The appeal of the small SUV is that you still retain the stylish practicalities of a city vehicle while reaping the benefits of space the SUV design has to offer – a balance the Mitsubishi ASX has managed to achieve. Offered in four different models, the bottom of the range LS 2WD is the only one offered in manual and is the one we test drove over the Christmas break.
Powered by a 2.0L, 4 cylinder petrol engine that produces 110kW of power @6,000rpm and 197Nm of torque @ 4,200rpm, our ASX LS is paired with a 5 speed manual transmission. While Mitsubishi claims a combined fuel consumption of 7.6L/100km, our testing across city and highway driving reflected a slightly higher figure at 9.3L/100km.On the road, the ASX LS handles directly and the gear box provides smooth transitions between gears. However, it really is missing that 6th gear, especially noticeable when at higher speeds on the freeway and you’re sitting on 110km/hr at 2,900rpm. The cruise control however is very capable and doesn’t seem to run away much at all!
The exterior styling hasn’t changed much except for the addition of 18” alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and a revised front bumper. Inside, the LS has now received higher quality cloth seats; leather wrapped steering wheel and gear shift as well as a 6.1” touchscreen media display. Occupant comfort is optimised throughout with the rear seats benefiting from rear air-conditioning vents and surprising leg and head room. The entertainment unit has all the pre-requisites including USB input, Bluetooth connectivity and MP3 compatibility and most importantly is easy to use and navigate. Where it does lack though is it’s only a 4 speaker and there is no navigation system.
Safety and security are of course a key factor in the ASX which has received a 5 star ANCAP rating. The ASX LS has driver and passenger, side, curtain and driver knee airbags, ABS, EBD and the usual long list of three letter safety acronyms, Hill Start Assist, rear parking sensors and a reverse camera. For families, there are 2 ISO-Fix mountings and child-proof rear door locks.
The ASX has real appeal as a family car or a vehicle for the adventurous – young or old – with a 1,300kg towing capacity. At $25,000*, the ASX LS represents real value for money and an attainable option for SUV lovers.
*prices are drive-away for postcode 2000 and are subject to change