THERE’S a lot to like about the latest version of the versatile and reliable compact soft-roading SUV and crossover contender the Mitsubishi ASX.
Not a whole lot has changed in the drivetrain department, though the suspension has been mildly retuned to offer better. The engines and transmissions have been carried over from the original version. Is that a problem? Not really. The powerplants in question are advanced petrol and diesel units that were developed in-house.
The petrol is a 1.6-litre 115bhp unit with MIVEC variable valve timing technology. It’s offered exclusively with the front-wheel-drive transmission and generates 154Nm of torque at 4,000rpm.
Most opt for the 1.8-litre DiD diesel, which packs 114bhp and 300Nm of torque from 3,500rpm. That’s a lot of grunt for a unit of this size, and there’s no shortage of technology behind it.
It is offered in both front- or four-wheel drive guise with a six-speed manual gearbox in place of the petrol’s five-speed. It replaces the 148bhp diesel unit that the ASX was launched with, and while this engine’s meagre 114bhp can’t match the performance of its predecessor, it offers much lower carbon dioxide emissions, which is often an easier sell these days.
The ASX was always a fairly handsome thing with its Mitsubishi Evo-look front end and the styling updates to the latest car preserve that basic feel while sharpening up some of the detailing. The front has been toned down a bit, with a more subtle grille that mirrors the family look sported by cars like the Mirage supermini. The rear bumper has been refreshed and the back of the car looks a bit more assertive than before. There’s a chrome accent for the doors, which also gives a slightly more upmarket look.
Mitsubishi’s ASX may not have been a big seller in Britain but it’s been hugely popular worldwide. This latest model gets subtly revised styling, engineering tweaks and interior upholstery changes. If you get yourself the right deal on this car, it’ll make a really sensible choice.