ASX 4 Black 1.8 DI-D 2WD
they remade the Bruce Willis
sci-fi movie The Fifth Element today,
all the cars would have to be
and one day soon well
WHY? Well, because as a family car (and according to today's headlines,
marriage and families are back in fashion) crossovers tick all the right boxes,
plus they also reward their owners by being great to drive.
In the case of the Mitsubishi ASX (ASX is automotive shorthand for Active Sports
X-over), that means smart 4x4 looks wrapped around a family-friendly cabin that's
in touch with its feminine side. Add in the choice of two- or all-wheel drive
and the respected Mitsubishi name and there you have it: the five elements of
a new 'people's car'.
The ASX Black is a special edition top-spec model and you can have it with two-wheel
drive (to the front wheels) or with all-wheel drive: 2WD costs £23,745; 4WD
£25,895. Tested here, because the 2WD will account for the bulk of ASX sales,
is the ASX 4 Black 2WD with the 1.8 diesel. Should your refuelling tastes run
to unleaded there's a 1.6 petrol, but the turbodiesel is such a peppy performer
that you'd be forgiven for choosing the oil-burner.
we've mentioned the engine, we'll start with that. And it's a good place to
begin. The 147bhp 1.8-litre DI-D turbodiesel comes married to a six-speed manual
This new engine can,
officially, return 51.4mpg
on the combined cycle
(42.2 urban and
Our test average worked
out at an impressive
And that was in snow
and icy conditions that
drag down economy.
Driven by a different
MotorBar road-tester just
a few weeks earlier,
its real-world average
was 58.9mpg with a
best of 62.4mpg!
Featuring Mitsubishi's MIVEC variable valve timing technology, this all-aluminium
diesel is notable for being a passenger car 'world first'. Backing up the bhp
is a hefty 221lb ft of torque from 2,000-3,000rpm, sufficient for 0-62mph time
in 9.7 seconds and a top speed of 124mph.
Black by name it might be, but under the skin it's more green by nature. Pro-economy
features include advanced alternator control (increases battery charging when
braking and reduces it during idling, accelerating or cruising, thereby easing
the load on the engine for improved fuel consumption); low rolling resistance
tyres to reduce drag; electric, rather than hydraulic power steering; and Auto
Stop & Go (shuts down the engine when at a standstill and instantly restarts
it when you depress the clutch pedal).
Thanks to its variable-lift valves the 1.8 feels more like a 2.0-litre and the
221lb ft of 'grunt' ensures it pulls strongly from low down and through the
important midrange and doesn't run out of puff at higher revs. It's quick to
zip along and there's good pick-up in the higher gears. But can you hear it's
a diesel? Actually, does it really matter? In case you think it does, then the
answer to that first question is Yes, but only just. In other words, it really
What does matter is that this new engine can, officially, return 51.4mpg on
the combined cycle (42.2 urban and 58.9mpg touring). Our test average worked
out at an impressive 50.3mpg. And that was in snow and icy conditions that drag
down economy. Driven by a different MotorBar road-tester just a few weeks earlier,
its real-world average was 58.9mpg with a best of 62.4mpg! Good news for owners;
bad news for the Government's coffers.
With so many crossovers hitting the roads, it's nice to have one that stands
out from the herd. Along with Mitsubishi's 'family' grille on its thrusting
nose and a hint of Evo X menace, the ASX Black boasts enhanced exterior styling
with a satin black styling kit that includes striking black 17-inch alloy wheels,
roof, spoiler, mirrors, grille and fog lamp bezels.
Earlier we mentioned the F-word (family!). Based on the same platform as the
Outlander, Lancer and Lancer Evolution X, the ASX also has the same wheelbase
as the bigger Outlander which explains the generous interior space. Headroom
is good too, and even lanky passengers can be carried without complaint. In
fact, the ASX cabin makes a normal hatchback seem positively dungeon-like.
Black-spec cabin is well equipped and includes special edition black leather
seats featuring carbon-fibre inserts, climate control air conditioning, cruise
control, two-stage heated front seats, parking sensors, reversing camera,
auto lights and wipers, power windows (driver's is one-shot auto up/down), three-spoke
multifunction wheel with a nicely grippable leather rim, privacy glass, heated
folding door mirrors, a keyless operation system with engine start button, Bluetooth
hands-free telephone kit, radio/CD/MP3 player with 6 speakers, Kenwood SatNav,
iPod, USB and AUX connectivity, LED lighting and 17-inch alloy wheels.
kit is equally comprehensive with Mitsubishi's Active Stability and Traction
Control system plus seven (dual front, side, curtain and driver's knee) airbags,
ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution, Brake Assist, Emergency Stop Signal System
and Hill Start Assist.
The ASXs occupant
protection is endorsed
by a five-star
Euro NCAP safety rating.
Along with the original
cocaine and kola nut
bull-bars on 4x4s and
SUVs are also long
gone but its still nice
to know that the ASXs
is also excellent...
A nice (and appreciated) touch is the wiper action: a single wash-wipe pull
gets five spaced squirt-and-wipes for a truly clean screen with a follow-up
wipe five seconds later to get rid of any last drops. Importantly, it ensures
you get the best visibility during washing and wiping a lot of cars tend
to flood the glass all at once which reduces forward visibility for precious
seconds. Good one, Mitsubishi.
Should a collision be unavoidable, then you'll be in a safe place the
ASX's occupant protection is endorsed by a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
Along with the original cocaine and kola nut recipe CoCa-Cola, bull-bars on
4x4s and SUVs are also long gone but it's still nice to know that the ASX's
pedestrian impact protection is also excellent. [Coca-Cola's original key ingredients
were cocaine and caffeine: the cocaine was derived from the coca leaf, the caffeine
from kola nut, which coined the name Coca-Cola. For marketing purposes the 'K'
in kola was replaced with a 'C' Ed].
The interior is also well designed: it's simple, clutter-free and easy to navigate.
There's an easy on/off for the stop-start on the fascia, clear 3D SatNav mapping,
high-clarity white-on-black dials either side of the driver's information display
(outside temperature, average mpg, range, etc) plus there's plenty of hot air
available and very welcome it was during our snow-rich test week.
The driver enjoys a command driving position with a clear view of the road ahead
over the sloping bonnet. The steering wheel adjusts generously for reach as
well as rake and height-adjustable front seatbelts keep drivers of all sizes
happy. There's also plenty of space around the pedals so it's easy to drive
in outdoor boots fine for those family picnics or active lifestyle weekends.
Adding to the driving pleasure is a precise and easy gearchange action.
front seats in Black versions are supportive and well-padded with carbon-fibre
inserts and embroidered 'ASX Black' logos. The seats are set high off the floor,
so your lower legs are at a better angle which makes for better long-distance
comfort. There's also plenty of personal space in all directions and the cabin
is quiet and refined at speed.
visibility through the back screen is okay but the rear camera view displayed
on the SatNav screen is well worth having. And there's ample cupholders, pockets
and cubbies, including a decent-sized glovebox and deep two-tier central storage
box (with 12v power, USB and Aux sockets) topped by a central front armrest.
in the back and all's well there too. For a start there's more than enough leg
room, made better by plenty of room for your feet under the front seats. The
backrest angle is adjustable and adults can really stretch out. A well-padded
central rear armrest adds to the ease.
We spent much of our
weeks test driving
through snow and over
icy roads and the
More good news is that
you can put an ASX
on your drive from as
little as £16,499...
Three adults is fine; but two can definitely lounge. A good-sized load-through
'ski-hatch' enhances versatility and the 60:40 split-fold rear seats fold with
their headrests in place.
Stuffing the 442-litre boot is also hassle-free, thanks to a wide-opening tailgate
and mid-thigh-height loading sill. Beneath the lift-up boot floor is a very
large underfloor tray for 'secret' stuff. For cargo duty, the rear seatbacks
fold down onto the rear seat base to provide a flat loadbay of 1,193 litres.
And should you need a deeper boot, the false floor lifts out and folds in two
for easy storage.
of its compact footprint and well-weighted steering, the ASX feels nimble on
the move; it's reassuringly well-sorted and handles predictably. But most of
all it's enjoyable to drive and comfortable most road imperfections are
absorbed without waking the passengers. And given that the only jungle it's
likely to see is an urban one, the 2WD version is all the better for that.
We spent much of our week's test driving in snow and over icy roads and the
two-wheel drive coped admirably. More good news is that, as satisfying to own
as the range-topping Black versions are, you can put an ASX on your drive from
as little as £16,499 (1.6 petrol) or £20,599 (1.8 diesel).
The ASX comes with three years' unlimited mileage warranty, 12-year anti-corrosion
perforation warranty, 3-year pan-European roadside, and home and accident assistance.
For further peace of mind owners can purchase the Mitsubishi Service Plan (£650)
which covers the first three scheduled services. This can also be transferred
to a new owner when you sell.
The diesel Black is economical to run as important to many as the fact
that it's good to drive. Families will like its spaciousness and versatile nature.
It's also stylish without being precious and it's also planet-friendly. A compact
crossover with a conscience! MotorBar
Mitsubishi ASX 4 Black 1.8 DI-D 2WD | £23,745
Maximum speed: 124mph | 0-62mph: 9.7 seconds | Overall test MPG: 50.3mpg
Power: 147bhp | Torque: 221lb ft | CO2 145g/km