem because the gear change
action of the six-speed manual 'box is slick and precise.
Our test model was a front-driving 2WD a four-wheel drive ASX is available
for a £1,500 premium. The ASX utilises the same chassis as its Outlander big
brother; with the same wheelbase and underpinnings.
the 2WD model is refreshingly undemanding: it's fun to drive and it drives well;
grip is good with minimal body roll and, while you're aware that you're riding
high, the ASX is not so high that it sways in the manner of some larger 4x4s.
Untroubled by torque-steer, the steering is quick and well weighted.
the 2WD model
its fun to drive and
it drives well...
ASX is well mannered and carries speed confidently through even quite sharp
corners. Its default handling character is 'unruffled' exactly what's
expected of a family SUV. The suspension is fine and the ride quality well judged
bumps, potholes and broken surfaces are, for the most part, ridden over
without any cabin disturbances. On motorway it's a smooth cruiser: quiet, refined,
and reassuringly stable and with an unforced high-speed gait.
Stopping and slowing is also undemanding; pedal feel is good and progression
fine, even when driving hard. All in all, the cabin of the ASX is a comfortable
environment in which to travel. Add in its competitive price allied to a camel-like
thirst and Mitsubishi's newest, very well equipped and very pleasant to drive
SUV makes a very sensible and satisfying purchase.
Mitsubishi ASX 3 1.8 Diesel 2WD | £18,549
Maximum speed: 124mph | 0-62mph: 9.7 seconds | Overall test MPG: 50.1mpg
Power: 145bhp | Torque: 221lb ft | CO2 145g/km