ASX 4 Black 1.8 DI-D 2WD
best selling 4x4/SUV
model range is the ASX. Its
available in added-spec Black
although underneath, thanks
emissions and brilliant fuel economy,
very much Green...
ASX IS A LIGHTWEIGHT, mid-sized crossover available in either two- or four-wheel
drive. Crossovers are hugely popular, with more and more motorists coming to
appreciate their SUV looks, 2/4WD options, versatile seating/load carrying versatility,
car-like driving and comfort characteristics and the fact that they're
more affordable to buy and run than full-blown 4x4s and SUVs.
The ASX range offers four trim levels: 2, 3, 4 and a new Black model. Engines
can be 1.6-litre petrol (five-speed manual with 2WD) or 1.8-litre DI-D diesel
with a six-speed manual and two- or four-wheel drive. Unfortunately there's
no auto option for either engine.
start at £16,499 and range up to £25,895. The ASX Black 1.8 DI-D 2WD reviewed
here costs £23,745: Black versions are loaded with an extra £1,000 of kit over
the top level '4' models.
the ASX comes in colours other than black: you can have blue, white, silver,
grey, or red. Externally the ASX Black sports a chunky yet dynamic appearance
courtesy of a satin black styling kit comprising of striking black 17-inch alloys,
roof, spoiler, mirrors, grille and fog lamp bezels.
Externally the ASX Black
sports a chunky yet
courtesy of a satin black
styling kit comprising
of striking black
17-inch alloy wheels,
roof, spoiler, mirrors,
grille and fog lamp
The cabin gains special edition black leather with carbon-fibre inserts. Other
items carried over from the ASX 4 trim include a Kenwood SatNav, reversing camera,
iPod connection, power windows and mirrors, and AirCon.
The ASX also incorporates Mitsubishi's RISE safety technology (this dissipates
the energy from an impact away from the passenger compartment) as well as ABS,
Active Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake Distribution, Brake
Assist and an Emergency Stop Signal System along with seven airbags. For the
record, the ASX also comes with a five-star EuroNCAP safety rating.
The green side of the Black includes CO2 emission-lowering specification systems
starting with and unusual on a diesel engine variable valve timing.
Also present are Auto Stop & Go, energy-saving electronic power steering, regenerative
power harvesting through braking, low rolling resistance tyres and low energy
The 1.8 DI-D unit powering the 2WD ASX Black puts out 147bhp and 221lb ft of
torque from 2,000rpm. This model runs to 124mph with 0-62mph posted in a swift
9.7 seconds. The official combined cycle economy is 51.4mpg, with CO2 emissions
Remarkably, my week-long test drive resulted in an overall average fuel consumption
of 58.9mpg! In fact, on one journey (a long A-road with a 50mph speed limit)
the figure was even higher 62.4mpg. Also, the low-ish tailpipe emissions
mean an affordable £130 a year road tax and 22% company car tax.
Later this year (in the first quarter of 2012) a revised and even more fuel-frugal
version of this 1.8-litre engine will be introduced. Its CO2 emissions will
also be lower and while it will produce the same amount of torque, it will be
on tap lower down from 1,750rpm instead of 2,000rpm.
the power output has been significantly reduced to 114bhp and
that in turn brings down the top speed by 7mph to 117mph and adds half a second
to the 0-62mph time.
the official combined cycle fuel consumption figure goes up to 54.3mpg.
More good news is that the reduced CO2 emissions (136g/km) incur lower road
tax down to £115 a year. BIK company car tax is 20%.
Remarkably, my week-
long test drive resulted in
an overall average fuel
consumption of 58.9mpg!
In fact, on one journey
(a long A-road with
a 50mph speed limit)
the figure was even
Also due for changes in 2012 is the 115bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine although
its power and torque remain the same: 114lb ft at 4,000rpm. Fuel consumption
is 47.1mpg compared to 47.9mpg for the 2011 model year engine. Unchanged are
CO2 emissions (139g/km), £115 road tax, and 18% BIK. Top speed and 0-62mph acceleration
also stay the same; 113mph and 11.4 seconds respectively. While there's no reduction
in tax charges on the 2012 petrol derivative, the braked towing capacity increases
from 1,100kg to 1,200kg.
What these figures show is that there's an interesting choice to be made between
2011 and 2012 model year engines: the petrol is a tad slower performance-wise
but cheaper to buy by a hefty £2,240. Its official fuel economy is not very
much worse than that of the diesel; and neither is there much difference in
road tax charges although the company car tax is lower. The petrol unit needs
servicing every 12,500 miles; the diesel every 9,000 miles.
For some ASX customers, these figures favour the petrol engine. But for high
mileage users the diesel is just nicer, being stronger and more responsive to
drive in its current form. Whether it will be nicer and more responsive to drive
in its lower-powered 2012 spec remains to be seen.
For the present, high mileage drivers, and those who prefer the torquey and
responsive characteristics of a modern turbodiesel, will choose Mitsubishi's
2011 model year 1.8-litre with its variable valve timing. It is a bit noisy
under acceleration, and sounds a bit harsh at tick-over, but the real-life fuel
economy is brilliant.
You don't have to try with this unit averaging close to 60mpg with this
engine most of the time was effortless. And the 124mph top speed and 9.7 zero
to 62mph acceleration was impressive. Because the high final drive ratio used
to minimise overall CO2 emissions makes it feel less responsive than the figures
suggest it should be, I'd prefer the 221lb ft of torque to be available below
the current 2,000rpm. Under 1,750rpm the response was flat and not like one
expects from a modern diesel engine. That noted, once you get into the powerband
with the turbo blowing, the response is first class.
at lower speeds requires driving in a lower gear than normal for a modern diesel.
However, the driver just needs to keep the revs up, and in many ways it is like
driving a petrol-powered SUV more revs equals more torque and better
dont have to try
with this unit
averaging close to 60mpg
with this engine most of
the time was effortless.
And the 124mph top
speed and 9.7 zero to
62mph acceleration is
Interestingly, the lower powered 2012 model year 1.8 turbodiesel develops its
maximum torque at lower revs.
Mechanicals aside, the ASX crossover is a roomy five-seater with decent load
space: 442 to 1,193 litres of it. The cabin looks a little dated compared to
the latest standards in controls, switches and layout offered by the likes of
Ford and Vauxhall but the ride is comfortable and the handling sure-footed.
At times, poor road surfaces can unsettle the ride and noise intrusion from
the tyres into the car is quite high.
To look at, the new Black specification is a touch blinged-up and will no doubt
appeal to young business users for whom glitzy wheels, body styling and paintwork
tweaks have a strong appeal when it comes to 'street cred'. Fine if you like
a dash of brash, but for some customers the standard ASX 4 donor level trim
will be as equally desirable.
Against? No automatic option, diesel models need servicing every 9,000 miles,
reduced bhp for 2012 model year diesels, £2,240 price premium for the diesel
over the petrol models.
On the plus side you do get a solid, well made vehicle with a lively engine
and a braked towing ability of 1,400kg along with a roomy, comfortable and highly
specced cabin. You also get brilliant fuel economy. David Miles
ASX 4 Black 1.8 DID 2WD | £23,745
Maximum speed: 124mph | 0-62mph: 9.7 seconds | Overall test MPG: 58.9mpg
Power: 147bhp | Torque: 221lb ft | CO2 145g/km