Mitsubishi ASX: road test

Posted on August 10th, 2015 by James Luckhurst

The ASX offers gutsy performance that’s rather let down by imprecise steering.

Mitsubishi ASX: road test

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What is it?

The Mitsubishi ASX sits in the highly competitive crossover sector. The 2.2-litre diesel model we drove offered gutsy performance and excellent economy.

How safe is it?

It’s always good to see five Euro NCAP stars. Specifically there’s stability control, traction control and anti-whiplash head restraints, as well as brake assist technology.

Who should buy one?

If you seek decent space, and a smart interior with generous gadgetry, then this should be a front runner. Just make sure your passengers can put up with the ride.

Road test by Abby Luckhurst, published 10 August 2015

 

 

DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
Mitsubishi ASX: road test

We had a good 95-mile journey to become familiar with the manners and quirks of the ASX. A swift press of the starter button and we were ready to roll. First test: some sharp turns and roundabouts to get out of a particularly complicated railway station one-way system. Top marks straight away for the ASX’s tight turning circle.

In truth, it was an easy car to settle in to, though it took a heavier than expected shove to ensure the doors shut properly. Buttons, switches and dials were all easy to see and logically laid out. Additionally, we were enjoying the best of both worlds; practicality fitting a family saloon or estate, combined with a nice high driving position that came into its own on the narrow, twisting country lanes around our home.

Our diesel automatic version came equipped with paddle gear changes, so we made good use of these immediately, while also spending some time in fully automatic mode. Well mannered in and around town, the ASX was happy to glide smoothly up to junctions, giving a comfortable (if unspectacular) ride. In truth there was little evidence of any big capability until we hit some long stretches of wide, rural road.

Here we quickly became aware of the ASX’s significant strength… and its weakness. It showed efficient acceleration, especially from 30/40mph upwards, allowing for comfortable cruising and efficient, deft overtaking. The performance from this range-topping 2.2-litre diesel model was more than satisfying. Better still, the computer showed an average economy of more than 45mpg. Wind noise was prominent on the motorway, even with the radio on.

But we couldn’t help but feel that the ASX’s welcome gutsiness was let down by soft suspension and vague steering – surely not the best accompaniment to this sort of engaging performance.

SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Mitsubishi ASX: road test

The ASX interior found favour on family journeys, with decent space in the rear seats (legroom was particularly generous, thanks to the high front seats). A third adult in the middle would feel restricted for head and leg room, though. Driver space is fine, and finding a comfortable driving position is a doddle. The steering wheel is adjustable for rake and reach via a chunky lever on its left hand side. There’s a big glove compartment, with two centrally-located bins for storing bits and pieces. Space in the boot for shopping, luggage and other paraphernalia is decent. There’s also an extra 30 litres of stowage available under the boot floor.

SAFETY
Mitsubishi ASX: road test

There’s plenty of standard safety equipment included in the ASX. Seven airbags, anti-whiplash head restraints, ISOFIX child seat mounts, traction control and brake assistance form part of every specification, as does electronic stability control. Our model had optional four-wheel drive, allowing instant power to the rear wheels. The same button locked us in four-wheel drive mode.

EQUIPMENT
Mitsubishi ASX: road test

There’s air-conditioning as standard across all models, as well as heated folding door mirrors, electric windows, alloy wheels, Bluetooth and tyre pressure monitors. Move to the ZC-M and you get 17-inch alloys, cruise control, rear parking sensors, climate control and heated front seats. At the top, the ZC-H includes satnav, electric driver’s seat, panoramic glass roof and leather seats.

COSTS

Mitsubishi ASX: road test

Prices are attractive across the ASX model range, which starts at £15,434 for the ZC 1.6-litre petrol version and goes up to £25,134 for the 2.2-litre ZC-H diesel automatic. The 1.6 petrol version delivers 47.1mpg and has stop-start technology. If you’re tempted by the 2.2-litre diesel, bear in mind its 9,000-mile service intervals. Economy-wise, the 1.8-litre diesel offers 61mpg and average CO2 emissions of 119g/km.

WE SAY

The ASX offers gutsy performance that’s rather let down by imprecise steering.

AT A GLANCE:
Price: £25,134
Performance: 0-60mph in 10.8 seconds
Economy: 49mpg combined
Insurance: Group 20
Tax: Band G (£180)

Figures for the ASX 2.2-litre diesel 4WD ZC-H auto 5 door