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Mitsubishi ASX 4 2.2 Diesel 4WD Auto review (2014 onwards)
Model: Mitsubishi ASX 4 2.2 Diesel 4WD Auto
Bodystyle: five-door compact crossover SUV
Engine: 2.2 four-cylinder turbodiesel, 147hp @ 3,500rpm, 266lb ft @ 1,500-2,750rpm
Transmission: six-speed auto, four-wheel drive
Performance: 10.8sec 0-62mph, 118mph top speed
Efficiency: 48.7mpg, 153g/km CO2
What is the Mitsubishi ASX?
The Mitsubishi ASX is right slap bang in the middle of the crossover SUV segment, a group of models where the Nissan Qashqai dominates sales. Originally launched in 2012, Mitsubishi was refreshed late in 2013.
The version tested here is new, though, an automatic diesel with four-wheel drive. Until this point the diesel engine was an economical 1.8-litre. Now the auto gets the 2.2-litre engine and six-speed transmission from the new Outlander.
Where does the Mitsubishi ASX fit?
Sitting below the seven-seat Outlander, the ASX benefits from a compact size and a compact price. Indeed, with the price on this model recently cut by £2,400 (the yen has weakened against the pound), even this top-specification ASX costs just £23,899.
That’s better value than most rivals, of which there are many. Key sellers, alongside the Qashqai, are the Ford Kuga, Hyundai ix35, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Skoda Yeti and VW Tiguan. Like the ASX, all can be bought as a 4x4. But most buyers opt for the cheaper front-wheel-drive models.
Is the Mitsubishi ASX for you?
On the move the engine is refined and quiet, and there’s rarely any need to extend the revs or press hard on the accelerator
Mitsubishi historically has a strong reputation for building rugged, capable 4x4s, so the pedigree is a strong one that stands up to scrutiny. Look a little deeper, though, and it is apparent that the ASX is a more mainstream family car, with four-wheel drive as an option should you need to get along in the snow rather than for towing a horsebox out of a muddy field.
Equipment levels on the ASX 4 are comprehensive. Standard are satellite navigation, a reversing camera and leather seats. A full-length glass roof with a retractable blind gives a real open-air ambience. It also has a five-star result in the EuroNCAP safety tests.
What does the Mitsubishi ASX do well?
This new engine-transmission package is very impressive. The engine and six-speed auto transmission blend together very well, with masses of torque to make this ASX an easy drive. Normally front-wheel drive, there are two additional settings that bring in four-wheel drive if you need it.
On the move the engine is refined and quiet, and there’s rarely any need to extend the revs or press hard on the accelerator. The upside of this is that, despite the 2.2-litre engine capacity, the ASX auto is surprisingly economical.
What doesn’t the Mitsubishi ASX do well?
There’s a fair bit of tyre noise on motorways at speed, to the point where you choose between turning the radio right up or simply deciding to do without. Not good.
What is the Mitsubishi ASX like to live with?
This is where the Mitsubishi becomes a mixed bag. There’s decent room for five, deceptively so because the rear doors are rather small which impedes access a little.
The ASX seems to be capable of getting close to the official mpg figure in real life, where so few rivals do
Luggage space is good too, though this is partly due to the lack of spare wheel which frees up an underfloor compartment. We’d still prefer a spare, even it is was a space saver, and a Mitsubishi dealer should be able to help here.
The ASX4 comes with leather seats, which are comfortable up to a point. It is hard to pinpoint any real problem except neither driver nor passenger felt as good after an hour as they did initially. It could be something to do with the seats appearing less substantial than they do in rival crossovers.
This apparent corner-cutting comes through in other areas. The doors clang shut rather than with a satisfying clunk. The seat heaters are out of sight alongside the handbrake and awkward to use. The fresh-air vents have no independent on-off knobs.
And then there is the navigation system. It’s better than it used to be but that’s not saying much. Rather than ASX having its own integrated unit, Mitsubishi has bought in a proprietary Kenwood sat-nav/infotainment device.
It’s desperately fiddly, so much so that you may need reading glasses to read the script on the buttons or to see the time. It doesn’t support Bluetooth music streaming either, a big surprise considering the depths of complexity Kenwood seem to have built in.
How green is the Mitsubishi ASX?
The combined economy figure is 48.7mpg, which is a good though not exceptional figure. However, the ASX seems to be capable of getting close to official figure in real life, where so few rivals do. Certainly, compared with the equivalent Kia Sportage or Hyundai ix35, the economy can be 10mpg better. CO2 is 153g/km.
Would we buy the Mitsubishi ASX?
In ASX4 auto form the ASX is a strong buying proposition, well priced against rivals, good to drive and low on fuel bills. Yet in other respects it lacks the solid feel and thoughtful design that could result in day-to-day life becoming less enticing. We are far from being won over.
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